Dubbed the White City, Arequipa’s colonial buildings glow with sillar from the surrounding volcanoes. Peru’s second-largest city sits in the shadow of three volcanoes Chachani, El Misti and Picchu Picchu. Don’t miss a morning at the mouthwatering San Camilo market or a visit to the Monasterio de Santa Catalina before taking to the nearby canyons, caves, and volcanoes.
It is a winding four-hour drive north through the lush Colca Valley with its stepped terraces and scattering of smallholdings. Colca Canyon is one of Peru’s most breathtaking spectacles. Twice the depth of America’s Grand Canyon and bordered by snowcapped peaks, it is heaven for hikers and rafters. Mountain passes skirt Andean villages, pre-Inca ruins, hot springs and an array of Andean flora and fauna, including majestic condors, which wheel on the thermals overhead.