Cajamarca

Known for colonial and baroque architecture

Cajamarca is a city in the north-west of Peru, located in the mountains at an altitude of 2700 meters above sea level, 795 km north of Lima and 220 km southeast of Chiclayo. The population is 161,215 people (2007). The city of Cajamarca was founded more than 2000 years ago and is known today primarily because it was in this city that the Inca Empire ended its era - "Battle of Cajamarca", as a result of which the last Inca ruler Atahualpa was first captured by the Spaniards, and a little later executed. In the vicinity of the city, there is the operating gold mine called Yanacocha, the largest in Peru and the second largest in the world. For tourists, Cajamarca is interesting because of its colonial architecture and historical monuments, among which the most important place is occupied by the "The Ransom room" (the place where the Spaniards kept the last Inca ruler before his execution) and beautiful old churches. An equally important local attraction is the Baños del Inca - thermal hot springs, formerly used by the Incas. Also, Cajamarca is known as the "capital of the Peruvian carnival". Cajamarca Carnival is celebrated annually in February-March and lasts about a month, but the most vivid and important are read 8 days from this period. This grandiose event is accompanied by festive costumed processions, whose participants in costumes and masks sing traditional guitars under guitars.

A typical Cajamarca travel guide includes the Ransom room. It is the he only Inca building, preserved in Cajamarca, and also one of the most famous landmarks of the city. It is a typical Inca structure, built of volcanic stone, with slightly inclined walls. Length - 6,7 m, width - 5,17 m, height - 2,45 m. It is believed that this room was filled with gold for the ransom of the last ruler of the Inca Empire - Atahualpa, captured by the Spaniards and subsequently killed by them.Another great place is Baños del Inca (Baños del Inca) or Bani Inkov - hot springs, located 5 kilometers east of Cajamarca in the same city of Baños del Inca. Bathhouses have a rich history, it is believed that the last ruler of the Inca Empire was very fond of these baths and daily performed ablutions here. Open from 6 am to 6 pm. They will surely help you relax after the long day of exploring the city.

Cumbemayo tours Cajamarca are very popular too. Cumbemayo is an archaeological site with caves, volcanic stones and the ruins of an ancient 8-kilometer aqueduct, located at an altitude of 3,300 meters above sea level, 16 km south-west of Cajamarca. It is believed that the name of Cumbemayo originated from an expression in the Quechua language kumpi mayu, which translates as "a well-made water channel", or from the expression humpi mayo - "a thin river". Archaeologists assume that the aqueduct was built around 1500 BC and was created, most likely, with ceremonial purposes (it is believed that the peoples who lived in these places in those days worshiped the water). Here there is another no less interesting sight - "stone forest" from natural volcanic stones, deformed by erosion. Actually when you approach the Cumbemayo, the first thing that catches your eye is the huge stones, some of which exceed the height of 25 meters. And on the aqueduct and the surrounding caves there are numerous petroglyphs - carved images on a stone base.

Ventanillas de Otuzco (Ventanillas de Otuzco) or Otusco Windows is an archaeological site located 8 km northeast of Cajamarca. It is an ancient necropolis, with simple and complex niches carved into rocks. To determine the cultural affiliation of Ventanias de Otusco is not easy, as it was plundered a few hundred years ago. Usually historians and archaeologists refer this monument to the local pre-Inca culture of Cajamarca. If you have some time on your hands in Cajamarca city, do not forget about the Porcon Farm (Granja Porcon). It is a major center of agro-and eco-tourism, located on a vast territory of 44 km², 27 km north-west of Cajamarca. Here you can get acquainted with the traditional agriculture of the region (including plant growing, cattle breeding and fishing), visit the zoo or simply enjoy hiking through the woods and picturesque countryside.


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