Arequipa and Santa Catalina Convent
This tour takes us to Arequipa's historic centre, which captures the beauty and glory of the colonial era. We start by visiting Santa Catalina monastery which is the most important and impressive religious monument in Perú.
Santa Catalina monastery was founded in 1579, and eventually expanded to include cloisters, plazas, streets, tiled roofs, and cobblestone paving. This walled citadel served as a totally enclosed convent for nuns from the city's most distinguished families. The town's interiors host valuable colonial paintings of the Cusco School, carvings and figures, religious relics, and well-preserved physical settings depicting typical everyday life from more than 400 years ago.
Next, we walk to the main square and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city. Arequipa is often referred to as the “White City” due to the abundance of volcanic stone (also referred to as ashlar or sillar) which has been used to construct houses and many other buildings throughout the region. The historic centre represents the integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the admirable work of colonial masters and Criollo (locals of Spanish decent) and Indian masons. This combination of influences is illustrated by the city’s robust walls, archways and vaults, courtyards and open spaces, and the intricate baroque decoration of its facades.
You will have free time to explore around the square. We then head to the Yanahuara district and its famous lookout framed by stone arches engraved with quotes from the city's most notable writers, statemen and others. You’ll also get a superb view of Arequipa and El Misti Volcano.
After enjoying this incredible experience - at a relaxing tempo - we return to the ship.