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Huancavelica Main Square © Juan Puelles / PROMPERÚ

Huancavelica A practical guide for visitors

A Scissors Dancer Š Juan Puelles / PROMPERÚ

Because of its antiquity and symbolic value, the scissors dance, a traditional dance of magical and religious nature, was recognized by Unesco as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

Huancavelica Location

Central mountains of Peru


Huancavelica (3676 meters)

Elevation min.: 1900 meters (Ocoyo) mรกx.: 5303 meters (Wamanrasu)

Climate Temperature

Max.: 16 ยบC


2 ยบC

Dec - Mar

June - Sept

Mar - June

Sept - Dec

Arriving By land Lima - Huancavelica (via Pisco):

499 km / 10 hr.

Huancayo - Huancavelica:

144 km / 4 hr. (by bus) 3 hr. (by car) Ayacucho - Huancavelica (via Rumichaca):

245 km / 7 hs.

By train Huancayo - Huancavelica:


km / by express train (See schedule of departures)

5 hr. or 3 hr. 30 min. by autowagon

Calendar 31 Dec-2 Jan

Niño Callaorcarpino and Jacobo (Huancavelica)

4-7 Jan

Adoration of the Magi (Huancavelica)

Jan (movable)

The Lost Child Festival (Huancavelica)

Mar-Apr (movable) Easter (Huancavelica) May-June (movable) Holy Spirit Pentecost Festival (Huancavelica) 24-28 Dec

Galas, Laiccas, scissors dance or Tusuq (Huancavelica)

What to eat? Huancavelica’s gastronomy draws on a variety of meats, such as guinea pig for the picante de cuy (barbecued and seasoned with hot peppers) and alpaca for the apanado (breaded and served with rice, potatoes and salad). The pachamanca is a popular tradition in the Andes, based on cooking in a pit using different types of meat, potatoes and corns. Ropa vieja is a beef stew with pulses, potatoes, rice and cabbage. Popular baked products are also characteristic of the region, such as cheese buns, pumpkin empanadas and wheat bread. Well-known desserts include mazamorra de maíz (a corn porridge) and ayrampu (a purple prickly pear porridge).

What to buy? Huancavelica has a strong po¦ery tradition and its containers, pots and other decorative objects worked in baked clay are well-known. Its inhabitants are also skilled in textile art, creating beautiful blankets and dress garments. Saddlery is another traditional craft and products such as straps, carry bags and mounts are made. These items can be found in the handicrafts markets in the city of Huancavelica.


By car from the city of Huancavelica to the towns of: DESTINATION



Lircay (Angaraes Province)

78 km

1 hr.

Castrovirreyna (Castrovirreyna Province)

116 km

3 hr.

Acobamba (Acobamba Province)

105 km

3 hr.

Pampas (Tayacaja Province)

149 km

3 hr.

Huaytará (Huaytará Province)

192 km

4 hr.

Churcampa (Churcampa Province)

259 km

6 hr.

Huancavelica bread © Musuk Nolte / PROMPERÚ


2 days (the minimum recommended stay)

½ day

City tour of Huancavelica (Main Square, Cathedral, main churches, museum, San Cristóbal hot springs and Seccsachaca Ecotourism Complex “Villa Cariño”.

1 day Sacsamarca and the former Santa Bárbara mine. 1 day Pultocc, Choclococha, Orccococha, San Francisco, Pocococha lagoons and Bella Dormida.


Departmental capital Provincial capital District capital Tourist attraction


Provincial border Main road

Astococha Lagoon

Asphalted road Unmade road Aurahua

The Uchkus Incañan Archaelogical Complex © Musuk Nolte / PROMPERÚ


San Juan

Huachos Ticrapo


To Pisco, Lima Inca Palace


J U NÍ N Huachocolpa Salcahuasi Tintay Puncu Salcabamba

To Huancayo


Ñahuimpuquio Acostambo



Izcuchaca Colonial Bridge Izcuchaca

Chinchihuasi Mariscal Cáceres Acoria


Seccsachaca Ecotourism Complex “Villa Cariño”

