A Travellerspoint blog

Arequipa, Peru

Hiking and Eating

sunny 10 °C



Things to do:

Colca Canyon: if you like fairly steep expensive hikes with average views and no rewarding waterfall or climax at the end then this is the trek for you. However; should you still want to do this trek here is the info you will need. The pitfalls and the plus’.


We had a group of 6 so we decided to just do it ourselves rather than hiring a tour. Don’t recall the price of the tour. However the entry to the hike is $70 soles. We jumped on a collectivo around 4am and headed out to a town called Chivay which is about 2+ hours from Arequipa. That was $15 soles each and it was ‘near’ the bus station. My friend Andrés was from Mexico and without his Spanish probably wouldn’t have found the place. There are collectivos out of the bus station they had just already left.

Once in Chivay you’ll need to hire a smaller collectivo which carries only the 6 of us for $12 soles each and we had to fight to get it to 12. The drive is about 45 mins. The start of the trail isn’t well marked or known by the collectivo guy so download the map of the area before heading out. We bought the entry ticket in the 2nd collectivo from the side of the road. Keep your ticket as they’ll check it often.

Once at the trailhead; you could see everything you will see on this 1.1km vertical hike. It was somewhat steep just longer than it should have been to reach the bottom so it seemed. Once at the bottom; they will check your ticket again and it’s a 15 min hike up to a small village that you can stay in or just grab some food. We chose to press on another 8Km to the oasis which we thought was located next to the hot springs. The hot springs sounded nice after that long hot day in the sun. Very little shade on the trail.


The hike from the small town to the oasis goes up about 1/3 the distance you just descended on the opposite side of the creek. Then all the way back down to the oasis where we found a place to stay $15 soles each with little to no amenities including electricity. That was fine as you could see the stars so brightly and we were all ready for bed shortly after nightfall.


We got up at 4:30 to try and get out of the canyon before the sun got as blistering as the day before. Only to wait til 6:15 for the shop owner to show and give us the change he owes us from the nights stay. It wasn’t too cold down at the bottom.

We got started up about 6:30. It was supposed to be a 3 hour hike out. The earliest one did it in 2:15 mins and I made it out 2:30. The last of us made it up 3:30. Once out of the canyon it’s a 20 minute walk to town where we decided to catch the bus to Arequipa as it would be more comfortable and cheaper. Big mistake. It was $18 soles yet; 2.5 hours into the journey we had reached Chivay the town it only took us 45mins to come from in the collectivo. 7+hours in all on the bus after the long steep crawl out of the canyon. 1.1 vertical Km we made it back to the hostal. This should be enough information to get you through the hike should you choose to do it.

Museo Santuarios Andinos-MUSA: 20 soles and takes about an hour because they give you a guide. The main attraction was the frozen Juanita that you view through the window of a freezer in the middle of the last room. You aren’t supposed to bring in your camera or phone so be sneaky if you want pics. Also, she asks for tips at the end.


Museo arqueologico UNSA: 5 soles; some interesting sacrificed skeletons; overall pretty not worth it.

Walking Tour: there are 2 different ones 9:30 and 3:00pm. I took the afternoon tour. It was interesting maybe lasted a bit too long at 3 hours.



Find some queso helado even off the street it was quite nice.

Zig zag: Excellent overall place. Had 4 3 course selections for lunch for 65 soles. Excellent presentation, atmosphere, service, and food. I had the Del la Volcano. They brought out some very nice bread with an olive tapenade sauce that was exquisite to start. The wine was also excellent and reasonably priced at 18 soles I believe. Next was the butternut squash which was very well prepared and tasted amazing. Then 3 small pieces of meat (chicken, alpaca, and steak) on a sizzling volcanic rock with a special butter and 5 different sauces one being garlic and another similar to the olive tapenade I had with the bread. Everything was tender and tasty. Lastly an ice cream dessert with fruit and chocolate sauce. Reasonable price for the quality of meal and by far my best meal in Arequipa


Chicha: I decided to sneak in here for lunch since his restaurant in Lima had a month and a half wait. They had a tasting menu for $250 soles. Not sure if wine was included or not; however I elected to go a bit smaller. The bread and butter they brought out first was excellent. One must have been made of sweet blue maize was really fresh and tasty. The wine I chose they didn’t have so they forced me into a more expensive selection. Most restaurants would have given the nicer wine at the price point I ordered. (Keep in mind I’m grading this restaurant by the highest standards not your everyday S American standards). The stuffed pepper (rellano recoto) was really good and tasty that came served on potatoes that were more like a lasagna cut into sheets. Very nice presentation and taste. Oh, let me mention the atmosphere; it was upscale yet still somewhat casual large archways with very thick walls. Castle like. The service was impeccable.


