During the colonial era, more Spanish settlers lived in Arequipa than anywhere else in Peru. Today their traditions linger, giving the 2,328 meter (7638 feet) high city in the south of Peru a distinctly European feel. In fact, the colonial heritage of Arequipa is so strong that all of Arequipa has been declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. One magnificent treasure is El Convento de Santa Catalina, a large complex of white buildings, vivid gardens, and sweeping plazas that has been in operation for 428 years. The convent once housed as many as 400 nuns, largely drawn from the elite of Arequipa. Even though some 30 sisters remain, travelers are invited to experience the historic complex’s peace and serenity, and to take a one-hour guided tour.
Please note that pre- and post- Amazon cruise itineraries are not included in the Aqua Expeditions Amazon River cruise rates and are priced separately. We will be happy to recommend our preferred tour operators to arrange this component of your Peru holiday.