Winning In Arequipa

After being rejected at the border trying to get into Chile (remember here), we decided to head up to Arequipa to regroup.

Arequipa is in far southern Peru and is the second largest city. We fell in love with it immediately. It’s a beautiful place.

Upon arriving we spent the day walking around enjoying the sunshine and the Spanish colonial architecture. Below, photos of the Plaza De Armas…

I love this photo of the old man sitting in the Plaza just typing away on his 1950s typewriter. I’d like to think that he was writing his memoirs, but more likely is that he was typing up people’s letters for a couple of soles a pop.

The restaurants in Arequipa are great. They have their own cuisine down here, and we want to try it all. Below I enjoy an Alpaca burger. We far prefer Los Lenos pizzeria and Gopal vegetarian restaurant, but I had to try it once.

After discovering that we really like Arequipa, we decided to stay for 3 weeks. We set out to find a good place to hostel.

We sometimes get jealous of other overlanders and how easy it is for them to find lodging. Our requisites are long, and it’s never easy to find what we need in one place.

In a nut shell, we need a place that has BOMBER internet so I can work (I do have a full time job), a place that accepts dogs (not easy),  has a parking lot nearby that the van will actually fit in, has a kitchen so we can cook, has a room with a private bathroom (that’s available), and is cheap. Those are the bare minimum requirements. On the side we like to be close to the central plaza where it tends to be safer, and walking distance to a grocery store. That’s about it.

Finding the dream location can take anywhere from one hour to one full day. We usually check in to a temporary place for the first night, and then the next day we go on the hunt.

This time we got really lucky. I put out some feelers to the kayaking community and we hooked up with our new friend Gustavo. He owns Expediciones Aventuras, one of the top rafting companies in Peru. He’s like 9 generations Arequipa and his family owns property everywhere, including a Hostel right near the Plaza that had everything we could possibly want. In exchange for doing some safety kayaking on his river trips, he hooked us up with a really cheap deal, in his best suite! Cha Ching.

Below, cranking away on Outdoorplay. Living on the road does not mean laxing around all day. I still put in 8-10 hours a day on my business back in the states. It’s what keeps us on the road.

Gustavo’s hostel is actually an old family home converted (or compound might be a better word), and is absolutely beautiful! We were very lucky to hook up here.

We even found a secure parking lot 3 blocks away that the van barely fit in. That’s about as much as we could ask for.

Although the hostel is pretty empty right now (it’s off season for tourists), there are a few travelers coming through, including this French family of father and daughters. We love the French. They travel so well. They inspire us.

Below, Soleil hanging out with the French daughter, Jade, on the right, and Gustavo’s daughter, Valeria, on the left. At one point in time my wife was holding down 3 conversations in the kitchen. One in french with the family. One in spanish with a German guy. And one in english with me. There is hope for my daughter, thanks to her Mama.

So, we’re set up in a great location. I’ve got access to go kayaking with Gustavo any time I want. And everyone loves Arequipa. So it should be a good three weeks!



Below, I’m regretting doing all that climbing grip training with Sol over the last 4 months. Her new favorite thing to do is grab Daddy’s hair and pull!





  1. Soleil looks like a Peruana Buddha Baby sitting on that couch.

  2. Best baby photo yet – with the little hat…. Beautiful composition under the two pictures, and the wacky vase thing on the left. She looks so tiny. And it’s hard to pinpoint the time period. Might be 1950s. Might be yesterday. Coulda been last century.

    I think, when I grow up… I’d like to be as hip and international as Soleil is at 4 months…

    xo Jan

  3. Thanks for sharing…lovely journal, pictures.

  4. Anais Joyeux says:

    je vien de les voir… elle son super merci … j’espere que sa se passe bien pour vous a arequipa… bisouss

  5. Lynn Hamann says:

    Super nice pic…rock on you two plus one!

  6. Had my first fender bender in downtown Arequipa. Ah, fond memories.

  7. Can you imagine: one day Soleil will look back on these photos and say “man, you guys were crazy!!!” lol

    • Jenica, I hope she looks back and knows no other life to compare it to. If she grows up thinking our life is normal, I’ll consider it a win. -TREE

  8. Great Aunt Debby and Great Uncle Barry says:

    I love the photo of Sol and Gustavo’s daughter. Looks very vintage and their eye just twinkle.

  9. Ben Casados says:

    Arequips is a great city and as you have discovered great food. You lucky guys!


  10. Wow, Sol is getting so big! Tree, I’m sorry you are finally experiencing what the gals have always known…. little, spitty hands clenched in your hair. 🙂

    Love you guys!

  11. Ñica. . . . says:

    R u in like the Disney castle?

  12. Great to see you guys enjoying it all. Have fun in Arequipa! 4 months already!?

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