casa de avila arequipa peru

Cusco to Arequipa: travel hell

It was just not my traveling day. We were flying to Arequipa through Lima (so it would be our third out of five times in the Lima airport) and at the airport in Cusco, I beeped red through the metal detectors and they ransacked my bag because I accidentally packed an aerosol can of bug spray in my carry on. All this while Daniela and the TACA attendant were yelling at me to hurry because the plane was waiting for us since the airline bumped us up to an earlier flight. As if I wanted to hang out with security.

Then, at the Lima airport, I set off the scanner again and once again had my bag searched because apparently I also left my manicure set in my carry on. Goodbye, scissors and nail file. I guess that’s what happens when you half-ass pack!

At least landing in Arequipa was pretty smooth. The airport was tiny, so we literally walked off the plane onto the tarmac and were surrounded by mountains and volcanoes.

We finally got to our hostel in Arequipa, and then promptly walked across the street to reserve an actual hotel room at Casa de Avila. We are too old for this backpacker hostel shit! And I ended up loving Casa de Avila. I didn’t realize it at first, but it was actually listed in my Lonely Planet book.

Casa de Avila

Our room and bathroom were fine, cable TV and breakfast were included, and my favorite part was the huge lawn courtyard in the middle complete with lawn chairs and even a pet turtle! It was the perfect setting for some midday sunbathing or midnight star-gazing.

Lounging in the courtyard at Casa de Avila

Anyways, by the time we were done dicking around, it was evening so we headed to the Plaza de Armas for dinner. The plaza is really nice – Arequipa is known as the White City, so all the buildings are made of white volcanic stone, including the huge, plaza-wide cathedral. I really like the plaza, it has a very European, southern Spain feel with its white buildings, palm trees and just overall tropical feel. Although, I must admit, I had higher expectations for Arequipa’s reputation as the White City – but the plaza was great.

We ended up just eating on a rooftop behind the cathedral, and then strolled around for a bit.

Cathedral at Plaza de Armas
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