Reisebericht aus dem Internet:
HUANCABAMBA AND THE HUARINJAS
Huancabamba is an urban rural settlement, the capital of the province by the same name in the Piura Region,
at 1,929 meters above sea level. On the banks of the river by the same name, in a valley located in Sierra
de Huamani in the Andean Cordillera of the north of Peru, among whose peaks are found the famous sacred lakes
or "Huarinjas Lagoons".
Located at the eastern tip of the region, 214 Km southwest of the city of Piura, the province of Huancabamba
covers a surface area of 4,254 km2, and has a population of 127,545 spread among the Cordillera Valleys
and slopes, up to 3,000 meters above sea level, always in villages or settlements near farmland.
The Huacapampa (large sacred "dolmen" plain or valley) culture developed throughout the Huancabamba river
valley, as shown by ruins and archaeological artifacts found all over the territory. The main ruins being:
the Jaguar Temple of Mitupampa, the pre-Inca cemetery of Maraypampa and the citadel of Huarmichina at the
Jaen frontier that was recently discovered by the Italian archaeologist Mario Polia, confirming the theory
of J.C Tello about the Amazonian origin of this culture.
Around 1480 the Inca Tupac Yupanqui conquered the province, outlawing the Jaguar cult and imposing Inca culture
and methodology, to the point of turning it into one of the main provinces of Inca domain; later, in mid-October
1532 the first Spanish conquistadors made an initial contact with the main Andean cities of Caxas and Huancabamba,
through the advance of Hernando de Soto, who was following the Inca Trail linking Quito to Cuzco.
Once the territory had been conquered by the Spaniards, the Huancabamba indians were split up into encomiendas
and parcelas, originating the native communities that still remain culturally united, such as Quispampa, Huarmaca
Inca Huancabamba was dismantled to use its stonework to build the new colonial city; its plaza de armas used
period stonework to decorate the surrounding streets, and the plaza itself was embellished with flower gardens
and plants brought from afar. It has a fountain designed by the Huancabamba artist Jibaja Che, and is the social
meeting point for the population.
The "Matriz" Church and the "Palacio Municipal" are both colonial-type buildings erected in the 19th century
and still in service. The main museum has exhibits on: ancient stonework, metallurgy, ceramics and mortuary
remains from the Huancabamba culture and other surrounding cultures. It also has a reference library on
The most important destinations here are:
The Huaringas are 14 ponds and lakes of different shapes and sizes. Being considered highly potent in
therapeutic magic, they are regularly frequented by witch-doctors and faith-healers from every part of
the country, who perform their cures in this area, as well as many local and foreign faith-healing believers.
They are used to carry out the traditional rites of the local faith-medicine. Of the 14, the most visited are
"Shimbe" and "Negra Lagoon". To access this area one must leave at dawn by local bus from Huancabamba. After
a two-hour trip one gets to the village of Salala, and from this point get to the first lake by mule or on
foot. Tradition demands that you come accompanied by your witch-doctor or shaman, whom you may find locally
or bring with you from another town. They are north of Huancabamba at 3,500 meters above sea level. As well
as these lakes, there is another less-famous group of seven lakes, called "Las Palanganas" (The Washbasins)
that are remarkable for the beauty of their setting. The climate here and water temperature are both on the
cold side. In the surrounding vegetation there are ichu, chilhua, totora reed and different bushes.
The places of most archaeological interest in the province are: "the Jaguar Temple", located in Mitupampa,
district of Sondorillo, one hour from Huancabamba by car, and at 2,800 meters above sea level; "El paredon"
(The Wall), located in Huancacarpa Alto at 3,400 meters above sea level, two hours by car from Huancabamba;
"Andeneria de Pasapampa", a site containing a museum that exhibits stone plates found there, and located two
and a half hours away by car; "Caxas and Inca Baths", located in the village of Chulucanitas Bajo, in the Inca
Ravine, three hours away on a paved road; "Huarmichina Citadel", recently discovered and being studied at the
moment, very close to the frontier with Jaen, on Mt Huarmichina; and finally, "Paraton Ruins" in the district
of Huarmaca, Mt Paraton.
Other attractive places are: "El Sitan": a waterfall some 20 m high, in the Curlata Ravine, district of Sondor,
accessed by driving along a paved road for fifty minutes from Huancabamba, plus a 15 minute walk; "Infiernillos
Valley": two hours from Huancabamba along a paved road in the district of Sondor, a place showing a variety of
weird and fantastic shapes forming hollows and outcrops due to wind and rain erosion.
Its folklore is well represented by the "Danza de los Diablos" (Devils' Dance), taking place from July 16 to 18,
during the feast of the "Virgen del Carmen"; it also produces unique spirits such as Rompope, a mixture of sugar
cane alcohol with cinnamon, sugar, and bitter lemon, as well as Diamantina, a similar drink that includes milk.