Uchkus Incañan Archaeological Complex

Panao Huancavelica



Sacsamarca Santa Bárbara former mine

“Willka Puquio” Spring

Acobamba Ccochaccasa

Sachapite Stone Forest


Allpas Preinca Grave Huayllay Grande

Ocopa Plantation House

Huachocolpa Santa Ana

Pultocc Lagoon Orccococha Lagoon


Santo Tomás de Pata

Choclococha Lagoon Santa Inés Village Pilpichaca

To Ayacucho Cusicancha

Huaytará Incahuasi Archaeological Center



Santiago de Cochorvos San Juan de Huirpacancha Querco Córdova

Santiago de Quirahuara

Scale (km)






What to see? Huancavelica Province The Main Square Since it was first laid out, the square has had several names, including Independence Square and Leguía Square. A fountain in sculpted stone adorns the center.

Huancavelica Cathedral

Main Square. Behind its reddish baroque facade, the Cathedral of San Antonio de Padua houses altars carved in gold leaf and paintings from the Cusco and Huamanga Schools.

The Town Hall

Main Square. The facade of this 18th century mansion has nine half-pointed arches. Originally a venue for the Holy Inquisition, it was later a public jail with a laŠiced window which connected to the chapel so that the prisoners could listen to mass.

Churches: • The Church of Santo Domingo

Jirón Carabaya s/n, Santo Domingo Square. Opening hours Mon-Sat: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm / 5:00 - 6:00 pm / Sun: 8:00 - 9:00 pm. This church houses treasures brought from Rome, such as the images of the Virgin of the Rosary and of Santa Domingo, and a canvas dating from 1666 that represents Our Lord of the Sentence and Resurrection.

The Church of San Juan de Dios San Juan de Dios Square. Opening hours Mon-Sun: 6:00 am - 8:00 am / 7:00 pm 8:00 pm / Sat: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Art works from the Huamanga School adorn this 17th century church.

Pultocc Lagoon © Juan Puelles / PROMPERÚ

Laguna Pultocc © Juan Puelles / PROMPERÚ

The Church and Convent of San Francisco Bolognesi Square As the majority of colonial Andean temples, this church is built in the mestizo style. It features wooden gold leaf altarpieces.

The Church of San Sebastián Bolognesi Square. Opening hours Mon-Sun: 7:00 am - 8:00 am / 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm This 18th century church is notable for the flat ceiling in its right nave, bathed completely in gold leaf.

The La Ascensión Church Main Square in the neighborhood of Ascensión. Opening hours Mon-Sun: 7:00 am - 8:00 am / 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm This church features mestizo architecture with its single gable-roofed nave, arched doors and a tower on the corner. Two crosses that reach the ceiling and the image of San Juan Evangelista adorn its interior.

The Church of San Cristóbal Main Square in the San Cristóbal neighborhood. Opening hours Mon-Sat: 7:00 am - 8:00 am / 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm This church, built in 1770, houses mestizo style murals that narrate the Passion and the Death of Christ, and paintings representing the birth of baby Jesus. The Church of Santa Ana Ramón Castilla Square. Opening hours Mon-Sun: 7:00 - 8:00 am / 7:00 8:00 pm / Sat: 4:00 - 5:00 pm. Dating from the 16th century, the city’s first church is adorned with a canvas from the Cusco School, among others painted by disciples of El Greco.

The Daniel Hernández Morillo Regional Museum

Jirón Demetrio Molloy cuadra 2, San Juan de Dios Small square. Opening hours, Tues-Sun: 8:30 pm - 1:00 pm / 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm Tel. (067) 45 3420. Ticket entry. The museum exhibits works of Peruvian artists such as Daniel Hernández and Fernando de Szyszlo, as well as some archeological discoveries from the original inhabitants of the region. The Sergio Quijada Jara Popular Art Museum operates in the same location and displays items from different cultures.

The Ascensión Colonial Bridge

Jirón Mora Tambo s/n. It was built in the 17th century to link the city center with the Ascensión district. Despite the passage of time, it retains its original structure of lateral arches.

