Luxury Peru holidays are the ideal choice of architecture lovers, as the country boasts some of the finest examples of colonial buildings. Knowing where to start on a tour can be tough, but the city of Arequipa is sure to offer tourists something quite unique.
Known as the White City, Arequipa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and for good reason. Many of the buildings are constructed from volcanic sillar rock and integrate both European and native building techniques.
One of the most exciting aspects of the area is its layout, as visitors can find themselves strolling through courtyards one minute and vaults the next. Arequipa has 49 blocks with the traditional Spanish layout and 24 from the colonial period and the 19th century.
UNESCO describes the city as an "outstanding example of a colonial settlement" that manages to express the culture of the entire region. It is believed the city was founded in 1540, before it became a valley that was intensively farmed by pre-Hispanic communities.
One of Arequipa's main highlights is the Plaza de Armas, which contains stunning archways and the city's cathedral. The cloisters of La Compania accurately depict the Baroque mestizo period in the latter part of the 18th century, while Monasterio de Santa Catalina is a striking citadel.
Staying in Arequipa is one of the best ways to get a real taste of what the city is about. To continue the architectural appreciation, Casa Andina Private Collection is the perfect place to check into, as it has been converted from a colonial mint.
Many of the suites have been carefully and tastefully decorated to remain in-keeping with the rest of the building, which are generally recommended for guests over the more modern rooms. Visitors can make use of two courtyards, as well as a bar and restaurant.
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