The city of Huancavelica is the capital of the Huancavelica region which is often described as the poorest cities in Peru with many areas populated with shanty town type housing and a large population of Indigenous people make up the population. The city is spread over a large area and varies in altitude from over 5,000 meters in the mountains to 2,000 meters in the areas of the valleys of Huancavelica. This area of Peru can be quite a challenge to get to for many travellers but once you make it to this city there is much to like in regards to the friendly people, the architecture and the history that is everywhere in Huancavelica.
This city has a cruel and sad history with many indigenous Peruvians loosing their lives to the mining activities that made this town. After the Spanish had moved in and taken this area the local people were used in the mines to extract the rich sources of mercury and silver. This activity was dangerous and many people lost their lives. The current town of Huancavelica was founded officially in the late 1500s and has definite colonial history that is reflected in the many buildings and churches that are present in the town area of Huancavelica.
Tourists that are planning on visiting this area of Peru should think about visiting during the dry season which is between May and October. This area can be very cold with wind coming off the tops of the mountains. Apart from the colonial style influences of architecture Huancavelica also has great little markets and many activities that are centred around the main square in the middle of town.
The accommodation is quite reasonable and the prices are quite cheap compared with other areas of Peru. To cater for the tourists that move through this area during the dry season there are a few great places to eat and as with the accommodation much of this is located in the town centre.
Huancavelica is a great place to visit especially for those travellers who are looking to add to their Peru experience by travelling somewhere that is a bit off the beaten track. Many tourists don’t visit this area as sometimes it can be quite a challenge to organise travel to Huancavelica but those who persevere will be rewarded with an experience that will be both memorable and rewarding.