extension and population
historic outline |
Main attractions of the capital city |
Main attractions of the department of Junin
Typical dishes and beverages |
EXTENSION AND POPULATION
The department of Junín is located in the central region
of the Peruvian Andes. Due to its geographical position, it
comprises Sierra and Jungle zones. The weather is cold and
dry in the Sierra, with marked differences between day and
night, and the rainy season being from November through April.
It limits with Pasco, Ucayali, Cusco, Ayacucho, Huancavelica
It has an extension of 43,384
km² (16,751 sq ml) and a population of over 100,000 people.
The capital is the city
of Huancayo, at 3,271 m.a.s.l. (10,731 ft), located
in the middle of the Mantaro Valley and at the left margin
of the river with the same name. Other important cities are
Jauja, Concepción, La Oroya, Tarma, Satipo and Chanchamayo.
The department of Junín
is located in what in the past was a region inhabited by the
Huancas, a fierce community that was conquered by the
Inca Pachacutec in 1460. Huancayo then became the main regional
tambo (inn) of the Caminos del Inca or Inca
In 1534, the region was occupied
by the Spanish. On April 25 of that same year, under the command
of Francisco Pizarro, the first capital of Perú, Jauja,
was founded. On July 26, 1538, after defeating the Collas,
Chancas and Incas, the conquerors founded the
city of Tarma, which later on became the biggest contributor
to the Spanish crown.
In 1571, the town of Huancayo
During Colonial times, the locals
rebelled against the Spanish abuse. One of these rebels was
Juan Santos Atahualpa, who for many years became a threat
for the Spanish rule.
Huancayo proclaimed the national
independence on November 20, 1820, and two years later, the
Viceroyship of Torre Tagle bestowed it with the title of Insuperable
City. Afterwards, on August 6, 1824, in the Pampas of
Junín, took place the definite fight to banish the
oppressive Realists (the Spanish). On that day, one
of the most important battles in the continent was won, the
Battle of Ayacucho.
During the Pacific War, an amazing
case of heroism occurred when the Toledo family, mother and
two daughters, commanding a group of natives armed with axes,
prevented the enemy to cross through the city. They fought
fiercely and were also able to cut the bridge moorings when
the enemy army was crossing through.
With a battalion of peasants
armed with rocks and slings, Field Marshal Andrés Avelino
Cáceres fought Breña Campaign, preventing
the Chileans from invading the central part of the country.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE CAPITAL CITY
Capilla de la Merced.
The chapel where the Constitutional Congress assembled in
1830, it is considered a National Monument for being one of
the only Colonial vestiges left. It houses a great collection
of Cusqueño style paintings.
Cerrito de la Libertad.
A natural observatory with a panoramic view of the city.
It also has a site zoo.
Torre Torre. Very
near from Cerrito de la Libertad, it is a geological formation
of enormous towers of clayey soil molded by winds and rain.
Huancayo Sunday Fair.
Week after week, this fair on Huancavelica St. offers local
crafts, livestock, farming and industrial products.
de Santa Rosa de Ocopa. This convent, located at 25 km
(15.5 ml) from Huancayo, was built 250 years ago as part of
the mission to evangelize the Amazon people. The library holds
over 25,000 volumes, some from the fifteenth century. There
is also a Museum of Natural History and a church, reconstructed
in 1905, that houses wood carved altarpieces.
Cochas Chico. A
town located at 8 km (5 ml) from the Huancayo, where the artisans
do beautiful work engraving gourds (mates burilados).
Hualhuas. A town
of artisans, specialized on textiles, rugs, alpaca ponchos
San Jerónimo de Tunán.
A district well-known for its silver jewelry. The local
church houses Baroque and Churrigueresque wood carved
altars from the seventeenth century.
Ingenio. A trout breeding
center on a pleasant countryside. Fish dishes are served outdoors.
Sicaya. A district with
a beautiful landscape and with a church that houses wood carved
Chupaca. With a belvedere
to view Cunas river, it also has a Saturday fair.
Huayao Geophysical Observatory.
At 17 km (11 ml) from Huancayo, it registers the seismic movements
that occur nationwide.
A sanctuary built in the Wari empire, it keeps the sacred
Molle tree and has a site museum.
Sapallanga. It stands
out for its natural beauty, and the ruins of Ullacoto and
Pucará. A village
of great historical significance. The people took part in
the Breña Campaign against the Chileans.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUNIN
located in the Mantaro Valley, this province has a lovely
landscape and old Colonial style houses.
