Bright green meandows and fertile fields form the perfect backdrop for Huancavelica. Shepherds watch over their flocks in the upper mountain reaches while the highland wind whips through the puna, the high Andean plain. The city of Huancavelica, capital of the Huancavelica department, is striving to achieve the development that the surrounding geography permits and the hard-working nature of its people deserves.
The city was of colonial origin and during the sixteenth century just a way station for the Spanish Conquerors passing through on their way to silver mines in the region, giving rise to a city of miners, muledrivers and traders.
Today, most of Huancavelica’s inhabitants are involved in farming and mining and have kept many of their customs and traditions alive. Buses often drive into the main square, where the visitor is received with the habitual friendliness of the Peruvian highlanders. Travelers can tour the churches and colonial mansions, many of them built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, or take a car and drive around the archaelogical sites that dot the city’s outskirts. Some of them, like the Inca ruins of Incahuasi or the Inkañan Uchkus complex, lie just a few kilometers outside of town and are easily reached.
The folk festivals are what give visitors the chance to experience the colorful nature and easy-going ways of their people, as well as to try some of the local cooking. Classic dishes include ropa vieja (beef stew with potatoes, beans and rice) and the traditional pachamanca (meat and vegetables cooked underground over hot stones). Huancavelica is one of those cities where the traveler is always well received, and can always find a reason to return.