The Central Highlands

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Central Highlands - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Ferrocarril Central Andino

    Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

    The Central Highlands' Ferrocarril Central Andino once laid claim to being the world's highest rail route. With the 2006 opening of China's...Read More

  • 2. Mines of Santa Bárbara

    Mine

    This ghostly abandoned mine dates from 1563, when the discovery of mercury in the hills south of Huancavelica turned the region into a key cog...Read More

  • 3. Ruinas Huari

    Ruins

    Recent excavations at this massive archaeological site have uncovered multilevel underground galleries, burial chambers, circular plazas, arched...Read More

  • 4. Vilcashuamán and Intihuatana

    Ruins

    Four long hours south of Ayacucho on winding, unpaved roads is the former Inca provincial capital of Vilcashuamán, set where the north–south...Read More

  • 5. Capilla de la Merced

    Historic District/Site

    In front of the Río Shulcas, the Capilla de la Merced is a national monument marking where Peru's Constitutional Congress met in 1830 and the...Read More

  • 6. Casa Museo Joaquín López Antay

    Museum/Gallery

    Joaquín López Antay was Ayacucho's most renowned maker of retablos; this lovely museum pays homage to his work. Biographical displays, explications...Read More

  • 7. Casa Ruiz de Ochoa

    Notable Building

    Across from the Iglesia Merced, one block from the Plaza de Armas, you'll see the colonial-style Casa Ruiz de Ochoa. The intricate, 18th-century...Read More

  • 8. Catedral

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The twin bell towers of Ayacucho's catedral, built in 1612 under Bishop Don Cristóbal de Castilla y Zamora, crown the Plaza de Armas. Step inside...Read More

  • 9. Chanchamayo

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Tarma sits at more than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet), but it's just a stone's throw from the ceja de selva , where many of Peru's citrus plantations...Read More

  • 10. Convento de Santa Rosa de Ocopa

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Originally a Franciscan mission whose role was to bring Christianity to the Amazon peoples, the 1725 building now has a reconstructed 1905 church...Read More

  • 11. Feria Dominical

    Market/Bazaar

    The Sunday market ( feria dominical ) attracts artists and shoppers from all the nearby mountain towns. It's a good place to browse for local...Read More

  • 12. Gruta de Huagapo

    Cave

    Head northwest of Tarma 28 km (17 miles) to Palcamayo, then continue 4 km (2½ miles) west to explore the Gruta de Huagapo limestone cave system...Read More

  • 13. Huarihuilca

    Ruins

    This ruined temple was built by the pre-Inca Huanca culture between 800 and 1200 AD. It consists of stone walls enclosing cells where captives...Read More

  • 14. Iglesia de San Francisco

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Begun in 1673, the Iglesia de San Francisco took nearly a century to complete. The dual white towers and red stone doorway—carved with regional...Read More

  • 15. Iglesia La Merced

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The Romanesque Iglesia La Merced was built in 1566, possibly by the friar Diego de Porras. Colonial treasures include a silver tabernacle, paintings...Read More

  • 16. Iglesia San Cristóbal

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Fronting a landscape of steep, grassy mountain slopes, the Iglesia San Cristóbal, with its three-tiered bell tower, was erected in 1542, the...Read More

  • 17. Iglesia San Francisco

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The 16th-century Iglesia San Francisco, the city's second-oldest church, has Cusco School paintings and a few colonial-era antiques. Peek inside...Read More

  • 18. Iglesia Santo Domingo

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The 1548 Iglesia Santo Domingo is now a national monument. The first bells ringing out Peru's independence from the Spanish after the Battle...Read More

  • 19. Instituto Nacional de Cultura

    Educational Institution

    The best place for contacts on local culture in Huancavelica is the Instituto Nacional de Cultura, which offers language, music, and dance lessons...Read More

  • 20. Kotosh

    Ruins

    Considered one of South America's oldest temples, the 4,000-year-old Kotosh is famous for the Templo de las Manos Cruzadas (Temple of the Crossed...Read More

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