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Sabandia Mill: History and How to get there in Arequipa

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Sabandia Mill: History and How to get there in Arequipa

The Sabandía Mill is, as its name already indicates, a mill that is located in the district of Sabandía, in the province and region of Arequipa. El Molino is a 17th-century construction that was forged in ashlar stone and is still in use today. The importance of the mill both for its design, as well as for its antiquity and still functioning, has made it today part of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation, as it is considered a Monument of the mestizo rural architecture of Arequipa.


The Sabandía Mill is located in the middle of the district's countryside. As far as is known, this colonial mill was built by Francisco Flores, a master stonemason. It is known that the mill remained as it was in its origins, for a significant amount of time, however, as a result of inclement weather, it ended up in terrible conditions until it was rescued by a bank, who commissioned its restoration from the architect. Luis Felipe Calle, in such a way that in addition to the colonial structure, it will be adapted to those environments of recreational use, which today we can observe and enjoy.


Architecturally, the Sabandía Mill has a rectangular floor plan, a structure that was inherited from the first construction. The mill walls are characterized by their considerable elevation, as well as their buttresses and vaults. Among the structures, there is also a staircase that presents the building and is made of ashlar, which can be seen in the back of the complex.


Due to the modifications that were made in the building, it has rooms that were planned to be used as restaurants without losing the initial essence of the building. The visits to this mill, not only allow to know the grinding process that was carried out and is carried out in it, and which reaches a production of 800 kilograms of ground grains, for a work of 8 hours a day, but also allow taking advantage of the surroundings of the resource, to perform other outdoor activities, such as hiking, horseback riding and excursions.


In order to get to know the Sabandía Mill, the visitor has to make a trip from the city of Arequipa to the district of Sabandía, the journey can take approximately twenty minutes and must be done in a private vehicle or opt for the taxi service, whose cost it is usually found in 8 soles; Once in the district, you can choose to continue by car to the Mill or enjoy a pleasant walk to the place. To access to know the interiors of the Mill, the traveler must make a payment whose cost is S/5.00 for adults, S/3.00 for schoolchildren and S/2.00 for children. Visits to the Mill are allowed from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. Keep in mind that the resort's tourist infrastructure is made up only of basic services and kiosks, and that if you want to access accommodation and restaurants, you should go to the Sabandía district.


Rural architecture of Arequipa

Its architecture has a unique combination of raised floors that take advantage of the driving force of water and grinding. Being possible thanks to the operation of two water channels that give rise to the movement of two wheels of the mill.


After almost 400 years this mill is still in operation. Muleteers still come to the place with their donkeys loaded with sacks of corn, barley and wheat to turn the grains into flour.


These farmers pay an amount for the use of the mill and the quality they obtain from the grinding of the grains depends on the regulation of the stones. It depends a lot on how they go up or down, which must be cleaned from time to time with a chisel.


Meanwhile, the surrounding valley is a natural wonder. Loaded with willows and molles on the banks of the Sabandía River.



The Sabandía mill is a hacienda with hundreds of years of existence where the presence of a water mill built in 1621 stands out, which remains in a good state of conservation. This old building is made of ashlar, the most representative volcanic stone of the 'White City'.


There, the wheat that supplied the local inhabitants was ground. The mill is located in a country estate with high walls, vaults and green areas near a stream. The site has some structures from the colonial era. There you can also see animals native to Peru such as llamas, alpacas and more. It currently works as a restaurant. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Arequipa.


Where is it?

The Sabandía mill is located in the district of the same name in the Arequipa region, about 10 kilometers by road from the Plaza de Armas.


How to get?

Starting from the Plaza de Armas you can take a taxi that will charge approximately 15 Peruvian soles (5 US dollars). Another option is to take a bus, which for a price of 2 Peruvian soles will leave you near the mill.



The Sabandía mill was built in 1621 by order of Don García de Vargas Machuca to the master architect Francisco Flores. For many centuries, the mill supplied the local people with flour. Much of its architecture is made of the famous ashlar, a volcanic stone with which most of the buildings in the city center were built.


