In this tour we combine two leading cultural highlights of Arequipa: its architectural legacy and its gastronomic staple, the picantería. We walk through the city’s old colonial streets, strolling along the route that once was the entrance to the city. We visit the Recoleta Convent with its interesting library following the same route used by the muleteers many years ago and see where they once took a rest, in the “tambos” of the past, until we reach the Plaza de Armas and finish in the first settlement of the city, San Lázaro.
One of the most deeply rooted traditions for “arequipeños” is to go out for lunch in a picantería. Arequipa’s picantería restaurants are mostly run by creative and generous women – the “picanteras”, authors of the unity between the Andean and Hispanic culinary tradition. They knew how to make the family food a democratic event by wisely using the products of the coast, the valleys and the Andes. We will visit the picantería Cau Cau run by Saida, our host and heir of the Arequipa culinary art; together with her we will taste and get to know the jayaris (they are like snacks), the chupes according to the day of the week and a good spicy main dish. We finish with a glass of anise and drink to good health.
The best comes with a well-deserved walk through the Yanahuara neighborhood. Our first afternoon stop is the La Recoleta Convent, a little-known place that houses many surprises such as its library with more than 20 thousand books – of religion, science, history, literature and art. We leave La Recoleta and continue along the path to visit the old tambos, which once served as accommodation for travelers and muleteers. The afternoon meets us at the Plaza de Armas which in pre-Hispanic times was land dedicated to the cult of the Sun. Finally, we enter the first settlement of the city, the San Lázaro neighborhood with its winding streets. The Yarabaya natives inhabited this place before the foundation of the city and it was the first residence of conquerors from Spain. Our final destination is the Pre-Columbian textile museum, Amano, where you can soak in 2500 years of textile history from the Wari, Siguas, Chancay, Paracas and Nasca cultures. The Siguas culture that developed in the valleys of Vitor, Majes and Siguas (Arequipa) deserves special mention.
Some additional comments:
Passionate about nature, culture and the power of regenerative leadership. She was born in Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a place that strongly influenced her identification with the Andean culture. She started like most young women by going to university and pursuing a career in Arequipa where she got to know the world of conservation which changed her course. That’s how she started traveling around Peru working in ecotourism, tourism and sustainable development.
Today she sees the need to help travelers connect in a different way with their chosen destination and to show hosts the value of their culture to empower themselves and strengthen their natural environment. Since 2020 Patricia has been working with RESPONS, with which she shares a philosophy of sustainability.