Location: Center of Perú
Area: 44 410 km2.
Capital: Huancayo (3249 masl)
Altitude: Minimum: 313 masl (Puerto Prado)
Maximum: 4505 masl (Morococha)

Paca Lagoon

Jauja Cathedral

Acolla Musician

Easter in Tarma


Located in the department of Junín, the city of Huancayo, nicknamed the Incomparable, is a busy commercial and tourist city in the midst of the Andes. It is also the living symbol of a proud people. For centuries, the Mantaro Valley was dominated by the Huancas, a warring tribe that was an enemy to the Incas, before finally being conquered by Inca ruler Pachacútec in the fifteenth century.

The Huancayo townspeople are proud of having kept their traditions alive, which can be seen from the many monuments built around the city in honor of the Huanca Identity. Particularly interesting are the artisans' quarters of Tambo and San Jerónimo, whose inhabitants have been potters and silversmiths since the dawn of civilization. Travelers can also visit the nearby town of Ingenio and lunch on the delicious fresh rainbow trout bred at the many fish farms in the area.

In other provinces of the department of Junín, such as Concepción, one can find marvels such as the Ocopa Convent or Lake Paca in Jauja. Huancayo is also famous for its cuisine, with exotic dishes such as Papa a la Huancaína (potato in a spicy cheese sauce), Uman Caldo (sheepshead broth), Patachi (a bacon and wheat soup) and Huallca Chupe (chicken and vegetable soup). These are just a few of the many local recipes that can be sampled to the strains of local dances such as the Huaylarsh, Chonguinada and Sahapi.