:: Huancayo -Jauja - Tarma - Chanchamayo Valley
Suggested length of stay: 6 days.
Huancayo can be reached by bus or car up the Central Highway, some 310 km (192 miles) from Lima, in five and a-half hours. We suggest stopping briefly at Ticlio, at 4,818 meters (15,803 feet), the highest inhabited spot on Earth. We recommend a tour of the city in Huancayo, the Cathedral, the city squares (Constitucion and Huamanmarca ) and the La Libertad hill overlooking the city and the Mantaro Valley.
Just 22 km (14 miles) away lies Concepcion, an interesting colonial province which features scenic countryside. The Santa Rosa de Ocopa convent, which was the base of the Church´s efforts to convert jungle natives to Christianity is also not to be missed.
There are two good options for lunch: Ingenio, which is famous for its trout farm and outdoor restaurants, or Lake Paca near Jauja, where visitors can take boatrides around the lake.
The road leads on to Tarma, where visitors can feast their eyes on fields of bright flowers. The landscape changes drastically as the road drops down into the cloud forest from here on. The Chanchamayo Valley (La Merced), with its emerald green countryside and steamy heat, lies two-and-a-half hours away. The valley is a well-known fuit-growing area studded with cascading waterfalls and dotted with orchids. The best time to visit is from May to October. Remember to take basic precautions against altitude sickness.