Our journey through the Andes mountain continue and this time I want to share our experiences in Huamachuco. Before we came here, we didn’t know that this small town is a touristy place. Although it’s an important stop along the route between Trujillo and Cajamarca, two of the most important cities in northern Peru, Huamachuco receives very few visitors. However, we stayed with Mako Ramirez when we were here. Mako works in the Tourism Office of Huamachuco tour and he loves to help bicycle travelers like us. He allowed us to stay in his house for a few days to explore his town. From him also we learn a lot about Huamachuco.

The Festival

The Inca Dance

This town will be packed with tourists in July to August each year. Especially on August 15th due the anniversary of the foundation of Huamachuco, it has been one of the biggest and most popular festivals of the region, where the highlights are a serenade, music, dances and many more. While Mako was telling us about the festival, he showed us the Inca dance’s photos that attracted my eyes. Lucky me, I had a chance to see it the next day. There was an anniversary of collages in Huamachuco. A lot of students wearing traditional dresses and some of them were wearing the Inca dresses! Even though it wasn’t the real thing, I was happy enough to experience a little parade in here.

The Water Thermal

The Water Thermal in Yanasara

There are two hot springs near Huamachuco, Eden, and Yanasara. Although people said that Eden is filled with the incredible natural beauty, it does come with a challenge such as a long ride and bumpy roads. For those reasons also we preferred to go to Yanasara that is closer – an hour and a half drive away Huamachuco. It cost 6 soles per person by public transport. These thermal baths are a popular weekend destination for the people around town. There are two hot-water bathing pools as well as changing rooms and warm showers. We soaked our body in the 40°C hot spring water with a calm and beautiful view around us. It’s like an heaven on earth for bicyclists tour like us. Since there was a lack of information such as the time length maximum inside the pool or the pool depth, we recommend being aware of your self-conscience.

The Lake Sausacocha

Luis sketch of Lake Sausacocha

On our way back to Huamachuco from Yanasara, we made a stop and enjoyed the Lake Sausacocha. Sausacocha literally means lagoon that never dries. The area is absolutely breathtaking. the lake is known for delicious trouts, whether fried or in ceviche. After we tried fried trout that was tasty, we enjoyed the breeze of the lake. The atmosphere was so calm that Luis records it through his sketch.

The Ruins

Wiracochapampa

Aside of Markahuamachuco that is the largest archeological complex of the northern mountains of Peru, Huamachuco also has Wiracochapampa. We went there with Mako and his grandson. These pre-Incan ruins are accessible by a slightly strenuous half-hour walk from the main plaza. Just the same as numerous archaeological sites, it was underdeveloped. Although we get to wander around the site with ruined walls that some of them in the process of being restored to their former glory, there was little information about what the various sectors might have been. So, it was fun to explore the ruins with them since Mako has a lot of knowledge about it.

The Market

Huamachucoenos on Sunday market

Like in another market on the Andes mountain vendors are found every day of the week, selling a wide variety of items. These include fruit, bread, meat, potatoes, clothing, DVD’s, and other items for domestic use. But on Sunday, bunches of people with traditional clothes and well dresses come to town. Even if you are not looking to buy anything, the market is vibrant and full of activity, making it an interesting place to experience. It’s located at the northern edge of town, several blocks from the Plaza.

Conclusion
Although it’s a small city, Huamachuco is interesting to explore. The clean, well-maintain area and fresh weather made it pleasant to wander around the town. Another good thing is it was easy for us to find nice restaurants and cafes around with helpful attention. Last but not least, Mako and his family made our trip special. They received us with warm-hearted hospitality that made our experiences unforgettable.