Cajamarca: Land of the Thorns.
This is a city with so much History, traditions and energy that is impossible say no to it. Located in the north of Perù, Cajamarca is an obligated destination on your travel.
Cajamarca comes from the Quechua words Kasha, which means thorns, since one of the plants that abound is the Cactus of Sampedro, knowing for his use by the shamans, who drink it to meditate and have contact with world of beyond, and Marka, which means town, that’s why Cajamarca is known as the land of the thorns.
Cajamarca have one of the most ancient places were people lived, the conditions for his arrival must be in a primitive state, but the knowledge of some thing made these persons a very clever and competent, finding by example many cave paintings that has an age of almost 3000 years old, the scenes in the caves show how the people of that time use to hunt some deers and guinea pigs, one of the most famous caves is the one called Callac Puma, an ancient site where the local natives use to live and establish as his home.
Cajamarca is well known for being the place where one of the most important and deciding incidents occurred here: The captures of the Inca Atahualpa by the Spanish conquer Francisco Pizarro, in 1532.
It all starts when Pizarro arrive to Cajamarca in search of one of the most powerful man in the entire continent, Atahualpa, who were at the time the leader of the Tahuantinsuyo empire. Atahualpa was so confident about the encounter that he went carried by his subjects on a litter. When the two person see each other faces, one priest called Vicente de Valverde approach to the Inca and give him a bible, Atahualpa has never seen a book, he smelled, shake it and throw to the ground, that was the reason to every Spanish went mad and took Atahualpa prisoner, and the rescue is going to be the most and precious material of all: Gold.
But this is not going to be an easy job, because all the gold must be brought from every part of the Empire, resulting a room full of gold a the half of that room of silver, but even not all the gold and silver of the region could be useful to his rescue: Atahualpa was declared guilty of being heretic by throwing to the ground one of the most sacred things in the world, the holy bible.
Atahualpa died by the law of the cudgel, on 1533, but before that he convert to the Christianity to make sure that his soul have a place in heaven.
The Viceroyalty period was splendid for the Cajamarca citizens, since the mining was
A huge incoming of wealth, because of the extraction of cupper, silver and gold.
All the materials were carried to send back to Spain, when the material was transformed in jewelry and dinning articles.
The republican time was the period where Cajamarca acquired the category of city, in 1802 received the title of city by the viceroyalty of Spain, counting with several Spanish families.
Being locate in the sierra north of Perù, Cajamarca have a dry and sunny weather during the day and cold at night, reaching the annual temperature of 15, 8 degrees, and his closeness to the equator show a soft and warm winter and a rainy and hot summer.
The rainy seasons are from December to March, the dry season starts in the fall, and the winter is very mild during the day and cooler at night, it show from May to September.
Main touristic attractions
Is a group of niches that the ancient people deposit the bodies of their deceased, is located at 8km from the city of Cajamarca, is known like window because of the shape that the niches have, has a longitude of 50-60cm, carved on the wall of the mountains, they can reach a depth of 8 to 10 meters.
The reason why the people buried their bodies like that is that they don’t want to anybody reach and maybe took their offers.
Is an Archaeological site located at 3500 meters above the sea level, at 19km from the city of Cajamarca. The name comes from the Quechua phrase kumpi mayu, which means canal well built, or Humpi mayo, which means Narrow River.
Julio Càsar Tello was the Archaeologist who found the site in 1937; he said that the rests are approximately 1000 years B.D., finding petro glyph, and stones with several draws of people, animals and zoomorphic creatures.
He also found an aqueduct that belongs to the Inca period, with a longitude of 850 meters approx., until these days the water flows over the canal, showing that the Incas know how made last their constructions.
Churches and the Cathedral
One of the principal characteristics of the churches in Cajamarca is that many of them have no bell tower, because of the lack of money at that time, but still are beautiful work of art from the Baroque period.
The Cathedral was built in the XVII century, presenting a facade made of volcanic stones.
The Belen Temple was lead by the Jesuits in the XVII-XVIII until his expulsion.
The rescue room is one of the most iconic places in the region, was the place where Francisco Pizarro made swear Atahualpa that he must give to the Spanish conquer the amount of the room until his hand reach the roof of the room.
The Main Square is also famous for being the place where Atahualpa was captured and took prisoner.
How to get to Cajamarca
Cajamarca counts with an airport, the Aeropuerto Mayor General FAP Armando Revoredo Iglesias, located at 3km from the city.
You can reach Cajamarca by taking a bus from Lima and go ahead by the north highway, and then you must reach a town called Ciudad de Dios, to finally go through the Gavilan, a small town which detours from the western mountain range.