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Arequipa Tour of Santa Catalina Convent and The Juanita Museum

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 04-11-2022

If you are staying in the White City for any length before you set out from Arequipa to Colca canyon, or heading to Cusco to see Machu Picchu, then one of the best tours in Arequipa is the half-day Arequipa Tour of Santa Catalina Convent & Juanita Museum. The perfect introduction into the history of Arequipa through its white “sillar” volcanic ash buildings and colonial architecture will then take you to 2 of the major sights in the city of Arequipa, The Santa Catalina and The museum where the mummified remains of Juanita reside. Join Valencia Travel on one of the best tours in Arequipa on your Peru Itinerary.


Sunset over The Arequipa Cathedral


Plaza De Armas

Arguably, one of the most spectacular plazas in Peru, Arequipa’s main square, is guaranteed to impress. Set among leafy palm trees and surrounded by stunning colonial churches, the Plaza de Armas is the true heart of Arequipa and the perfect vantage point to appreciate why it is known as the “White City.” Towering over the plaza is the impressive 17th-century city cathedral, Arequipa’s largest and most important church. Stretching the entire length of the plaza, this mammoth house of worship is primarily built from sillar, a type of white volcanic rock common throughout the city center. A more modest, although arguably more interesting, is Iglesia de la Compania de Jesús, a Jesuit church with a lovely Baroque façade and chapel. There are hundreds of works of art from Peru’s Colonial era. 


Plaza De Armas, Arequipa

Santa Catalina Monastery

Santa Catalina Monastery is a small city within the city of Arequipa. It’s a large complex with cloisters, charming streets, and small plazas that have never changed over its more than 500-year history. During the tour, you will learn about what life was like for the select nuns living there. The intrusive cells, the small streets, and the cloisters are full of colorful flowers and walls painted with fresh dyes. The narrow alleys lead to the various parts of the convent that go through picturesque places with the original furniture displayed. The Santa Catalina monastery provides a fascinating insight into the lives of devout catholic nuns back in the 16th century as you walk down a new passageway, as colorful as the next, meaning the perfect photo op awaits on every corner.


Santa Catalina Monastery


Juanita Mummy Museum


The Andean Sanctuary Museum on the campus of the Santa Maria Catholic University houses the mummified remains of Juanita, also named the Lady of Ampato, or The Ice maiden, who was a 12-year-old Inca girl sacrificed to the sacred mountains of The Apus. Her body was discovered on Mount Ampato, found at a whopping Arequipa altitude of 6288 m, by Johan Reinhard after resting underneath layers of snow for nearly 500 years. Other mummified sacrifices were also found in the region and brought back to Arequipa to be put on ice for the rest of the world to see.


Juanita Museum


Join us at Valencia Travel on this fascinating Arequipa Tour of Santa Catalina Convent and The Juanita Museum for more insight into the City of Arequipa, The Santa Catalina Monastery, and The Ice maiden, Juanita