|View from the deck at Casa Andina in Arequipa, Peru|
The city of Arequipa, in southern Peru, is the historic center of the Highlands Region, and it provides a banquet of cultural sites and natural beauty. Its Inca legacy is overshadowed by remnants of the Spanish colonial period such as the renovated house that has become the foundation for Casa Andina. This Spanish mansion, named a National Historic Monument, has been expanded into a luxury hotel in the heart of town. It’s as much museum as hotel in this traditionally elegant city.
|Exterior of Casa Andina retains the Spanish architecture.|
After a restoration project that rescued the mansion from a century of neglect, the hotel opened in 2008 with five large suites containing original two-foot thick stone walls. One window in our suite opened to small private courtyard that was planted with tall, slender cacti. A pull string on another window allowed us to bring in light and air as needed. Luxury touches included an alpaca blanket, 10-light chandelier, and flat-screen television. High vaulted ceilings, original frescoes, and an original herringbone walkway of rocks embedded in stone maintain the colonial character.
|Interior courtyard of Casa Andina has comfortable areas for socializing.|
A modern two-story section with 36 additional rooms overlooks an open air sitting area made comfortable with cushioned wicker sofas and chairs. From the deck at Casa Andina, you’ll have great views of the volcano Misti and other volcanoes that surround the city.
|One courtyard of the Santa Catalina Convent|
|Peruvian cuisine is attracting international attention these days.|
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier