Buses from Huancayo take about 4 hours and leave from the multi-company terminal on Av. Ferrocarril.
The town center is very walkable. Mototaxis to most locations are 1 sole per person during the day, a bit more at night.
La Merced is reasonably close to the waterfalls Catarata de Bayoz and Velo de la Novia, see the Pichanaki page for details.
- Banos Termales de Uchubamba (Take the road towards Uchubamba). Thermal Pools.
- Catarata Sanchirio (Take the road towards Oxapampa. Near San Luis de Shuaro). Waterfall
- 1 Catarata del Tirol (17km from La Merced. About 5km up a dirt road immediately after Puente San Ramon on the right hand side when travelling from Tarma to La Merced. 11° 08' 15 S 75° 19' 53 W). You need to walk for about 15 minutes up a gorge to reach the waterfall, its a fairly easy walk up a well made path. Adults S/.1.00.
- Catarata Tunquimayo (Near Vitoc. Take the road towards Uchubamba). Waterfall.
- 2 Ducha del Diablo (11° 10' 21 S 75° 27' 06 W).
- Puente Colgante Kimiri. Suspension bridge made in 1901
- Santuario Nacional Pampa Hermosa. Tropical/subtropical jungle, waterfalls, Yungas.
- Zoologico (10 min walking from the terminal, in direction of Oxapampa/Pichanaki). A big butterfly house and a few animals in very small cages 5 S.
- Puente Kimiri, in the direction of Oxapampa/Pichanaki (45min walking from the center). Cross it, then follow the red arrows 30min until a small wood house and a river. There are 3 waterfalls here. On the right Las Reinas, you have to walk in the water. On the left Hanuman (by the river or other path going up), then Gondika further, by the river.
A variety of tours have hawkers in the central plaza in the morning until about 10:00. Most of the companies offer the same options.
- Perene Tour - this jungle overview tour is appropriate for all ages and abilities. It includes 2 waterfalls (you can swim at the bottom), a "native village", a coffee processor, a boat ride, and a stop for lunch. It runs about s/35 (about $15 US).
- Indiana Jones Tour - not the real name, but they will know what you are talking about. This trip takes you up a creek bed with several waterfalls that you climb with a rope through the water. At times you scale wet slippery rocks without a rope. Good physical condition is highly recommended (not by them, but by me!) Some groups also have 2 guides to help you up the waterfalls. If you're nervous you may want to ask around for a 2-guide tour. s/25 (about $10 US) per person.
- Discoteca Kametsa Cafe Rock - A nightclub on the outskirts of town that is hopping on Saturday nights with a fun and friendly crowd. Plays a heavily Latin mix.
Coffee and cocoa are grown locally not to mention lots of fruit. Art and craft made by the Ashaninkas make good souvenirs also.
- try an icecream in Bio fresh (3 S for 2 balls, just before the terminal, or in the mainplace but you can't sit)
- Casa de Allen has good burgers in 3 sizes, flaming crepes with ice cream (a bit further than the Municipal Albergue los Peregrinos, Av Peru, 40 min walking from the center). Allen knows the area well, he can give you good information (to go on the rio for instance).
- You can try local selva food in various locations around town: and try local animals meat such as zamaño, cutpe, sajino (all are some wild pigs), venado (deer), or fishes such as doncella or zungaro.
- Hostal Prince, 153 Jr. Arequipa, La Merced, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Nice, clean rooms Doble S/.40.00 (that's a room with two single beds).
- Atalaya The Emerald of Ucayali. Boats travelling downstream to Pucallpa.
- Oxapampa (10 S, 1h40)
- Tarma - The Pearl of the Andes.
- Villa Rica