It is approximately 2,700 m (8,900 ft) above sea level and has a population of about 100,000 people. Cajamarca has an equatorial climate so it is mild, dry and sunny, which creates very fertile soil. The city is well-known for its fine cheeses and dairy products. Cajamarca is also known for its churches, and hot springs, or Inca Baths. Yanacocha is considered to be the world’s second largest gold producing mine, one of several active mining sites in surrounding areas. Most of all, Peruvians remember Cajamarca as the place where the Inca Empire came to an end, since the Battle of Cajamarca along with the capture and execution of Inca emperor Atahualpa took place here.
Because of the high altitude, precautions should be taken. Be sure to take it easy the first day or two in town, drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol and caffeine. Cajamarca is quite cold at night and the sun can be very strong during the day. Bring some sunscreen and some warm clothes.
Service to Cajamarca is via bus or air. There are daily flights from Lima, as well as luxury buses (about 16 hours). Several buses a day also make the trip from Trujillo (6 to 8 hours). Travelers can continue on to the town of Celendín, with connecting buses to Chachapoyas. It is possible to travel through the highlands by road to Chota & back down to Chiclayo, & south east through Cajabamba to Huamachuco & down to Trujillo.
- Transportes Linea have frequent buses from/to Chiclayo, Trujillo & Lima.
- Cruz del Sur also runs daily luxury buses to Cajamarca from Chiclayo, Trujillo & Lima.
- Emtrafesa from Trujillo 30/40 soles
- LAN Airlines
- LC Busre Airlines
There are several bus companies and stations along Av Atahualpa that are worth checking as they don’t show up on internet searches.
From cheapest to most expensive:
- Walk – Most of the major sites in the city can be visited by foot.
- Micro bus – Micro buses, colectivos or combis, whatever you like to call them (Peruvians call them micro buses) are a very cheap and easy way to get around with most voyages costing S/.1.00 or less and you don’t need to haggle over the cost of the fare. They are however often crowded and somewhat dangerous.
- Mototaxi – Three-wheel converted motorcycles. Mototaxis are a little dangerous as they don’t fare well in accidents. They are however very economical and lots of fun. Most trips in town are between S/.2.00 and S/.3.00.
- Taxi – Most taxis are Daewoo Ticos or Toyota Corolla wagons. Expect to pay S/.3.00 for a trip in town, about S/.6.00 to the airport or to Baños del Inca. Ask the driver what the fare is before you get in. Whatever fare you agree to includes the tip.
Taxi Seguro (076) 365103 or (076) 365362. Super Seguro (076) 507090. Taxi Unidos (076) 366438.
Micro buses for the airport, Otuzco and Combayo leave at the first intersection of Dos de Mayo northwest of the river.