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Huanuco, Peru - Kotosh - Temple Of The Crossed Hands

Peru travel blog by Mark Berman - September 2016   » View Photoset (85 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
A quick 35min flight from Lima brought me up to Huanuco in the mountains at just under 2kms above sea level. I chose Huanuco as the place I would make
Peru Photo - Volkswagen of Huanuco, a popular car in South America!
Volkswagen of Huanuco, a popular car in South America!
my way down to the Peruvian Amazon from. Huanuco is known for its climate of warm days and cool nights, the temple of Kotosh, the old Calicanto stone bridge and the San Sebastian church.

Hotel, Mosquitos, SIM Card

I arrived in the mid-afternoon and found a budget hotel in the center of town and then headed across the road to the main plaza and was attacked by thousands of sand-flies and mosquitos. The locals had a good laugh and I immediately went and bought insect repellent! I inquired about where to buy a SIM card and a pre-pay plan and was told to go to Plaza Real (the 2nd entrance). I got a pretty good deal, $5 Soles ($1.50USD) for the card plus a 15 day plan with 1500MB of data for about $45 Soles ($13USD). This was with Claro but if you are heading to the Peruvian Amazon you may be better off with Movistar as they have wider coverage.

The River and City

Next day I headed out to explore Huanuco city and around. The most picturesque
Peru Photo - Palm trees and banana trees become abundant  as we get closer to Tingo Maria and the Amazon.
Palm trees and banana trees become abundant as we get closer to Tingo Maria and the Amazon.
part of the city is along the riverside with cactus and colorful flowers along it's banks - I enjoyed the walk as I looked for the Calicanto stone bridge (1884). There are some great views of the mountains from the river and bridge, don't forget your mosquito repellent when you come down! I kept following the river until I came to the postcard perfect San Sebastian church where I also found the golden lion monument and a few other icons of Huanuco. I checked out the central plaza, was invited to make some photos inside Parroquia El Sagrario la Merced church and found a few historic buildings around Iglesia San Francisco
Peru Photo - Men excavating the White Temple at Kotosh, the archeological site near Huanuco.
Men excavating the White Temple at Kotosh, the archeological site near Huanuco.
(church) and the park beside it.

Kotosh - Temple of the Crossed Hands

One of the symbols you see around Huanuco are the 2 crossed hands. This is Kotosh - Temple of the Crossed Hands, in Spanish - Templo de las Manos Cruzadas. I payed a mototaxi $6 Soles ($2USD) to take me there, it's 4kms from the city. Kotosh is not the most mind-blowing archaeological site in Peru but it has a nice setting overlooking the rocky river which you cross on a wooden bridge. In the small temple you can see 2 sets of crossed hands set in rock, the left set are men's hands and the right set are women's. Excavations at Kotosh are ongoing, men were working on Templo Blanco (The White Temple) at the time.

Huanuco to Tingo Maria by Co-op Taxi

Cars leave from Huanuco to Tingo Maria along the road from the Sosa Hotel, off the main plaza. It's 120kms and takes 2hrs and 30mins. When the cars have 4 passengers, they leave. It's a journey that becomes greener the further down the mountains you get towards Tingo Maria. About 30mins before Tingo Maria the small town of Cayumba is full of freshly picked bananas along the road-side. It's a journey from the cooler mountains down to the tropical jungle in a very short space of time!

     

View all photos in the Huanuco Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Huanuco (Peru) to:


