Stone Forest in Huayllay
It is worth waking up early to enjoy this interesting excursion. Passing the pampas of Junín and Lake Junín you will reach Huayllay and one step away you will find the Bosque de Piedras (Stone Forest).
In the first decades of the last century, scholars of the National Geographic magazine considered it superior to the famous Garden of the Gods of Colorado, United States, because of the infinity and size of the figures carved by wind, lightning and rain during millions of years.
Researchers at the Daniel Alcides Carrión University have found a varied flora and fauna that gives it color and movement. Plants have nutritional and therapeutic properties. There is wild coca for the auquillos, edible watercress, the carqueja that eliminates the fat of the body, the juncunhuay of juicy fruits, nettles of several colors, the invigorating maca and others.
Animals include guanacos, vicuñas, wild guinea pigs, vizcachas and foxes. You can also fish in the rivers, as well as in the lagoons of Huaychaococha, Japurín, Gaya, Challhuacocha and others.
The walk can end with a delicious bath in the thermal waters of La Calera, sedative and invigorating, which are part of the recreational center of the mining company Huarón.
This is a nice full day excursion.
In an excellent track we arrive through an incomparable landscape to Jauja. Founded in 1534 by Pizarro as the first capital of the Government of Peru. During the colony it was a very coveted place for rest due to its excellent climate, and even became an inspiration for paradisiacal stories.
The city maintains its Spanish design, with narrow streets, mainsquare church and colonial mansions.
2. 5 km from the city you will find the Pacca Lagoon. This lagoon is the official track of the sport of Regattas, promoted by the Peruvian Rowing Federation.
If you make the excursion then a boat ride and a delicious picnic lunch awaits you on its shores. Then visit the village of Molinos, famous for its wood carvings before continuing to the Convent of Ocopa, built in 1725 by Father Francisco de San José. It also has an impressive pinacoteca, with canvas from the Cuzco and Haumanguina schools, a natural history museum and a library with more than 20,000 copies, which summarizes a valuable collection, perfectly archived and catalogued, which represents a relic of noteworthy value, especially intellectual.
On our way back to Tarma we pass La Oroya, a very typical metallurgical city of the region, where you can see the impressive foundry complex and its high chimney, which is not noticeable coming from Lima.
It is indispensable to make a visit to the valley of Chanchamayo, in only 54 km, 45 minutes everything changes: the height (850 m. a. s. l. ), the climate, fauna and flora, the people and the food! San Ramon is considered to be the “;golden gate". The extensive fields cultivated with citrus fruits, coffee, cocoa, avocados etc. attract attention. La Merced is the capital of the province and known as the coffee capital of Peru.
Here we find botanical gardens that sell ornamental plants, orchids, exotic fruits and collections of butterflies from the region. There are many waterfalls with crystal clear waters that invite you to bathe, e. g. near San Ramon, after a hike of approx. 35 minutes per trail through the jungle: the Tirol Falls. It is also advisable to visit the viewpoint of La Merced, with a beautiful view of the valley as a whole. It is also interesting to visit the hanging bridge Quimiri, the oldest in the province, the Botanical Garden „lazy bear" and the zoo.
Approx. 25 km from La Merced in the direction of Satipo is the village “Pampa Michi"; where the Asháninkas live who constitute one of the most important ethnic groups of the Peruvian Amazon. They recently opened their village to receive tourists.
Capaq Ñan or Inca Trail, which does not only exist in Cusco, was a route built by the Sons of the Sun in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that spanned from Quito, Ecuador, to La Paz, Bolivia.
In a private car you go to Huasqui and from there you start the very slow and quiet journey of approx. 4 hours on foot with an experienced guide, to enjoy the flora, fauna, myths and the incredible beauty typical of the Peruvian highlands.
In the old Tarmatambo square you will find a rich picnic for everyone to recover strength and energy to continue contemplating the ruins of Tarmatambo: Colcas (recently reconstructed with the help of archaeologists from Spain), Salón de Obrajes, Casa de Curaca or the water pipelines, which are still in operation, and platforms.
In all the Inca Empire, in the administrative centers, the main celebration to the Sun God was celebrated, after the harvests of the potatoes and corn during the winter solstice. In Tarmatambo, Tayta Inti is celebrated every year (25/26/27 June).
If you still have strength and desire, continue by car to Huaricolca (15 min. ) and in a short walk of approx. 30 min. you will arrive at Pintash Machay, a semiquaver with cave paintings depicting camelids and hunting scenes.