Ayacucho: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ayacucho's cathedral by night


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): City of Churches
Ayacucho is located in Peru
Location in Peru
Coordinates: 13°09′47″S 74°13′28″W / 13.16306°S 74.22444°W / -13.16306; -74.22444
Country Perú
Region Ayacucho
Province Huamanga
Settled April 25, 1540
 - Mayor Germán Martinelli Chuchón
Elevation 2,761 m (9,058 ft)
Population (2007)[1]
 - Total 151,019
Time zone PET (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) PET (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 66
Website http://www.munihuamanga.gob.pe/

Ayacucho (Ayacuchu in Quechua) is the capital city of Huamanga Province, Ayacucho Region, Peru.

Ayacucho is famous for its 33 churches which represent one for every year of Jesus's life.[2]. Ayacucho entertains large religious celebrations especially during Holy Week. These celebrations include horse races featuring Peruvian Caballos de Paso and the traditional running of the bulls, known locally as the jalatoro or pascuatoro. The jalatoro is similar to the Spanish encierro, except that the bulls are led by horses of the Morochucos.

The name is derived from quechua «aya» (death) and «cuchu» (outback). Another derivation, or possibly the original meaning, is "purple soul" as 'aya' (soul) and 'kuchu' (purple).



Vestiges of human settlements more than 15,000 years old have been found in the site of Pikimachay, about 25 km north of Ayacucho. In the 6th and 12th centuries, the region became occupied by the Huari Culture, which became the first expansionist empire known in the Andes before the Incas.

Ruines Inkas and Cathedral of Vilcashuaman
A retablo piece of art from Ayacucho
Art from Ayacucho called Huamanga Stone

The Ayacucho region is the site where Indigenous civilizations settled for thousands of years, incluiding the Wari, Chanka, Nasca and others.

The modern colonial establishment of Ayacucho was led by Spanish invader Francisco Pizarro on April 25, 1540, as San Juan de la Frontera de Huamanga (St. John on the Huamanga Frontier). Due to the constant Incan rebellion led by Manco Inca against the Spanish on the zone, Pizarro was quick to populate it with a small number of Spaniards brought over from Lima and Cusco. On May 17, 1544, by Royal decree Ayacucho received its title of "La Muy Noble y Leal Ciudad de Huamanga". On February 15, 1825, by decree of Simón Bolívar, the city's name was changed to the original "Ayacucho".

The city's main University was founded on July 3, 1677 as the Universidad Nacional San Cristóbal de Huamanga (National University of St. Christopher of Huamanga).

The city is named after the historical Battle of Ayacucho. Upon seeing so many casualties on the battlefield, the settlers named the area Ayakuchu, aya meaning "soul" or "dead" and kuchu meaning "corner" in the Quechua language. The Battle of Ayacucho was the last armed clash between Spanish armies and patriots during the Peruvian War of Independence. The battle developed in the nearby pampa of La Quinua on December 9, 1824. The patriot victory sealed the independence of Peru and South America. La Paz, now capital of Bolivia, was also similarly renamed La Paz de Ayacucho following this battle.

The city's economy is based on agriculture and light manufactures, including textiles, pottery, leather goods, and filigree ware. It is also a regional tourism attraction for its 33 churches built in the colonial period, and for the near battlefield of La Quinua, where the Ayacucho battle was fought in 1824.

In 1980, it was from this city that the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) launched its bloody campaign against the government. The campaign faded after the leader Abimael Guzmán Reynoso was captured in 1992, and put in prison. Some followers are active in alliance with narcos for cocaine trafficking; is not believed they can grow, though. The region headed by Ayacucho is one of the poorest of the country, yet. However, since peace returned for the last 15 years, the citizenship works hardly to improve. Most of the victims in the final report by the Commission for the Truth and Reconciliation (CVR, 2004) were from Ayacucho region, moslty Quechua Indigenous peoples.

Notable people from Ayacucho

  • Andrés Avelino Cáceres, President of Peru (1886-1890) and from (1894-1895)
  • Raúl García Zárate, guitarist
  • María Parado de Bellido, heroine in War of Independence
  • Luis Guillermo Lumbreras, archaeologist
  • Juan de Mata Peralta Ramirez, writer
  • Alberto Arca Parró, economist and lawyer
  • Harry Guillermo Mendoza, prominent urban scientist
  • Efraín Morote, anthropologist and university provost.

