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Ayacucho

A lost jewel of a colonial city, Ayacucho is a flourishing cultural community located in the remote Peruvian Andes. Although it is a favorite of Peruvians, it is often overlooked by tourists, who are put off by the difficult roads that lead there. Those who do make the journey, however, are amply rewarded: the city is packed with colonial churches and cathedrals, is conveniently located near Inca ruins, and boasts some of the best markets and most interesting local cuisine in Peru.

The peaceful, relaxed atmosphere that pervades the city's streets and squares is a far cry from the tumultuous Ayacucho of days gone by. In 1539, the Spanish founded the city of San Juan de la Frontera of Huamanga. This Andean town was called Huamanga until 1824 when Simón Bolívar brought the Spanish rule here to an end with the Battle of Ayacucho, renaming it Ayacucho, meaning “City of Blood.”

Today the city boasts a unique mix of Andean and Spanish culture and architecture. During the 1980s and 1990s, the city was the site of bloody fighting between the government and the Shining Path, Maoist revolutionaries led by Abimael Guzmán, a philosophy professor who worked in the city. Recently, however, the city seems to have shaken off its violent past and, thanks to municipal investment in colonial preservation, emerged a stronger, more brilliant city.

Surrounded by artisan villages and home to one of the oldest universities in the Americas, the city has rapidly developed into a popular cultural center. Among its local traditions, Ayacucho is famous for hosting one of the most important Holy Week festivals in all of Peru. In the 10 days leading up to Easter Sunday, Ayacucho transforms into a city of flowered streets, processions, fireworks, dancing and more. Peruvians and foreigners alike flood the city at this time.

Altitude (2,761 m/9,058 ft) Population (143,000) Phone code (066)

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Other places nearby Ayacucho: Cochas Grande/Cochas Chico, Hualhuas, Junín, Huánuco, Huancavelica, Huancayo, San Jerónimo de Tunán and Andahuaylas.







11 Jan 2012

Things to See and Do in Ayacucho

Semana Santa in Ayacucho

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, Latin America’s most important religious holiday, begins on Palm Sunday and culminates on Easter Sunday. Ayacucho’s celebrations are amongst the most traditional. ...
Other Activity
Ayacucho, Peru

Ruinas Vilcashuamán and Baños Intihuatana

A four-hour (110-kilometer) bus journey south of Ayacucho brings you to Vilcashuamán (meaning Sacred Falcon), the Incan provincial capital at the crossroads of their Cusco-Pacific and north-south ...
Ruin
Ayacucho, Peru

Complejo ArqueolĂłgico Wari

Complejo ArqueolĂłgico Wari sprawls along the highway from Ayacucho to Quinua. Five signed entrances lead to the ruins of this once-great Wari capital. You can yet see the thick walls towering 12 ...
Ruin
Ayacucho, Peru

Museo de Arte Popular JoaquĂ­n LĂłpez Antay

The Museo de Arte Popular, located on the main Plaza de Armas, showcases some of the work of honored Ayacucho citizen and sculptor, Joaquin Lopez Antay (1897-1981). Antay was the main protagonist in ...
Museum
Ayacucho, Peru

Museo Arqueológico Hipólito Unánue

The small Museo Arqueológico Hipólito Unánue, set in the botanical garden of the Universidad, exhibits artifacts of the Wari, who were the rulers of these lands before the Inca conquest in the ...
Museum
Ayacucho, Peru

Museo Cáceres

136634This museum, housed in the 16th-century Casona Vivanco mansion, is dedicated to the life of Andrés Avelino Cáceres, commander of the War of the Pacific against Chile, and to the era in which he ...
Museum
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho Churches

Ayacucho boasts of having 33 churches in town, but in reality there are many more. The churches are open at varying times of day and many are in such disrepair that it is not possible to step inside. ...
Historical Building
Ayacucho, Peru

