22. November 2019
Located in the historic centre of Arequipa, Perú Cirqa shares an age-old bond with the San Agustin Church
Like the Church’s traditional parador, where monks would receive travellers with one-of-a-kind service and hearty cuisine, Cirqa was fervently inspired by the unbounded hospitality and ecclesiastical history that still define Arequipa to its core.
Honouring this original concept, it is a place of both rest and fine cuisine. In the parador, travellers can embark on a myriad of excursions or choose to sample homegrown dishes in the several eating areas. The parador offers eleven exquisite rooms, centred around two outdoor patios, revealing a blend of Arequipenean authenticity with a contemporary, robust style, thus giving way to an intriguing reinterpretation of history.
As Arequipenean tradition dictates, good food is fundamental. On the one hand, our Salón serves exclusively to overnight guests and a few outside guests with prior reservation. On the other hand, our rooftop eatery will be open to the public.
Designed by the same creative team behind Titilaka, Hotel B and Atemporal, Cirqa is an expansion of the renowned Titilaka Lodge with the same level of services and facilities. With astonishing views overlooking the cathedral and snow-capped volcano Misti, Cirqa is the ideal gateway to acclimatise to the altitude before continuing on to the higher destinations. Check in at Cirqa, check out at Titilaka and combine two spectacular Peruvian destinations.
When investigating the history of the property, many different dates emerged. In 1540, the year in which Arequipa was built, the land was divided between its founders and the Spanish nobility of the time. The land on which Cirqa now sits was granted to Alonso De Luque, a renowned scribe. He later bequeathed it to the Augustinian Order requesting to build a church with cloisters, patios, orchards and gardens as well as a sepulchre for him and his wife under the future altar of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino.
Unfortunately, after the Church was erected, construction work never stopped. Successive earthquakes continuously tore down parts of the edifice thus triggering several simultaneous reconstruction processes and complicating the determination of precise dates and definitive styles.
After Peru’s independence, Spanish assets were nationalized and the property was given to the Treasury so the division of land took place once again. The property was passed down from family to family, but the curse of earthquakes stood strong. In 1883, yet another one left the Church in ruins, causing the board of Almudena to auction off the entire lot. At the end of the 20th century, the property was ultimately divided into three parts after inheritance, two of which now correspond to Cirqa.
Today, Cirqa is recognized for the emblematic estate it once was. The appreciation for its centuries- long history combined with current contemporary nuances make for a small private hotel applauded for its astounding architectural interior, partly made of volcanic sillar rock, and personalized high- quality service.
As Peru’s second largest city, Arequipa is located at an altitude of 2335 m (7661 ft) and safely surrounded by three snow-capped volcanoes. At the heart of Peru’s southern circuit, this colonial gem is home to beautiful architecture and a wonderful year-round climate. At 1014 km (630 miles) from Lima and 293 km (182 miles) away from Titilaka, Arequipa is the perfect starting point to explore the southern circuit of Peru.
Besides its unlimited gastronomic heritage, Arequipa’s cobblestone streets, grand cathedrals and colourful monasteries make for a perfectly picturesque destination fit for travellers of all ages. Cirqa is located only one block away from the city’s main square. The striking historic complex formed part of the San Agustin church and lies within walking distance of many of Arequipa’s architectural jewels.
Images: Courtesy of Andean Experience