The main course was alpaca steak with oven baked potato slices. Keep in mind I went with the servers recommendation on everything. The steak was tender; however even with the ‘spicy’ dressing they brought on the side it was bland and over cooked and the potatoes were extremely dry. Very disappointing to say the least. The main course was so bad I didn’t dare risk ordering dessert. Overall expensive and not really worth the price. The money would have been much better spent at Zig Zag.


Puku puku: nice rooftop coffeehouse that serves beer and wine. Atmosphere is great; perhaps a little expensive. 8 soles for a cup of coffee; craft beer $14 soles; glass of wine $21 soles.

Crepisimo: $$ cute place that serves all meals; however I stopped in for dessert. I had the mixed fruit with ice cream crepe and it was excellent. Also tried a truffle and a canela something. All very tasty with 2 cups of coffee total bill was 44 soles.


La Nueva Palomino: if you’re looking for authentic Peruvian it doesn’t get any closer than this. It’s located across the river and is only open during the day closing at 5pm. There was a lot of pork on the menu (I don’t eat pork by the way) so I decided on the traditional stuffed pepper. A fairly generous portion with good flavor maybe even a little on the spicy side. I think it was $29 soles. Atmosphere was completely local as well as all the patrons.


Manolo’s Arequipa: located just off the square down the main shopping street across from Starbucks. The entire menu is recommended by a few blogs; however I wanted to try the stuffed churros. Wow! Absolutely amazing; warm churros stuffed with delicious canela purée. Might be the best dessert I have tried since the donut empanada I had in Medellin which was the highlight of the food in Colombia. $3 soles; stop in for one.


Pura Fruta: located right next to Manolo’s right off the square this is a great place for a fruit salad served with yogurt, fresh honey, and granola all with a balcony view overlooking the busy street. A great place for a morning snack. $10 soles

Qochamama: nice tiny bar with a small balcony. We had wings which I think there were 9 for $21 soles. They were hot and crispy, could have used a little more sauce, overall good wings. The fries were a bit soggy. Had a happy hour with 2 for 20 mojitos that were quite strong and delicious.

Omphalos: a vegetarian restaurant with a very nice courtyard. They have a menu del dia for 10 soles with soup, main dish, drink and dessert. I got the mushroom dish came with a ton of fries and rice for 13 soles. It was quite filling.



Hotel Katari: 2nd best rooftop in the square for sunset. They require $5 minimum per person to go up. They have a grass garden up top that makes it very aesthetically pleasing. Glass of wine $30 soles as well as the delicious maracuay piscos. Don’t recall how much the beers were. They provide blankets/ponchos as it gets cold. Great friendly service with a nice view of the square.


Restaurant on the top terrace: best rooftop terrace in the square for sunset. It’s higher than Hotel Katari and overlooks the cathedral. Very nice pictures of the mountains and square from here. I went early and booked a rail front table. They had it all ready and waiting. They also provide blankets/ponchos after sunset. Glass of wine $15 and drinks about half the price of Katari. I had the guava stuffed crepe and it was excellent. 15 soles. The other food up there looks great; however it’s quite expensive.


Wuayki Roots: was closed when I tried to go; comes recommended in some blogs and has a nice balcony overlooking the old bridge over the river. Has food and happy hour.

La Trattoria del Monasterio:

El Tio Dario:



Da Giancarlo casa Pizzeria Italiana: very quaint and cozy pizza place. Has a small courtyard and the service was fast and friendly. Comes highly recommended and large gourmet pizzas are $25 soles. I had the caprese as well for $20 soles. Large portions and excellent taste if you’re in the mood for pizza this is the place.



Posted by Veritas2377 13:23 Archived in Peru Tagged food restaurant hiking eats

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