Located within the Nor Yauyos Landscape Reserve, on rugged terrain in the capital Lima, is the town of Huaquis with its most representative remains of the culture that lived in the area in those years, its streets and houses intact, as well as its Colonial temple with a bell tower made entirely of stones.
This place is a silent witness of different historical events, the archaeologist Schmitt characterizes it as the site that had continuous occupation through time.
Because this town resisted all the changes and the attacks, both human and natural, not even the Spanish could lower them to the ravines with their reductions.
Huaquis and Huancayahuaín witnessed how conversion to Christianity served as the only justification to subjugate the indigenous.
Likewise, to cover the maneuver of economic exploitation and the outrage against the ancestral culture of the Yauyos.
At the top of the Huamanchurco hill at 3750 masl you can see the Huaquis houses surrounded by vegetation and terraces, without a roof and reflect on how water has been a determining factor for their abandonment.
It was declared Cultural Patrimony of the Nation in 1999.
The pre-Inca town is located in the Miraflores Yauyos district, strategically built by the Atunyauyos on top of a cliff.
Huaquis is the town of Miraflores, located at an altitude of 3800 meters above sea level. Its name Huaquis means “Old Warrior”, its location on top of the mountain, from where people can have a spectacular view of the Cañete River Valley. The buildings that can be seen in the area and their wear are clear witnesses of the passage of time, as well as their slow destruction.
According to history, at the beginning of the year 1903, the town of Huaquis was abandoned by all its inhabitants, and the fact is that the location of the town was located in an inaccessible place, therefore, it was very difficult to acquire elemental resources, such as water. Although they had very fertile and productive land, they decided to move to the lower part of the valley, thus founding the town of Miraflores. It is worth mentioning that the Spanish did not manage to reach these lands.
They accepted the Inca as their sovereign without resistance, at this time they dedicated themselves to grazing their camelids and working in the fields and handicrafts such as textiles and pottery.
The towns of Yauyos were renamed San Agustín de Huaquis or San Juan Bautista de Huancaya, with the intention of disappearing the ancient Andean beliefs and rituals. In Huaquis the temple, the tower with the bell tower and the hospital were built.
The rugged geography, the difficult access and the lack of water have been factors for the population to decide to move to the side of the river, at the beginning of 1900, creating the current population center of Miraflores.
At present, in the area a very enviable vegetation can be seen, which is compared to the time lived by the inhabitants of the Yauyos culture, shortly after the Inca Empire was incorporated.
The greatest attraction to appreciate in Huaquis is its Church, despite the fact that part of it was destroyed over time, the church is the greatest pride of the area, inside you can see the walls adorned with remains of what would have been the pulpit and some finely carved crevices. As we already mentioned, the town was abandoned, therefore, the vegetation grew uncontrollably, making mobility within it a bit difficult.
Small windows and a door are built of stones and are rectangular in shape.
The town is divided into 4 neighborhoods divided by 2 main streets.
Place where healers accused of idolatry were locked up, on some occasions the church served as prisons during the holy inquisition.
It was built in the Republican era where men were separated from women.
Built in the 16th century on a pre-Inca temple, the bell tower served as a means to call mass and assemblies.
This center had a kitchen to feed the sick and was later used as a cemetery.
The archaeological site of Huaquis is located precisely in the district of Miraflores, province of Yauyos, approximately 6 hours from Lima. To get to this mythical place, you must first go to the district of Miraflores, whose main square has a direct path to the Old Town of Huaquis.
The walk from Miraflores to Huaquis lasts approximately an hour and a half, the accesses are in good condition and the journey is considered easy to observe this Cultural Heritage.
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 Peru, 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.