Santa Catalina Monastery, Arequipa

Must see · Specialty Museum · Museum
Santa Catalina Monastery remains one of the most original architectural pieces of the Peruvian viceroyal period. Founded in 1579, it belongs to the Dominica order and currently houses cloistered nuns in a reserved area. Considered a large-scale monument, it has three cloisters, multiple streets and passages, around eighty houses that were occupied by nuns, one main square, and an art gallery that displays a valuable collection of paintings, most of them from the colonial Cusco school of art. Completely built of a white volcanic material called "sillar," it is one of the most important tourist attractions in the city of Arequipa and attracts visitors from all over the world. A visit to Santa Catalina Monastery represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Arequipa holiday maker website to plot your vacation.
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Tours to Santa Catalina Monastery

Santa Catalina Monastery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
7,513 reviews
  • Very nice convent. The courtyards are the highlights with their painted arches. Monks quarters are very spartan as is the kitchen. This tour gives a real feel for how the monks live their simple...  more »
  • Excellent place to learn some history, highly recommender a tour guide since they are many facts you wouldn’t know about. Remember to take your camera and your walking shoes!!  more »
  • Be transported back in time as you freely explore this old monastery! I skipped the tour as I had limited time, but I enjoyed the liberty of walking around the vast property. I spent about an hour...  more »
  • Huge historic place to learn about the life of nuns and novices in Arequipa. It has a lot of years of history. You have to pay to enter but the payment for a guide is optional, I highly recommend taking the guide because she/he can tell you everything about the Monastery, the history is fascinating. The guided tour takes one hour, don't forget to turn off your camera's flash when taking photos, you can damage the paintings.
  • A hidden gem. I highly recommend setting aside half a day to leisurely wander this rather large complex.
  • Extremely nice and interesting place. Well worth a visit if you're in Arequipa. Minus one star because of the private guide who was telling her explanations as if she was reading the news from a teleprompter. Very interesting stories however, but almost no flexibility for adapting to the tourists. Still very recommended.
  • We got the tour and the guide was really great. If we didn't have her we would have just aimlessly walked around. Also the baked cakes from the nuns were amazing!
  • A great historical place right Inn the middle of the city. Helps learn about the 16-19th century lives of nuns & public life. The impact of religion in daily lives has been huge.

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