The Fertile Colonial Land
It is one of
the most significant districts in the history of Peru. Its pre-Incan
origin goes back in time to when it was the center of the Caxamarca
culture, which obtained its maximum development between 500 and 1000
of these territories to the Tahauntinsuyo Empire was carried out
during the Inca Pachacutec rule until 1465 to become an administrative,
military and religious center of singular importance. During this
time temples and palaces were constructed in which ruins remain,
principally the so-called Rescue Chamber. Cajamarca was the
favorite resting place of the Inca because of its privileged
climate and hot springs, on the 16th of November, 1532 it became
the scene for one of the most transcendental episodes of American
its privileged climate and hot springs was the favorite place for Incas
to rest, on the 16th of November in 1532 it was converted in a scene
of one of the most transcendental episodes in American
On that date
the conquistador Francisco Pizarro arrived to the plaza de armas, at
that time it was triangular. He waited for Atahualpa, the last
Incan emperor that
was resting in the sulfur hot springs. The next day Atahualpa
entered the plaza in the middle of a multitude with his aids
in a splendorous display. The priest Vicente Valverde received him
and showed him a bible. The chronicle narrates, that Atahualpa
threw the sacred book onto the ground because of the problem that he
didn't understand the language than by lacking faith. The Spanish
soldiers whom until then were hidden in areas surrounding the plaza,
burst into the plaza on horses and carrying firearms, caused the
army to flee terrified.
judged as a heretic and condemned to hanging, although it is sad to
say that it was exchanged for execution by slow strangulation.
Atahualpa took into account the egotism of the Spaniards and offered
Pizarro to buy his freedom with gold, filling the chamber in where he
was imprisoned and two adjoining rooms with silver. Atahualpa
paid his ransom, but he was still executed. These facts
triggered the end of Tahuantinsuyo empire, and marks the beginning
of a new stage in history: the Conquest.
Located on the
skirts on the Santa Apolonia hills, the city of Cajamarca today
reflects in its exquisite colonial architecture of Spanish cultural
influence together with an enormous geographical richness. Its key territory
in the northern Andean zone of Peru located at average of 2.750
meters above sea level, with a dry climate and a temperature that
varies between 24 and 5 degrees Celsius according to the time of the
a checkerboard outline, we found half-completed religious type
constructions in it from the XVII century and the start of the
XVIII century. The Cathedral was constructed in the XVII century and
shows an abstentious facade of volcanic stone. It has five bells in
its unfinished towers, founded in the beginning of the XVIII century,
in the ships you can admire the images of the Virgin del Carmen,
Señor de la Buena Muerte, Santa Rosa de Lima and San Martin de Porres.
Cajamarca is a
geographical district that is very divers and offers interesting
options for the tourist. Its cultivating camps produce potatoes,
wheat, cassava, and coffee. The coffee of Jaen is well known through
out the world. In Namora you can se an important piscicultural
station that produces young fish like trout and mackerel.
Livestock raising has an ultimate importance.
At the present
time the district counts with more than 600 thousand heads of
cattle. In addition it produces natural barley and grass. It
is also the first producer of amylaceous maize in the country.
According to the encyclopedia - Todo el Peru, Jaen has intensified
its nacademia nut cultivation to produce oil without cholesterol.
They raise goat and ovine cattle in significant amounts. There
is also a cattle ranch for fighting bulls that enjoy fame in
this zone displays an atypical national record: it produces three
million guinea pigs from the 70 million produced in all of the
country. The guinea pig has 21% protein and almost zero percent cholesterol.
Its meat is offered in the majority of restaurants and taverns in
the narrow streets of the city it is possible to see
characteristics of folklore manifestations related to religious
celebration and patron festivals, in which show dance and dances
like the cashua, the savage Indians or white dance, las pallas, la
pachilla, the dance of the feathered or imperials and the dance of
You can also
find small stores that sell artisan crafts in wool, leather, wood,
pita hemp, clay, stone, where popular creativity of Cajamarcan
art is demonstrated with utilitarian and decorative products that
transmit the cultural identity. You can acquire prices from 3 to 50
plates are: piquant guinea pig with potato, chicharrón con
mote (crackling pieces of sun burnt or burnt pork with stewed
corn maize), humitas (sweet tamale or corn cake), chupe verde and cecinas shilpidas.
key places for tourist
Among the most
important attractions are the Santa Apolonia Hill: that counts with
a viewpoint and impacting archaeological findings; the Forest Park
of Aylambo; Los Frailones stone forest, that is located in Cumbemayo;
and also the famous thermal waters with the Incan hot springs and
Yumagual hot springs; the hunting boundary of Huacraruco; the
settlers of Pariamarca and Llacanora, and the Tres Molinos
archaeological ruins that are worth getting to know are: Cumbemayo
with its aqueducts, petroglyphs, and sanctuaries of pre-Incan epoch;
the Ventanillas of Otuzco and Cumbemayo an impressive pre-Incan
burial ground that maintains a perfect state.
