You can explore this monastery on your own or hire a guide. Its 65,600-foot [20,000 m] structure is surrounded by streets, houses, plazas, trees and fountains. Part of it is still home to nuns, and the rest is open to visitation: you can enter the apartments where novices used to live in the 17th century and see the furniture, silk curtains and Chinese porcelain.
This shop is one of Arequipa’s best secrets. Founded by Don Eustaquio Carrasco in 1929, it’s located nearby Plaza de Armas, in one of the cloisters of Compañía de Jesús. They sell all kinds of hats made to order.
Chef Gastón Acurio has put Peruvian cuisine on the world map. From his restaurant's veranda in Cusco, you can view the towers of the city’s cathedral. The tip is to have a Cusqueña Dourada beer while savoring any dish, like the lomo saltado with mushrooms, french fries and egg.
Latin American authors (Vargas Llosa, Cortázar), books on Peru (including one by photographer Martin Chambi) and travel guides await readers in a pleasant setting. The bookstore is located on Calle San Francisco in Arequipa, halfway between the church of San Francisco and Plaza de Armas.
This monastery was originally built over the ruins of an Inca palace occupied by the Spanish. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1965, it was renovated into a hotel five years later. The breakfast buffet is served until 10:30 a.m. on the internal patio.
Photos: J.R. Duran, Marianna Fierro, Shutterstock, courtesy of Belmond Hotel