Free walking tour of Arequipa

Get to walk along with our Guide and admire the architecture of Arequipa’s Historic Centre, discover its mansions, temples, and convents made of sillar – a magnificent volcanic stone – which are masterpieces of integration between the European and Andean cultures.

The old town of Arequipa was declared a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 2001, thereby exploring the ancient town is a must. You will discover all these nuances step by step with an expert guide from our free walking tour.

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Operation of this tour:
Book now! — we are operating all free tours in Arequipa in English and Spanish. We have morning and afternoon meet-up times. No need to text us on WhatsApp unless your group is big.

Itineray

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Meeting point

If you’re up for a different adventure on the streets of Arequipa, find us at pasaje Catedral 123 (behind the Cathedral Basilica, renowned for its neoclassical style).

Upon arrival at this unique, and quite street, look out for our partners from Chacu Travel.

Look for the eye-catching and unmistakable red vests and umbrellas.

**Find out more details in the Meeting Point tab.

**If you want to know the itinerary terms, access the More Details tab.

Tristán del Pozo house (interior visit)

From the pasaje Catedral street, you’ll walk a few meters to admire and explore the most beautiful colonial mansion in Arequipa, renowned for the excellent preservation of its sillar facade and serene courtyards.

Built in 1738, its first owners were General Domingo Carlos Tristán del Pozo and his wife Ana María Carazas. Nowadays, it’s the headquarters of the Pedro Brescia Cafferata gallery, better known as “the art house in Arequipa“.

Mario Vargas Llosa’s Library (interior visit)

It’s a colonial mansion from the 18th century, featuring 14 rooms and two courtyards that housed notable people. This house was implemented to safeguard the bibliographic treasures of Mario Vargas Llosa who donated all of them to this city as he was born to Arequipa.

MVLL is a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010, nowadays he is a universal figure in literature, taking a visit to this library is an excellent opportunity to learn more about his life and his novels.

Fundo El Fierro

Throughout its long history, the neoclassical-style rooms of this estate, originally built with military architecture, served as classrooms for a girls’ school and as cells for a prison. But that’s all part of the past. Today, everything is different.

Declared a Cultural Heritage of the Nation in 1972, El Fierro is now a vibrant artisan centre showcasing the inspired works of Arequipa’s creators. Take home the best memories of the city of Misti (Volvano’s name).

San Lázaro neighborhood

The origin and the essence of colonial Arequipa can be found in the mansions, alleys, wrought iron grilles, and even in the hanging flowerpots on the windowsills of San Lázaro, where the first Spaniards settled in 1539.

The neighborhood is a bastion of sillar architecture, where the past lives, is felt, and can even be breathed in alleys like Violín, Cristales, Desaguadero, Ripacha, Calienes, Combate Naval, Bayonetas, among other places that our guide will show you.

Mundo Alpaca – Zoo

The breeding of alpacas is an ancient and ancestral tradition that thrives in the Andean heights, sparking the interest of travelers eager to learn about the traditions associated with this economic and cultural activity.

At this stop on the free tour, you will interact with alpacas and llamas, learn about the manual selection process of their fibers, observe how a backstrap loom is used, and discover all the details about the breeding of these beautiful animals.

Plaza San Francisco

Formerly known as 28 de Febrero, it is one of the emblematic places in the Historic Centre of Arequipa. In the square stands out the mestizo architecture of the church and convent of San Francisco, built in the 16th century.

The temple and cloisters of the Franciscan Third Order complement the religious constructions of a square that is craftsmanship at El Fierro estate and a night of bohemia in the restaurants and pubs that give life to this urban attraction.

Old Spanish colonial mansions (exterior visit)

From San Francisco, you will return to the Cathedral Basilica and the Plaza de Armas, appreciating the European-mestizo architecture of the Historic Centre, where baroque and neoclassical constructions predominate.

Mansions, churches, and convents made of sillar will parade before your eyes, revealing the prosperity, opulence, and monumentality of colonial Arequipa, a city that maintains its significance and importance at both regional and national levels.

Santa Catalina Monastery (exterior visit)

On our way to the Plaza de Armas, we will pause to admire the facade and sturdy outer walls of Santa Catalina, the monastery erected with the purpose of isolating women who became cloistered nuns from worldly temptations.

Spanning an area of 20,000 square meters, Santa Catalina is a city of faith that emerged in the late 16th century. True to its tradition, the monastery still houses a group of nuns living in strict seclusion today.

