Huánuco (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈwanuko]), the city with population of 75,000 is the capital of Huánuco Region in Central Highlands of Peru. Its location is the logical and tempting stopover point for the route between Lima and Pucallpa.
Huánuco has a mild semi-arid climate. The temperatures are pleasant (with warm days and cool nights) throughout the year due to its elevation (1913 mt. - 6275 feet).
Lima - The journey to Lima takes around 8 hours on direct buses on a parcially paved road. G&M Internacional (Jr. 28 de Julio 535), Transportes Leoncido Prado (Hermillo Valdizán 235), Transportes Transamazónica (Hermillo Valdizán 260) and several other companies provide good service.
Huancayo - Turimso Central (Jr. Tarapacá 552) has several departures per day, taking around 7 hours.
Cerro de Pasco/La Oroya - Colectivos to Cerro de Pasco take 2 hours. Combis to La Oroya are less frequent and take 3½ hours. They leave from the Control at Acahauyna. Take a taxi from the centre.
Tingo María/Pucallpa - There are plenty of buses that go to Tingo María, taking around 3 hours. Many of these go on to Pucallpa, a further 8 hours away, total of the 11-hour journey. The journey to Pucallpa should be travelled by day, as attacks on buses are not unknown. Transportes Leoncido Prado (Hermillo Valdizán 235), Transportes Transamazónica (Hermillo Valdizán 260), Turismo Las Brisas (Hermillo Valdizán 246), and Turismo Central (Jr. Tarapacá 552) serve this route.
The quickest way to get to Tingo María is to take a colectivo, which takes 2 hours. There are several places these leave from, although the most convenient is near the bridge on General Prado.
La Unión/Huaraz - The journey to La Unión takes 5 hours by bus or 3.5 hours by colectivo. There are several companies on Jr. Tarapacá on cuadra 400 serve the route. From La Unión it is possible to carry on to Huaraz. Paraiso Natural, tel 043-422887 has a bus from La Unión to Huaraz twice daily, taking 5 hours.
Downtown area is small enough to walk around. Moto-taxis and taxis are plenty and cheap.
- Kotosh (5km west of Huancayo, on the highway to La Union). Kotosh is an archaeological site near Huanuco (Peru) containing a temple of the Late Archaic period. The site gave name to the Kotosh Religious Tradition, which existed in Peru in 2300—1200 BCE, i.e. in the Late Archaic period. Kotosh people cultivated crops, used marine resources, built permanent settlements and multistoreyed ceremonial buildings.
The archaeological site of the Temple of Kotosh is also known as the Temple of the Crossed Hands because of the life-sized mud molding of a pair of crossed hands, which is the site’s highlight. The molding dates to about 2000 BC and is now at Lima’s Museo Nacional de Antropología, Arqueología y Historía del Perú. On the site, a replica remains. Little is known about Kotosh, one of the most ancient of Andean cultures.
To get there, hire a taxi (S/.12, including a 30-minute wait and return) or catch a mototaxi (S/.4-5 one way). The site is next to a popular park and usually taxis are waiting on the weekends.
- Tours. There are two tour agencies near the Plaza de Armas on Jr. General Prado. One is MYA tours. Both have tours of city, achiorogical site and Tingo Maria.
- Govinda, General Prado 608 (One block from the plaza de armas). This Hare Krishna-run restaurant serves excellent vegetarian set meals (S/.5) with all the predictable permutations of tofu, veggies, rice and noodles.