Get ready to geocache Peru! This GeoTour will take you on a journey around a valley high in the Andes. Here in the Yanamarca Valley, you will be far off the tourist trail. You’ll see rural life as it is lived by everyday Peruvians. The valley offers a mix of the new, the old and […]
Get ready to geocache Peru! This GeoTour will take you on a journey around a valley high in the Andes. Here in the Yanamarca Valley, you will be far off the tourist trail. You’ll see rural life as it is lived by everyday Peruvians. The valley offers a mix of the new, the old and the ancient. You can visit a technical school where scientific studies are being conducted to develop new strains of potatoes; visit neighborhoods where farmers plow their potato fields with mules, just as their grandparents did; and explore a pre-Incan archeological site to hunt the original wild potatoes that can still be found among the 600-year-old ruins.
The GeoTour was created by the members of the Yanamarca Valley Watershed Committee, a group working to fight environmental problems throughout the watershed of the Yanamarca River. This GeoTour will take you to reforestation projects, to a lovely wetland the committee is currently working to protect, and to springs, streams and rivers where you can observe the interaction between the population and the water system.
The 44 geocaches in this GeoTour cover a wide range of attractions in the valley. You’ll explore several archeological sites of the ancient Xauxa civilization, hike through a canyon with red towers of sandstone, meet an artisan who weaves fabric on traditional looms, take a walking tour of ten brightly-painted neighborhood chapels, view breath-taking vistas of the Andes, and much more.
The GeoTour offers more than a collection of geocaches in the same geographic area. You can download its passport, a scorecard on which you can track your finds. For each geocache you find and log, you earn a point. You can also earn points for frequenting businesses in the Yanamarca Valley. One of the objectives of this project is to bring income into this community where significant poverty exists. You can help by making a point to spend some of your tourist money right here in the valley by buying meals, employing a guide or driver or staying in a hostel here. Accumulate 30 points and you will earn a special trackable Geocoin as a memento of your visit! We have 100 geocoins to give out to the first 100 players who complete the challenge.
Download your Passport here and get ready to cache the Andes!
What is geocaching?
Geocaching is a treasure-hunt game played on all seven continents. All you need is GPS-enabled device such as a smartphone or hand-held GPS receiver. Containers, known as caches (pronounced cash-ez), are hidden in all kinds of interesting places, waiting to be found. To look for caches in your area, visit www.geocaching.com and use the search function. Download the GPS coordinates, then go out and search for the cache. Once you find it, open the cache container, write a comment in the log book, and trade prizes if you like. Geocachers are not meant to remove caches. Once you have found the cache, return it to its original location for the next player to find.
After your adventure, return to www.geocaching.com to log your find. Geocaching is a fun and free activity that is great for people of all ages. It combines high technology with outdoor adventure and brings you to new places you would never have discovered without the sport of geocaching.
You can find more information here: http://www.geocaching.com/guide/
How to Get Started on the GeoTour
Don’t worry about getting cash in country – book your geocache tour right here!
Download or print out the GPS coordinates for the In the Andes of Peru GeoTour
Start exploring the Yanamarca Valley. When you find a cache, record the “secret word” located in the cache on your Passport, sign the log and record the find on geocaching.com. If you frequent a local restaurant or hostel, be sure to record those points, also.
When completed, return the passport to the Interpretive Center to receive your prize. (In case the museum is closed, alternative locations where geocoins can be claimed are listed on the Interpretive Center geocache page: GC4T042.)
Here are some ideas for how to plan your visit. There is more information on the individual cache pages—follow the links.
* If you don’t have a car and will be doing these caches on foot, the following caches are right on the valley floor (11,450 feet/3,500 meters), where the terrain is flat (they may include a short walk uphill). If the altitude is a problem for you, start out with these as you acclimatize:
Tunanmarca: Centro de Interpretación en Tunan Marca
Marco: Tour de Barrios: North, Tour de Barrios: South, La Iglesia de Marco, The Yanamarca River, Marco Technical College, Birdwatcher’s Challenge –Observación de Aves, Millpun Chapel –Capilla de Millpun, Muquillanqui, Living Fence – Cerco Vivo
*These caches involve a hike of 2-4 hours, and involve climbing in altitude from the 11,450 feet/3,500 meters or so of the valley floor to 12,300 feet/3750 meters or so up and down the hillsides.
*This set of caches can be done on foot or by bike from the main valley floor if you are a very strong hiker/biker. Otherwise, get there by car and hike just the final approach up Tunan hill. You’ll be climbing up to 12,800 feet/3900 meters. This is a full day of geocaching:
Tunanmarca: Mirador de Tunanmarca – Tunanmarca Overlook, Huaca – Sacred Stone, Los Corrales – The Corrals, Un Descanso – Take a Rest, Tunan Marca Restos Arqueológicos, Native Potatoes – Papas Nativas and CITO, Xauxa Aqueduct – Acueducto Xauxa, Xauxa Reservoir – Reservorio Xauxa
*To get to these sets of caches, you need to drive. You can go in your own car, hire a driver, or travel by collectivo (a shared public taxi) although collectivo schedules are sporadic. If you are a very strong mountain biker you could do them by bike, but a guide is recommended. An overnight stay is likely if you do these by bike.
Pomacancha 1) Pichjapukio Vista, Headwaters of the Molino River, Casa Blanca Forest, Cachi Cachi, La Cueva Walimalka– The Walimalka Cave, Chullpas, Aukimalca Summit – Cumbre Aukimalca (13,686 feet/4171 meters)
Acolla: Sacas High Road – Sacas Camino Alto, Shutuy Marca Restos Arqueológicos (13,370 feet/4075 meters), Sacas Low Road – Sacas Camino Bajo, Vicuña Habitat, Lomo Verde Forest, Spanish Colonial Church – Iglesia española-Colonia
For directions and other information about travel to the Yanamarca Valley, or to arrange a package tour to the “In the Andes of Peru” GeoTour, visit https://www.keteka.com/yanamarca-valley/
Keteka Co-founder Jack Searches for the Inca Staircase Well
This project was supported financially by a Peace Corps Partnership Program grant called “Ecotourism in the Yanamarca Watershed”. Our sincerest thanks to the individual donors who gave money!
This GeoTour is also supported by the four districts where the geocaches are found: The District of Acolla, The District of Pomacancha, The District of Tunanmarca and the District of Marco.
The mastermind behind the GeoTour is Peace Corps Volunteer Alane Brown, known in Peru as “Elena”. You can read her bio here. She was assisted in setting up the GeoTour by Peace Corps Volunteer Kristi Schammel. The guides who brought the Volunteers to the locations where we set geocaches, and who provided rich information about the area were: Abel Simeon (Chasqui), Nicolas Martinez, Henoch Loayaza and Jesus Leon. The project was developed and is maintained by the Yanamarca Valley Watershed Committee, a technical team of the Mesa de Dialogo Ambiental de la Provincia de Jauja, which in turn is a member roundtable of the Mesa de Dialogo Ambiental del Región Junín.
You can reach us by email at ValleDeYanamarca@yahoo.com.pe The email is replied to by volunteers, so please allow time for a response.
The Groundspeak Geocaching Logo is a registered trademark of Groundspeak, Inc. Used with permission.
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