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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 over 11yrs!
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 - Park and church San Francisco in Huanuco, a few blocks from the center.
Park and church San Francisco in Huanuco, a few blocks from the center.
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 - El Tuy Tuy, cultural dancer of Peru, figure at the theme park beside Kotosh, Huanuco.
El Tuy Tuy, cultural dancer of Peru, figure at the theme park beside Kotosh, Huanuco.
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 - The transition from the Peruvian mountains down to the Amazon.
The transition from the Peruvian mountains down to the Amazon.
(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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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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