Basilica Cathedral Metropolitana of Arequipa

Photo: Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa Is Nicely Illuminated at Night

Basílica Catedral Metropolitana de Arequipa is located in the Plaza de Armas – the main square of the city. Its majestic presence makes it one of the most important architectural symbols of Arequipa.

The construction on the cathedral began in the year 1615, but due to numerous natural disasters, it wasn’t completed until 1656. Since then, the cathedral was damaged by several earthquakes and was completely destroyed by fire in 1844, so a new neoclassical court was built and it is the one that, with some modifications, is maintained at present.

Photo: Wide Angle Shot of Plaza de Armas Fountain with Arequipa Cathedral in Background
Photo: Wide Angle Shot of Plaza de Armas Fountain with Arequipa Cathedral in Background

As the majority of historical buildings in Arequipa, the cathedral is also constructed of sillar – the volcanic rock. The building, as well as the fountain in the center of Plaza de Armas are nicely illuminated at night for attractive nighttime photos.

Photo: My Cell Phone Camera Lens Had Smudges On It, Creating This Smeared Light Effect
Photo: My Cell Phone Camera Lens Had Smudges On It, Creating This Smeared Light Effect

During the day, outside of a few hours in the late afternoon when the sun rays hit the front of the cathedral from the side, the sun remains behind it, offering few opportunities for a decent photo unspoiled with strong backlight.

Photo: Only in Late Afternoon Can You Score a Daytime Photo of Arequipa Cathedral with Natural Sun Ray Illumination on Front
Photo: Only in Late Afternoon Can You Score a Daytime Photo of Arequipa Cathedral with Natural Sun Ray Illumination on Front

I don’t know when exactly the cathedral is open, but during a week of staying in Arequipa, I only caught it open once. I’d think your best chance to see it from the inside would be on Sunday morning, when it’s open for a mass.

Photo: Inside Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa
Photo: Inside Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa

As a gringo, your best options for street pickups in Arequipa are right at Plaza de Armas, or on the adjacent pedestrian zones of Mercaderes (where the McDonald’s is) and San Francisco (also home to multiple night clubs offering decent pickup opportunities).

Photo: Areas Around Arequipa Cathedral and Plaza de Armas Provide Great Opportunities for Gringos to Pick Up Girls
Photo: Areas Around Arequipa Cathedral and Plaza de Armas Provide Great Opportunities for Gringos to Pick Up Girls

The busiest I’ve seen Plaza de Armas be was on Sunday when the entire area was flooded with people, and there was some dance group was performing on the street:

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