See also

Coordinates: 13°09′47″S 74°13′28″W / 13.16306°S 74.22444°W / -13.16306; -74.22444


  1. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática, Perfil Sociodemográfico del Perú pp. 30.
  2. ^ Churches of Ayacucho.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Ayacucho is located in the Southern Sierra region of Peru. The population is about 100,000, altitude 2,700 m. Ayacucho is embedded in a broad sunny valley with mild climate. It is home of the Morocucho people, a group of the Quechua.


During the 80's and early 90's, Ayacucho was mostly under control of the Sendero Luminoso, an extreme leftist terrorist group (or liberation group, depending on your point of view). After the successful anti-terror fights under president Fujimori, the influence of the Sendero Luminoso decreased almost completely. In the recent years, some singular activities have come up again. The area of Ayacucho is declared as zona de emergencia (emergency zone), but the only practical restriction for normal tourists seems to be the recommendation not to travel in the area during night time.

The Tourist Office is found in the Plaza de Armas.

Get in

The Airport has flights from Lima. Small airlines in Peru are a bit sketchy, but a good alternative for those who don't like a rough long bus ride.

Daily buses to and from Lima on a well paved road. (9-10h) - It goes over some high mountain passes which make some people sick

Daily buses to and from Pisco the same well paved road. (6h)

Daily buses to and from Huancavelica offer 2 alternatives: 1. The direct way via Lircay (dust road) or 2. via Rumichaca and St. Ines. Take the main road from Ayacucho to the coast until Rumichaca (paved and in good condition), then catch a bus to Huancavelica (departure 11am, dust road). The landscape is unique and impressive, the very most part of it is between 4000 and 5000 m sea level.

Daily buses to and from Andahuaylas, run by Molina, Wari (leaves at 5:00am) and others (at least 10 rough hours). The dust road is partly in very poor condition, but the magnificent scenery is more than a compensation for that.

Get around

Taxis run for 3 Soles (1US$) in the city.


Willy Del Posa Posa runs a Tourist Agency Near the Plaza de Armas. He proved honest and helpful on a few occasions.

  • High quality wool and alpaca tapestries, carpets and embroideries can be found in Barrio Santa Ana. You come there following the Av. Grau. A number of family run shops line the Plaza Santa Ana. In most you can see weaving in process, and purchase tapestries. Santa Ana is the main outlet for many of Ayacucho's weavers. The shops on the Plaza Santa Ana typically feature both the work of the owner's family, as well as tapestries, embroideries and other artesania that they purchase from throughout the area. Most of the families with shops on the Plaza Santa Ana have been in the weaving business for several generations. The Santa Ana tapestries are woven on upright looms. The best are made from handspun yarns, and dyed with natural dyes. Many of the motifs are drawn from archaeological textiles. Ayacucho is also known for its eye-popping three dimensional designs. Many of the shops are set up with a typical handicraft store in the front room. It is often necessary to ask to see the better, more expensive tapestries.
  • Galería Latina, Plazuela de Santa Ana #105, Phone: 528315, e-mail: wari39@hotmail.com, Spanish preferred. In the Plaza Santa Ana right opposite the church you can find the Galería Latina, a multi-generation family run gallery that exhibits and sells high quality tapestries from some of Ayacucho's best weavers. The family has exhibited their weavings, and those of the weavers featured in their shop, at a number of international handicraft exhibitions in Zurich, Switzerland. As with many Santa Ana shops, from outside, Galeria Latina looks like a usual handicraft store, but if you ask, they will be glad to show you their little carpet exhibition and the weaving rooms in the backrooms. The price for a wall carpet is about US$ 350, but it's worth that money.
  • The Cafe of the University (UNSH(?)) is located in the atrium of a lovely colonial building besides the Cathedral at the Plaza de Armas.
  • Magia Negra (Black Magic) - a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas. Serves Pizza, is a bit upscale and comfortable for Americans and a foose ball table
  • Don't miss the best hamburgers ever, served by the street vendors near the plaza at night. Perfect drunken food. You should get the 'triple'. You can get it with a cheap thin hamburger, egg, hotdogs, potatoe sticks, olive mayonase. It is recommended to get it "sin lechuga" (without lettuce) as lettuce is supposed to particularly harbor micro-organisms. Don't eat too many.
  • Via Via, (On a balcony overlooking the Plaza opposite the cathedral). Good coffee. Safe salads and some interesting mains make this a place to head for. The views and frozen Naranjada are excellent. Popular with well to do locals as well as the few gringos in these parts. Free WiFi. Nice atmosphere.  edit
  • Centro Turístico Cultural San Cristobal, a block and a bit from the Plaza de Armas, 28 de Julio 178. The best place for caffeinated beverages (i.e. it actually has cappuccinos, Americanos, etc.). There are a few little cafes here. As the name of the centre suggests, the area is intended for tourists and is a bit pricier than other areas.