The San Cristóbal Hot Springs

Av. 28 de Abril s/n, San Cristóbal neighbourhood. Opening hours Mon-Sun and Fri - Sun: 5:00 am - 4:00 pm. Ticket entry. The waters of these pools gush from Potoqchi, an extinct volcano. They reach 18°C and are greenish in color.

The Seccsachaca Ecotourism Complex “Villa Cariño”

2 km to the east of the city of Huancavelica (10 min by car). Opening hours Mon-Sun: 9:30 am - 3:30 pm. Ticket entry. This interesting site, located on the left bank of the Ichu River, includes caves, walks, natural lookouts and hot springs. The visitor can view discoveries that prove this is one of the first se‚lements of the Early Horizon period in the region.


3.5 km to the southwest of the city of Huancavelica (15 min. by car or 45 min. on foot). This Andean town at 3780 meters is surrounded by mountains through which the Disparate River flows. Its houses and main buildings (the church, the square and the bridge) are made of stone.

The former Santa Bárbara mine

15 km to the southeast of the city of Huancavelica (30 min. by car or 6 km on foot (1 hr. 30 min). Mercury was extracted here in colonial times to amalgamate the silver. Some buildings from the colonial mining se‚lement remain in the surroundings. It was also known as the “mine of death” because of the harsh working conditions. The entrance houses a stone engraving of the shield of San Cristóbal, in representation of the Spanish Crown.

The Sachapite Stone Forest

18 km to the northeast of Huancavelica (30 min. by car). Volcanic ash discharges have left curious stone figures here. Some rise from the ground like towers or lookouts, while others create beautiful shadows.

The Uchkus Incañan Archeological Complex

26 km to the east of the city of Huancavelica (40 min. by car). This was an administrative, religious and astronomy observation center, divided into three sectors. On the foothills there is a terrace system with five levels. One has water, which was used as a mirror to track the movements of the sun and the moon. The Spanish also opened a pithead in the hope of finding gold.

The Izcuchaca Colonial Bridge

72 km to the north of the city of Huancavelica (2 hr. by car or 56 km from the city of Huancayo (1hr. 30 min by car). This bridge was built on Inca foundations to connect Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Junín. Plaster and lime from the quarry at Aguas Calientes were used for its construction. It features a half pointed arch, 16.5 meters in height.

Castrovirreyna Province Pultocc Lagoon

64 km to the south of the city of Huancavelica (3 hr. by bus). 4 km from the community of Choclococha (10 min. by car). Surrounded by snow, the lagoon is a source of water for livestock. Wild ducks, huallatas (the Andean goose), vizcacha rodents and trout farming in floating cages can also be seen.

The Village of Santa Inés

4 km to the south of the city of Castrovirreyna (20 min. by car). The Orccococha, San Francisco and Pacococha lagoons can be found in this mining town's surroundings. It is a good place to try the trout and some alpaca meat meat dishes.

Choclococha Lagoon

68 km to the south of the city of Huancavelica (2 hr. by car). This lagoon lies at an elevation of 4605 meters and is a must for nature lovers and fishing enthusiasts. A beautiful sight is created by the reflection of the surrounding countryside on its tranquil waters.

Bella Dormida

4 km to the south of the city of Castrovirreyna (20 min. by car). The silhoue‚e of the Santiago mountain, whose summit reaches 4676 meters, resembles the form of a sleeping woman. Bella Dormida (Sleeping Beauty) adorns the landscape and can be viewed from the highway. The services of a guide are necessary for those who wish to trek through the area.

Huaytará Province The Inca Temple

5 minutes on foot from the main square of Huaytará. Ticket entry. This is an Inca construction upon which the colonial Church of San Juan de Huaytará was built. Some of the details of the original design, including recesses and trapezoidal doors, can still be seen on its polished walls of sillar stone. The Baths of the Inca are located to the side.

The Manuel Humberto Espinoza Archeological Museum

Behind the Huaytará Town Hall. Opening hours, Tues-Fri: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm / Sat-Sun: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Ticket entry. The museum houses a collection of more than one thousand ceramic pieces, gold and silver jewelry, fossils, funeral bundles and fabrics from the Nasca, Paracas, Wari and Inca cultures.

