35 Best Sights in The Central Highlands, Peru

Piscina de Aguas Termales de San Cristóbal

Locals believe that these hot-spring mineral baths, found in the tree-covered slopes north of town, have healing powers. Hundreds of pilgrims come from the surrounding villages during holy days.

Av. 28 de Abril, Huancavelica, Peru
067-753–222
Sight Details
S/5 private room, S/2 public area

Plaza de Armas

Huancavelica's main gathering place showcases wonderful colonial architecture. Across from the plaza is the restored 17th-century cathedral, which contains a silver-plated altar.

Plaza Huamanmarca

When the Spanish founded Huancayo in 1572, the Plaza Huamanmarca was the city center and the site of the weekly feria dominical (Sunday market). Today Huamanmarca Square is fronted by the post office, the telephone agency, and the Municipal Hall, and the feria dominical now takes place on Avenida Huancavelica.

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Prefectura

Also known as the Boza and Solís House, the Prefectura is tucked into a two-story, 1748 casona histórica (historic mansion). Local independence-era heroine María Prado de Bellido was held prisoner in the Prefectura's patio room until her execution by firing squad in 1822. The balcony opens out onto a lovely view of the Plaza de Armas.

Tomayquichua

This small village was reportedly the birthplace of Micaela Villegas, a famous indigenous actress in the 18th century and the mistress of Viceroy Manuel de Amat y Juniet, Peru's most prominent colonial official during the Enlightenment. Also known as La Perricholi, the spunky peruanita was the basis of Prosper Mérimée's comic novella Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement before becoming an important character—along with the viceroy—in Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey. A festival in July with parades, music, and dancing celebrates her vitality. Beautiful mountain views are the main attraction of the 2,000-meter-high (6,500-foot- high) area. Sixteenth-century San Miguel Arcángel, one of the first churches built in the Huánuco area, is nearby in the village of Huacar.