Slightly off the conventional tourist map, Cajamarca is a picturesque colonial mountain town, where the Spanish conquistador Pizarro ambushed and captured Atahualpa, the Inca emperor (1532). The town has kept intact most of its colonial buildings. The surrounding countryside is fertile and very beautiful. Cajamarca was a major center of the Inca Empire. It is most famous for being the place of first contact between Pizarro and the Inca army, which he defeated in a one-sided battle shortly thereafter, and captured Atahuallpa, the last of the independent Inca monarchs. Although the Inca city was razed to the ground, Cajamarca boasts many beautiful colonial buildings, as well as the Inca-era “Ransom Room,” where Atahualpa was kept as a prisoner of the Spanish before being garroted.
Altitude: 2,750 metres/9,000 feet
Population: 93,000 approx.
Climate: Warm during the day, cold at night, rainy season from December to April. (80º-35ºF/26º-1ºC).