Arequipa and the Monasterio of Santa Catalina

Arequipa Cathedral

Arequipa Cathedral

Church of La Compania

Church of La Compania

Church of La Compania

Church of La Compania

Amongst the white washed old buildings of Arequipa lies a nice Cathedral and a beautiful church, but the highlight attraction is the monastery of Santa Catalina.

Monasterio Santa Catalina

Monasterio Santa Catalina

This was one of those moments where I was pleased to be travelling alone. I was able to take my time wandering around the monastery, avoiding a few tourist groups and just be alone with my thoughts.

Paintings, Monasterio Santa Catalina

Paintings, Monasterio Santa Catalina

Cloister at Monasterio Santa Catalina

Cloister at Monasterio Santa Catalina

Cell at Monasterio Santa Catalina

Cell at Monasterio Santa Catalina

Malaga Street, Monasterio Santa Catalina

Malaga Street, Monasterio Santa Catalina

Monasterio Santa Catalina

It was a stunning convent, with lots of white, reds and blues throughout. The convent was founded in 1579, build from Sillar, a white volcanic stone. Unfortunately the convent has suffered from earthquakes and tremors over the years, particularly in 1958 and 1960. It was restored and re-opened in 1970 to the public and while some spots are still damaged, on the whole it is still a lovely spot to visit.

Monasterio Santa Catalina

Archway paintings at Monasterio Santa Catalina

Archway paintings at Monasterio Santa Catalina

Cloister, Monasterio Santa Catalina

Cloister, Monasterio Santa Catalina

Monasterio Santa Catalina

Throughout the monastery you can see where the nuns lived, cooked and spent their time. There are 4 ‘Cloisters’ or courtyards that each have a different theme or purpose. There are lots of alleyways, archways and a few good viewpoints over the city also.

Monasterio Santa Catalina Monasterio Santa Catalina

So if you’re visiting Arequipa, take the time to check out the Monasterio of Santa Catalina at your own pace in peace and quiet – it’s worth the time.

Top Tip: Arequipa is where I first encountered a nasty hostel owner. At first he seemed nice and helpful, until I reviewed his hostel a few days later mentioning the lack of bathrooms and no lockers in the rooms. This resulted in a nasty phone call to me in Cuzco asking me to leave his Cuzco hostel. I later also received a nasty email following up from the Cuzco hostel review. So, be wary if you consider staying at ‘Marlon’s House’ in Arequipa, Puno or Cuzco as the owner can be extremely unprofessional and unpleasant.

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