Travel to Arequipa, Peru – Episode 393

categories: south america travel

Hear about travel to Arequipa, Peru as the Amateur Traveler talks to Sam from Indefinite Adventure.

Arequipa is Peru’s second-largest city after Lima. It is in the south, inland, west of Lake Titicaca and south of Cusco. Sam heard about Arequipa from other travelers and lived and worked there for a month as a temporary local.

“Arequipa is a nice alternative to Cusco which is very touristy. Arequipa is not very touristy in contrast. It is a nice place to relax. Arequipa is very well known for its food. I was told by several Peruvians that it has the best food in all of Peru. It is also a good base for visiting the surrounding countryside including the Colca Canyon which is the deepest canyon in the world, although most people have never heard of that either.”

The social hub of the city is the Plaza De Armas which Sam recommends as a good starting point. Like many other Peruvian cities, it is well maintained. The back of the square is the cathedral. There are a number of nearby cloisters such as Claustros de la Compañía which have been turned into small independent shops. They make a nice place to get out of the sun. The city is 2,300 meters high so the sun can be intense in the heat of the day.

Arequipa is known for textiles from alpaca and llama wool. You can see craftsmen still weaving rugs and other textiles in the city. You can learn about what plants and other natural dyes they have traditionally used.

There are a Municipal Museum and a Contemporary Art Museum in town but the most famous attraction is the Santa Catalina Monastery which is almost a city in a city. “It’s just gorgeous. I would recommend going in the afternoon” for good photography of the monastery as well as views of the city including views of the two volcanos in the distance.

Sam highly recommends side trips to see the Nasca Lines and to visit or hike the Colca Canyon.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

Indefinite Adventure
Indefinite Adventure – Guide to Arequipa
Indefinite Adventure – Guide to Quirky Chivay
Indefinite Adventure – Visit Parcas Islas Ballestas
Arequipa, Peru
Arequipa and Canyon Contry
Plaza De Alamas
Claustros de la Compañía
Mundo Alpaca
Arequipa Museums
Arequipa Contemporary Art Museum
Santa Catalina Monastery
Yanahuara District
Hiking Colca Canyon
Astronomical Observatory
Nasca Lines

FAA Oks Air Passengers Using Gadgets on Planes
Jackpot: Cleaning Crew Finds $1.9M In Gold Bars In Airplane Toilet


iTunes Enhanced Podcasts?
Heading to Belgium
Great Feedback from Donna

Good morning, Chris,

I am chugging through every episode in order. Yours is my favorite podcast, so I am always sad with I catch up with you. My backup podcast is Rick Steve’s, which is also nice, from a different slant. For my taste, Amateur Traveler is more interesting.

I just listened to Episode 377 on South Australia, which was terrific. In the community notes at the end, a note from Paul mentions the big difference when you do a “self-interview”, and it reminded me that I wanted to write to you about that.

I thoroughly enjoyed the INFORMATION in the show about Tokyo. I had assumed that Japan would be prohibitively expensive, and was very happy to hear your comments on that, as well as on the things you saw.

As Paul said, the DELIVERY of the information was very distracting, so I do think you should try something different next time. I had noticed the same thing in previous self-interviews.

It sounds to me like you are reading something you already wrote. I could be wrong, but it sounds like you are just buzzing through the material rather than having a conversation.

The main trouble is with cadence. You don’t pause. You might not even be breathing.

It’s interesting, because I’m sure you have written notes for yourself on the news items at the beginning, and for the community notes at the end. Both of those sections come out fine, so I know that with a little tuning, you can make the longer self-interviews just as effective.

I agree that one idea would be for you to have a guest interview you. I’m sure you know tons of people, and you would probably enjoy that (especially since you aren’t enjoying the current method).

My other suggestion is that you NOT write up every word ahead of time. I bet that when your guests come on, they have an outline or list to help them remember what topics to include, but I bet your guests do not READ every word.

Mainly, your self-interviews need more PAUSES. Take a breath. Let us absorb what you just said. Everything feels so rushed.

Anyway, those are my ideas. I enjoy that you share with us a little about your life, and how you continue to try to fit your obvious attraction to travel with a real job versus self-employed. I’m a computer geek too, and a photographer, with a lot of opportunity for international travel, so it’s fun to hear your journey, considering all of the things we have in common.

At the end of every show, you say “thanks so much for listening”. I whole-heartedly reply “Thanks so much for creating”.

Donna Manley

Share this:
Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

3 Responses to “Travel to Arequipa, Peru – Episode 393”



Thanks for having me as a guest again, Chris. It was fun to talk about a place I remember fondly. Hopefully it inspires some of your listeners!

Sam Oppenheim


Arequipa!!! I tell *EVERYONE* to spend a night or more there on their visit(s) to Peru. It is such a charming city with amazing sites to see, such a picturesque location, wonderful photographic opportunities, great history, and so many side trips. Did your guest neglect to mention the frozen “ice mummy” juanita in Arequipa? fantastic museum and excellent destination. (see I also wanted to let your visitors know that Arequipa has an airport, and if you are not on a tight budget you can get to and from there on any tour of peru by hopping to or from Arequipa by jet.

I agree with everything else Sam said – no relation despite our similar names!

One of my photos is viewable here:



Thanks, Sam! You’re right, I didn’t mention Juanita, because I didn’t get to see her, unfortunately. Also, good idea mentioning the airport; since we didn’t use it, I didn’t think of it. I definitely thing Arequipa is unappreciated, and it’ll be interesting to see whether this changes in the future or not.

Leave a Reply

Tags: , , ,