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Santa Catalina Monastery (Monasterio de Santa Catalina)
Santa Catalina Monastery (Monasterio de Santa Catalina)

Santa Catalina Monastery (Monasterio de Santa Catalina)

Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru

The Basics

Travelers can explore Santa Catalina Monastery independently or as part of a guided tour, which provides an easy way for first-time visitors to orient themselves in the sprawling complex. Walking tours that also cover the entire historic center of Arequipa give visitors access to parts of the Old Town that are unreachable by coach or car, while express sightseeing tours by shared or private vehicle are a popular choice for visitors with limited time in the White City (La Ciudad Blanca).

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Arequipa, Historic and Colonial City and Santa Catalina Monastery
Arequipa, Historic and Colonial City and Santa Catalina Monastery
star-4.5
$59.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Highly Recommended
The guide was excellent, lively, interesting and spoke very good English. The tour was packed with information presented in a clear manner. The guide gave me another English translator for Santa Catalina so I had my own gilded tour for the Monastery. Overall, excellent.
Mary, Feb 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Arequipa

star-5
Wonderful tour!
cjules126, Jul 2018
Arequipa, Historic and Colonial City and Santa Catalina Monastery
The spectacular views of the city of Arequipa and the super interesting visit to the Monastery really made our trip to Arequipa worth the trip!! Our choice of tours was a very good one. The guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and helpful. Enjoyed every minute of it.
star-5
The monastery part of this tour was...
Laurence C, Jul 2018
Arequipa, Historic and Colonial City and Santa Catalina Monastery
The monastery part of this tour was very good and not included in any other tour. Well worth while.
star-5
Enjoyable as we saw many interesting...
Ken D, Sep 2017
Arequipa, Historic and Colonial City and Santa Catalina Monastery
Enjoyable as we saw many interesting sites - If you arrive at the Monastery and don't have time to see it all then ask if you can come back for free - they were very accommodating at the entrance
star-5
The guide was great!! The tour was...
coblast19, May 2015
Arequipa, Historic and Colonial City and Santa Catalina Monastery
The guide was great!! The tour was educational and definitely showed us some of the highlights of the city. We wouldn't have been able to see all of this without the tour.
star-5
Comprehensive city tour of the main...
Bandit, Jun 2014
Arequipa, Historic and Colonial City and Santa Catalina Monastery
Comprehensive city tour of the main attractions of Arequipa. Knowledgeable and charismatic guide which made all the difference. Highly recommend booking this!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Santa Catalina Monastery is mostly open-air, so be sure to wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water.

  • The cloister is still inhabited by nuns, so be mindful of noise and dress appropriately during your time at the monastery.

  • You can hire a personal guide at the entrance of the monastery for a small fee.

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How to Get There

Located on a street of the same name, Santa Catalina Monastery is a 5- to 10-minute walk from Plaza de Armas and easily recognizable due to its burnt-orange walls made from sillar, a white volcanic rock that dominates the architecture of Arequipa.

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When to Get There

The monastery is open daily from around 9am to 5pm, with last entry one hour before closing time. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when the convent remains open until 7:30pm, nuns takes visitors on a tour of the cloisters by candlelight, just as they would have done hundreds of years ago.

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The Highlights of Santa Catalina Monastery

If you’re exploring Santa Catalina Monastery alone and want to avoid getting lost in the labyrinthine cloisters, aim to focus on the three main cloisters. Inhale the fragrant scent of the Orange Cloister, named for the orange trees that represent eternal life; imagine taking a 4-year vow of silence in the novice cloister; and peek into the Profundis Room, where portraits of deceased nuns line the walls.

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