Huancavelica is the capital of the department of Huancavelica. The population is about 37,000, altitude 3,680 m. Huancavelica is surrounded by about 4000 m high mountains that give a fantastic panorama. Around the plaza, many colonial buildings dominate the view.
The Tourist Office is very helpful, Jr. Victoria Garma 444 (next to the marked hall), Tele-fax 064-752938.
There are daily trains from Huancayo, leaving Huancayo at 06:00 and 13:00 during the week, and 14:00 and 18:00 Sundays. The journey takes about 5 hours.
From Huancayo, there are buses too for around S/15. Shared taxis are taken from around the bus station and cost S/30, and take 2-3 hours. The road is paved so the trip competes with the train for comfort now.
From Ayacucho (note: dirt roads may be impassible in the rainy season)
- The direct way via colectivo to Julcamarca, a second colectivo to Lircay, and a third colectivo to Huancavelica (all dirt roads). With luck and an early start, you could make it through in one day. Basic accommodation is available in Julcamarca and Lircay, if necessary.
- Via Rumichaca and St. Ines. Take a morning bus along the main road from Ayacucho to the coast until Rumichaca (paved and in good condition), and then catch a bus to Huancavelica (departure 10:30, dirt road). The landscape is unique and impressive, most of it is between 4000 and 5000 m above sea level.
- Take the morning bus to Huancayo, get off at Izuchaca (8-10 hours) where the dirt road becomes paved, and then catch onward local transport to Huancavelica (~1 hour).
To Ayacucho Do the above in reverse.
- Colectivos to Lircay, Julcamarca, and the Ayacucho. An early start is required if you are going to get through in one day.
- Via Rumichaca: The bus leaves at 04:30 (!) from Plaza Tumpac Amaru del Barrio de Yananaco to Rumichaca (dirt road, very impressive landscape, 6 hr). The bus company San Juan Bautista at Plaza Tupac Amaru sells tickets. From Rumichaca, take one of buses that go from the coast to Ayacucho (paved road). Most of these do not pass through Rumichaca until mid-afternoon.
- Take local transport to Izuchaca, and catch the Huancayo to Ayacucho bus from there around 08:00 or so.
Not a problem. Distances are small, just walk. If you need a taxi, don't pay more than S/3 in the city.
- Most of the churches are open between 17:00 and 19:00. They are worth a visit.
- Thermal bath with water temperatures between 18 and 22°C. The basins are refilled every day in the early morning hours. So, the earlier you come, the warmer the water.
- Mochica Sanchun, Av Virrey Toledo 303.
- Hotel Presidente, Plaza de Armas. Chinese menu and à la carte.
- Santa Barbara is a very old mining village, founded just after the conquista. It was abandoned in the late 1980s. You still can see the mining plants and tunnels as they were. The church gives an impression of the former richness. Take a taxi (ask the driver to wait, otherwise you have to walk back) or make a day trip by feet. It is on the other side of the mountain with the remarkable antennas on the top.