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Ayacucho Travel and Tours Peru

Ayacucho Tours, Travel and Adventures
Tourism in Peru

VISIT AYACUCHO

Ayacucho is very well known for its artisans that have inherited from their ancestors all they know. This city counts with many churches and temples. During the Holy Week the city is crowded with many Christians from all the country..

Ayacucho it's alson known as the City of Churches - Ayacucho City, Peru

Ayacucho tours: Ayacucho Historic - Ayacucho tourism - Vilcashuaman - Ayacucho Hotels - Pampa Galeras.Back to top

Places to visit in the city of Ayacucho:

• Colonial churches. There are 33 churches and each one possesses an extremely ornate altar. The following are the stand-outs: the Cathedral (1612), Church of the Company of Jesus (XVII century), Church of Saint Christopher (1540), which is the oldest in the city, Church of Saint Francis of Assisi (1552), Church and Convent of Saint Claire (1568), Church of Saint Teresa (1688); Church and Convent of Saint Dominic (1548), and the Church of Our Lady of Mercy (1541).

• Colonial casonas (mansions). Main traits of these buildings are their wide hallways, stone portals of great detail and walls featuring animal motifs, mainly pumas and serpents. The most important among these mansions are: Casona Vivanco (XVII century), Casona Ruíz de Ochoa (XVII century), Casona Boza y Solís (1740) and the Casona de Castilla y Zamora (1677), now home of the San Cristóbal de Huamanga National University.

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Excursions from the city of Ayacucho:

• Artisan quarter of Santa Ana. It is a quarter traditionally populated by families of craftsmen, who express their creativity in the different types of handicrafts made in the region, such as Huamanga stone carvings, knitting, retablos, tin plating, pottery, leather work, among many others.

• Wari archeological complex. It is one of the largest urban centers from ancient Peru, belonging to the Wari culture, which flourished between the 6th and 11th centuries A.D.

• Town of Quinua. The town itself has preserved its typical Andean spirit, and its inhabitants mainly make their living from creating pottery. Here, the Spanish signed the final capitulation, thus putting and end to their ruling in South America.

• Pampa de Ayacucho Historic Sanctuary. This was the scene of the Battle of Ayacucho (1824) and a commemorative obelisk has been built. You can take horse back rides in this area.

• Vilcashuamán. “Sacred Falcon” in Quechua. It was a prominent Incan administrative center that also includes a church built by the Conquistators with stones taken from the site. It has its own Temple of the Sun and Moon and zan impressive ceremonial platform, called Ushno.

• Pampa Galeras Bárbara D’Achille National Reserve. A vast plain with rolling hills, surrounded by valleys and ravines. Apart from being the best natural refuge for one of the most beautiful Andean animals, the vicuña, it is also the habitat of other native animals, like the Andean fox, the taruca (a species of Andean deer), the vizcacha and a large variety of birds. You can enter the reserve directly from the city of Nasca (Ica).

Ayacucho tours: Ayacucho Historic - Ayacucho tourism - Vilcashuaman - Ayacucho Hotels - Pampa Galeras.Back to top

WHEN?

Prickly pear and Cochineal International Fair. One week in January. Fair and exhibition of typical dishes made with the prickly pear (an Andean fruit), in the district of Ayacucho, province of Huamanga. Live music and cock fights are organized during this event.

Holy week. March or April, moveable. The Catholic people of Ayacucho show their faith in their own special way during Holy Week. Day after day, huge crowds of faithful partake in processions as these move through streets that are covered with decorative carpets that people fashion with flower petals; it is their way of remembering the Passion of Christ. Ayacucho Carnival. February. The celebration takes place in the different provinces of the department. For three days, festivals and colorful parades of people dressed in traditional costumes fill the streets, accompanied by regional music. You can also sample many regional dishes at specially erected stalls. Water festival or Yaku Raymi. August. People celebrate this festival in the district of Andamarca, province of Lucanas, by cleansing the canals with pagapu rites (in which they give thanks to the Pachamama – or Mother Earth – and to the Andean gods). The high point of the festival is the scissors dancers performances. Chaccu (Vicuña shearing ceremony). June. Held in the Pampa Galeras Bárbara D’Achille National Reserve, in the province of Lucanas. Vicuñas, who live in the wild, are gathered to be sheared following the traditional techniques inherited from the Incas.

Ayacucho tours: Ayacucho Historic - Ayacucho tourism - Vilcashuaman - Ayacucho Hotels - Pampa Galeras.Back to top

Ayacucho

“Visit Ayacucho, walk through its churches and bring back a souvenir made from the gifted hands of its artisans.” Christened Ayacucho by the Liberator Simón Bolivar, almost all its residents insist on calling the city by its original name, Huamanga. It is a friendly, peaceful city, where one can search for God in churches as plentiful as the beads on a rosary, chat in the open air of sunny patios and satisfy their hunger pangs with chaplas, traditional bread that looks like pita bread.
The main square here is the only one in Peru completely surrounded by stone arcades, and some of its landmarks, like the Church of Saint Christopher, date back to the city’s founding, 1540. And though in recent years modern restaurants have appeared on the cobbled streets of downtown Ayacucho, it is still the magnificence of the old mansions, complementing the beauty of the religious architecture, which captures the attention of visitors. In the nearby Historic Sanctuary of Pampa de Ayacucho (Ayacucho Battlefield), the battle that sealed South American independence from Spain was fought. And, just steps away is the town of Quinua, dotted with white houses and sleepy streets that give out calm to the soul as one can watch expert potters perpetuate traditions that begun centuries before with the Wari culture. Ayacucho is a land of peace and of hope for a better future.

