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Huanuco: Ten places you should know about the City of Knights of Leon

Tierras Vivas Travel > Huanuco: Ten places you should know about the City of Knights of Leon

Huanuco: Ten places you should know about the City of Knights of Leon

Huánuco shows you the union of the mountains and the Peruvian jungle. Visit its high mountains, hot springs, caves, lagoons and a seductive rock formation called Sleeping Beauty; Fill yourself with history with its monuments such as the Temple of the Crossed Hands and venture to discover living nature in the Cueva de las Lechuzas de Tingo María. The Huanuco region has a lot to offer you, shall we start the trip? 

The city of Huánuco is a beautiful city in the Peruvian mountains and jungle. This city is located in the province and region of the same name, and is the capital of the region in which it is located. This city was founded, during the time of Spanish rule, with the name of City of the Knights of the Lion of Huánuco, in the year 1539. 

Among the main tourist attractions that this beautiful metropolis has to offer its visitors are places such as the city’s Plaza de Armas, which was built during the Republican era and in whose center stands a beautiful work sculpted by the artist Italian Pedro Caretti. 

Around this beautiful square, there are important buildings, such as the city’s Cathedral, whose initial construction dates back to the end of the second decade of the 17th century. This cathedral houses in its interior, as part of its relics, the venerated image of the Lord of Burgos, who is considered the patron saint and king of the city of Huánuco, and whose main festival takes place in the month of October, presenting as central day on the 28th. 

The festival of the Lord of Burgos, is in itself an attraction of the city, among the events for the celebration of the Lord, activities such as masses, processions, as well as social events are included. The myth tells that if the sores that he presents are touched with cotton and then these are used on the sick, the latter will be cured of their ills. 

As part of the other resources that the city of Huánuco has, there are also, in its surroundings, places such as Pilco el Mozo, said site, is made up of a group of three rocks, which at a distance, seem to form the silhouette of a gigantic reclining man. 

Another of the tourist sites quite close to the urban area of Huánuco is the temple of the crossed hands, which is only five kilometers from the city. This temple is part of the Kotosh Archaeological Complex and is more than 13 thousand years old. When visiting the city of Huánuco, you also cannot miss the calicanto bridge that it presents and that is famous for its perfect arches made of stone. 

 Kotosh Manos Cruzadas temple

If you visit the city of Huánuco with the intention of getting one of the many artisan products that are made in the city, and in the region, one of the alternatives is to go to Tomayquichua, which is located just five kilometers from the city. , the visit to this town, allows to practice the experiential tourism, and to know the process of elaboration of artisan products. Another interesting place on the outskirts of the city is Ambo, 2 km from the city, where the house of Micaela Villegas, known as Perricholi, is located. 

In order to get from Lima to Huánuco, the visitor can choose to follow a land or air route. The plane ride to the city usually takes about an hour, while the bus transfer takes about 8 hours. 

Tourist attractions

The Huánuco region has important tourist attractions, it has snow-capped mountains, mountain ranges, warm valleys and Amazon jungles. Likewise, it has archaeological ruins, colonial temples and especially a magnificent climate that is considered one of the best in the world. 

In the city 

Main Square

Huánuco’s Plaza de Armas was built in 1845. In the center of the plaza is a pool, sculpted by the Italian sculptor Pedro Caretti. The artist used a 4-meter-high granite stone for its finish, which in pre-Hispanic times was an object of worship for the ancient inhabitants of the area. The square is adorned with ficus and jacaranda trees.


The old Cathedral was built in 1618, being rebuilt many times, the last being in the 1970s. It is located in the northern part of the Plaza de Armas and the current building, in a modern and functional style, was designed by the German architect Kuno, being unique on a global scale. In the construction two towers stand out that symbolize two hands in an attitude of prayer.

Inside, it keeps the beautiful image of the Lord of Burgos, a sculpture made from a single piece of wood, highly venerated by the faithful from Huanuco. Likewise, relics from the 18th century are kept inside, such as the chasuble that belonged to Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo and the staff of Monsignor Teodoro del Valle, among others. You can also see the highly valuable pictorial collection belonging to the Cusqueña School, highlighting for its singular beauty the painting of “La Virgen del Rosario”, “Santa Rosa de Lima”, also called “Los Espososorios de Santa Rosa”, “La Virgin of Guadalupe“, a gift from Fray José Mujica. Similarly, the sculpture of the Apostle John and the Virgin Dolores stand out. 

