Probably Huancayo is not a huge city compared to cities like Cuzco or Lima. Yet there is so much culture, stories and experiences to take care of within Huancayo’s city limits. The city has for many years served as a cultural hub and is also a big hit among Peru’s many tourists.
Huancayo is located in the Mantayo Valley in central Peru. Here, the city acts as the capital of the region of even the same name. It is estimated that there are between 340,000-380,000 inhabitants in the city, but more precisely, the residents have not been counted. This makes Huancayo the fifth most populous city in Peru.
Experiences in Huancayo
Wanka Identity Park
This park can be visited with or without a guide, depending on how much time you have on hand. Here are beautiful surroundings and a very beautiful plantation. Whether you want to take a stroll, eat ice cream or soak up the sun on the grass, the Parque de la Identidad Wanka is an excellent choice.
In addition to the colorful flowers, the park is also adorned with a lot of breathtaking architecture. Both buildings, statues and pictures adorn here, and help to retell visitors the story of the Inca people. A mini-version of Huancayo has also been built in the park.
Geologic Formations of Torre Torre
On the outskirts of Huancayo is a less touristy area where absolutely amazing creatures in the form of mountains and rocks unfold. If you are pleasantly fascinated by beautiful natural scenarios and geology, then Torre Torre is a must visit.
If you move out on a trek in the mountains and up to the small towers on the surrounding towers, then you will be enriched with an absolutely stunning view of Huancayo’s urban landscape. Some would go so far as to call this area a Peruvian own mini-version of the Grand Canyon. Absolutely breathtaking!
Parque de los Sombreros
This park is at least one of the more special of its kind. The purpose of the Parque de los Sombreros is to pay homage to the old traditional hats that the people of Huancayo have worn over time.
Therefore, the whole park is adorned with giant colorful sculptures of various hats. Some are used as umbrellas for park guests, while others serve as a pot for planting. A few of the hats are references to traditional dance styles in Huancayo.
Parque de los Sombreros is, on the whole, a very characteristic park for Huancayo, which tells a somewhat different story. Unlike many other parks in Peru, which pay homage to Inca culture, the focus here is on the hat as being a trend, but still necessary to protect itself from wind and sun.
The Huarihuilka Archaeological Site – or Wari Wilka as it is also called – is only about six kilometers from Huancayo. It was in this area that the Huari / Wari people built their empire, and came to their feet as a people.
One of the most admirable things about this sacred place is how much remains actually well preserved. The construction of Huarihuilca has been traced back to pre-Inca times. However, one has never been able to determine how large the original buildings have been.
Among the old buildings and ruins is a small (un) cozy museum. Here are exhibits from all over the world, which over time have been discovered in Huarihuilca. Among many other objects, the museum houses a mummy.
Iglesia Maria Inmaculada
Hyuancayo is a city full of churches, but if you ask the tourists, there is one church that outshines the rest. Maria Church, close to the town square, consists of two large towers, between which the church building itself is located.
Even from the outside, it is hard not to be impressed by the beautiful church. The building is eggshell colored with white details. At the top of each tower sits a blue dome, whose glimpse can be seen from a long distance when the sun bakes beautifully on the church.
The church is of more recent date in relation to Huancayo’s other religious buildings. However, that does not change the fact that the Church of Mary is certainly a visit each. In fact, this is true of all of the city’s churches, where the time and place of construction have had a major impact on the architecture of the opulent buildings.
Before the Spanish invasion of Peru, it was the Huancas who lived in the Huancayos. It was this group that built the city from the ground up and drove the Huancayos for many years to come.
After the Inca Empire came into force, the Huancas people tried to fight for independence. The Inca Empire, however, was too strong, and therefore dampened the otherwise optimistic Huancas population. After Spanish colonization in Peru in the 17th century, Huancayo was hidden and forgotten for a while.
A resurrected kingdom
It was not until November 20, 1820, that the city was liberated and thus regained its dependence. After that it went strong. In the year 1831, the construction of the city’s cathedral began, and by the year 1854, Peru had closed the slave trade. As a symbol of this victory, a statue was erected to commemorate Huancayo Square forever. Huancayo had finally regained its strength, and an independent city was at last reborn.