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3 days in Arequipa

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Baltimore, Maryland
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3 days in Arequipa

We are going to be in Arequipa for three days in October before going to Cusco and hiking the Inca Trail for four or five days. We're debating whether to spend two of the three we have days in the Arequipa area visiting the Colca Canyon. We are inclined not to go to Colca in part because we would rather not spend so much of our time in a bus or car (to and from Colca) and in part because we don't want to do a lot of hiking at altitude before getting on the Inca Trail. In addition, although I am sure Colca is very different from the Grand Canyon, we hiked in the GC in May. So, three questions.....1) is it worth spending two of our three days in the area going to Colca? 2) if not, is there enough to see and do for three days in Arequipa? 3) Are there other interesting sites near Arequipa? Thanks!

Kamloops, Canada
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1. Re: 3 days in Arequipa

1) I would say Yes for me it was. Its true you spend quite a bit of time in a bus getting to/from Colca Canyon but the Canyon itself as well as seeing the condors literally a few meters from you was an amazing experience. If you only go for 2 days don't expect to do a lot of hiking. It will be more driving in the bus and stopping at various spots for photos, eating, and souvenirs.

2) Im sure if you look hard enough theres loads to do....biking....rafting....hiking....ect but for my wife and I 1 day was enough to see the main tourist highlights. We were short on time though and both agree another day just to relax would have been nice.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: 3 days in Arequipa

Three days in Arequipa is definitely more than you need for the major sites. You can see the two or three major sites, like the Ice Maiden mummy, the main plaza, and the Santa Catalina monestario, in one day. There are plenty of other sites, like churches, colonial houses and shopping and viewpoints of the volcanos you could see.

Don't compare Colca to the Grand Canyon. The main highlight of Colca was seeing the condors which was incredible like the previous poster said. If you do the typical two day trip, you'll do barely any hiking in Colca. You'll take a bus to Chivay in the morning and arrive around lunch time. You'll have the afternoon where you could go for a walk or just go to one of the local hot springs if you don't want to hike. The next morning, you'll go to the condors in the morning, have lunch again probably in Chivay, and take a bus back to Arequipa. You do spend a lot of the time in a bus over the two days.

It comes down to whether you'd rather spend the time seeing city sites or the mountain scenery.

Austin, TX
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3. Re: 3 days in Arequipa

We were in Arequipa for three days at the very start of our trip last month. We wanted the time to acclimatize, which we did do pretty well. But in terms of stuff to occupy your time, two days is plenty for the city. Three days was definitely relaxed, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you're tired from international flights, etc. But other than the Monasterio (which is absolutely fabulous, and worthy of a good three hour visit), and seeing the Juanita museum (which is really interesting), nothing is a must-do. There are good restaurants, though, and the town is pleasant to wander around.

We went to Colca AFTER that three day stint in Arequipa, and loved it. The drive to Colca is truly spectacular and I got some amazing photos on the route, which passes over 16,000 feet. The bus/minivan stops in various places along the way. Simply getting to Colca is a large part of the experience. We spent two nights there, which isn't essential but we were very glad to have had the extra time--it allowed us time to do some walks in the hlils around Yanque (we stayed at the Killawasi Lodge) and go to the natural hot springs. We also got to see the condors and various stops overlooking the canyon. We didn't do any hiking in the canyon itself, let alone rafting or adventure activities.

Like JodoKast said, you won't be doing much if any hiking if you only have 2 days/1 night in Colca--it is mostly a bus tour. But it was one of the highlights of our three-week trip to Peru and I would have been very sorry to miss it. And you could easily see the highlights of Arequipa in a day, if you use two days to go to Colca. The only downside would be that you wouldn't have much time to acclimate before going to high altitude, so going over the pass could be a challenge. Drink lots of water.

Incidentally, don't be tempted to do the 1-day trip of Colca--not only is it a ridiculously long trip for one day, but our guide told us that all the guests basically sleep through much of the tour since they are so tired from leaving at 3 am. Plus it would be dark during the most beautiful part of the excursion.

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: 3 days in Arequipa

Dear JodoKast, wes, and travelbug,

Thanks to all for your really helpful responses. Sound like the trip to Colca is really worth the time!

Happy travels.....

Antwerp, Belgium
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5. Re: 3 days in Arequipa

Colca Canyon is good area to spend 2day and extra 1 day visit the city in Arequipa

visit in the city Santa Catalina Monastery ,The Junaita mummy , wie of Yanahuara

Place have a nice dessert : Alianza Francesa it is in the same French school in Santa Catalina street try to have the Pampqueque with Quinua is so so delicious

place to Eat :La nueva Palomino :Rocoto rello with pastel de papa Tradicional food from Arequipq

6. Re: 3 days in Arequipa

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