 Cathedral of Huanuco

Church of San Francisco 

The church was built in the year 1560 by the Franciscan friars and the pecuniary contribution of some encomenderos. It is the second Church that was built in the city, attached to a convent that was originally consecrated to its Patron Saint “San Bernardino”. It is not known who was the founder of the convent, but according to documents from the time they prove that the church was rebuilt by the priest Andrés Corzo. Currently its architecture is of neoclassical style, but the decoration of the golden altars is of baroque style, with a series of motifs that constitute the contribution of the artists of the region. 

Church of San Sebastian

The temple of San Sebastián was built at the beginning of the 17th century by brother Diego de las Casas, according to unconfirmed versions. This temple is located in the vicinity of the Tingo and San Sebastián bridges. The church has a colonial architectural design and has the only sculpture in the world where the image of “San Sebastian” appears with pockmarks on the body. This saint is credited with the miracle he performed on the son of the shoemaker Antonio Pantoja, one of the victims of a terrible smallpox epidemic that devastated the city. 

Out of the city 

Calicanto Bridge

It is a beautiful work of art from the 19th century, which extends over the majestic Huallaga River. This bridge serves as a link between the cities of Huánuco and Tingo María and is located fifteen minutes from the center of the city of Huánuco.

The bridge was built from a “rounded stone” stone joined with a mixture of “lime”, sand and egg whites, from which its name derives. It has an extension of 60 meters and is formed by two columns that end in semicircular balconies. In the place the execution of the Huanuqueños heroes is remembered, who rose against the Spanish domination in 1812 and also the proclamation of Independence before all the cities of Peru, on July 15, 1820.

Kotosh or Temple of the Crossed Hands

Located just 5 kilometers west of the city of Huánuco, is the temple of Kotosh, which dates from the preceramic or final archaic period (11000–6600 BC). Its discovery occurred in the early 1960s, in a study carried out by Japanese archaeologists, who were directed by Seiichi Izumi, who managed to show that under a building called “Los Nichitos”, what is now known as ” The Temple of the Crossed Hands”, so called because on one of its walls two sculptures were found that represent a pair of crossed hands.

Kotosh was formed by a chain of three similar temples, raised on built stages and supported on the slope of the hill. In one case, the right hand over the left and in another the left over the right, so it is believed that it was related to some idea of duality present in the worldview of the ancient Peruvians in this part of the country.

Tomayquichua-House of the Perricholi

Town located 19 kilometers from the city of Huánuco, over 2,000 meters above sea level, where Micaela Villegas, La Perricholi, was born. This place is one of the most famous attractions in the region.

The house is a beautiful adobe house built on a steep slope, from which it is possible to see the town of Tomayquichua. This house dates back to 1739 and inside there is a small cloakroom in the main room, period furniture, a replica kitchen, a reconstructed carriage, beautiful manicured gardens and fashionable wardrobes from the period.

The section between Huánuco and Tomayquichua corresponds to the countryside where there is a wide range of recreation and country restaurants that offer regional food, such as the Huanuqueño lonchecito, chicharrón con mote, pachamanca or tamales.

Archaeological complex of Huánuco-Pampa

Located 134 kilometers from Huánuco, in the province of Dos de Mayo, it is an administrative center of the Inca, where the planning of an Inca city with its houses, streets and buildings can be seen. To the east side of this citadel is the most refined building known as the Inca Wasi, which was apparently the residence of the Inca; and very close is the Bath of the Inca, with a long terrace like platform with built-in niches.

Archaeological complex Huanuco Pampa

Huayhuash Mountain Range

It is located on the border of the Huánuco and Áncash regions, being made up of different alpine or Himalayan snow-capped mountains. The most important and difficult peaks are Siula (6,536 m.a.s.l.), Sarapo (6,143 m.a.s.l.) and Randoy (5,883 m.a.s.l.). 

Yarowilca archaeological complex 

Located 73 km from the city of Huánuco, it is one of the most important archaeological centers in Alto Marañón. Possibly it would have been the administrative political headquarters of the Yaros or Yarowilcas and it is considered one of the most organized and populated settlements of the pre-Inca era. It presents a series of housing, administrative, religious and defense centers.

Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views. 

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.

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