Watch condors soar overhead and discover ancient cultures in this picturesque region

White walls line the beautiful city of Arequipa, hence its nickname ‘The White City’, and at nearly 2400m altitude, it is an excellent place to get acclimatised before heading into the higher areas of the Andes. Along with the hidden handicraft markets and a selection of fine restaurants, Arequipa has plenty to do and is highly recommended as part of a luxury holiday to Peru. Santa Catalina Convent is peaceful and pleasant to wander around, offering an insight into life in the monastery along with some excellent photo opportunities. Delve further into the history of this area by observing the mummified remains of Juanita – the ‘Inca Ice Maiden’ who was sacrificed to the gods over 500 years ago, but only discovered in 1995. At the time, it was one of the most exciting historic finds and the news spread rapidly around the world. The story of her sacrifice is told in great detail at the Santuarios Andinos Museum. Further out from Arequipa the adventurous can attempt to summit the nearby ‘El Misti’ mountain, or take a trip to Colca Canyon. This enormous canyon is a staggering 3270m deep; almost twice the depth of the Grand Canyon in the USA, and offers unrivalled views of the magnificent Andean Condor. Incan terraces and grave sites can be spotted along the bumpy road along the edge of the canyon, along with many small traditional towns which are extremely photogenic. Both Arequipa and the Colca Canyon offer wonderful luxury hotels which act as a perfect base to explore this interesting region in Peru.


Our favourite luxury hotels

Cirqa Arequipa, luxury Arequipa hotel

Cirqa Arequipa

Celebrating the tradition of hospitality that defined this historic building’s old ‘parador’ where monks would receive weary travellers, Cirqa Arequipa offers an authentically Andean experience with all the finesse of sophisticated modern luxury service. Offering just 11 charming rooms set around two colonial-style outdoor patios, Cirqa Arequipa’s stylish accommodations occupy part of the former San Agustín Church and great care has been taken to renovate the property showing the utmost respect for the site’s immense architectural heritage. Full-house booking is also possible for those looking for an exclusive retreat with family and friends.

Casa Andina Arequipa

Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa

Just 3 blocks away from the Plaza de Armas, the Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa Hotel is a in a perfect location for exploring the pretty city of Arequipa. In the heart of the historic quarter, the Santa Catalina Convent is nearby as are a host of shops, markets and restaurants. The hotel has been part of a spectacular restoration, the building which dates back to 1794 used to be the Mint House and contained a small museum, chapel and inner courtyard plus original features such as high vaulted ceilings. Now, two colonial courtyards play host to the hotel’s 41 rooms, and the original colonial manor house is home to suites.

Libertador Arequipa

Libertador Arequipa

The Hotel Libertador Ciudad Blanca Arequipa is surrounded by trees and with an impressive view of the Misti Volcano and is the perfect choice to make your stay unforgettable. The hotel is just five minutes away from the Main Square and only fifteen minutes from the Rodriguez Ballon Airport and countryside. The 88 rooms are spacious and comfortable so guests can enjoy a good night’s sleep. The benefit from amenities such as 24/7 room service, complimentary wifi, flat screen TV and an ipod docking station. Los Robles restaurant offers you the best specialties of the local food and also exquisitely prepared international cuisine.

Belmond Andean Explorer luxury train, Peru

Belmond Andean Explorer Train

The first luxury sleeper train in Latin America, and offering guests an exceptional experience that the Belmond name is synonymous with, a journey on the Andean Explorer is one that won’t be forgotten. The Belmond Andean Explorer has been carefully designed to reflect the classic style of the Pullman trains in the 1920’s. Each carriage is beautifully equipped and offers supreme comfort. Onboard facilities outstrip even some of the best luxury hotels, with the train boasting carriages which include a spa, piano bar, restaurant serving skilfully prepared locally inspired meals, gift boutique and library.

Belmond Las Casitas

Las Casitas by Belmond is perfectly situated at the edge of the Colca Canyon. Twenty luxury casitas are spread among the 24-hectare estate which has stunning views of the terraces and ravines for which the canyon is famous. The casitas are very comfortable – each has a private terrace with plunge pool, fireplace, indoor and outdoor shower, and a hot tub on the veranda. There is no shortage of technology either, as each also enjoys Wi-Fi, iPod dock and under floor heating. The main grounds of Las Casitas also offer many amenities for guests including a large swimming pool and adjacent Samay Spa.

Puqio, Colca Canyon, Peru


Puqio’s tented camp reflects the simplicity and beauty of the surrounding landscape, with luxury canvas accommodation and meals cooked on open flames, all set in the shadows of sweeping landscapes and volcanoes that await exploration and discovery. All 8 rooms include wood-fired stoves and in-wall heating. Bicycles and exploration equipment is available to all guests, whilst laundry services, spa treatments and private excursions can be requested for an extra fee. Rates are fully inclusive, including lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner with wine and cocktails, afternoon tea, drinks and in-room snacks. Also included are shared full-, half- or quarter-day excursions and hotel activities.