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Ayacucho is rightfully called the “Handicraft Capital City” of Peru due to the variety of crafts its artisans make, such as colorful hand made retablos, beautiful alabaster carvings, leather articles and even animal horns with pastoral scenes carved on them.

Routes & length of stay

City of Ayacucho historic downtown, churches, mansions and the neighborhood of Santa Ana.
Wari archeological complex, Pampa de Ayacucho and the town of Quinua.
Puyas at the Vishcongo archeological site, Lake Pomacocha and Vilcashuamán archaeological complex.
Pikimachay Cave, Huanta Valley and Lauricocha. 1 Pampa de Ayacucho Historic Sanctuary
2 Quinua

Ayacucho tours: Ayacucho Historic - Ayacucho tourism - Vilcashuaman - Ayacucho Hotels - Pampa Galeras.Back to top

Accommodation and tourist services

There are hotels and hostels up to 3 stars in the city of Ayacucho.
There are restaurants of varied categories that serve traditional Ayacucho dishes, as well as Peruvian and international food. Also available are guided tours and transport offered by travel agencies.

Ayacucho tours: Ayacucho Historic - Ayacucho tourism - Vilcashuaman - Ayacucho Hotels - Pampa Galeras.Back to top

 

Recommended for

History aficionados, who will enjoy visiting the Pampa de Ayacucho, site of the battle where South American independence from Spain was sealed, back in 1824. Handicraft collectors, who should definitely go to the neighborhood of Santa Ana. Archeology buffs, who cannot afford missing out on the Vilcashuamán site. Nature lovers, who will thoroughly enjoy their visit to see the cluster of puyas at Vishcongo.

Ayacucho tours: Ayacucho Historic - Ayacucho tourism - Vilcashuaman - Ayacucho Hotels - Pampa Galeras.Back to top

 

What to buy?

The craft most associated with Ayacucho is its famous retablos (type of portable shrine) in which artisans depict scenes filled with local customs and religious images. In terms of fabrics, weavers and knitters use techniques that have been passed down from master to apprentice for generations, like naturally dyeing the threads used in carpets and shawls. Other familiar souvenirs you can pick up in Ayacucho are carved Huamanga stones (alabaster), and last by not least, any of the art works done in silver filigree.

What to eat?

Although there is no lack of international and traditional Peruvian Creole food, you will mostly find restaurants offering local Ayacucho dishes. Regional cuisine is characterized by the use of plenty of pork, vegetables and Andean grains. Its most well known dish is puca picante, a stew of deep fried pork, seasoned with peanut sauce, beets, red chili peppers and annatto. When you sit down to order an appetizer, ask for the qapchi, a salad made from new potatoes (somewhat starchier than normal), chunks of fresh cheese, diced onions and yellow chili peppers, and the soup should be patache (wheat and bacon, mainly). If it is a jam you crave at breakfast for your bread, then ask for the sauco (elderberry).

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On the first day in Ayacucho, we highly recommend eating something light, drinking coca tea (mate de coca) and avoiding alcoholic beverages.
One thing to remember when shopping: buyers are expected to bargain for the goods they wish to get.

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AYACUCHO

The Ayacucho department is in the southern Andes and contains a number of tourist sites attracting many visitors. The capital city, also known as Ayacucho, is said to have a church on every corner. These churches were built by the Spanish in the colonial period and contain much artwork. The department is home to various Wari archeological sites. The cities and towns of Ayacucho specialize in creating and selling handicrafts. Many of the handicrafts are created in Huamanga stone which is native to the department.

The Vilcashuaman archeological site is an important Incan site. Ayacucho it's alson known as the City of Churches.
In fact, it has an impressive Cathedral - completed in 1672 - and nearly thirty other churches of Renaissance and Baroque style dating back to XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries. The oldest chapel in town is San Cristobal - 1540.
Ayacucho it's a gigantic monument of Colonial architecture, a superb destination for your Peru holidays. With such a strong religious influence, Holy Week here is the biggest celebration of this kind in Peru. It was born in 1539 as "San Juan de la Frontera de Huamanga", founded by Francisco Pizarro.
Its name later changed to Ayacucho, in 1824, after the historic battle that bears its name and determined Peru's independence from Hispanic rule. The name comes from Quechua which means "the death ones corner". Ayacucho it's also famous for its artisans: ceramics, textiles, retablos, mates burilados, silver ware and even sculptures made of Piedra de Huamanga. An incredible and talented mix of Indigenous and Spanish Colonial art.

Ayacucho tours: Ayacucho Historic - Ayacucho tourism - Vilcashuaman - Ayacucho Hotels - Pampa Galeras.Back to top

How to Get There:

By Air: From Lima it takes just over one hour. You'll land at Alfredo Mendivil Duarte Airport. Visit airports in Peru for more info. By Bus: Lima-Pisco-Ayacucho Distance: 558 km. Estimated duration: 8-9hrs.
Lima-Huancayo-Ayacucho. Distance: 551 kms. Estimated duration: 10-11 hrs.

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