Arequipa, Peru’s second city, has a spectacular situation beneath 19,101-foot Misti, a perfectly symmetrical, seasonally snowcapped volcano. The imposing baroque buildings of its historic center — a UNESCO World Heritage site — were constructed from sillar, a white volcanic stone. The one thing that Arequipa has lacked is a notable hotel. This should be about to change, with the opening this summer of Cirqa, an 11-room hideaway, housed within a former parador, the foundations of which go back to 1540.
The property is the brainchild of Ignacio Masias, whose first hotel venture, Titilaka, on Peru’s Lake Titicaca, has long been a favorite of Hideaway Report members. Cirqa is located close to Arequipa’s main Plaza de Armas and will offer two atmospheric colonial courtyards, a rooftop restaurant with a menu featuring reinterpretations of local specialties and a spa. Its sister property on Lake Titicaca lies 220 miles to the east and is reached by either a spectacular seven-hour drive through the Andes or a 50-minute flight, followed by a one-hour, 45-minute transfer.