Huancaya: discover the Peruvian paradise
Salkantay Trek Machu
Sustainable Tourism Operator
+51 912 891560

Huancaya: discover the Peruvian paradise

Home / Travel Blog / Huancaya: discover the Peruvian paradise
Huancaya: discover the Peruvian paradise

Huancaya is one of the most beautiful and magical destinations in the department of Lima. In this amazing place you will have the opportunity to learn about its natural beauty, history and culture.


Huancaya is a beautiful destination, located in Yautos, department of Lima. Along with the towns of Vilca and Laraos, they make up the tourist circuit of the Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve. Huancaya and its surroundings are a perfect long weekend getaway, perfect to discover its natural beauty, history and culture.


Huancaya has a wide range of activities to do, practically all of them in contact with nature. There are many options: set up a camp in the open air, go horseback riding, go hiking, stroll through the town, go up to the viewpoints and much more. But, without a doubt, the great protagonist of the place is the Cañete River, from which beautiful waterfalls and lagoons emerge. Thanks to this, the options are expanded: boat rides, canoeing and fishing complete the wide range of tourism in Huancaya.



This beautiful place is located in Yauyos, seven hours from the capital. Huancaya is one of the towns that make up the circuit of the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve, together with Vilca and Laraos, so it is surrounded by beautiful lagoons and waterfalls.


How to get to Huancaya from Lima?

If you travel from the Peruvian capital by bus you must do the following itinerary. First, take a bus to Cañete on a trip that takes about 3 hours and covers some of the most beautiful landscapes in Peru. From Cañete you can take a combi that goes to Imperial and from there take another bus towards Yauyos. Finally, from there take a transport to Huancaya. Yes, it is quite a journey, however, the landscapes will keep you entertained.


On the other hand, if you have your own car, you have two options:


Take the Central Highway, starting from the center of Lima to the town of Chicla. After crossing the town, turn right and take the LM-120 route to your Huancaya. The total route is about 230 km and can be done in just under 6 hours.

Take the Panamericana Sur, also starting from the center of Lima to the city of Cañete. From there you will have to join the Cañete-Yauyos highway, which will take you to Huancaya along a road full of beautiful landscapes. In total there are 339 and it takes about 6 hours and a quarter.


How to get to Huancaya without spending a lot of money?

The cheapest route to reach this destination is to take a direct bus to Huancaya. You can hire this transport at the Yerbateros or Civa terminal. The price of the ticket is 50 soles and the only departure time is at 6:00 a.m. m., so you should take your precautions.


Another cheap option, although a bit complicated, is to take a bus that leaves you in Cañete (12 soles) and from there take a taxi to the El Imperial bus terminal. In that place you can take a bus to Magdalena and from there one that finally leaves you in Huancaya.


What can you visit in Huancaya?

Now that you know how to get to Huancaya, we present 5 plans that you can make in this paradisiacal place. Travel through Peru!


Tour the town center of Huancaya

Huancaya is one of the destinations with the most beautiful landscapes in Peru. This is due to its proximity to the Cañete River, where you can see countless waterfalls and lagoons that are characterized by the turquoise color of their waters. Likewise, another of its attractions is its populated center, a place full of stories and traditions. Among its greatest cultural and architectural attractions are the main church, the municipal palace, the Atao waterfalls and the site museum. In the latter, you will learn the history of the ancient inhabitants of Huancayawain. Inside you will see everything from ceramic pieces to preserved human remains, which allow you to reconstruct the pre-Hispanic past.


Likewise, touring the town center of Huancaya is an activity in which you can learn about the history of this area through the testimonies of its inhabitants and its architecture. Similarly, the warmth of its people is another reason to visit this town, since together with them, you will enjoy a pleasant and unforgettable stay.


Finally, within the district you will find several places to stay and enjoy the most exquisite dishes of the region's gastronomy. Among the most popular are the cancha with cheese, parboiled potatoes, tripe, fried trout, and other delicacies.


Take a boat ride through the Huallhua lagoon

Another activity that you cannot miss during your visit to Huancaya is to take a relaxing boat ride.


This majestic lagoon with turquoise waters is part of the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve. Therefore, during the tour you will be able to contemplate the beautiful landscapes that characterize this area. Similarly, you will meet some amazing waterfalls that are near the lagoon, which are a complete natural spectacle.