The Incahuasi Archeological Center

22 km to the north of the city of Huaytará via Los Libertadores (30 min. by car). The center includes dormitories, squares, water storage, palaces and canals created with carved stones and fi‚ed to perfection. The presence of intihuatanas (solar clocks) suggests that it functioned as an astronomy observatory.

Angaraes Province Town of Lircay

78 km to the southeast of the city of Huancavelica (1 hr. 30 min. by car). The provincial capital boasts a mild climate and beautiful landscapes. Visitors to the neighborhood of Pueblo Viejo will feel transported back in time because of the colonial buildings. Those who wish to relax, will find a pool of temperate medicinal waters at Huapa, 4 km from the town.

The Lircay Cemetery

At the entrance to the town of Lircay. A walk through this cemetery allows the visitor to appreciate the mausoleums of the most powerful landowners of the 18th century. Some are true works of art.

The Anqara Park

The intersection of Jirón Libertad and Av. 9 de Octubre in the Bellavista neighborhood, town of Lircay. Opening hours, Tues-Sun: 8:30 am. - 5:00 pm. Ticket entry. This park houses stone sculptures depicting various cultural representations of the Lircay people, such as traditional landscapes and scenes from local tales. Animals typical of the area can also be seen.

The Ocopa Plantation House

6 km to the northeast of the city of Lircay (20 min. by bus). This home, dating back more than one hundred years, is neoclassical in style. Its main balcony has a splendid view of the countryside surrounding the plantation. The halls and bedrooms preserve aspects of its original decoration.

Huayllay Grande

6 km to the northeast of the city of Lircay (25 min. by bus). This old colonial Andean town has cobble stone streets. The feature of its portal-lined main square is a colonial church which houses the image of the Lord of Huayllay.

Acobamba Province The Church of San Juan Bautista

The Pueblo Viejo neighborhood. The stone carvings on the facade of this colonial church mix baroque and churrigueresco styles. Inside, it is adorned with carved wooden altars.

The Allpas Preinca Grave

These tombs, carved out of rocky outcrops similar to those of the Cajamarca culture, are located near the Allpas community.

The Virgen de Lourdes Labyrinths

4 km to the northeast of Acobamba (15 min. by car, then 10 min. on foot). This area a‚racts trekking and rock climbing adventure sport enthusiasts. Hikes through the area lead to Quillimachay cave paintings and Qellqasqa petroglyphs, where, in 6000 BC, the ancient inhabitants left evidence of their presence.

“Willka Puquio” Spring

2 km to the southwest of Acobamba (10 min. by car). The seat and the baths of the Inca are surrounded by stone sculptures representing felines and anthropomorphous beings.

Huancavelica City Center Historic Center Main rivers Urban area

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Huancavelica Cathedral Church of Santo Domingo Town hall and entrance to the Old Market Daniel Hernández Morillo Regional Museum San Juan de Dios Church San Francisco Church San Sebastián Church Mora Tambo Ascensión Bridge Ascensión Church San Cristóbal Pool San Cristóbal Church Santa Ana Church Qori Paccha Colonial Mercury Foundry Seccsachaca Ecotourism Complex “Villa Cariño” Cerro de Oropesa Natural Lookout

Medical a‚ention Police City Hall Post Office



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Elevation: 3676 meters

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(01) 574-8000 24 horas Opening hours and telephones are subject to variation by each tourist aŸraction. Confirm times and phone numbers with IPERÚ.

A publication by the Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board - PROMPERU Calle Uno Oeste N° 50, piso 14, urb. Córpac, San Isidro, Lima - Perú Telephone: (51-1) 616-7300 © PROMPERÚ. All rights reserved. Hecho el Depósito Legal en la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú N° 2017-11076 Imprenta: Quad/Graphics Perú S.A. (Av. Los Frutales No. 344, Ate Vitarte-Lima) Lima, agosto de 2017

The information in this brochure was updated in August 2017. In developing it, PROMPERU has used official information sources such as the Huancavelica Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism.


Guía del viajero Huancavelica [en]  

Guía del viajero Huancavelica, inglés

Guía del viajero Huancavelica [en]  

Guía del viajero Huancavelica, inglés