After reaching Arequipa early in the morning around 5:00 AM, Peru hop arranged private shuttles for everyone to be brought to their hotels.
Our hostel, Il Riposo, arranged the room for us already so we could catch some more hours of sleep. One night for two just 35 soles. They even had a room available for us at 5:00 AM in the morning so that we could took a few hours nap, great service!
First thing we noticed was the altitude, we had to adjust our breathing a bit to get used to it. It would be our first location at this higher ground, and Arequipa is a great place to slowly get adapted to it.
After that we explored the city a bit, ending up in Plaza de Armas, here it is like you are in Spain! We booked a tour to Ruta del Sillar for 35 soles per person (negotiate! Normal price they state is 60 soles per person).
After we arranged our tour, we went to grab some lunch and found this amazing place with a menu turistico for 12 soles per person, including soup, friend beef/pork/chicken with rice and a drink. Restaurant is called Katirruana, highly recommended!
We went for some sightseeing, starting at Mundo Alpaca. Here we got a tour through their grounds, where they shave Alpacas and Llamas to make clothing which they also sell. In a free small tour they showed us the process and we even got to feed some Alpacas! Clothing was really soft, Sam even bought a scarf for just 59 soles.
Right next to Mundo Alpaca is the church San Lazaro located, nice little park infront and a unique arch with three church bells. The entire San Lazaro neighborhood is worth checking out, with unique white buildings and beautiful architecture.
Our tour to Ruta del Sillar took about an hour. We got told that the guide would be English speaking, not really. Only Spanish, but still a cool dude. Luckily Alfonso from US who spoke fluent Spanish translated for us. First stop a Petra like sculpted castle front. After that we went to the local marble maker who cuts the stones and makes marbles for rebuilding purposes of the ancient houses made with the marble. The worker only gets 5 soles per marble, so lot of hard work for 1000 soles per month. He also let me cut a block in half with a hammer and showed us how he made the marble perfect fit. Be sure to give him a tip!
Second stop was a dried river bedding which we walked through for one kilometer. During the walk we got some nice sights over the dried river bedding and its rock formation, plus we saw some ancient rock carvings.
We headed back to Arequipa after that. Our new friend Alfonso pointed out some cheap flights he found to Eastern Island and with his help, guess what: 9/12 April we are going for USD 518,00 flight for two!!!
We ended the day with some craft beers at night at Chaqchao cafe together with Alfonso, definitely worth a visit!