Best of Peru’s Canyon Country
Plaza de Armas: Any tour of Arequipa should begin in Peru’s most elegant urban square, with its neoclassical cathedral, arcades, palm trees, flowers, and fountains.
Monasterio de Santa Catalina: Since the 16th century, nuns have lived cloistered amid the timeless archways and chapels of this miniature city, built entirely of white volcanic stone.
Monasterio de las Carmelitas Descalzas de Santa Teresa de Arequipa: This 300-year-old Carmelite monastery, recently opened to the world, offers a rare collection of colonial art.
La Cruz del Cóndor: Nowhere can the Andean condor, the world’s largest flying bird, be seen so reliably as from this spot perched on the rim of the Colca Canyon.
Folklore Festivals: Lake Titicaca is known as the Folklore Capital of Peru, so you shouldn’t miss a chance to take in one of the local festivals.Puno’s best known, Virgen de la Candelaria, reaches a fever pitch on February 2, when an image of the Virgin Mary is paraded through the streets amid hundreds of dancing devils, angels, and other extravagantly costumed characters.
Kayaking Lake Titicaca: The only way to see the emerald waters and snow-covered mountains of the world’s highest navigable lake is by boat — kayaking gives you the view from the water’s edge.
Islas Amantaní and Taquile: Staying with a family on one of Lake Titicaca’s islands is a great way to immerse yourself in the lake’s natural beauty and the ancient lifestyles of its villagers.
Islas Suasi: Lake Titicaca’s only privately owned island boasts awesome views of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real, a eucalyptus steam sauna, lakeside cottages, and gourmet cuisine.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition