Arequipa was founded as a city in 1541 and throughout its history has been the cradle of leading thinkers and politicians. Today, visitors can take in the spectacular Neo-Renaissance Cathedral, the impressive Santa Catalina Convent and colonial mansions and museums, all of which are reason enough to visit Arequipa. The Colca Valley is without a doubt the best-known both in Peru and abroad. Just four hours northeast of the city, Colca boasts some of the most breath-taking landscapes in Peru: superb terracing, snow-capped peaks, dizzying canyons and towns dating back to the sixteenth century. Visitors to the Colca Valley will surely be fascinated by the narrow streets and richly decorated churches. Colca is also a haven for adventure sports fans.