Orientation Nestled in an Andean valley, the community of Yauyos is a great destination for hiking, relaxing, and enjoying amazing views. Hike a few hours to the snow-capped Llongote mountain, or to the mountaintop pre-Incan ruins just above Yauyos. If you are in Huancayo or Cañetes and are looking for an off-the-beaten-path excursion into the […]
Nestled in an Andean valley, the community of Yauyos is a great destination for hiking, relaxing, and enjoying amazing views. Hike a few hours to the snow-capped Llongote mountain, or to the mountaintop pre-Incan ruins just above Yauyos.
If you are in Huancayo or Cañetes and are looking for an off-the-beaten-path excursion into the Andes, Yauyos is a good side-trip. Yauyos is also only about an hour from the Reserva Paisajistica, a beautiful and fairly popular tourist destination.
Beginning in Yauyos, this hike meanders you through various valleys in pursuit of the Llongote mountain – a snow-capped peak, with a beautiful reservoir at its base. You will pass through farms, encounter part of the ancient Inca trail, and see locals living much the way they have for hundreds of years – in simple stone and thatch houses, surrounded by their farms and livestock. The hike takes 5-6 hours to get to Llongote and 3-4 hours to return, so be sure to begin early and factor at least 10 hours for the round-trip. (Note: please contact the Keteka team if you are interested in this hike, so we can set you up with a guide; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rather than simply celebrating for a few days before Ash Wednesday, Yauyos celebrates carnival every weekend in February, with each of its neighborhoods “hosting” one weekend in a month-long competition of neighborhood pride. The festivities begin each weekend with Cortamonte.
Each weekend, a group of men from the host neighborhood cuts down a tree and carries it in a circuit around Yauyos, flanked by a band and large procession. The men then “plant” the tree in the center of town as a symbol of the neighborhood’s life (which is ironic because it obviously kills the tree).
Like in many other parts of Peru, carnival in Yauyos also features widespread paint and water balloon fights. Each weekend, each household begins the day with a tub of paint and a bucket of water and residents spend the day smearing each other with paint and pegging each other with water balloons.
On the peak of one of the mountains rising above Yauyos are pre-Incan ruins, as well as spectacular views of the surrounding valleys. There are few feelings like standing on top of a 1,000 year old building on the peak of an Andean mountain – we highly recommend it.
With your back to the way you entered Yauyos, the mountain to your left is the one with the ruins (you should see a white and red cell tower a little further down the mountain). Go to the back left of the town and look for stairs going up the mountain. There is a trail that becomes a road, that winds up the mountain. Take a shortcut any time you can, otherwise you will spend much more time than necessary on switchbacks. If at any point you are uncertain, ask any of the farmers or others that you encounter for las ruinas – they will point you the right way.
Hiking to the Ruins:
Single, double, and triple rooms for S/.25 per bed. Somewhat hot water most of the time (which is as good as showers get in Yauyos).
Basic accommodations at S.15 per night, somewhat hot water most of the time.
You must talk to the Municipality to stay here, but it arguably has the best value. Ask around for the Municipio and once there, ask about staying at Casa del Maestro. S/.15 per night
If these three are full, there are other lodging options, but they are grungier, for similar prices (S/.20-25 per night).
Serve Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is the only restaurant that will attempt custom orders. Expect eggs, coffee, juices, bread, and cheese for breakfast, typical Peruvian menu for lunch and dinner. Price: S/.5-6; special orders for a little more.
Serves Peruvian Chinese food for lunch and dinner. Price: S/.6
Just walk around and look into open doorways for tables and chairs. If you can, ask if/what food they have; if you don’t speak any Spanish, you can simply ask: “comida?” There typically won’t be a selection, simply whatever they are serving that day. Price: S/.5 – S/.6
From about 7pm – 11pm each night there may be: hamburgers, chicken burgers, fried chicken and french fries, salchipapa (french fries and hot dogs), and anticucho (beef heart, kind of like steak medallion shishkabobs).
Take the Soyuz bus to Cañetes (S/.18; 2.5 hours) and then follow directions below.
From Points South (e.g. Ica, Nazca)
Take the Soyuz bus to Cañetes (S/.8 from Ica, S/.15 from Nazca) and then follow directions below
Take a taxi or mototaxi to San Juan de Yauyos (S/.6) and buy a ticket for the Yauyos bus. There are two m
orning departures: 6am and 10:30am and two afternoon departures:
1:30pm and 6:00pm.
Travel Time: 4 hours (Note that this bus ride is curvy and has a lot of unexpected slows and stops. At least mentally prepare; if you easily get carsick, you may want to take a Dramamine)
(If you want a cheaper, extremely local method of getting to San Juan de Yauyos, there are 1970s muscle cars that act as mini-buses by packing four people into the back seat and two passengers into the front. This is the cheapest (and most interesting) option, but it won’t take you directly to the bus station, you’ll have to tell the driver you’re going to Lamar, get out at Lamar, take a right and walk four blocks to Atahualpa. You can buy your ticket to Yauyos here. Price: S/.1