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Ports and Excursions of South America

Arequipa (Matarani), Peru-port

Discover the height of civilization in Arequipa with its Colonial style Spanish architecture and white buildings made from volcanic ash. Marvel at the barren moon-like landscape of the desert as you ascend to Arequipa. Stroll through the central Plaza de Armas surrounded by cathedrals and government buildings, flowering gardens and fountains. Visit the Monastery of Santa Catalina from the 16th Century with its colorfully painted interior walls. The Museo Santuarios Andinos (Museum of Andean Sanctuaries) boasts treasures that have never been photographed or seen beyond the museum walls. Shop for top-quality alpaca and vicuña woolen goods, high-end leather, art books, handicrafts and antiques. Enjoy a Peruvian drink of Pisco under the brilliant blue and sunny skies of this mountainous setting.

View Cruises that visit this port

Below is a list of those shore excursions previously offered in this port. For information on which shore excursions will be offered on a particular cruise, please reference the specific itinerary of that cruise.

Free Excursions

Regent Choice Excursions

  • Light Activity /Walking Light Activity /Walking
  • Seated Tour Seated Tour
  • Moderate Activity/Walking Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Most Active or Strenuous Most Active or Strenuous
  • Minimal Activity Required Minimal Activity Required
  • Regent Choice Regent Choice
  • Gourmet Explorer Gourmet Explorer
  • Meal Meal
  • Evening Tour Evening Tour
  • Arequipa & Santa Catalina Monastery
    Light Activity /WalkingRegent ChoiceMeal
  • Arequipa & the Ice Maiden Mummy
    Light Activity /WalkingRegent ChoiceMeal
  • Countryside Sojourn
    Light Activity /WalkingRegent ChoiceMeal
  • Executive Collection Full Day Minibus
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Full Day Van
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Minibus
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Van
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Mejia Beach & Mollendo
    Light Activity /Walking

Arequipa & Santa Catalina Monastery

Light Activity /Walking Regent ChoiceMeal

Duration: 7 1/2 hours

Tour Code: ARE-002

Enjoy a visit to Arequipa or "The White City" - a nickname taken because of the pearly white volcanic rock, sillar, that is used in its buildings.

From the pier in Matarani, it's a 2 1/2-hour drive inland to Arequipa. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a short orientation drive of this UNESCO World Heritage city, where you will see many landmark sights, including the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. Following your panoramic tour, you will proceed to Santa Catalina Monastery where you will have a guided walking tour of this historic monastery that was built in 1580. Today, it is one of the most important and impressive religious monuments in Peru. The convent remained a mystery to the world until 1972 when local authorities opened the site up to tourism. Although the nuns remain mostly out of site, they all come from wealthy families and have taken vows of poverty. The actual complex is quite large and has many interesting features to see.

Before returning to the pier, you will have some free time at leisure at "Patio Ekeko", a gallery with stunning craft shops offering jewelry, handicrafts, alpaca clothing and furniture. A boxed dinner will be offered on board the coach during your return to the pier.

Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of easy to moderate walking that can include natural and uneven surfaces at the monastery, plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. The coach drive between Matarani and Arequipa is approximately 2.5 hours each direction dependent upon traffic. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual yet conservative, weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The tour sequence may vary. While every attempt will be made to provide a coach that has a restroom on board, it should be noted that there are no restroom facilities on the route between Matarani and Arequipa.