Santa Catalina Monastery

Santa Catalina Monastery: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Arequipa: 2-Day Trekking Tour to Colca Canyon

1. From Arequipa: 2-Day Trekking Tour to Colca Canyon

Embark on a 2-day trek to the Colca Canyon, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and an incredible sight. Look out for more than 100 kinds of birds, over 300 types of plants and more than 30 types of cactus. Head to Condor’s Cross for the best viewpoint in South America for seeing the Andean Condor, a gracious bird that can have a wingspan of up to 3 meters and weigh up to 12 KG. Day 1: Arequipa - Chivay - Condor’s Cross - Sangalle After an early morning (around 3:00-3:30 AM) pick-up from your hotel, head to Cabanaconde in the Colca Canyon. This is approximately a 6-hour drive from Arequipa, and on the way you’ll stop for breakfast. Continue to Condor’s Cross for a panoramic view of the canyon and the famous Andean Condor. Arrive at the beginning of your trek and start a downhill hike for about 3-hour from 3,300 to 2,100 meters above sea level into the canyon. Upon arrival, have lunch and take some time to rest in San Juan de Chuccho. Continue your journey and pass by the towns of Cosñirhua and Malata. Hike further into the canyon until reaching Sangalle, the deepest part of the canyon and 1900 meters above sea level. Sangalle is a lush green oasis with a tropical microclimate and some simple accommodation. Here you can enjoy the swimming pool after a long day of hiking. Enjoy dinner and spend the night here Day 2: Sangalle - Cabanaconde - Chivay - Arequipa or Puno Leave early morning (around 5:00 AM), and start hiking uphill for about 3-hour back to Cabanaconde town using torch lights for illumination. Enjoy spectacular views of the sunrise and eat breakfast upon arrival at Cabanaconde.  Head towards Chivay, viewing pre-Inca terraces, archaeological ruins, and colonial towns on the way. Around noon, arrive at the hot springs. Optionally take a dip in the hot springs and relax in waters of 38°C. In Chivay, have a buffet lunch in a local restaurant (not included). After lunch, start your return to Arequipa. On the way, you will descend from 4830 to 2325 meters above sea level, passing by a national reserve and Pampa Cañahuas. This is is a habitat for the four species of South American camelids (llama, alpaca, vicuña, and guanaco). Arrive in Arequipa late afternoon and be dropped you off next to Santa Catalina Monastery. If you choose the option to be dropped off in Puno, you will leave from Chivay after having lunch. You’ll arrive around 6:45 PM in Puno. You will also make a stop in Pampa Cañahuas to have great views of the local landscapes.

Arequipa: City Tour and Santa Catalina Monastery

2. Arequipa: City Tour and Santa Catalina Monastery

Start with pickup from your hotel and be transferred to the Carmen Alto viewpoint. Admire the views of the countryside of Arequipa, the Chili river, and the Misti and Chachani volcanoes in the background. Head next to the Yanahuara viewpoint with a fantastic view of the city. After that, visit the Basilica of the Company of Jesus, built in a neo-Renaissance style, built with white stone, known as ashlar. You will then explore a bit of the main square of the city. Finally, discover the famous Convent of Santa Catalina, a prestigious institution of the XVI century, comprised of plazas, cloisters, and streets, that used to be inhabited by the daughters of prestigious families, who were kept by the convent’s nuns.

Arequipa: Private City Tour and Santa Catalina Monastery

3. Arequipa: Private City Tour and Santa Catalina Monastery

The route begins in Arequipa´s Main Square, one of the most beautiful squares in Peru. Facing this square is the imposing Cathedral, built in the 17th century. From there, continue to the Monastery of Santa Catalina, a cloister and small religious citadel built in 1579, still in use to this date. Then, visit the Church of the Compañia de Jesus (1590). Considered a classic example of local baroque architecture, it houses an exceptional collection of paintings and murals. Lastly, visit the districts of Yanahuara and Carmen Alto for a panoramic view of the Arequipa countryside. At the end, take a transfer back to the hotel.

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  • Multi-day trips
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What people are saying about Santa Catalina Monastery

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 53 reviews

Excellent experience. Breathtaking landscapes all along, a super professional and very nice guide, I highly recommend this agency :) The brief stop before the start of the trek to see condors is incredible. Be careful, the announcement does not necessarily specify that the trek is very difficult (there are 2 or 3 days, knowing that in 2 days you do the same route as in 3, i.e. 7 hours of walking on the first day!). It is therefore doable but you must be in very good physical condition and be careful of the sun which is very strong. Only downside: the prices of the services not included are not up to date (entrance to the park, meals): ask the guide so as not to have any unpleasant surprises when going to the checkout (consequently, you have to plan for cash, especially since at the oasis there are +6% fees if payment by credit card)

We had a fantastic time on the trek. The guide Percy was extremely knowledgeable and happy to teach us about the area. He went above and beyond to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves, safe, and getting all they could from the experience. Lots of encouragement and tips about trekking. He even lent me his walking sticks at the end when I was struggling a little to ascend. The accommodations were basic but totally acceptable - clean and comfortable. Meals were excellent - especially lunch the last day. Passionfruit mousse - WOW! The hot springs were a glorious way to end. We even saw a volcano erupt (from a far). Icing on the cake for me were the alpaca and vicuña herds - just amazing. Overall a really excellent activity and I highly recommend.

The 2-day trek was an amazing experience! We really enjoyed trekking this beautiful canyon and our guide Percy was extremely experienced and passionate. In our opinion, it is not stressed enough that this hike is very challenging and better for experienced hikers, however we were aware of this as we compared different travel agencies and so it was not a problem for us. There is an option to go up with a donkey if you want. The food and accommodation were basic but good. Thanks for the incredible trip!

Very physical activity! The first day is exhausting, you have to descend for 3 hours in full sun on a path that is not necessarily obvious. Then lunch and again two hours of walking. The next day climb of 3 hours. If you are too tired you can take a mule. Very beautiful canyon, beautiful experience but exhausting!

It was quite an extensive itinerary and the hiking was challenging . Recommend more specific recommendations on clothes and gear to bring . Did 10.7 miles hiking the first day to get down to The Valley bottom at Sangalle . I rode a donkey up the next day . My son hiked out an hour earlier at 4:40 am in the dark .