Barrio Santa Ana

Barrio Santa Ana—a brief walk from Ayacucho\'s Plaza Mayor, following Avenida Grau—is a funky artisan community known for its local arts and crafts. The center of the neighborhood is Plazuela de ...
Other Activity
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho Hotels

Hotel Marquez de Valdelirios

102953Built in 1947, this charming colonial-style hotel across from Plaza Mayor offers quiet rooms built around a central grassy yard. The main lobby has a regal feel with gold accents and a chandelier, ...
Hotel
Ayacucho, Peru

Ciudadela Warpa Picchu

Located five kilometers (3.1 mi) outside town, Ciudadela Warpa Picchu is part of a large recreational center. Guests have access to the ground\'s facilities, which include an outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi, ...
Hotel
Ayacucho, Peru

Hostal La Florida

Rooms at Hostal Florida are built around a green central patio, full of cactus, flowering plants and cages of chirping parakeets. While there’s a nice view of the city valley from the little ...
Hotel
Ayacucho, Peru

Hotel Grau

Located just a few blocks from the Mercado, this hotel is located on the third floor of a somewhat strange building, where piles of cheap clothing are sold in the entrance, and what appears to be a ...
Hotel
Ayacucho, Peru

Hotel Santa Rosa

One of the largest and most expensive places to stay in town, Hotel Santa Rosa is a giant maze of a hotel. The reception desk is easy to miss and located in a room to the right after the first ...
Hotel
Ayacucho, Peru

Hotel Samary

Located a few blocks from Plaza Mayor is the clean, basic Hotel Samary. With three floors of single, double and triple rooms, this large spacious hotel nearly always has a room open for those looking ...
Hotel
Ayacucho, Peru

Hotel Tres Mascaras

Slightly off the beaten path, this 20-room hotel doesn\'t seem like much from the outside, and the sign out front missing the “L” in hotel doesn\'t help its cause. Yet looks can be deceiving and ...
Hotel
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho Restaurants

Restaurante Turistico Sabores de Mi Tierra

Popular with budget travelers and hungry locals, this big restaurant serves up tasty, filling food at a decent price, and has a covered patio with a few plants to enjoy an outdoor meal. From Monday ...
Restaurant
Ayacucho, Peru

Pino's

Directly in front of La Merced church and right around the corner from the main Plaza de Armas, Pino’s is a modern seafood restaurant serving a wide range of dishes. A blue-and-green poster ...
Restaurant
Ayacucho, Peru

Salud y Vida Restaurante Vegetariano

Vegetarian restaurants seem to come and go in Ayacucho, but locals seem to like this particular place, so maybe it will last longer even though the culture is based on carne (meat). Salud y Vida ...
Restaurant
Ayacucho, Peru

Pizzeria Italiana

A large-domed wood-fired oven in the back of this little pizza joint really warms the place up. A jar of its homemade sangria also helps beat the chill of this mountainous town. With tapestries, ...
Restaurant
Ayacucho, Peru

La Casona Restaurante Turistico

This large, open-aired restaurant offers two different rooms for eating. The first is decorated with Peruvian-styled table clothes and paintings, and the second is a more modern, formal dining area. ...
Restaurant
Ayacucho, Peru

El Niños

The full name of the restaurant sums up the type of food they serve, El Niños: Pollos, Parrillas, Pizza and Pasta. A huge restaurant with multiple floors and stoic-looking servers wearing ties, El ...
Restaurant
Ayacucho, Peru

Los Alamos Restaurant

Located in the courtyard of the Los Alamos Hotel, the restaurant offers outdoor seating in a vine-covered tent. There is a set menu for one to four people, which includes chicken, salad, French ...
Restaurant
Ayacucho, Peru

Chifa Chen

Right around the corner from Plaza de Armas, Chifa Chen has a big red menu on the front wall with photos and prices of all the dishes, taking the challenge out of ordering Chinese food in Spanish. ...
Restaurant
Ayacucho, Peru
Mapa
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