Peter Wik

Peter Wik has been traveling the world since childhood. He has visited over 60 countries and some of them up to a hundred times. Peter is the owner of Relasian Travel & Event based in Stockholm, Sweden but constantly on the road. Peter is a foodie and loves to try new food around the world. Here he shares his favorite gems from places high and low around the world to make you go local yet being global. Peter lives in Stockholm and Paris.

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Santa Catalina Convent in Arequipa, Peru

The Santa Catalina Convent was founded in 1579 only 40 years after the arrival of the Spaniards and the establishment of the city of Arequipa.  Arequipa today is Peru's second largest city.
Here at the convent the rich families let their 2nd girl of the family join the cloister at the age of 12 years. After 1 to 4 years as a novice they became nuns. Here they had a chance to learn to read and write and the life could have been better then to be married at that time. At it's hight there was over 200 nuns and 200 servants living here. They all lived in private houses or apartments along one of the 6 streets named after cities in Andalucia of Spain. There are 3 cloister gardens or squares in the convent, communal areas that are now art galleries of art from the School of Cuzco.
There are 22 nuns living in a special part of the convent that has been open to the public since 1970.
The entrance fee is 35 soles for adults but it is well worth a visit. For 5 soles per person you can get a private guide to show you around and that is the best way to see the convent and to know what you see.
Santa Catalina 301, Arequipa, Peru
(just a few blocks from the main square)