Fodor's Expert Review Mines of Santa Bárbara
Huancavelica Mine Free Fodor's Choice
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 in Spain's precious-metals machine. It closed in 1786, after one of the mine shafts collapsed, killing 200 workers. If you make the two-hour trek from town, you can see what remains of the former mining village, complete with church and school. The mine itself, however, is sealed off due to the poisonous gases still present inside. You can also pay a taxi driver S/60 to take you and wait as you explore. The mine is tentatively slated to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so to get the jump on the crowds, go now.