Besides the friendly locals and artisan markets, Huancayo is an inexpensive Peruvian town where many travelers choose to spend time volunteering or learning Spanish. For those with only a day or two, many opt to take a half-day tour (usually about $10 for 5 hr) to towns such as San Jeronimo, known for its gold and silver jewelery.
For under $2, you can spend a few hours looks at an eclectic selection of items from around the world at the Museo Colegio Salesiano (Jr. Arequipa 105. Monday-Friday from 9 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-noon). If you'd prefer to do something more active, try the La Camineta hike from Huancayo to Huaytapallana Peak or take the 45-minute walk from town to the sandstone towers of Torre Torre. These picturesque hikes can be arranged at any of the tour companies and most have a group leaving daily.