For its part, Laguna Huallhua has a large number of animal species such as trout, grebe, herons, yanavicos, huallata and wild ducks. In addition, its surroundings have exuberant vegetation that covers the path of the lake, giving the illusion that the water springs from the sky.


Also, in this immense lake you can practice other aquatic activities such as canoeing in artisanal canoes in the company of the inhabitants.


Walk through the Nor Yauyos Cochas Reserve

If you are a nature lover, you should not miss out on a tour of the Nor Yauyos Cochas Reserve trails. One of the most recommended routes is the Cotosqui War trail, which will take you through the lower area of ​​the Carhuayno waterfalls. In this part, you will have the privilege of witnessing the waterfalls and the colors of the lagoons that shine with the glare of the sun.


Likewise, the fresh air and the colorful landscape make this trip an incomparable experience, which you will want to repeat.


For this activity we recommend that you follow the instructions of the park ranger to avoid any inconvenience. Remember that the weather is somewhat cold and it is necessary to wear the appropriate clothing and shoes to fully enjoy this activity. Do not forget to take advantage of this tour to take several photographs and portray the best of these attractions.


Visit the viewpoints of Vilca

One of the unmissable plans during your stay in Huancaya is to get to know some of the attractions of Vilca. One of the most famous is the San Cristóbal viewpoint, which is located more than 4,000 meters above sea level. To get to this attraction, you must climb some stairs and then a cobbled path until you reach its peak. The road is somewhat demanding and requires a good physical condition. But, we assure you that the view from this point is so beautiful that it is worth the sacrifice.


Another of the viewpoints that you should not miss is Canta Gallo. From this point you will have a privileged view of the 'Forest of Love'. Here, you will see the Laguna Papacocha from where its waterfalls flow until you continue with the path of the Huarqo River. In addition, you will see the abundant vegetation that beautifies this forest.


Finally, if you wish, you can go down to the forest of love to walk its trails, which are ideal for oxygenating the body.


Make camping in Huancaya

One of the most recurring plans for tourists who come to Huancaya is camping next to the Cañete River. It is a wonderful experience in which you can enjoy the sounds of nature, while recharging energy to continue the journey. Also, at night you can make a small fire to warm up or prepare a hot drink to recover heat.


The best thing about camping in this area is waking up in the middle of beautiful waterfalls and turquoise lagoons. A view with which you will want to wake up more than once, do you dare to try it?



In the Papacocha and Huallhua lagoons you can do sport fishing, since in these places there is a great variety of trout.

In Huancaya you can buy some souvenirs and different clothes made with alpaca wool.

Another of the activities that you can do in the district of Huancaya is to visit its beautiful viewpoints. In them you will have a privileged view of the lagoons and waterfalls that are part of the landscape.

Some places where you can spend the night are: Hospedaje Las Lagunas, Las Brisas de Mayo and Hospedaje Rojas.

The camping area has an approximate cost of 5 soles.


What is the best time to visit Huancaya?

The best time to visit Huancaya is between the months of June and September because the sun is more intense and the temperature is ideal for visiting the places mentioned above.


Keep in mind that the rainy season in Huancaya occurs between December and the beginning of March, so if you plan to travel between these months, you should take all your precautions.

The rainiest season is from January to April, concentrating the greatest amount of rainfall in the afternoon hours. During these months the evenings and nights are even cooler. The average temperature in Huancaya is around 13ºC, although it can vary between 8º and 22ºC.


Which is the altitude in Huancaya?

Huancaya is located at 3,549 meters above sea level, so it is convenient to carry altitude sickness pills in your hand luggage to avoid any discomfort.


Tips before traveling to Huancaya

  • Pack warm clothes in your suitcase such as jackets, coats, socks, shorts, etc.
  • Use sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
  • If you are going to camp, take a special tent for cold places.
  • Take pills for soroche.

Curious facts about Huancaya

  • It was the territory of the pre-Inca peoples of the Sierra de Lima.
  • It has surprising natural spaces, such as the Papacocha lagoon and the Pariacaca snow-capped mountain.
  • It has the popular forest of love, which is famous for being visited by different tourists.

Inca Trail Tours:

Alternative Tour & Trek to Salkantay:

Request information

Date of travel:

Number of people:
How did you hear about us:

Most Popular Trips

Peru Destinations

Activities & Travel Styles

Responsible Travel

Before You Go

Travel Blog

Contact us

Why Salkantay Trek Machu?


Write a review

Write a review in Tripadvisor

Salkantay Trek Machu Facebook
Salkantay Trek Machu Twitter