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Known as the “Pearl of the Andes,” Huancavelica is a small mountainous town that attracts the rare intrepid traveler who is willing to make the journey into these remote highlands for a real taste of traditional Andean culture. Locals seem somewhat surprised to see foreigners here but are eager to help, and will stop to chat and give directions as they go about their everyday routines in traditional indigenous dress.

Huancavelicans are known for producing colorful textiles, ceramics, leather products and wood masks, and seem to be productive farmers: check out the piles of potatoes, giant squash, and other local fruits and vegetables at the Sunday market that lines the Malecon next to the river.

The city is laid-back and has little traffic, making it an enjoyable place to stroll on foot. The majority of restaurants, hostels and other services can be found near the Plaza de Armas, on the main streets of Manchego Munoz and Virrey Toledo. The tourism office, located on Plaza de Armas, is very helpful and friendly, and can help arrange guides to nearby sites, as there are no formal tour operators in the area.


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

By Karen Nagy
Karen Nagy is a staff editor/writer at V!VA. She studied travel writing and learned the joys of Mediterranean island-hopping in Greece, and went on...
10 Jan 2012

Things to do in Huancavelica


Huancavelica is filled with historic churches on almost all of its main streets. Plaza de Armas is home to the Cathedral de Huancavelica, which still holds mass on Sundays. On the end of Calle Munoz ...
Historical Building
Huancavelica, Peru

Hot Springs

Home to natural hot springs inside the city and just outside of it, Huancavelica is known for the curative properties found in its mineral water. The San Cristóbal Hot Spring Pools are located just ...
Spa/Hot Springs
Huancavelica, Peru
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