Cajamarca

Cajamarca is located in the northern highlands of Peru.

Night in the Plaza de Armas

Understand

It is approximately 2,700 m (8,900 ft) above sea level and has a population of about 100,000 people. Cajamarca has an equatorial climate so it is mild, dry and sunny, which creates very fertile soil. The city is well known for its fine cheeses and dairy products. Cajamarca is also known for its churches, and hot springs, or Inca Baths. Yanacocha is considered to be the world's second largest gold producing mine, one of several active mining sites in surrounding areas. Most of all, Peruvians remember Cajamarca as the place where the Inca Empire came to an end, since the Battle of Cajamarca along with the capture and execution of Inca emperor Atahualpa took place here.

Because of the high altitude, precautions should be taken. Be sure to take it easy the first day or two in town, drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol and caffeine. Cajamarca is quite cold at night and the sun can be very strong during the day. Bring some sunscreen and some warm clothes.

Get in

Service to Cajamarca is via bus or air. There are daily flights from Lima, as well as luxury buses (about 16 hours). Several buses a day also make the trip from Trujillo (7 hours). Travelers can continue on to the town of Celendín, with connecting buses to Chachapoyas.

It is possible to travel through the highlands by road to Chota & back down to Chiclayo.

Get around

From cheapest to most expensive;

Taxi Seguro +51 76 365103 or +51 76 365362. Super Seguro +51 76 507090. Taxi Unidos +51 76 366438.

Micro buses for the airport, Otuzco and Combayo leave at the first intersection of Dos de Mayo northwest of the river.

See

Mariposa - Carnaval de Cajamarca 2011

Do

There are a number of archaeological sites and other attractions outside the city, to which there are organized tours. Several tour operators can be found on the Plaza de Armas. These sites include:

Ventanillas de Otuzco

Volunteer

Buy

Cajamarca is known for its fine dairy products and chocolate. A visit to one of the cheese shops is worth your time. There are also several street markets along the San Lucas river selling farm goods, cloth and various other items.

Cajamarca also has modern shopping malls like:

There is a decent drop-off laundromat behind the San Francisco on calle Belen. 5 soles per kilo. Closed Fridays.

Eat

The diet here consists largely of items in cream sauce, probably due to the large dairy industry. Several restaurants serve Cuy (guinea pig) for those feeling adventurous. Street vendors sell tamales and various other street food, especially around dinner time.

Drink

Various street vendors sell home-made juice which is worth a try.

Sleep

There are many inexpensive options for accommodations in Cajamarca. In addition to the various hotels and hostels in town, there are also a number of spa hotels in the outskirts of town.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Traffic is probably the visitor's biggest risk. Most drivers assume that you will get out of their way. Driving the wrong way on a one-way street is not uncommon, but stopping at stop signs is. So, look around before you cross the street!

Remember to take it easy on arrival, since the altitude can make you short of breath and cause headaches.

The central city is fairly safe, but as always keep an eye out for pickpockets and always hang on to your belongings. That being said, tourists should avoid traveling away from the city centre after dark.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 05, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.