Just 22 km north of the city, for example, lies the Wari citadel, capital of the Wari civilization that flourished in the southern Andes from 500-1100 AD and which once was home to a population of 50,000. Travelers can also visit the Inca ruins of Vilcashuamán and the scenic Lake Parinacochas, a haven for thousands of flamingos.
Easter week in Ayacucho is worth a separate mention, as it is possibly the most spectacular and emotive version of the Christian holiday in Peru. Daily processions, carpets of flower petals and ritual re-enactments are just some of the ways the Ayacucho townsfolk express their Christian devotion. During the five-day celebration, visitors can taste traditional fermented maize beverages such as Chicha de Jora, Chicha de Molle or Chicha de Siete Semillas. At the end of the celebrations, visitors can buy some of the traditional retablos (small portable altars which represent scenes of everyday life in the Peruvian Andes), figures sculpted from the white Huamanga stone, or any of the different traditional arts and crafts made by Ayacucho artisans, to cap off an unforgettable week in the City of Churches
Province of Huamanga
Main Square of the city. There is a big statue of the Marshal Antonio José de Sucre, who leaded the Liberator Army that gave the freedom to our country. There are pretty arches surrounding the square. Behind them some important colonial buildings, outstanding the Cathedral. Also important:
Located in front of the Plaza de Armas (Main Square). The construction of this temple was started in 1632, sober architecture, with three naves and front built with stone. With important and beautiful colonial remains. Outstanding "retablos" from Virgen de la Asunción, Virgen de la Concepción, as well as Retablos of the Niño Llorón, and Señor de Burgos. These retablos are carved in wood and covered with gold leaves. There are also very important paintings.
Saint Christopher Temple
Located at 28 de Julio Street, block 6. It does not have the architectonic nor artistic value as the other temples or churches in Ayacucho, but it is also considered important because it was the first in being built by the Spaniards (1540). Inside the church are found the remains of some Spanish conquerors that died in the battle of Chupas (1542).
Santo Domingo Church and Convent
Located at 9 de Diciembre Street, block 2. Built between the XVI and XVII centuries using the baroque style. This church is one of the prettiest of the city, with a beautiful front that has a stone carved cross. Traditions tell that during colonial times it was used for mass. The convent was founded in 1548.
San Francisco de Asís Church and Convent
Located at 28 de Julio Street, block 3. Built in 1568. Outstanding its huge dimension considered as one of the most importance of the country. The carved altars are very pretty and well kept. It holds a collection of paintings and retablos of authentic artistic value. Made out of stone, with only one tower having a very simple front. The convent (1642) has a calm and peace atmosphere, with many cloisters, gardens and orchard. Also found a valuable library with very old books from the Colony.
Temple Compañía de Jesús
Located at 28 de Julio Street, block 1. Jesuit temple of only one nave, built in 1605. It was built with a mixture of architectural styles. The front was decorated with pink flowers carved in stone. Outstanding in its interior the wood carved altars, sculptures and paintings from Colonial times.
Santa Clara de Asís Church and Monastery
The outsides of the temple give the appearance of being very poor. It is adorned with two columns, built with carved stone and lime. In its interior can be found the image of Jesús de Nazareno, Master of the city, which congregates each year thousands of pilgrims during its religious feasts. In 1568, Antonio Oré, founded the monastery, it hosted his five religious daughters.
Church and Convent de La Merced
Located at Dos de Mayo Street, block 2. It was the second temple built in Ayacucho (1550). Very antique pieces of the Peruvian colonial art are found there such as Virgen de la Merced, San Pedro de Nolasco, la Dolorosa, and others. The temple was built with only one nave, and the walls as well as the front were built with gray stone and lime. There is an important door at the front of the temple and statues sculpted in rock. There are many colonial paintings inside. Next to the temple there is a Convent, built in 1540, one of the oldest built in the country.