You can stay at the Plaza Hotel for as long as you need.

  • Hotel La Crillonesa, one block from the main Mercado and just a few from the Plaza de Armas, Nazareno 165. They ask for 50 Soles for a room with private bathroom and double bed, but may accept lower offers. Rooftop terrace (great view), cafe, cable TV in most rooms, 24hr hot water, friendly service. You may like being near the market and the bustling pedestrian-only street that goes by it.
  • Hostal Florida, Jr Cusco 310, 312 565. is a good option for budget travelers. Nice views from the top rooms and they offer WiFi during the day and sporadically at other times. A matrimonial room is 50 soles with bathroom, while a single is 35 soles with private bathroom. (But can be negotiated lower). Note that showers are electric - i.e., not truly hot. Note that breakfast is not included in the price despite what they may tell you over the telephone.  edit
  • Huari/Wari is the oldest urban center in the Andes You can visit the ruins and the museum (2 Soles, US$ 0,60) daily. Take a colectivo in Av. Cáceres to come there (0:45h, 2 Soles). On the way back, be sure to get a colectivo before 5PM, otherwise it may become difficult.
  • La Quinua is a nice village with old buildings. Nearby, you can visit the Pampa de Quinua with its 44m high obelisk, remembering to the famous battle of Ayacucho in the Peruvian war of independence. The colectivos to Huari proceed to La Quinua.
  • Expreso Los Chankas, Pje Cáceres 150. Perhaps the only place to offer direct service to Cuzco. 55 Soles each for a 22-hour ride on a semi-cama bus. Buses at 6:30AM and 7PM.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AYACUCHO, a city and department of central Peru, formerly known as Guamanga or Huamanga, renamed from the small plain of Ayacucho (Quichua, " corner of death"). This lies near the village of Quinua, in an elevated valley 11,600 ft. above sea-level, where a decisive battle was fought between General Sucre and the Spanish viceroy La Serna in 1824, which resulted in the defeat of the latter and the independence of Peru. The city of Ayacucho, capital of the department of that name and of the province of Guamanga, is situated on an elevated plateau, 8911 ft. above sea-level, between the western and central Cordilleras, and on the main road between Lima and Cuzco, 394 m. from the former by way of Jauja. Pop. (1896) 20,000. It has an agreeable, temperate climate, is regularly built, and has considerable commercial importance. It is the seat of a bishopric and of a superior court of justice. It is distinguished for the number of its churches and conventual establishments, although the latter have been closed. The city was founded by Pizarro in 1 539 and was known as Guamanga down to 1825. It has been the scene of many notable events in the history of Peru.

The department of Ayacucho extends across the great plateau of central Peru, between the departments of Huancavelica and Apurimac, with Cuzco on the E. and Ica on the W. Area, 18,185 sq. m.; pop. (1896) 302,469. It is divided into six provinces, and covers a broken, mountainous region, partially barren in its higher elevations but traversed by deep, warm, fertile valleys. It formed a part of the original home of the Incas and once sustained a large population. It produces Indian corn and other cereals and potatoes in the colder regions, and tropical fruits, sweet potatoes and mandioca (Jatropha manihot, L.) in the low tropical valleys. It is also an important mining region, having a large number of silver mines in operation. Its name was changed from Guamanga to Ayacucho by a decree of 1825.

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