Santa Catalina’s Monastery
The Viceroy Francisco Toledo, during his visit to Arequipa was informed by the cabildo the desire to found a monastery of nuns. This motivated him to grant the necessary licenses for the foundation of the “Monastery of Private Nuns of the Order of Santa Catalina de Siena”. Years later, Doña María de Guzmán, widow of Diego Hernández de Mendoza, beautiful, rich and young woman who had no children, decides to seclude herself in the monastery under construction, giving her all her possessions. Santa Catalina, is located in Arequipa, a city founded in 1540 in a place specially chosen for its natural beauty and which had a unique construction material: the sillar, porous stone of volcanic lava that has allowed to raise a beautiful city, where it has been possible to build own architectural forms, which have made Arequipa a colonial center of marked identity within the main urban centers of the continent. Unlike other viceroyal constructions of this part of Latin America, in Arequipa and especially in Santa Catalina, the fusion of Spanish and native elements is observed creating its own unique architecture. During almost two centuries, in the viceregal period, the cloisters and cells of the Santa Catalina monastery have undergone modifications, additions and new constructions, which have turned it into a true sample of the colonial architecture of Arequipa.
La Compañia Church
Located in the Historic Center of the city. Set of buildings built by the Jesuits for religious purposes and housing. The buildings form a representative monument, to say of many, the most beautiful religious architecture of the seventeenth century (1660). Considered one of the most outstanding examples of the so-called mestizo architecture. In the middle of the ensemble stands the temple. Inside it houses more than 60 canvases from the Cusqueña School, by artists such as Bernardo Bitti and Diego de la Puente. Inside the temple you can see carved wooden altarpieces covered with gold leaf. In the sacristy is the chapel of San Ignacio, with polychrome murals that show the tropical flora and fauna. The cloisters were built in the eighteenth century.
Yanahuara City Sight
The majestic Yanahuara lookout arches built with sillar, offer the best view of the traditional white city of Arequipa, where you will see old houses and cobbled and narrow streets. In addition, volcanoes such as the Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu create the show adorning the Arequipa landscapes. Located in the district of Yanahuara, at about 2343 m s.n.m., being part of the mountains and puna of Latin America, forming part of the National Reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca. The construction of the Mirador de Yanahuara dates from the 19th century. Next to this foundation is the San Juan de Yanahuara church, built in 1750, presenting a baroque and sober architecture.
Arequipa Main Square
The Main Square (Plaza de Armas) is located in the heart of the city. Historic square surrounded by the Cathedral Church and various portals, the Main Square presents a beautiful three-plate bronze crowned with the figure of a soldier of the sixteenth century. This character is called the “Tuturutu”, the story tells that he was in charge of notifying any new event in the city. Around the square you can see three portals made of granite and brick and lime vaults: the Cabildo Portal (Portal of the Municipality), the Portal of the Delights (Portal de San Agustín) and the Portal del Regocijo (Portal de Flowers).
The Colca Canyon
It is a canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru, located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) northwest of Arequipa. With a depth of 3,270 metres, it is one of the deepest in the world. The Colca Valley is a colorful Andean valley with pre-Inca roots, and towns founded in Spanish colonial times, still inhabited by people of the Collagua and the Cabana cultures. The local people maintain their ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces, called andenes. The canyon It’s a habitat for the giant Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), a species that has been the focus of worldwide conservation efforts. The condors can be seen at close range as they fly past the canyon walls, and are a popular attraction. The Andean Condor typically lives about 60-70 years, and has a wingspan of about 2.1–2.7 metres (7–9 ft). It is also referred at as the “Eternity Bird,” as the bird is a symbol of long life and eternity. ‘Cruz del Condor’ is a tourist stop to view the condors. At this point the canyon floor is 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) below the rim of the canyon. Other notable bird species present in the Colca include the giant hummingbird, the largest member of the hummingbird family, as well as the Andean goose, Chilean flamingo, and mountain caracara. Animals include vizcacha, a rabbit-sized relative of the chinchilla, zorrino, deer, fox, and vicuña, the wild ancestor of the alpaca.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
The White City of Arequipa is located at an altitude of 2325 m in the mountains of the Andes desert. This city is built almost entirely in sillar, a type of white volcanic stone. For this reason this city is famous for its name the White city of Arequipa. The following tourist destinations are waiting for you:
Arrival at Arequipa city and transfer to chosen hotel.
City tour + Santa Catalina: Pick up from the hotel, visit the Old Grau Bridge, the Alameda Bolognesi with view to the beautiful 50’s mansions, Colonial Quarter, Yanahuara Church and its lookout, from where you can see much of the city, Carmen Alto district lookout, view of the Chilina valley and Chili river, panoramic view and the three volcanoes that surround the city: Misti, Chachani and Pichu-Pichu, typical Pre-Inca farmland still cultivated and agricultural areas.
Return to the City, view of the Cathedral and Plaza de Armas, historic center, Jesuit cloisters and the Church of “La Compañía” with its beautiful facade carved in ashlar. Then we have a tour of the Famous Monastery of Santa Catalina citadel, built in the 16th century and opened to the public in 1,970 after 400 years. Return to the hotel.
Hotel night in Arequipa.
Breakfast at the hotel.
EXC. COLCA FD: At 03:30 in the morning, I pick up from the hotel and exit behind the snowy Chachani, Yura town, view of Pampa Cañahuas and Vicuña national reserve of Aguada Blanca, typical altiplanic landscape, some small lagoons and birds. Stop at Patapampa Maximum height on the route: 4,900m. Descent to the town of Chivay (3,600m) Capital of the valley, loookut of the Colca Valley. We continue to the lookout LA CRUZ DEL CONDOR, 08:00 aprox. Arrival to the viewpoint, here you can see part of the depth of the Canyon 1,000 m approx. View of the majestic Flight of the Condor, the largest bird of the Andes in its natural habitat. Upon return visit to the typical towns of Yanque, Maca, etc. And its typical colonial churches. “Piedras maqueta”, PRE Incas hanging tombs, beautiful typical costumes of each locality, incredible amount of PRE-Inca Andenerías still cultivated with Andean crops such as Papa, Maiz, Quinua, Kiwicha, Olluco, etc. Time to have lunch in Chivay (Lunch per pax account). Visit the thermal springs of La Calera and return to Arequipa. Arrival approx. 4:00 PM.
Hotel Night Arequipa
Breakfast at the Hotel
At an indicated time transfer from the hotel to Arequipa airport.
End of services.