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Jauja

Trip Planner South America  /  Peru  /  Junin Region  /  Jauja
(4.2/5 based on 85 reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: nature, historic sites, sightseeing
Jauja is a city and capital of Jauja Province in Peru. It is situated in the fertile Mantaro Valley, 45km to the northwest of Huancayo, at an altitude of 3400m. Its population according to the 2007 census was 16,424.Jauja, which flourished for a short time, was once the capital of Spanish Peru, prior to the founding of Lima as the new capital. Its name is referenced in the popular Spanish expression país de Jauja, which literally means "country of Jauja", but is used figuratively to mean a “never never land" or a "land of milk and honey”. The town, with a laid back ambiance and salubrious climate, has narrow streets with houses painted blue. Laguna de Paca lake is close to the city.HistoryAn important Xauxa town was located in the vicinity before the Incas. During the Inca civilization, the town of "Hatun Xauxa" was established. Today the ruins of this settlement can be seen on a hill, approximately 3km southeast of the town. Oral tradition mentions that the Inca ordered the mutilation of men's and women's hands in Jauja and that this occurred in the Pampa de Maquinhuayo, 5mi south of present day Jauja.After the Battle of Cajamarca, Francisco Pizarro sent his brother Hernando Pizarro to Pachacamac. Upon his return to Cajamarca, Hernando captured Chalcuchimac in the Jauja Valley, where he was camped with his army of 35,000. Advancing towards Cuzco, Pizarro's force stopped in Jauja, where Francisco had Chalcuchimac burned alive, after the death of Túpac Huallpa. "Xauxa was a considerable town...seated in the midst of a verdant valey, fertilized by a thousand little rills, which the thrifty Indian husbandmen drew from the parent river. There were several capacious buildings of rough stone...and a temple of some note."
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