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Cajamarca and Surroundings

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The City of Cajamarca


Cajamarca, the Cathedral

Cajamarca, the cathedral without towers



Cajamarca is a northern Peruvian city, home to approximately 135.000 people.

A city with mild dry climate, plenty of sunny days, but located very high at about 2.700 m (8,900 ft) above sea level.

Cajamarca is home to several universities, it is an important cultural center in the country.


Plaza de Armas


There is a little park and churches in the area, including the old Iglesia San Francisco, which has two towers and the Catedral de Cajamarca.


Iglesia Belén


Beautiful old colonial era church in central Cajamarca. A bit further southeast from the Plaza Central.


The Ransom Room


This is where Pizarro held Inca ruler, Atahualpa hostage. The Inca was blackmailed until he ordered his followers to fill the room up with gold. Pizarro had promised to let him go, if this happens, but instead, the conquistador had him executed.




The Inca Baths (Baños del Inca)

These are natural hot springs about 5 km (3.1 mi) east of Cajamarca in the town called Baños del Inca.

Many travel agents take their clients to the area, so you have chances to see more in the area than just the Inca Baths. There are some less famous archaeological sites in the area too.




The Cumbe Mayo Aqueducts

A famous pre-Columbian aqueduct system. But the views around on the cliffs are very beautiful. You get to see ancient carved aqueducts and a wonderful mountain view in the Andes.


It is located at about 14 km (8.6 mi) from the city of Cajamarca, behind some mountainous terrain. You will be able to get there by road vehicle. Perhaps a travel agent will be your best choice for finding transportation to the site.


The site of Cumbe Mayo is located at a height of approximately 3.300 meters.

The Cumbe Mayo or Kumpi Mayu is not an Inca site, but an ancient pre-Incan site. It dates back to about 1500 B.C.

Some say that this is the oldest man-made structure in South America.



The Otuzco Windows (Ventanas de Otuzco)


A pre-Incan necropolis. Looks like a town constructed into cliffs with windows cut into the rock and they served as tombs. You might know Cappadocia in Turkey... But this is different. People didn't live here. This is a complex of tombs. Morbid isn't it?


The Windows of Otuzco were most probably built by the Huari or Wari people. A long time before the Inca Empire.


Some Spanish-speakers call the site Ventanas de Otuzco, others will call them Ventanillas de Otuzco. The word ventanilla is the diminutive of ventana, meaning window.


From Cajamarca, Otuzco is at about 8 km (5 mi) distance. Road vehicles can approach it.




The Combayo Windows (Ventanillas de Combayo/Combaya)


Poor quality infrastructure links the site of Combaya with Cajamarca.

This site is much better preserved than the one at Otuzco. The "windows" are in much better condition. Unfortunately due to poor quality infrastructure, very few people travel to this site.


Hundreds of niches are carved into the cliffs approximately 1200 years ago. Archaeologists say that both the Otuzco and the Combayo (or Combaya) Windows were built at around 800 A.D.


Combayo too is a system of tombs, a burial site.


Combayo is at about 30 km (18 mi) from Cajamarca. Transportation will be difficult, you should better travel with an agency in group.






A picturesque little town southeast of Cajamarca.

Waterfalls are found here. A beautiful sight to the tourist arriving to Llanacora.




Getting to Cajamarca


Cajamarca's airport links it with the capital, Lima. In mid 2010 there were flights exclusively to Lima and no other city within Peru.


There are no trains touching Cajamarca. In fact, there are no rail lines anywhere close to it.


Travelling by road is the most popular way to get to Cajamarca from anywhere in Peru.

A bus trip from Lima will take around 16 hours. Very exhausting. But there are luxury buses too.

To Trujillo, for example, it takes about 7 hours.



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