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Ayacucho, the City of 33 Churches


The capital city of Huamanga Province, which is located in the Ayacucho Region.

This big city has over 150.000 inhabitants and is situated in southern Peru.


Ayacucho is a city with a very old university, the Universidad Nacional de San Cristóbal de Huamanga. The institution was founded in 1677.


The city of Ayacucho is famous for its 33 churches - they symbolize Jesus Christ's 33 years of age.

You can walk around and discover the most beautiful churches from the colonial era.


Ayacucho holds large religious celebrations throughout the year and the ones held during the Holy Week are the most beautiful.

The Caballos de Paso are horse races held here, but there also are bull runs held, which are called jalatoro or pascuatoro. The bull run here is similar to the yearly event held in Pamplona, Spain.

Ayacucho's name means "Death Corner", translated from Quechuan language, is we take account of the meanings of aya = death and kuchu = corner. But, there is another theory which explains this differently (a nicer, less "horror" variant): aya = soul, kuchu = purple - thus, "Purple Soul".

So, the name of Ayacucho either means "Death Corner" or "Purple Soul". Quite a contrast between the two!


Archaeologists have determined that the area was inhabited 15.000 years ago. Signs of a settlement have been found at Pikimachay (25 km or 15.5 mi north of Ayacucho).


Ruines Incas and the Vilcashuamán Cathedral


Inca ruins and a Roman Catholic cathedral. Both in one complex.

The Ayacucho Cathedral


Beautiful colonial-era church. At night it is nicely lit.




Ayacucho, a Risk Zone for Tourists


Ayacucho has seen scenes of conflict between local leftist rebels and the government's forces. Only in the 1990s did things "settle down". After the year 2000, certain groups labeled "terrorists" by the Peruvian government and called "liberators" by some locals in the Ayacucho area, have again raised attention towards this area of the country.

The area of Ayacucho is declared "emergency zone", officially. Otherwise, we may call is a "risk zone".

Tourists are advised to avoid contact with suspect people and to avoid travelling at night.

There are no major risks to travelers, as most guidebooks say, but you are advised to be precautious when traveling to this area of the country!




Getting to Ayacucho


You can get to Ayacucho by plane and by road vehicle. There is no train station.

Buses from Lima will take you to Ayacucho in about 10 hours on paved road, from Pisco in approximately 6 hours on paved road, from Andahuaylas in about 11 hours or more on unpaved road.


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