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Apr. 17, 2024

I'm in Ica, Perú.

Ica, Perú



Ica, Perú, has a population of around 283,000. The city was founded in 1563 by the Spanish conquistador Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera. He gave the new town the name Villa de Valverde. On August 15, 2007, a 8.0 earthquake occurred off the coast of Peru, severely damaging buildings, houses and infrastructure in Ica, including the beautiful 16th century cathedral. Seventeen people died and 70 more were killed when a church collapsed. Pisco, which I visited previously, was even more severely damaged and many people were buried under buildings that had collapsed. Some 80% of the city's buildings were destroyed.

Ayacucho, Perú



Ayacucho, Perú, sits at an elevation of 2761 meters (9,058 feet) in a high Andes Mountains plain or plateau called Altiplano. The greater metropolatin area has a population of around 182,000 people. Ayacucho was founded in 1540 as "San Juan de la Frontera de Huamanga" and known simply as Huamanga until 1825. The official name was changed by Simón Bolívar in 1825 through a decree to commemorate the battle of Ayacucho during the Peruvian War of Independence. Ayacucho is famous for its 33 churches, which represent one for each year of Jesus' life. Ayacucho has large religious celebrations, especially during the Holy Week of Easter. These celebrations include horse races featuring Peruvian Caballos de Paso (This Peruvian horse is a breed of light saddle horse known for its smooth ride. It is distinguished by a natural, four-beat, lateral gait called the paso llano. This breed is protected by the Peruvian government and has been declared a Cultural Heritage of the Nation by the National Institute of Culture) and the traditional running of the bulls, known locally as the jalatoro or pascuatoro. The jalatoro is similar to the Spanish encierro (the famous 'running of the bulls'), except that the bulls are led by horses of the Morochucos (cowboys of the Peruvian Andes Plains).

Huancayo, Perú



Huancayo, Perú, sits at an elevation of 3259 meters (10,692 feet) in a high mountain valley called Mantaro Valley. The greater metropolatin area has a population of around 380,000 people, making it the fifth most populous city in Perú. Huancayo is the cultural and commercial center for all of the central Andes Mountains communities. Being so very high in the sky at more than 10 thousand feet it is also quite chilly. Yes, daytime highs reach the low 70s for a couple of hours, but beyond that, it's downright cold. During a few months of the year the night temps drop to near zero. I don't do well in such cold climates so I spent only two nights here, as I did in the previous mountain towns/cities I have visited.

Mazamari, Perú



Mazamari, Perú, sits at an elevation of 664 meters (2180 feet) pretty much in the center of Perú.The economy is supported mostly with cacao, coffee, and based on what I have seen around town - oranges. I wrote about Mazamari after my previous visits, the first post is dated February 18, 2023 and the second was posted on July 27, 2023, so I won't be writing a lot this time.

Oxapampa, Perú



Oxapampa, Perú, sits at an elevation of 1814 meters (5951 feet) at the center of Perú. This region is called Selva Alta, or High Jungle. The economy is supported mostly by raising cattle and growing coffee. This little town has countless tour agencies and coffee shops, which serve locally grown coffee. The Huancabamba River runs through the middle of the city, which is in a small valley.