Arequipa Tasting and Historical Tour

An original and exquisite city tour!
An original and exquisite city tour!
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Build a Custom Tour

Looking for something a little different? At Impactful Travel, we specialize in crafting custom itineraries tailored to your unique travel desires and ethical values.

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  • 6 HoursStarts at 11:00 am
  • Starting PointYour hotel in Arequipa
  • Group Size1 - 6
  • All year long Except for Wednesdays (picantería is closed)
  • BookingsAt least 72h in advance
  • Sustainability Score: 32

Arequipa, founded in 1540, it’s located in a strategic position between the valleys of the coast and the highlands. Therefore, since ancient times, it became an obligatory stop for travelers and “muleteers” who went through the area exchanging goods from different origins.

In this Tasting and Historical Tour, you will follow the traces of the muleteers and experience a “picantería“, where products brought to the city by the muleteers were mixed for centuries giving rise to the well-known Arequipa’s gastronomy.

Picanterías and Arequipa’s gastronomy

Going out for lunch in the city is one of the most deeply rooted traditions of the “arequipeños”. These restaurants are mostly run by creative and generous women – the “picanteras”- pioneers in combining Andean and Hispanic culinary traditions, as well as products of the coast, the valleys, and the Andes.

At 11,  the adventure begins. Just follow your guide and enjoy the ride because after picking you up from your hotel downtown (in case your accommodation is outside of downtown, we will agree on a pick-up and drop-off point the day before the tour) you’ll take a local bus heading west.

Buses here are usually packed tight with passengers, and kind of risky if you’re not paying attention to what’s going on around you. But if you manage to survive, we’ll arrive at the picantería Cau Cau, after a plus 30-minute ride.

The picantería Cau Cau is run by Saida, our host, and heir of the Arequipa culinary art. If we are lucky enough, we will meet Saida herself and share a glass of chicha (a traditional fermented corn-based drink) with her.  We will taste and get to know the jayaris (a type of snack), the chupes (which may vary according to the day of the week), and an inevitably good spicy main dish. We’ll finish with a shot of anise and drink to good health.

Entering the Old City, muleteers style

In the afternoon, you will follow the route that muleteers used to travel to enter the city center. You start in Yanahuara and then walk through the Recoleta area, where you will visit the Recoleta Convent, a little-known place that houses many surprises. Its library has more than 20 thousand books about religion, science, history, literature, and art. You can also discover some interesting exhibition rooms with pre-hispanic art and one room dedicated to Amazon rainforest goods.

Then, you’ll get closer to the city center. You’ll climb to a hotel’s rooftop and have a cup of tea while having a great view of the area, and especially of one of the oldest “tambos” in the city (former resting places for travelers, and used for storage of goods) called “Tambo de Ruelas”. After enjoying the view, the Tasting and Historical Tour will end at around 4 pm. You can easily cross the Bolognesi Bridge (the oldest one in town) and walk back to the Plaza de Armas to explore more of the city at your own pace.

If you are a great fan of food tours, we invite you to have a look at our other culinary experiences in various parts of Peru. Or maybe you prefer the history part of this tour? In that case, our tour On the trails of Arequipa’s ancient roads might be just for you!

Slide through some images of this trip

Why is this experience Impactful?

Walking on the routes that once were the connection between small and large communities in the southern Peruvian Andes, allows us to appreciate the progress achieved whilst valuing the work of the first muleteers. Nowadays, they are replaced by railroads, paved roads and air transport. Here, we connect to the past to value the present.

This Tasting and Historical Tour is full of local, off-the-beaten-path attractions that you support not just with your payment, but also with showing your appreciation for their efforts of preserving our ancient culture! The culinary tradition of eating at a pincatería is thus kept alive.

Read here how the Sustainability Score was elaborated


Price Includes

  • Public transportation to the Picantería (only)
  • Lunch based on traditional dishesInlcuding a typical picanteria beverage: chicha de güiñapo
  • Official tour guide (English or Spanish)
  • Entrance to La Recoleta Convent

Price Excludes

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Tasting and Historical Tour

I am vegetarian. Can I participate in this tour?

We do offer vegetarian options, such as: Soltero de queso, Tortilla de verdura, Escribano, Choclo con queso, Ají de calabaza, Pastel de papa, Pastel de tallarines, Mote de habas.

These options are all made with potatoes, vegetables, eggs and cheese.

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

Even though Arquipa sits lower than Cusco, you should already prepare for “mountainous” weather. That means: the sun gets very strong and you can burn quickly (make sure to wear a hat and sun cream). But as soon as the sun sets or it gets cloudy, it gets cold because the air itself is quite chilly. Prepare for that by taking a sweater or something similar with you. 

Can we start earlier?

By starting at 11 am you arrive early to the picantería and have the afternoon for the walk, at this time the sun won’t be as aggressive. However, we are flexible and we can adapt the day to your convenience.

Is this a private excursion or will I share the experience with other travelers?

You might share this Tasting and Historical Tour with other travelers. The maximum group size is 10 people.

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Your Travel Designer
Our Arequipa partner Patricia Deza profile picture

Patricia Deza Oviedo

Patricia is passionate about nature, culture and the power of regenerative leadership. She was born in Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a place that strongly influenced her identification with the Andean culture. Like most young women, she started by going to university and pursuing a career in Arequipa where she got to know the world of conservation, which changed her course. That’s how she started traveling around Peru working in ecotourism, tourism and sustainable development.

Today she sees the need to help travelers connect in a different way with their chosen destination and to show the hosts the value of their culture to empower them and strengthen their natural environment. Since 2020 Patricia has been working with Impactful Travel (formerly known as RESPONSible Travel Peru), with which she shares a philosophy of sustainability.