San Agustín Church and Convent
This temple is a Colonial temple that keeps the history of Ayacucho. Built in stone in 1615. The Convent was founded 1637 by Fray Lucas de Segura. Templo y Monasterio de Santa Teresa (Temple and Monastery) The temple was built with a sober style. The interior of the temple is considered as a masterpiece. The main altar and the choir were carved in wood with encrusted pearls and shells. It has a great collection of paintings. The monastery, of Carmel Nuns, was founded in 1690. Templo de la Buena Muerte (Temple) Located in the Jr. Arequipa. Built in 1726 and been founded in 1741. It posesses a closet in the sacristy that is a work of art in the wooden size.
Casona del Obispo Cristóbal de Castilla y Zamora (Colonial Large House - XVII century).
It was the mansion of Cristóbal de Castilla y Zamora bishop of Huamanga (1669 - 1679) and founder of the University San Cristóbal de Huamanga.. Large house of sober and elegant construction, possesses an external gallery of four arches, wooden balustrades and roof of tiles. In their interior a small patio paved with four arches. Actually headquarters of the Universidad Nacional San Cristóbal de Huamanga.
Casona Boza y Solís (Colonial Large House - XVI century)
One of the oldest residences in America, sent to build for the Corregidor Nicolás de Boza y Solís. In their stone portal with vain of arch of half point, it exhibits a beautiful hall door of double leaf with brass nails. In their interior a great patio with small gardens and small font to the center, surrounded of stone arcades. During the war of the Independence, in one of their rooms it was prisoner the heroine María of Bellido. Actually headquarters of the city governor offices, the Prefecture.
Casona Chacón (Colonial Large House - XVII century)
The facade is formed by a beautiful arcade that forms roomy galleries. The main portal is of more height and has a hall door of two wooden leaves. The interior patio possesses an attractive one paved of figures in rhombus form in black and red color, the patio is skirted of beautiful arcades.. Headquarters of Banco de Crédito. Also located in its interior Museo de Arte Popular (Popular Arts Museum).
Casona Velarde Alvarez (Colonial Large House - XVI century)
Of Mestizo architecture, nowadays headquarters of the Escuela Regional de Bellas Artes "Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala"
Casona Ruiz de Ochoa
It is one of the most typical colonial large houses in Ayacucho. Its highlights very well in their facade conserved stone cover that shows two felines and a bicephalous eagle, to both sides smaller four portal they exist. Into their interior a surrounded paved patio of a gallery with arcade and stone columns; nowadays it is the headquarters of the Bank Wiese Sudameris.
Historical Regional Museum
Cultural Center Simón Bolívar Open Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00. It is a small museum, has an exhibition of archaeological remains, statues, from different cultures such as Warpa, Huari, Chanca, Chavín, and Nazca. Also popular arts from the colony. Republican times room and a library.
Popular Art Museum
Location: Portal Unión Nº 28, Plaza de Armas, Banco de Crédito Offices. Open Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 18:30 Small museum that exhibits fine popular artisan pieces, all from the region.
Andrés A. Cáceres Museum
Colonial House de Vivanco Small museum exhibits colonial paintings and personal objects from Marshal Andrés A. Cáceres, Peruvian hero from the war against Chile (1880).
Santa Ana's Neighborhood
Neighborhood inhabited by artisans. Workshop-houses grouped by the different artisan specialties. You can find excellent pieces besides meeting and talking to the artisans.
The Arqueological complex Wari
Archaeological site (VII-XI centuries), located near a town called Quinua 20 Km (12.4 miles) north of Ayacucho. It is advisable to spend half day to visit the city. Remains of a rounded city. Investigations estimated that it had 40 thousand inhabitants, during its best epoch. Built in stone, with fortresses that were used as administrative headquarters as well as inhabited by indigenous from the Huari pre-Inca culture, later the Chancas conquest the area.
Located at 31Km. (19.2 miles) north of Ayacucho, at 3,396 meters above sea level (11,141 feet). Very close to the Santuario Histórico Pampas de Ayacucho, where the last battle against the Spaniards was fought, giving liberty to our country from the Spanish monarchy. It is a small town, with little houses all with red tiles and very poor people. Surrounded with little farms and beautiful landscapes.
