Overview Huancayo, Peru

Put on the white gloves before talking about this one.  Separated from other Peruvian cities by High Andean Mountains, Huancayo lies in a river valley that is full of  rich soil, ideal for growing any fruit or vegetable.  In fact, most of the fruit and vegetables in Peru, come from the Mantaro River Valley, resulting in bright Sunday Markets and excellent food.

A small section outside of the Daily market.

But that's not all there is to Huancayo.  Surrounded by high-altitude, foot hill mountains on most sides, it offers great hiking and biking.

This trail follow a path to neighboring town Cochas.

A local farmer stands next to graffiti left from communist times that lasted for 10 years and ended in 1993.  

We were told once of the way things were during Peru's communist times. A man was guiding an expedition in the hills just outside of Huancayo, and enjoying his time with the tourists.  During the early morning hours, they were awakened by gentleman dressed in army fatigues.  These guerillas had stumbled upon  their campsite and the fate of the crew was left in their hands.  As the sun rose, the tourists, with their guide, were led along a path.  Their hands were tied.  The guerillas attempted to explain their position in hopes of persuading the group to understanding their ways, their destruction, and their ultimate terrorism.  A question arose from one group member, "Why did you blow that tower up?"  The Guerillas answered in Spanish.  Thankfully, the group guide was bilingual and translated their response.  But, he almost made a fatal mistake as he began his translation.  He said, "The terrorists said....".  One of the Guerillas said, "WHY DO YOU CALL US TERRORISTS?  I SHOULD SHOOT YOU RIGHT NOW FOR SAYING THAT!"  Thankfully this man lived to tell about it.  

There are  no worries about traveling to Peru now.  Although if you're a gringo, you're immediately stereotyped, and that should keep you on your toes.

To the west of Huancayo, the hills open up and allow for a small lake at the base of these hills.  The area is nice and a great ride out of town.

A quick ride in a northerly direction allows you to stumble on a small town filled with kids and violent dogs.  We were attacked by a few from the wrong side of the tracks.

The path follows along a medium sized stream that accompanies you for a good part of the ride.

There is much to do here allowing the visitor to experience many things away from tourism.  Culture, crafts, and High Andean geography allow for quite an experience. 

*Feature written and photographed by Phillips, April 2001.  The guide during the terrorist occupancy is Lucho Hurtado, who can be found at La Casa de Abuela.  Information regarding altitude, weather, and geography was supplied by guides and taken first hand with altimeter readings.



Huancayo is located in the Andes Mountains approximately 5 hours by bus from Lima. See other adventures in this region for specifics.

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Globetrotter Adventures
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