There is so much to do and so much to see in Cajamarca. Check out our list of tourist attractions in the region of Cajamarca.
The Plaza de Armas of Cajamarca is considered the most important plaza in South America because it is the location where the Inca emperor Atahualpa was captured by Francisco Pizarro in 1532. Today you will find a beautiful octagonal stone pool signifying where the capture took place. In 1699, the place was finally named the Plaza Mayor of Cajamarca.
The Cathedral of Cajamarca was constructed during the late 17th and early 18th century and is located on the side of the Plaza de Armas. The façade with its three entrances represents the Baroque art and the main altar is completely covered with gold.
The San Francisco Church, built with carved stones in the late 17th century, is located in the city center of Cajamarca in front of the Plaza de Armas. The church has three naves, a dome with stained glass windows and walls with various niches, altarpieces, and wooden altars. The adjacent sanctuary is dedicated to the Virgin de los Dolores, the patron saint of Cajamarca. Next to the church you can also find the famous catacombs.
The Cuarto de Rescate (The Ransom Room) is the only Inca building in Cajamarca that still exists. In 1533 Pizarro imprisoned Atahualpa, the last Incan emperor, in this building. Atahualpa filled the room with gold in the hope of being released. However, he was executed after he had finished. Inside the Cuarto de Rescate you can see paintings showing the story of Atahualpa’s time in the room. The entrance ticket is not just valid for the Cuarto de Rescate but also for the Complejo de Belén as well as the Museo Arqueológico and Etnográfico.
This museum exhibits ceramics, bone remains, textiles and murals found in excavations carried out by the French Mission in 1947. The findings belong to an unknown pre-Inca culture. Everything that researchers know about this culture is exposed in the museum. The museum is a part of the Belén Monumental Complex that represents the colonial architecture of Cajamarca.
The Belén Church can be found next to the Belén Monumental Complex. This baroque church is one of the most beautiful churches in Cajamarca with its cupola and well-carved pulpit. In the church, one can observe different wood carvings, among them is a wooden Christ. The inside of the church is not the only beautifully decorated area of the building because in addition, the outside walls of the church are adorned.
The Casa Museo Nicolás Puga is a typical house that is more than 200 years old and located a few blocks from the city center, in José Gálvez 634. This museum houses a work of art set that is very important. Most of these cultural goods belonged to important Cajamarca families that settled in the city since the arrival of the Spanish in 1532.
This natural viewpoint is located a few blocks from the city center. From above you can enjoy an amazing view of the city of Cajamarca and the valley. After climbing the stairs, one can also find a chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Fatima and at the top, one can see archaeological remains known as the "Silla del Inca". The Cerro Santa Apolonia is a place of leisure, walks, and beautiful gardens.
These natural hot springs are located 6 km from Cajamarca. Centuries ago it was a place of relaxation for the emperor, Atahualpa. Other than the hot springs, there is also a spa that offers massages.
The Otuzco Windows are located 8 km outside the city of Cajamarca in the Inca Baths district. Being the necropolis of an ancient pre-Inca culture, tourists can admire hundreds of 8 to 10 meter deep niches as well as galleries that were carved into the rock. These niches served as grain deposits. To keep the deposits fresh, the niches were re-directed against the wind. Some windows can be entered. Inside the windows, tourists can see obscure galleries that don’t seem to end.
Located 11 km outside the city of Cajamarca, this place is surrounded by the countryside. The Ex Hacienda La Collpa is dedicated to the raising of dairy cattle. Tourists can visit the cowshed, the Hacienda House, the artificial lagoon, the Virgen del Carmen Chapel and the viewpoint which offers beautiful views of the green,colorful mountains.
The archaeological complex of Cumbemayo, located 20 km from the city of Cajamarca, is one of the oldest constructions in South America. It was constructed by the Cajamarca culture around 1,500 BC and consists of three archaeological groups. Most appealing is the aqueduct which runs 8 kilometers and carries water from the hills to the city. But also the sanctuary is worth a visit due to its interesting rock structure which resembles a big human head. Apart from the aqueduct and the sanctuary tourists can also visit caves and shelters at the complex.
At this 12,800 hectares farm you can feed animals and participate in agricultural activities. The farm is located 20 km north of Cajamarca. It is the perfect place for hiking or horseback riding through the forest. Rappelling, canoeing and cycling are possible too!