Official language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
Time zone: UTC -5
Currency: Sol (PEN)
21 kilometers north of the city, you’ll find the archeological site called Sóndor. It consists of the ruins of the temple that predate the Inca empire. You can take a bus (colectivo) from the city center or go by car.
Laguna de Pacucha is among the main attractions of the area. It’s a lake at an altitude of 3,300 m.a.s.l. One day will be enough to take a walk around it and have lunch in one of the local restaurants.
Every year, at the end of July, the Yawar Fiesta (Blood Festival) takes place in the region of Apurimac. It’s a ritual fight between a condor and a bull, symbolizing a struggle between the local people and Spanish conquistadors.
Located at an altitude of almost 3,000 m.a.s.l., the city of Andahuaylas is not a typical tourist spot, but you might discover here what life is really like in Peru.
Andahuaylas lies halfway between Cuzco and Ayacucho. It’s here that travelers can unwind after several hours’ journey (providing, on the other hand, a quite spectacular view). Even though the city is built alongside the river and seems to sprawl for miles, in fact, it’s not that big – you can get everywhere on foot. Just step outside the hotel, keep your eyes wide open, and walk ahead to experience the everyday life of the city’s inhabitants – mostly the Quechua Indians. With its colorful traditional clothing, flavorsome food, cheerful music filling the streets, and incredible landscape of surrounding mountains crisscrossed with numerous hiking trails, Andahuaylas is just an unforgettable place.
If you are here on Sunday, visit a traditional market, situated by the river in the eastern part of the city. Stalls are set up along a one-kilometer stretch of the waterfront, which makes it one of the largest and most vibrant markets in South America. You can choose from a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, colorful fabrics, spices, and even livestock (cows, sheep, llamas, or guinea pigs), as well as eat roast meat or get folk remedies, such as snake oil. It’s also a dream place for photographers. If you don’t want to miss anything, get there early in the morning.
Sightseeing can work up an appetite! To satisfy it, go to the typical Peruvian restaurant serving Andean specialties. We recommend, e.g., Vista Alegre on Av. Malinas and Puma de Piedra on Jr. Los Sauces. What should you order? The uchullachua con papas y huevos is worth a try. It’s made up of potatoes, eggs, fresh chili, and huacatay known as Peruvian black mint. You might also like sancocho de cordero (roasted lamb with potatoes, chili, and brown ale) and kapchi de habas (potatoes and beans simmered in an aromatic sauce). Roasted guinea pigs is another local delicacy – want to grab a bite?