Map location: Huanuco, Peru. A quick 35min flight from Lima brought me up to Huanuco in the mountains at just under 2kms above sea level. I chose Huanuco as the place I would make my way down to the Peruvian Amazon from. Huanuco is known for its climate of warm days and cool nights, the temple of Kotosh, the old Calicanto stone bridge and the San Sebastian church.
 A : Tingo Maria - Peru 74 kms 74 kms straight distance | 3hrs 41mins 3hrs 41mins by car (150 kms) | 4hrs 25mins 4hrs 25mins by bus (150 kms) (150 kms)
 B : Huaraz - Peru 137 kms 137 kms straight distance | 6hrs 38mins 6hrs 38mins by car (268 kms) | 7hrs 57mins 7hrs 57mins by bus (268 kms) (268 kms)
 C : Yungay & Caraz - Peru 182 kms 182 kms straight distance | 7hrs 50mins 7hrs 50mins by car (330 kms) | 9hrs 24mins 9hrs 24mins by bus (330 kms) (330 kms)
 D : Huancayo - Peru 269 kms 269 kms straight distance | 6hrs 32mins 6hrs 32mins by car (375 kms) | 7hrs 50mins 7hrs 50mins by bus (375 kms) (375 kms)
 E : Lima - Peru 253 kms 253 kms straight distance | 7hrs 17mins 7hrs 17mins by car (390 kms) | 8hrs 44mins 8hrs 44mins by bus (390 kms) (390 kms)
 F : Pucallpa - Peru 252 kms 252 kms straight distance | 8hrs 6mins 8hrs 6mins by car (390 kms) | 9hrs 43mins 9hrs 43mins by bus (390 kms) (390 kms)
 G : Huamachuco to Caraz - Peru 255 kms 255 kms straight distance | 11hrs 28mins 11hrs 28mins by car (511 kms) | 13hrs 45mins 13hrs 45mins by bus (511 kms) (511 kms)
 H : Chimbote - Peru 262 kms 262 kms straight distance | 9hrs 12mins 9hrs 12mins by car (555 kms) | 11hrs 2mins 11hrs 2mins by bus (555 kms) (555 kms)
 I : Tarapoto & Lamas - Peru 377 kms 377 kms straight distance | 11hrs 41mins 11hrs 41mins by car (625 kms) | 14hrs 1min 14hrs 1min by bus (625 kms) (625 kms)
 J : Huanchaco / Trujillo - Peru 355 kms 355 kms straight distance | 11hrs 13mins 11hrs 13mins by car (685 kms) | 13hrs 27mins 13hrs 27mins by bus (685 kms) (685 kms)
 K : Huamachuco - Peru 295 kms 295 kms straight distance | 13hrs 32mins 13hrs 32mins by car (784 kms) | 16hrs 14mins 16hrs 14mins by bus (784 kms) (784 kms)
 L : Cajabamba - Peru 313 kms 313 kms straight distance | 15hrs 19mins 15hrs 19mins by car (840 kms) | 18hrs 22mins 18hrs 22mins by bus (840 kms) (840 kms)
 M : Leymebamba to Celendin - Peru 385 kms 385 kms straight distance | 19hrs 11mins 19hrs 11mins by car (1088 kms) | 23hrs 1min 23hrs 1min by bus (1088 kms) (1088 kms)
 N : Pucallpa to Tingo Maria - Peru 162 kms 162 kms straight distance
 O : Tingo Maria to Tarapoto - Peru 213 kms 213 kms straight distance
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Huanuco, Peru:

Sosa Hotel, Huanuco, Peru - Large Photo
Sosa Hotel, Huanuco, Peru (September 2016 - 1 night) - So I moved to this hotel because I didn't like the place I stayed in the night before. $50 Soles ($15USD) for a nice room with a comfortable bed. But oops, they don't have hot water and the toilet didn't automatically refill with water, I had to do it manually! Sorry that is unacceptable. They have wifi, cable tv and nice staff though. But I don't want a cold shower in a place that is not that hot and for that price I want hot water. Good hotel apart from that, but I can't recommend it for those reasons. Come on Huanuco, get it together!
Jose Galvez Hotel, Huanuco, Peru - Large Photo
Jose Galvez Hotel, Huanuco, Peru (September 2016 - 1 night) - This hotel in Huanuco gave me everything apart from the most important thing, a decent bed and hence a good nights sleep. Single bed, sunken in the middle, could feel the wooden slates, I hate that! No amount of cable tv, wifi, private bathroom with hot water etc can make up for that. I payed $40 Soles (roughly $11USD), a good price but I was not happy to stay a 2nd night here. I can't say what the beds are like in the other rooms, try your luck! Located beside the main plaza.

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Huanuco, Peru - Kotosh - Temple Of The Crossed Hands. A quick 35min flight from Lima brought me up to Huanuco in the mountains at just under 2kms above sea level. I chose Huanuco as the place I would make my way down to the Peruvian Amazon from. Huanuco is known for its climate of warm days and cool nights, the temple of Kotosh, the old Calicanto stone bridge and the San Sebastian church.

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