After more than 4 centuries, the mill was abandoned and forgotten. In 1973 the central mortgage bank of Peru took a position on the mill to achieve its restoration. The architect in charge was Luis Felipe Calle who managed to recover this important historical monument of the city. It is currently one of the most famous tourist attractions in the area.


The Sabandía mill

The Sabandía mill takes advantage of the power of a nearby stream whose waters are doubly channeled. This is how the flywheels move and manage to grind corn, wheat, etc. The ashlar stands out with its whiteness on the façade of the mill.


The building is made on a rectangular plan surrounded by high walls and vaults. The countryside stands out for its leafy trees where you can see llamas, alpacas, birds and even a peacock.History and characteristics of the Sabandía Mill


The mill was built in 1621 by the master stonemason Don Francisco Flores. And it was in 1973 that it was rescued from the ruins by the Central Mortgage Bank of Peru, whose restoration was carried out by the architect Luis Felipe Calle.


It was put up for sale, but there was no buyer, so the bank, seeing the effort and dedication that the architect Calle put into it, gave it to him. From that moment he became the new owner until today.


The district of Sabandía, considered the "Spring of Fertile Land" and 30 minutes from the city of Arequipa, has this invaluable infrastructure. The style comes from colonial architecture, which gives a special distinction to the area.


You can appreciate the techniques that were used to process the wheat and it is characterized by its rustic balconies and solid buttresses.


Open to tourism

Today, the three hectares of the Molino de Sabandía have infrastructure for visitors. Its large restaurant, bar, reception rooms and a recreational complex with two swimming pools, whose waters are used from the cold waters of the springs, stand out.


On the other hand, you can take a horseback ride through the countryside. Which has also become a good business, increasing its rent in recent years.


How to get to the Sabandía Mill?

The Sabandía Mill is located almost 10 kilometers south of the city of Arequipa. And on this map of Google Maps, we have traced a route by car, taking as a reference the main square of the city.


Depending on the time of transit, the journey could take approximately 25 to 30 minutes.


How much does the visit cost?

The entrance ticket for adults is 10 Peruvian soles (about 3 American dollars, approximately). Children and older adults pay 5 Peruvian soles for admission (approximately 1.5 US dollars).


Another option to visit the Sabandía mill is to hire a 'City Tour Campiña', which also includes other tourist attractions such as: the Sachaca viewpoint, the Fundador mansion and the Paucarpata platforms. The cost of the service is 50 soles per person (approximately 15 US dollars per person).


What else to see?

The Founder's Mansion

This is a colonial hacienda (built in the 16th century). It consists of enclosures, terraces, chapels, gardens, vaults and more. In 1785 the place was acquired by don Juan Crisóstomo de Goyeneche y Aguerreverre, which was modified until it acquired the form it has today.


The Sachaca viewpoint

This famous viewpoint is located in the district of Sachaca, from which you have an impressive view of the city of Arequipa. It is located 15 minutes from the city center. Admission costs only 1 Peruvian sol. You must walk down several stairs to reach the highest level and be able to observe the beautiful landscapes.


The Paucarpata platforms

This set of platforms of Inca origin is located in the district of Paucarpata, which were used to grow different agricultural products such as corn, quinoa, potatoes and more. The place is 15 minutes from the historic center of the city. From there you have a good view of the Misti volcano.


More information

The Sabandía mill, among the many constructions that it offers to the visitor, includes a staircase made of ashlar located at the back of the mill. Just like this one, many local structures are made with this white volcanic stone.


The Sabandía mill is considered an emblematic monument of the mestizo rural architecture of the city of Arequipa. Currently it is also part of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation.


Visiting hours at the mill are from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. In the district of Sabandía it is also possible to find restaurant and lodging services.



During your visit to the mill do not forget to bring comfortable shoes ideal for walks. Also, do not forget a camera and extra money in case you want to visit the restaurant.


During your visit to the city of Arequipa, in addition to the Sabandía mill, take the opportunity to visit other colonial structures of great importance such as the city's Cathedral, the church of the Compañía de Jesús, the convent of Santa Catalina and more. A good option to visit these places is to purchase a 'City Tour' through a tourist agency.


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