link to founders message

Enquire or Call

UK: 01473 890499
You are here: HomePeruPlaces to GoCajamarca
Peru holiday ideas experiences accommodation places to go when to visit peru map reviews


Why visit Cajamarca

This lovely town has maintained its traditions in the face of the recent mining expansion in the region. This is where the Spanish defeated the Inca, so you have a wonderful mix of the two cultures in the historical architecture and sites, blended with vestiges of the Caxamarca who had themselves been defeated by the Inca. Cajamarca is a really pleasant place to spend a couple of days, and there are some excellent archaeological sites within comfortable striking distance, along with thermal springs, beautiful countryside and some fantastic hiking trails. Reasons to visit Cajamarca include:

  • Indulge in some people watching in the Plaza de Armas - straw-hatted locals in brightly-coloured woollen shawls pass by along with smartly-suited city workers - then head off into the narrow, cobbled streets in search of a cafe or restaurant or to buy local handicrafts.
  • Learn about Inca history - Cajamarca was a site of great religious and military importance. Visit the Cuarto del Rescate (Ransom Room). This is believed to be where the Inca emperor Atahualpa kept the gold he planned to use to try to buy his freedom from the Spanish.
  • Admire the spectacular baroque architecture, including the splendid Cathedral, the Iglesia de San Francisco and the church at the Complejo Belén.
  • Visit the 600 year-old burial sites at Ventanillas de Otuzco. These Cajamarca tombs look like windows and were built into the cliff side but destroyed by the conquering Spanish.
  • Don’t miss the pre-Incan aqueducts at Cumbemayo - believed to have been built by the Caxamarca around 1500BC. Look out also for petroglyphs here, and the 20m-tall ‘Frailones’, human-like rock formations, and head to the ruined religious centre of Kuntur Wasi ('Condor House’) to see excavations where the oldest forged gold in the Americas has been discovered, and the museum that houses those discoveries.
  • Relax in the thermal springs at the Baños del Inca - it is believed the Inca bathed here.
  • Enjoy hiking through the beautiful countryside, stopping at villages for local produce such as manjar blanco (caramel) and the regional cheeses.
  • The carnival! Cajarmaca has been called ‘the capital of the Peruvian Carnival’, and for the whole month of February the city comes alive in spectacular fashion, with the key celebrations taking place on the few days around Ash Wednesday.

When to go to Cajamarca

This is a year-round destination but the most popular months to visit are April to October - unless you want to attend the carnival, in which case go in February.

How to do it

There are regular flights from Lima to Cajamarca (1.25 hours).

Read More

customer rating

5/5 from 62 reviews

our travel expert

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Peru. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.
Call: 01473 890499
Mini map of peru

facts and information

Time: GMT-5hrs

Flight time:

Both KLM and Iberia have flights to Lima via Europe, leaving the UK early in the morning to arrive in Lima in the evening. The flight time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly to Lima via America.

Language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages.


Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.


There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.



Botswana Specialists Costa Rica Specialists Galapagos Specialists Peru Specialists

Help me plan my trip

* required fields

Please enter your address

Trip details

Yes No
Yes No

Other information

Your Preferences

Keep in touch with the tribe in the following way/s:

By email: Yes, Please No, Thanks

By post: Yes, Please No, Thanks

I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time.Read our Privacy Policy here.

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Brochure Request

Our "Book of Unmissable Travel Experiences - Book Two" includes some inspiring ideas which could be the holiday experience you're looking for. You will find an online version of our brochure which you can flip through at your leisure.

* required fields

Please enter your address

Other information

Yes No

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Our e-newsletter offers you travel inspiration, with gorgeous and exciting places to go or stay, plus special offers, and some insight into sustainability/conservation.

* required fields

I am agreeing to receive Tribes e-newsletter. I understand that all information I have supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy), and I can unsubscribe at any time.