While perhaps not a mansion by today’s standards the property was once home to Arequipa’s founder, Garci Manuel de Carbajal. It is located approximately 9km from the city centre and has been restored with original furnishings and paintings. The mansion is set in immaculate grounds and even features its own chapel. This building is a perfect example of the widespread use of sillar, the white volcanic ash which was used to build many of the stately homes in the area. This white stone ultimately gave rise to Arequipa being known as the white city.
If you are fascinated by the sillar which is at the foundation of many of the local buildings, then it is worth visiting the quarry, located a short distance outside of the city centre. Here you can begin to understand the grand scale of the quarry operation and even see some of the workers cutting the stone blocks.
Sabandia Mill, built in the late 1700s out of sillar in the Sabandia district, was Arequipa’s first stone mill. It provides an interesting view into the past where you can still see the stone grinding wheel techniques for wheat processing. Now also a popular picnic spot, it features hiking trails, horseback riding, a petting zoo with pristine views of El Misti in the distance.
For wonderful views over Arequipa, the mirador is a lovely spot to relax in. Perfect for panoramic shots and a popular spot for the tourist buses, it is still worth making your way to the top if you have the time. With a café at the top, you can enjoy a cold drink overlooking the nearby Misti and Chachani volcanoes before making your way down the natural scenic spot.