If you are looking for day trips from Arequipa to see more than just the city center, you have come to the right place. Arequipa is a beautiful city located in the south of Peru that enjoys good weather, excellent gastronomy and incredible natural landscapes. All these qualities make it one of the favorite cities for travelers who come to discover Peru. Read until the end because here we will list places that you will not find in any other article, including the Peruvian Uyuni.
Top Day trips from Arequipa
Below we will show you which are the best options when it comes to day trips from Arequipa. You will not only learn about each place but we will also explain to you what is the best option to get to them and enjoy a beautiful place away from the noise of the big city.
1. Day Trip to Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is without a doubt the place that every visitor should visit. The reasons are that it is the second deepest canyon in the world and that it is one of the few places from where you can observe the Andean condor, which is the largest flying bird in the world. These are undoubtedly great reasons for you to put the Colca Canyon as number 1 on your list of things to do in Arequipa.
It is possible to go to the Colca Canyon by public transportation, however when you travel you prefer to make the most of your time and if you go by public transportation it will take you a long time to get to the destination because the bus makes many stops along the way.
The best option for you to make the most of your time is to take a tour. All tours pick up travelers from accommodations in the city center and take them to Colca. There are 3 popular options to visit this place. The first is one day, where you will see different towns in the area and of course the cliff and the condors. The second option is 2 days, where you will go down and sleep at the bottom of the canyon. The third option covers the route of the second option but you walk less each day.
In the Colca Canyon the attraction is not only the canyon itself, but the biodiversity and the beautiful landscapes. For lovers of long walks, this is a special place where you should definitely go.
2. Day Trip to Misti Volcano
If you are someone who enjoys climbing, a trip to the volcano crater is definitely for you. The Misti has a perfect conical volcano shape. This volcano is visible from almost anywhere in the city. What makes it possible to climb to the crater is that it almost never shows activity, however it is an active volcano. Climbing to the crater in one day is only possible for experienced hikers, so if you plan to climb, we recommend that you do it in 2 days.
There are very few agencies that offer tours to the volcano crater, because demand is low, but if you want to be one of the few people who does it, we recommend talking to a local travel agency so they can organize the activity for you. From the top of the volcano you can enjoy a privileged view of the entire city and take spectacular photos.
3. Day Trip to Pichu Pichu Volcano
A day trip to the Pichu Pichu Volcano will allow you to escape from the city and enjoy the rural area. For this trip you must take a bus that will leave you pretty high on the volcano. Pichu Pichu is an old and inactive volcano, which is why there are people currently living on it.
The most popular thing among visitors who go to the top of the volcano is to go down by bicycle. You can rent a bicycle in Arequipa, the prices are very good but make sure you rent it with safety accessories such as a helmet to avoid accidents.
The best thing about doing this day trip is that the road that goes down the Pichu Pichu volcano is generally not very busy, which will allow you to enjoy the road and the views, and you can also make stops to take photos from the top.
4. Day Trip to Chachani Volcano
The Chachani volcano is one of the 3 volcanoes that are located near the city of Arequipa. This volcano does not have a perfect conical shape like the Misti volcano, however it is very important because the volcanic rock called ignimbrite is extracted from this volcano, which is converted into blocks of ashlar and used in the construction of houses in the city.
Chachani is a perfect place for a day trip, however, don’t worry, you don’t need to climb to the top. The most popular activity on this volcano is also going down it by bicycle and luckily, you can pay for 4×4 transportation to take you to the top of the volcano.
5. Day Trip to Chili River
The Chili River, considered one of the most prominent tributaries of the city of Arequipa, originates in the imposing Andes mountains and meanders along almost the entire urban area. Its course not only witnesses the historical and cultural evolution of the region, but also plays a vital role in the daily lives of local inhabitants.
During the rainy season, the Chili River experiences a significant increase in its level, generating a more vigorous current that adds dynamism to its landscape. Despite these seasonal changes, the Chili River has become an attractive tourist destination, especially for those seeking aquatic adventures. Rafting is a popular activity in these waters, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy exciting descents among the majestic views offered by the natural environment. This river, with its picturesque surroundings and the diversity of activities it offers, has become the perfect setting for exciting “day trips” that allow adventurers to connect with nature and enjoy the revitalizing energy of the water.
6. Day Trip to Characato District
The Characato district is an integral part of the province of Arequipa, in southern Peru. This district is characterized by its rich cultural tradition and its proximity to the city of Arequipa. The word “characato” is used both to refer to the residents of this area and to denote a lifestyle that encapsulates the customs and values rooted in the region. The colonial architecture, traditional festivities and natural beauty that surrounds Characato contribute to its uniqueness within the rich Peruvian diversity.
A prominent aspect of Characato culture is the “picanterías”. These establishments are local restaurants that serve typical dishes from the region, especially known for their spicy and seasoned dishes. The Characato spicy restaurants offer an authentic gastronomic experience, where diners can enjoy dishes such as ocopa, stuffed rocoto, adobo and other traditional delicacies. These places are not only appreciated for their delicious food, but also for the cozy atmosphere that provides a glimpse into the authentic Characata life and the hospitality of its people.
7. Day Trip to the Peruvian Uyuni
If you haven’t heard of Uyuni before, it is a beautiful place located in the beautiful neighboring country of Bolivia. This place is located more than 4000 meters above sea level and has a dreamlike landscape. The main feature is that it is quite flat, which makes it the perfect place to take funny photos playing with the distance between people.
The Salinas National Reserve in Arequipa offers a very similar experience. If during your trip you do not have the opportunity to visit Uyuni in Bolivia, we recommend taking a day trip from Arequipa to Salinas and discover this wonderful place.
By taking a tour to the Salinas Reserve, you will not only experience something similar to Uyuni, but you will also see the Aguada Blanca Lagoon that is the favorite place for flamingos and other migratory birds almost all year round.