what to wear
El avelino or Siglo xx n terms of Arequipa's weather, I think it is perfect. Dry climate, if you venture out of the valley you would think you have reached the Sahara desert. The city itself, due to its high altitude-2,380 meters M (7,740 feet FT) during the day time the intense sun can make it seem like it is 80 degrees, but in the shade a nice cool breeze can cool one off really quickly. It can get a bit chilly at night, especially during the winter months of June-August, but even the coldness is not very extreme. The most I have seen it go down has been 30 degrees. So, for practical purposes bring a pair of shorts, t-shirt, sweater, jeans, sandals and shoes/hiking shoes. A hat and sun block is also a must. During the day you can wear shorts, t-shirt and sandals, and at night jeans, long sleeve shirt, sweater and even a wool/alpaca hat during the winter months (June-August). You can find everything you need in Arequipa. If it's toiletries you are after try pharmacies or local mercados such as "El avelino" of "Siglo XX". These places have are flea market type infrastructure, vendor after vendor except all they sell is new. You can haggle all prices in these places and because they do not pay taxes you will find imported things half the price as you will see them in stores. Most things are from China, so if it's too cheap to be good, it probably isn't that great. It's a great place to get gear you may need on hikes, or batteries, or toiletries, etc. Go to "el avelino" to buy anything and all things. Go during the day and ask a secure taxi to take you there (this place is located near the bus terminal). It's not dangerous just be careful of pickpockets. There is a place near el centro where the old jail used to be that is just like "el avelino" and it's called "Siglo XX" [veinte]. You can walk here. Ask your hotel staff to give you directions. Or you can take a cab from el centro for about 3-4 soles.
Plaza de Armas
Like most cities in Peru, the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa is the main center of the city. This bustling plaza is a hub of activity. You'll have a tough time finding a spot on a bench by 10AM on most days. Typical sights here include people feeding pigeons seeds(available for sale), vendors selling knitted finger puppets and drawings, photographers offering quick pictures to tourists, and of course shoe shiners.
Iglesia de San Francisco
This church is located in a quiet square of the same name near the Santa Catalina Monastery. It dates to the 16th Century and is not the most impressive church I've ever seen. I enjoyed the quiet plaza outside more than the church itself. However, if you're here on December 8th during the city's celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, you'll see the church's Virgin Mary statue paraded around the streets of Arequipa on top of a carriage with devotees carrying flowers and candles and celebrating all night.
La ciudad blanca / The white city
Hay quien la llama la República Independiente de Arequipa por el carácter que tienen los Arequipeños y el pulso que tienen con la capital Lima .
Es una ciudad muy agradable en la que se hicieron los edificios con piedra volcánica de sillar que tiene color blanco , lo que da origen a que la llamen la Ciudad Blanca , aunque esto contraste con los brillantes colores ocres y azules del inolvidable Convento de Santa Catalina .
La Plaza de Armas , la Catedral , La Compañía ,...hacen que Arequipa sea un sitio para volver
La comida muy buena : el Cuy Chacato , el Rocoto ,el Chupe de langostinos...(Sólo con pensarlo...)
El Misti , el Chachani y el Pichu Pichu son los volcanes que cuidan de Arequipa y el Cañón del Colca (más profundo que el cañón del Colorado) es el sitio donde hay que ir para ver sus paisajes y a los condores cara a cara
Por cierto Mario Vargas LLosa era arequipeño
Somebody calls it the Independent Republic of Arequipa, due to the Arequipeños character and to the stress that they maintain with the capital Lima.
It is a very nice city where they built using sillar , a volcanic stone of white colour , and for this reason is called also the White City , though this contrasts with the brilliant ocher and blue colors of the unforgettable Santa Catalina Convent
The Plaza de Armas , The Cathedral , the Compañía...,make Arequipa a place to come back
Food is very good : Cuy Chacato , Rocoto , Chupe de Langostinos (Just to think...)
The Misti , Chachani and Pichu Pichu are the volcanoes that take care of Arequipa and The Colca Canyon ( Deeper than the Red Canyon) is the place where you must go to see the landscape and to the condors face to face
By the way Mario Vargas Llosa is from Arequipa