Historical Sanctuary Pampas of Ayacucho
Located on the district of Quinua, intangible and protected area, to safeguard the scenario of the battle of Ayacucho, carried out on December 9, 1824 among the liberator forces under the control of Antonio de Sucre against the Spanish realistic forces under the control The Viceroy Serna. The heroic action of the Perúvian force, Hussars of Junín under the control of Córdoba achieved the victory, getting the capitulation and rendition of the Spanish forces, affirming the total delivery of Perúvian lands to Perúvian people, and the renouncement of the real rights of Spain mainly in Perú and South America.
Province of Huanta
Valle of Huanta (2620 masl)
Valle of Huanta, located at 50 kilometers from Ayacucho. It is known as "Esmeralda de los Andes" for its favorable location and rich biodiversity in flora and fauna. In this valley it can see many ecological steps from jungle to snowy peaks.
Prehistoric remain, located in the city of Huanta. There were found in a cave, stone gadgets from hunters, and extinguished animal fossils. This remains data from 20,000 years ago, becoming the most ancient ones ever found in America.
Province of Cangallo
Pampas de Cangallo (2556 masl)
Located at 68 km, south of Ayacucho. There live the Morochucos, descendants from the Spaniards that were defeated in the Chupas battle in 1542. They used this area as refuge. Their physical characteristics are like the Spanish race. Devoted to work in the country and very good horsemen. They like to drink alcoholic beverages and leave the hard work for the women.
The National Sanctuary of Titankayuq (Titancayoc)
Located at 110 kilometers from the city of Ayacucho. With 440 hectares and an average of 300 plants per hectare; it is the biggest "puya" forest in the world. This plant, that can be up to 10 meters high, has the most blossoms of the vegetal realm (over 1 millon blossoms).
Vilcashuamán (Quechua voice that means Sacred Falcon)
Archaeological site located in Cangallo, at 110 Km (68 miles) from Ayacucho. It is recommended to spend one day to visit the city. Considered as the testimony of power and development of the Chanca pre-Inca civilization. Since the Inca conquest (XV century), they enhanced their building techniques and their importance in the administration of the Empire, as it was considered as the media point of it.
Province of Lucanas
National Reservation of Pampa Galeras - Bárbara D'Achille
Location: Department of Ayacucho, province of Lucanas. Area: 6,500 hectares. Creation: 1967. Conservation unit and protection of species of the fauna and regional flora; it constitutes the intangible area of more extension for the protection of the vicuña, species in danger of extinction. Beautiful landscapes in an Andean plateau and the best place to know to the vicuñas in wild state.
Province of Parinacochas
Parinacochas Lagoon, located at 720 kilometers from Ayacucho. Known as "Laguna de las Parihuanas". It has a white and red feathered flamingoes. The lagoon is characterized for its natural beauty, due to being surrounded by the mountain range of Huanzo, the volcano Sara Sara and the volcano Achatayhua.
Province of Vilcashuaman
Archeological Site of Vilcas Huaman (Vilcashuaman)
Located at 110 kilometers from Ayacucho, in the county of Cangallo. There is a momumental fortification of the Incas that means "halcon sagrado". The citadell conserves magnifiscent buildings of stone, including the temple of the Sun and Moon and the Graded Pyramid of Ushnu. The Ushnu is a cut-short, graded pyramid with five superposed platforms. The stones of the construction were carved and assambled with great accuracy. On the upper part, the "sillon del Inca" (Inca`s chair) stands out, a monolithic stone block with two seats from where, according to the popular tradition, the Inca and the Colla assisted the military and religious ceremonies that were carried out on the plaza Vilcashuaman.
The Raimondi Puyas forest (Titankayocc)
The National Sanctuary of Titankayuq (Titancayoc), located at 110 kilometers from the city of Ayacucho. With 440 hectares and an average of 300 plants per hectare; it is the biggest "puya" forest in the world. This plant, that can be up to 10 meters high, has the most blossoms of the vegetal realm (over 1 millon blossoms). of 3200 to 4200 masl.
The Arqueological complex of Pumacocha o Intiwatana
Archeological site Intiwatana, located at 98 kilometers from Ayacucho. For some researchers, this place was a rest area for the Inca elite, due to a palace, fortified tower and some baths stands out. Next to the palace is the sun-dial or Intiwatana and a construction called "El Torreon", of circular shape and small enclosures in the inside, it is assumed that it had ritual functions.