Arequipa does sunsets better. We aren’t sure why - maybe it’s the backdrop of the beautiful mountains or the gorgeous white buildings that get set alight in a blaze of orange as the sun gets low in the sky. Either way, it’s one of our favourite places to watch the sunset and you have several great places to choose from.


Whether you want to sit back and enjoy the sunset with a beer or find a secluded spot outside of the city, you have several locations to choose from in Arequipa.


It seemed to us that you could find a fantastic view from almost any rooftop in the city. Our hotel terrace was one, watching the volcanoes in the distance while enjoying breakfast and coffee.


If you want to enjoy a beer after a long day of activities, then here are favourite rooftop bar picks:

1. Waya Lookout Bar

Found on the west side of the square, Waya Lookout Bar is on top of the buildings rather than contained by a balcony, giving you the freedom to wander around and take pictures.


From here you will get a fantastic view of the square and church.  You can walk all along the left side of the buildings to get a great shot of Misti Volcano in between the two church spires.


The bar has a small collection of bean bags and chairs facing onto the square, so make sure you get there a little earlier to grab a seat. You won’t have the best view of where the sunsets as it’s behind you, but it will light up Misti in the distance along with the front of the church for a spectacular sight.

2. Restaurant On The Top

This restaurant and bar is on the opposite side of the square to Waya, on the right-hand corner if you are facing the church from Plaza de Armas.


It’s main selling point is being the highest in the square. From the rooftop, you will still get great views of the plaza and Misti towering over the city, along with a much better view of the sun setting.


However, this place is well known and more popular compared to Waya, so there will be more competition for getting a good seat. They serve great pizzas so if you’re planning on eating, try to arrive at around 5PM, have some food and enjoy the evening.

For more great restaurants in Arequipa, check out our post here:



3. Katari Hotel

The third and final option on the square. The Katari Hotel,  directly facing the church, may be the best option as the rooftop has panoramic views of the city.


We aren’t sure whether you can access the terrace if you aren’t staying there though, so you have two options: stay here as it’s a pretty decent hotel, or pop your head in and ask. If not, then Waya is a good fallback.


4. Puku Puku

More of a cafeteria that serves artisan beers alongside coffees. They have a small rooftop terrace with bean bags and chairs.


Not the best view as there are a few buildings in the way but still better than nothing.

5. Sunset Rooftop Bar

The aptly named Sunset Rooftop Bar has a medium-sized rooftop patio with a couple of swing chairs for couples to enjoy the sunset together, and a collection of regular seats and tables to.


The fairy lights trailed through the pagodas overhead, along with great cocktails and a mix of English and Latin tunes, makes for a relaxed vibe.


They also run Pisco Sour making workshops if your interested in learning how to make Peru’s famous cocktail.


Feel like skipping the beer to get an unbridled view of Misti? If you prefer to get away from the city and remove the buildings impeding the epic views, then you have a couple of options:

1. Yanahuara Lookout

The Yannahuara Lookout is in San Lazaro, the old neighbourhood of Arequipa, found on the west side of the city across the river.


The area itself is a beautiful a labyrinth of narrow streets and white colonial-era buildings perfect for wandering. It’s much more laid back compared to Plaza de Armas and has some excellent picanterias to eat at if you’re looking try some traditional Peruvian food.


The lookout is a small square surrounded by white pillar arches. Walking through the arches, you will find a set of steps that drop down to a plaza below.


As it’s set higher up from downtown, you have an unobstructed view of the mountains and Misti in the distance. You can sit here on the steps and watch Misti highlighted in the beautiful incandescent glow of the sunset. 


Check out our three planned itineraries to see how visiting Yanahuara fits in with all the other amazing things to do in Arequipa.

2. Carmen Alto Viewpoint

The Carmen Alto viewpoint is a little bit further from the San Lazaro district – around a 45-minute walk outside of the town.


You are well and truly outside of the city at this point and will only have countryside and small villages inside the valley between you and Misti.


The viewpoint requires a fee to enter and closes at 5PM, so it isn’t the best  ‘sunset spot’, but you can get just as good views from the area without having to go in. Maybe leave this one for the day trip (like we did) and then make your way back to San Lazaro and Yanahuara for the evening.

How long are you staying in Arequipa for? If you haven’t planned your visit to the popular Colca Canyon yet then check out the five ways you can plan a trip, or if you want to trek then use our guide to help you decide whether you want to do a guided trek or go solo.


Where’s your next stop in Peru? If your heading north then check out our Lima guide or you could stop off at the desert oasis of Huacachina or Parcas National Reserve. 


Or if you are working your way round in the classic Peru loop, then why not stop off at Lake Titicaca to break up the journey before Cusco?

For more on backpacking in Peru and South America, check out our itineraries and travel routes: