Women in tradional clothing from Cajamarca - Peru
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Cajamarca

Cajamarca

Cajamarca takes a special place in history. It was here that the Inca empire would be no more when the Inca royal entourage was overtaken in the Battle of Cajamarca in the evening of November 16, 1532.

The city lies in Northeastern Peru in a fantastic surrounding in the midst of the Peruvian Andes on an altitude of 2,700 meters (8,900 feet). Highlights are the Ransom Room, Plaza de Armas, Inca Baths and the Ventanillas de Otuzco (a pre-inca burial place).

Cajamarca is not on the tourist map and is all yours to enjoy. The city itself is build at the foot of the Santa Appollonia hill and the surroundings are impressive.

The Plaza de Armas is one of the largest of Peru with a major historical value. It was here that the battle of two cultures found place. A new plaza was built over the old one were Inca Emperor Atahualpa was executed.

The cathedral on the Plaza de Armas was built in the 17th century. Its facade shows refined baroque art with arabesque columns, cornices and niches. The great altar inside is in gold. Several churches such as the San Francisco Church and the Iglesia de la Recoleta can be visited in Cajamarca.

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A water fountain in Cajamarca - Peru The Ransom Room of Cajamarca is the main monument of the encounter of two worlds. The room is the only remains of Inca architecture. It was here that the captured Inca Emperor Atahualpa offered to fill the room with gold and silver in return for his freedom. The Spanish conquistadores agreed but executed him just the same. Read the story of the Battle of Cajamarca

In the surroundings of Cajamarca you can visit the Baños del Inca (Inca Baths) with hot thermal waters. Due to their healing properties they are considered one of the most important hot spring baths of South America. The baths are about 6 km from Cajamarca.

The Ventanillas de Otuzco is a pre-inca burial site 8 km from Cajamarca. It is a great walk (2 hours). The burial site has cripts excavated in rocky terrain.



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© All photographs by Mark Van Overmeire