Cajamarca’s mix of natural and archaeological attractions
Baños del Inca
The rejuvenating natural hot springs once favored by Inca royalty, is located five miles (8km) from the town.
Ventanillas de Otuzco
Is an ancient cemetery that pre-dates the Caxamarca culture, and probably was influenced by the Huari Empire. Hundreds of galleries and individual niches resembling windows were hewn into the volcanic stone.
The niches are 26 to 33 feet deep, 20 to 24 inches high (8-10m deep, 50-60cm high) and are rectangular or quadrangular in shape. Based on fragments found nearby, archaeologists believe the niches probably were originally sealed with gravestones carved with figures in Haut relief.
Legend has it that the Inca cleared out the niches and used them as storerooms for grain (“collca” in Quechua), redirecting their entrances towards the wind to keep them cool.
The niches lead into a network of dark and mysterious galleries, which appear to have no end, giving rise to myths of secret tunnels that linked Cajamarca to Cusco.
Cumbemayo or Cumbe Mayo is located about 14 miles (23km) from Cajamarca on a slightly eerie stretch of high Andean countryside with eroded rock formations that resemble groups of shrouded people.
The site also has caves containing petroglyphs, as well as amazingly engineered pre-Inca water channels running for several miles across the bleak terrain.
Agroturismo en Granja Porcón
Is a rural cooperative offering an agro-tourism program in Cajamarca´s northern highlands, including farming and animal husbandry.
A modest Andean village eight miles (13km) southeast of Cajamarca, offers ancient cave paintings and hikes to a beautiful waterfall.