The Arequipa countryside is a green spectacle: the valley falls in love with its natural light, platforms and bright colors, all with the imposing Misti in the background.
Several viewpoints allow you to appreciate it in all its splendor, but perhaps where its essence is best lived is in the Sabandía Mill, built in 1621. It is a place of particular charm, surrounded by trees, cacti and various local flowers and plants, where you can see how the wheat was crushed four centuries ago on its great stone wheels.
Its rich vegetation, irrigated by the waters of the Chili River, tempers the extreme temperatures that the city suffers due to the proximity of the desert.
Already since pre-Inca times, many towns settled in it and began to build small communities that with the arrival of the Spaniards in the area were reinforced from the urban and architectural point of view.
Main Tourist Attractions in The Arequipa Countryside
Its foundation dates back to 1541, making it one of the oldest districts in the area. It has a colonial-era church and a beautiful square around which are the oldest houses.
It is a district to which the inhabitants of Arequipa go to enjoy the famous spicy places in the area. Its environment is completely full of farms, the name by which the orchards are called.
And it is easy to find bulls grazing on them, since it is one of the most appreciated animals in the area to carry out the typical ‘bull fights’.
Located at nine kilometers from the city of Arequipa, this district is famous for its Sabandía mill. It was built in the 17th century at the request of the Spaniard García de Vargas Machuca, who commissioned its construction to master builder Francisco Flores.
It is a flour mill that looks more like a palace and can be visited. But Sabandía also has other tourist attractions such as the Founder’s House or Mansion.
This is a stately country house originally belonging to Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, founder of Arequipa. Built in the 16th century, it is a typical Arequipa mansion with enormous ashlar walls and spectacular vaults of the same material.
It is an annex of Sabandía, only 3 kilometers from it. It is famous for its magical landscape full of pre-Hispanic terraces.
These are cultivation terraces made on the slopes of the mountain that facilitate the planting of fruits and vegetables. Especially pumpkin, similar to pumpkin, and chullpe corn.
It is another of the municipalities that we can visit in the countryside of Arequipa. Its name means ‘flowery platform’.
In Paucarpata you can visit the church of Santa Ana, a colonial temple about which little is known, but which had the inscription «Admejorem Gloria del 1619» until the 1958 earthquake.
Its precious cultivation platforms are also worth seeing.
The municipality of Tiabaya also has several places that you will love if you visit them. Among them, we can mention the swimming pool of Alto los Valdivia. A pool fed with groundwater.
We must also mention the so-called Catari well, where you can enjoy medicinal waters.
In addition, around Tiabaya we can find small population centers such as San José de Tiabaya, where the largest clock in Arequipa is located.