Nestled in the Peruvian Andes, Cajamarca is a picturesque mountain town dotted with Baroque colonial architecture, art museums and historic landmarks. Its city center boasts bustling markets and ornate cathedrals, while the surrounding region reveals archaeological sites, thermal hot springs and a 3,000-year-old canal system.
Things to do in Cajamarca
Wander the charming cobbled streets to admire Cajamarca’s 300-year-old architecture and locals adorned in colorful traditional dress, then browse stalls selling handicrafts and regional specialties, such as cuy frito (fried guinea pig). Explore the sprawling Plaza de Armas, the city’s historic main square, and admire the Cajamarca Cathedral with its gilded altar.
Explore the region’s rich history at Cumbe Mayo, a complex series of irrigation canals built by the ancient Incas over 3,000 years ago. Pre-dating any other known canal system in the world, it offers insight into one of the oldest constructions in South America with its intricate petroglyphs and rock formations.
Hike from Cajamarca’s city center to Cerro Santa Apolonia. Cool off with ice cream from one of the handcarts on the way to the famous Inca Chair, where renowned chiefs would often sit and survey their kingdom. Sit back and take in the views of the mountainous landscape and cityscapes below.
Need a break from sightseeing? Soak your weary muscles in the mineral-enriched pools of Banos del Inca. on the way, you can explore the archaeological site of Ventanillas de Otuzco, a funeral complex dating back to 1130 BC.
Getting around Cajamarca
Fly into Armando Revoredo Iglesias Airport in Lima or make the 16-hour bus journey. When in Cajamarca, most of the major sites can be seen on foot, while micro buses, mototaxis and taxis are also available.