Plaza de Armas

It’s the ideal place to pause and feel the vibration of the historic heart of the city; a heart that has been beating intensely since the foundation of the Villa de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora del Valle de Arequipa on August 15, 1540.

Since then, and beyond the changes experienced through the centuries, the Plaza de Armas maintains its importance as a gathering place, standing out as an urban space surrounded by attractive civil and religious architectural landmarks.

  • Municipal Palace (exterior visit): In the Plaza de Armas, we’ll take a glimpse at the white sillar facade of the Municipal Palace of Arequipa, located in one of the neo-Renaissance-style portals. During the Viceroyalty, the city council operated here, serving as the backdrop for various political and religious activities, while the indigenous market was set up in the portals, a tradition that lasted until the 20th century.
  • Cathedral (exterior visit): It would be a sin to traverse the Plaza de Armas without pausing in front of Arequipa’s largest temple. So, to absolve ourselves of any guilt, we’ll take some time to admire its neoclassical facade, its three portals, and its two Renaissance towers. Just a few of the details that make this house of God a jewel of colonial religious architecture, which, despite earthquakes and the voracious fire of 1844, stands tall as a miracle of faith in the city of Misti.
  • Colonial fountain: Anyone who arrives at the Plaza de Armas and doesn’t hear the story of the Tuturutu can’t claim to have been there. The small bronze statue crowning the central fountain is a symbol and a legendary figure for the people of Arequipa. Many say it’s a gnome, others say it’s a copper angel, because it once had wings. Perhaps it’s a soldier or maybe a town crier with a trumpet in his hand. That trumpet, even without hearing it, we know it sounds “tuturutu”.
Waya lookout point

Your final steps will lead you to the portal of San Agustín and to the terrace of Waya Lookout-Rooftop, a strategic place to see the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and the ever-imposing Misti volcano through the eyes of a drone.

Waya is perfect for closing the urban adventure through the Historic Centre of Arequipa with a toast and a good conversation, a city that captivates with its architecture, a city to be enjoyed step by step. Join us!

Ending point

Your urban adventure ends very close to the Plaza de Armas, where you can continue enjoying the beautiful Arequipa, the city of sillar, the city of Misti.

 

 

Schedule and Language

ScheduleLanguageDaysDuration
10:00EnglishEvery day2.15 h
12:30EnglishEvery day2.15 h
15:00EnglishEvery day2.15 h
10:00SpanishEvery day2.15 h
12:30SpanishEvery day2.15 h
15:00SpanishEvery day2.15 h
We don’t operate on December 25 and January 1. The duration is approx.

Meeting Point

Find our partner on the pasaje Catedral 123 (behind the Cathedral Basilica), look for the Red Vests & Red Umbrella – chacu travel.

Price

It’s a free tour, it is 100% free to book — once the tour is done, leave an awesome donation.

More Details

Notes:

Operability and itinerary

  • The itinerary of our free tour is subject to variation without prior notice, due to weather conditions, strikes, the guide’s decision and any other event that does not allow the normal operation of the tour.
  • Our Guides always do their best to make the itinrary very interesting.

Puntuality:

  • We always wait about 10 minutes after the meet-up time because there are tourists who arrive late.
  • Do always arrive on time at the meeting place.
  • If you arrive late, neither your Guide nor the company will pick you up, you can normally call you Guide on WhatsApp but we don’t assure you that he will answer you, keep in mind that your Guide is guiding.

Walkers:

  • About 15 walkers per group; however, sometimes there may be much less walkers or much more.
  • Many walkers book and don’t show up, or they don’t book but show up, we can never ensure an exact number of walkers.
  • We require a minimum of two walkers to run the walk, which we have to 99%, if there is only one walker, we will reschedule you.
  • Kids: You can bring them to the free tour; however, sometimes kids get bored quickly, even though the Guides do their best. Remember that you can also book a private walking tour.

Type: Group tours — no private walks

Size: 15 walkers approx.

Accessibility: Not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

Included: Professional and licensed Guide.

No Included:

  • Tips
  • Personalized service

What do I bring?

  • Sweaters
  • Good walking shoes
  • Caps or hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain ponchos

How do I book?

  • Fill out the form
  • Put your data correctly
  • Ready!
  • * Groups of larger than 10 walkers, contact us first
  • * No tour agencies are allowed to book

WhatsApp:

Cancellation: Reply the confirmation e-mail we sent you and cancel.

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