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Nor Yauyos Cochas: get to know the beautiful landscape reserve

Tierras Vivas Travel > Nor Yauyos Cochas: get to know the beautiful landscape reserve

Nor Yauyos Cochas: get to know the beautiful landscape reserve

The perfect setting for the best photos! The Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve is the best option to reconnect with nature and show off on your social networks. And, while we wait for it to be ready to receive visitors again, today we have brought you a summary of the attractions of this magical place, as well as photographs that will inspire you to visit it in the future. 

The Nor Yauyos Cocha Landscape Reserve is one of those places in Peru that has become better known in recent years, but there are still many Limeños and tourists who have never visited or heard of this destination. The attraction of Nor Yauyos Cocha is its incredible nature: the waterfalls that characterize this place give a precious touch to the mountains that surround them. It is the typical place where you will not get tired of taking photos and walking for hours and hours to see all its corners. 


This Reserve is located in the mountains of Lima and Junín, and was created in 2001. It was created with the aim of protecting one of the most beautiful landscapes in Peru, and conserving both the ecosystems and the activities of the communities, maintaining a balance between both, in addition to protecting the historical and cultural legacy of the area. Its beauty contemplates not only green fields and clear skies, but also waterfalls and lagoons that give it a unique landscape beauty. And as if that were not enough, the reserve is also home to important archaeological sites that teach us more about our ancestors and their cultural diversity. A true jewel of our high Andean territory! 

Main attractions of the Nor Yauyos Cochas Reserve

The extension of the reserve is more than 200 thousand hectares and it is located specifically in the provinces of Yauyos (Lima) and Jauja (Junín), with the towns of Huancaya and Vilca being the most touristic points. In the territory between both towns you will be able to see how the Cañete River forms waterfalls of great beauty, such as the stepped ones of Cabracancha and beautiful lagoons with the most crystalline water you can imagine, such as Papacocha or Piquecocha, where you can practice kayaking. . Simply dreamy!

Apu Pariacaca

The Pariacaca snow-capped mountain is another great attraction. It is located in the district of Tanta and represents an important deity of the Inca era and that until now is of great influence in the daily life and worldview of the nearby towns. The path to reach this snow-capped mountain is considered by historians to be a very important pilgrimage route where cultural and religious practices are linked.

High Andean Communities

If we talk about the towns, Vilca has a colonial style. Here you can visit the Plaza de Vilca, the Cantagallo viewpoint and the San Cristóbal viewpoint. For its part, the town of Huancaya has four colonial bridges of lime and stone, and the Site Museum that keeps mummies, textiles, ceramics, among other antiques. 

Archaeological Complexes

In this reserve you can also find more than 40 different archaeological remains and beautiful platforms, which are a sample of pre-Inca and Inca engineering, and many of which are still in use to date. An example is Huamanmarca, which is one of the most important complexes located in the district of Carania and built on the hill that bears its name at an altitude of 4,000 meters. In the upper part it has a reservoir, while in the lower part there are the platforms of Carhua and the Inca laboratory of Huaytuya, as well as mortars that would confirm that the ancient settlers worked in agriculture and mining. 

Before reaching Llapay, you can find rows of terraces, also called Laraos terraces. Here you can see the archaeological remains of Wanllapata, Wajramarka, Wayaumarca, Callawarqui and Sinchimarka. 


In the town of Laraos is the deepest cave in South America. It is located at 4,400 meters above sea level and has a vertical drop of 630 meters. On the other hand, in the same town is also the Qaqa Mach’ay cave, which is the highest in the world at a height located at 4,930 meters, with a depth of 125 meters.


This protected natural area is home to a varied biodiversity that, in the case of flora, highlights the queñual forests and puya Raimondi stands, which bloom only once in its existence of more than one hundred years. 

As for the flora, the presence of more than 150 species of plants stands out, including pajonales and queñuales; as well as Raimondi puya forests.

As for the fauna, you can see birds among which various species of divers stand out, the huaco, the yanavico, the huallata, and various species of ducks, among others.

Regarding mammals, the presence of the Andean fox, the deer, the Andean cat, the vizcacha, the puma, the wild cat, the taruca, the vicuña, the llama, the alpaca, a marsupial and several species of rodents are reported. 

Travel services 

The inhabitants of the communities located inside the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve have formed community rural tourism associations that have allowed them to obtain income.

The residents offer tourist tours, such as the Condor viewpoint, the puya forests, and the cave paintings. They also offer their work in crafts. 


During their stay, visitors will be able to taste typical dishes such as cream of beans, green chupe prepared with potatoes, cheese, eggs and huacatay; as well as the sweet chapana prepared with ground yucca. 

How to get to Nor Yauyos Cocha?

This nature reserve is located in Huancaya, where you can get to in a seven-hour journey with different bus companies that depart from the center of Lima. 

To get to this paradisiacal destination, you must advance along the Pan-American South highway and reach kilometer 142 of the aforementioned highway, and from there take the detour to the district of Lunahuaná, passing through the district of Imperial, both in the province of Cañete, until arriving at the protected natural area. 

Did you know?

From this reserve you can see part of the old Qhapaq Ñan (Inca road) that crosses all of Peru.

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 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. 

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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