Also there is Layzon,
a pre-Incan sanitary and the rescue quarter of the Atahualpa Inca.
It is also possible to visit monuments that pertained to the king's
deputy like the ex hospital for men and women, today it is the
National Cultural Institute. The church, Santa Catalina catacomb,
nowadays it is the cathedral and chapel or shrine.
In San Pablo,
another province in the district is Kuntur Wasi ceremonial
center pertinent to Horizonte Temprano; Montealegre, tombs of Cajamarca III -
IV period; and the Ventanillas de Tumbadén (pre-Incan burial
grounds). In Celendín: Sorochuco (stone forest); in Oxamarca (chulpas
corresponding to the pre-Incan epoch) and Chocta (pre-Incan
In the San
Andres district you will find the Cutervo National Park; the San Andres
caves, inhabited by a colony of guacharos (birds on the verge of
extinction); the Llapa towers; in Sócota (chulpas or
pre-Incan tombs) and the stone forest of Pilco Hill.
You must have
in mind that when you visit this city, there are two options that
are qualified as "places that can not be lost" by the
agencies that promote them: the golden Cajamarca where you will find
the second most important gold mine in the continent: Yanacocha. In
this mine its operations stared in July of 1993 and is located 40
kilometers north of the city. It gold production reached 550
thousand ounces in 1996. The final product of this mine denominates
bars of gild: mineral composed of 60% gold, 30% silver and 10 % is
option that is more well known than the other and is equally attractive
in the Cajamarca verde where Cutervo is, the oldest
national park in Peru. With a surface of 2.500 hectares in the
Tarros Cordillera, in the eastern zone of the district. It
provides shelter for hundreds of species of flora and fauna.
The most well known is the guacharo a bird that nests in caves and
caverns in Cutervo and was discovered by Alexander
von Humboldt in 1799.
queen of the Sierra
its attractiveness is not only given by the quantity of historic
ruins it has, but also because this district is situated in the
North Andean zone of Peru and while journeying through the northern
Andes which is thinner and lower than the rest of the country where
in this zone a variety of climates occur: temperate in the mountain
top and the mountainside and warm in the lower slopes and the bottom
of the valley. It limits in the north are with Ecuador, the
south with La Libertad, the east with the Amazonas and the west with
Piura and Lambayeque. Its capital has the same name of the district.
It is located to the right margin of the Mashcon river, at 2750
meters in altitude.
gorges, fertile and deep valleys mixed with extensive high Andean
plains, large navigable lakes and more than 12 thousand
lagoons. Its climate is characterized by a dry season that
runs from May to October in which there is an abundance of warm and
sunny days and the other which is rainy from December to March.
The capital of
the district has a beautiful colonial fountain (1562) in stone which
consist of a single piece with ample proportions and large
gardens. The plaza was constructed in the same place where Atahualpa
Incan emperor was executed by the Spaniards.
plateresque temple calls the attention of the Cajamarca Cathedral
(XVIII Century) constructed with stones from Incan palaces and
walls. Its facade in volcanic rock is worked with meticulousness.
Its interior they emphasize the greater altar and the pulpit that is
Churrigueresque or excessively ornate in various colors and colonial
paintings of grand value.
Also there is
the San Francisco church, the oldest in the city. Its facade is of
sculpted volcanic rock with a mixture of plateresque and Baroque
style. Count with the Religious Art Museum and beautiful objects of
the colonial epoch.
As a testimony
of the Incan times you find "The Rescue Chamber,
the only exponent of Incan architecture in the middle of all the
colonial richness. Of neoclassic style history tells us that
the Inca Atahualpa ordered to fill the chamber with objects of gold
and silver in order to give it to the conquistadors in exchange for
his liberty. Finally, Pizarro never complied with his offer.
Baths, which is a source of thermal and medicinal waters
considered as one of the most important in the northern zone of the
country, used from pre-Hispanic times. Its water sprout
raising steam columns in an almost horizontal terrain surrounded by
a grand quantity of vegetation. Its most important springs
are: The Perolitos and The Tragadero.
It is possible to visit this zone year around with tours that
include accommodations in the hot springs or baths with natural
treatments for the body.
resides in Cumbemayo, a gigantic pre-Incan archeological complex
that pertains to the Cajamarca-Marañón culture. Which
comprises three monumental groups: The Aqueduct a hydraulic system
that transports and canalizes water; the Sanctuary a steep rocky
peak that is 20 meters high and forms a human head. The caves where
you can see the Chavin style petroglyphs and the Frailones,
You can also
visit Kuntur Wasi a pre-Incan archeological complex dedicated to the
by Andrea Gonzalez