"Friendly AQP" Arequipa hostel
Peru Travel

Arequipa Hostel Experience

Peruvian Independence Day, Moquegua

I know if you’re on this page, you probably want to read about my Arequipa hostel experience. But, before I get to that, I just wanted to share a couple photos from celebrating Peruvian Independence Day in Moquegua.

I was fortunate enough to be in town for the Peruvian Independence Day celebration (veintiocho or July 28th). We all bought ribbon pins with the pattern of the Peruvian flag on them to wear.
My roommate, Rachel, and me after we actually put on makeup for once in preparation for the big party.
The best of friends at the veintiocho celebration!

We ate, we drank, and we partied. It was a phenomenal day!

Staying in an Arequipa Hostel

I headed back to Arequipa a couple days after this.  I stayed in a hostel the night before my flight because I had to be at the airport between 5 and 5:30AM and did not want to take the 4 hour bus up that late at night/early in the morning.  The hostel I stayed at was called Friendly AQP and was less than a 10 minute walk from the main Plaza.

"Friendly AQP" Arequipa hostel
View from my room on the second floor to the downstairs area
"Friendly AQP" Arequipa hostel
Outside dining/social area

Everyone was super nice and there were English speaking staff.  It was fairly loud at night, though I assume this is probably the case with most hostels.  I sprung for a private room (there were also dorm style rooms), because I knew I had to be up early and would be traveling for pretty much two days, so I wanted to be sure I would get some decent sleep.  I believe it cost 55 soles for the private, or about 17 USD.  The dorm rooms were significantly cheaper.

"Friendly AQP" Arequipa hostel
Lockers for those in dorm-style rooms
"Friendly AQP" Arequipa hostel
These showers did actually have hot water as advertised.
"Friendly AQP" Arequipa hostel
My private room. I did not have my own bathroom, I had to use the shared bathroom.
I had asked the staff to call me a cab at 4:30AM to go the the airport, but they did not. And when I went to check out, there was absolutely no one at the front desk. I waited until 4:40AM, and then decided I had to leave, so I gathered up all my luggage (suitcase, duffel bag, purse, backpack) and headed out into the dark to find a cab. This was really scary, just because, being a woman, I really hate being vulnerable in the dark in any city.
And here comes the worst part of the experience...

I tried to hail two cabs, both empty, but got passed up. I finally got the third cab I hailed to finally pick me up.

On our way to the airport, a man ran into the street and tried to stop our car (and we almost hit him in the process). He was yelling at us, but I didn’t really understand about what until I looked where he was pointing. I saw two big guys kicking another guy who was curled in a fetal position on the ground. I mean, they were really kicking him hard. My cab driver yelled at me to lock my doors, and I instinctively dropped down below window level, so I couldn’t be seen. My cab driver just gunned it to the airport.

I felt really, really sick about this. I wish we could’ve helped. I wish that the cab driver had called the police or that I knew what number to call to reach the police (and that I knew enough Spanish to explain what was happening). I know that this violence doesn’t just happen in Peru, it happens everywhere. But this was the first time I had seen it up close, and in real life. And I guess it really just hit me that people are capable of things like this. So, please, just be safe and take care of yourselves, especially when you are in a country you know very little about.

Until next time. -B.H.
Old Bisbee, Arizona
From my most recent adventure – Old Bisbee, Arizona
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