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Gastronomy, the threshold of Arequipa’s culture

An original and exquisite city tour!
An original and exquisite city tour!
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  • 11:00 - 17:00
  • Group Size: 1 - 6
  • All year long except for Wednesdays

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:

  • Suitable for non-strict lacto-ovo-vegetarians; you will see guinea pigs hanging on top of the stove and there will be fried meat aromas.
  • The experience is recommended starting at 18 years of age.

Price Includes

  • Private transportation to the Picantería (only)
  • Lunch based on traditional dishesInlcuding a typical picanteria beverage: chicha de güiñapo
  • Official tour guide (English or Spanish)
  • Entrance to La Recoleta Convent and the textile museum Amano

Price Excludes

  • Further beveragesPlease note that in picanterías they offer mainly chicha, water, sodas or beer
  • 18% sales taxesThis will be exonerated by sending us a passport scan/photo of every tour participant (not for Peruvian residents)

What to Bring

  • 1 (reusable) bottle with water
  • Comfortable clothes & shoes
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses with UV protection
  • All your energy and desire to meet spicy food.

Why is this experience RESPONSible?

Walking on the routes that once were the connection between small and large communities in the southern Peruvian Andes, allows us to appreciate the progress achieved whilst valueing the work of the first muleteers. Nowadays, they are replaced by railroads, the automobile and air transport. Here, we connect to the past to value the present.

(In a more practical sense: apart from walking most of the time, this tour is full with local, off-the-beaten-path attractions that you support not just with your payment, but also with showing your appreciation for their conservation efforts!)


Your Experience Designer
11Our Arequipa partner Patricia Deza profile picture

Patricia Deza Oviedo

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.