Sharing the Plaza de Armas with the imposing Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, it’s easy to overlook the small Jesuit La Compañía Church, also known as Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus, but doing so would be a mistake. This churrigueresque-style building features an intricately decorated front façade and an equally impressive gold-leafed alter.
The original church was built in 1573 and destroyed in an earthquake a decade later. The structure as it stands today dates back to 1650. The Chapel of San Ignacio, located inside the church just to the left of the altar, is adorned with a collection of exotic murals depicting colorful birds and animals.
The former cloisters of the church, called the Claustros de la Compania, have been converted into an upscale shopping area with a few nice courtyard cafes, alpaca wool stores and an ice cream parlor.
La Compañía Church is free to enter, but you’ll have to pay a small fee to visit the Chapel of San Ignacio within.