Jauja. The main
church houses beautiful Baroque style wooden carvings. The
Capilla de Cristo Pobre has paintings of the Via
Crucis brought from France. Jauja has a excellent climate
and an incomparable countryside.
Laguna de Paca. At 4 km
(2.5 ml) from Jauja, this lagoon is surrounded by totoras,
habitat of the existing fauna. It is formed by underground
called The pearl of the Andes, is located at 3,080
m.a.s.l. (10,104 ft.).
San Pedro de Cajas.
At 41 km from Tarma, this district is worldly known
for its famous cotton, wool and synthetic fiber tapestry.
Gruta de Guayapacavern
. At 33 km (20.5 ml) from Tarma, this keeps rupestrian paintings
with hunting scenes, as well as stalactites of different sizes.
Pampas de Junín.
At 4,105 m.a.s.l. (13,468 ft.), it houses the Lago de Junín
National Reserve, habitat of a great variety of wild fauna.
The last battle of independence, Battle of Ayacucho,
was fought in these pampas.
La Oroya, at 3,726 m.a.s.l.
(12,224 ft.), is known as the metallurgic capital of the country.
This is where the routes to Junín, Tarma, Jauja and
Aguas Termales de Yuli.
Located at 18 km (11 ml) from La Oroya, over 4,140 m.a.s.l.
(13,583 ft.), these thermal waters have healing properties,
with temperatures reaching up to 52°C (125.6° F).
Valle de Chanchamayo.
Located in the Central Jungle, this valley includes the towns
of Chanchamayo, San Ramón and La Merced. The region
is known for its fruit plantations, the Perezoso Botanical
Garden, and where Juan Santos Atahualpa, who fought against
the Spanish oppression, is buried.
Satipo. A town located
in the midst of the High Jungle or mountain rim, where native
communities dwell and can be visited.
DISHES AND BEVERAGES
Without a doubt, the most well-known
dish in Junín is papa a la huancaína
(boiled potatoes with a sauce based on cottage cheese, milk,
bread crumbs, and hot peppers or chili). It is no longer a
regional dish since it has spread throughout the country.
There are also other dishes that due to their unique seasoning
and diverse ingredients, are also typical. These include,
pachamanca (barbecue), head broth, patazca,
yaku chupi, red guinea-pig, huallpa chupe, red
chicharrón and sancochado oroyino.
Most popular among the desserts
are, the guagua sponge cake and peach compote.
chicha de jora and the calentito (aguardiente
or brandy with tea) to warm themselves up.
First Week in January. La
Huanaconada. A festivity in which the people of Mito,
a village in the Mantaro valley, play a parody on the making
of justice. To the rhythm of huaynos (typical Andean
dances), locals and visitors dance throughout the village.
Carnivals. In each village
the people participate in the tumbamonte, that is,
knocking down an eucalyptus tree covered with colorful gifts.
The dancing continues during several days. In the village
of Marco, near Jauja, the dance troupes in each quarter compete
to see which is the best.
March 3. Anniversary
of the Hermanas Toledo. This celebration takes place in
Concepción to commemorate the courage of the Toledo
women who fought against the invading Chilean army.
Holy Week. A strong devotion
is shown in every city, accompanied by masses and processions.
In Tarma, Holy Week is a big festivity. The sanctuary of the
Lord of Muruhuay is filled with devotees and the image
goes out in procession throughout the city rugged with flower
April 25. Jauja Anniversary.
During the whole week artistic, cultural, sports and social
activities take place.
First Week in May. Fiesta
del Señor de Muruguay. Thousands of fervent Catholics
get there to render their homage. The mass is sang in quechua,
and the procession is followed by dancers and troupes of Chonguinadas
(dancers are dressed as Spanish and move like dancing a French
July 24. Fiesta de
Santiago Apóstol, patron of all the Mantaro valley
villages and towns. They all join the Santiago dance, they
eat and drink for two days.
August 6. Battle of
Junín. Official ceremony and parade celebrated
in the site of the battle.
August 11 through 14. Fiesta
de Santa Clara de Asís and San Miguel Arcángel,
both patrons of Manzanares in the province of Concepción.
August 30. Fiesta de
San Roque. Celebrated in the district of San Jerónimo
de Tunán, where locals are very hospitable with their
guests. In Ocopa, the traditional puchero (with potatoes,
cabbage and pork meat) is served.
September 8. Fiesta
de la Virgen de Cocharcas. A week-long religious festivity
celebrated in the district of Sapallanga. In Orcotuna, the
toreros for the bullfights come from Lima.