Peru travel blog by Mark Berman -
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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.
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
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
(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!