Contemporary Design, Historic Setting, Cool and Romantic Vibes

CIRQA, Calle Sucre, Arequipa, Peru

+511 700 5151

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At a Glance

Located in the heart of historic Arequipa, this newly built property offers a relaxing and inviting design-driven escape from the city, set inside a centuries-old church.

Indagare Loves

  • The all-inclusive concept that lends to a friendly, dinner-party atmosphere with tea time and cocktail hour
  • Its central location, in walking distance to Arequipa’s best shops and restaurants
  • The ultra-modern design juxtaposed with historic architectural elements; the property occupies a church dating to the 1540s


Opened in 2019 in the colonial city of Arequipa, CIRQA can be considered the uber-cool younger sister property to Titilaka. CIRQA, part of the Relais & Chateaux collection, serves as a nice entry point to Peru, especially for those acclimating to higher altitudes (Arequipa sits at 7,600 feet elevation) or traveling onward to Lake Titicaca (six hours away by car) or Colca Canyon (under four hours).

The design-forward hotel occupies the beautifully restored San Agustín Church, which dates to the 16th century, and features traditional white lava stone walls (the origins for Arequipa's nickname: "The White City"). Public spaces have warm, inviting vibes, with firepits and alpaca hides—perfect for cozying up in during tea time or cocktail hour. CIRQA's 11 rooms exhibit this same warmth, through soft lighting and masculine colors. Bathrooms here are a distinguishing feature from other hotels in Peru: creatively placed as standalone structures within the room, they look as though they could be lifted out of the space, and tubs can be found in the room itself. This placement contributes to the contemporary feel, but might be a turn-off for some. Some rooms have wall-to-wall windows, while in others, thanks to the church's original construction, natural light comes from smaller windows above eye-level.

Arequipa as a whole has become increasingly recognized for its gastronomy, and CIRQA's restaurant does not disappoint. The intimate dining room—comprising two long communal tables—is the ideal setting to enjoy carefully crafted traditional Peruvian dishes, updated with contemporary twists. Service is highly personal: meals can be tailored to the diners' preferences, and don't be surprised if waiters address you by name. While the main restaurant is only available to guests and outside visitors with reservations, the cozy rooftop bar, El Techo de CIRQA, is open to all - giving travelers a chance to mingle with locals as they enjoy sundowners and surrounding views of the city. Hotel guests can opt for fully all-inclusive or half-board plans, the latter of which includes breakfast, along with either lunch or dinner (plus afternoon tea). The all-inclusive covers all meals and tea time, and adds in afternoon cocktails as well airport transfers and VIP airport lounge access. One note for hopeful spa-goers: there is a small and rather sterile massage room on property. And while technically there is a plunge pool for guests wanting to take a dip, this feels more decorative than practical.

Who Should Stay

Couples looking for a quiet and intimate property, set in the heart of the historic city. While one connecting room option is available, families with children may be happier at a larger property with more amenities for young children.

Written by Charlotte Clayson

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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