The high plain territory where is located the current Juliaca -also known as the “city of winds”- is rich in history and traditions. It was settled more than 4000 years B.C. by tribes mostly dedicated to agriculture and Andean stockbreeding (llama shepherding and guinea pig breeding).Between the years 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. the Pukara culture dominated the high plain region, leaving traces of its presence in Juliaca on the founded archaeologic remains. In the following centuries, the Tiahuanaco, Colla and Inka cultures fought for the hegemony of the high plain. The incas were the ones who prevailed over the other ones in the fight for the Andean supremacy, under the leadership of Pachacutec.With the Spanish arrival, there was a high plain lands distribution, that culminated with the Spanish foundation of the town of Santa Catalina de Juliaca. During the colonial period the city was scenary of indigenous uprisings against the Spanish domination.In the Republic period, after obtained the Independence of Peru, Juliaca was a rural city until the construction of the railway station (1873) that allowed a greater communication and exchange with the most important cities of the Andean south as Cusco or Arequipa, besides making easier the access of Peruvian and foreign visitors.In 1926 was created, by a supreme order, the province of San Roman, what allowed for the ascent of Juliaca to capital.
Travel tips for Juliaca
-You should bring warm clothes as windbreak pullovers, gloves and thick trousers, since despite having a dry climate Juliaca has a very cold environment, because of the proximity of the Titicaca lake. This is the reason why Juliaca is also called the city of winds.- You should also have by hand an umbrella. In the rainy season it’s helpful having a raincoat. If it’s possible, try not to get wet, since you could be sick.-Juliaca is located at 3825 meters above the sea level, so you should be prepared to the altitude sickness, whose origin is the shortage of oxygen. Have by hand Sorojchi Pills and take your time to get acclimatized. It’s always good to take a time to get your body used to the high altitude.-In Juliaca you will find sweaters and other clothes made of alpaca and sheep wool, very warm and adequated for the intense cold nights.Juliaca is one of the cities with more problems of transportation. Don’t you get surprised to see vehicle chaos and traffic. In some cases, there are offenses to the traffic rules (speed excess, bad manners with passenger, excessive receipts). If you want to go for a walk on the city we recommend you to take a taxi (from s/ 5 to s/ 10), although the “custer” (buses of medium size) and the “combis” (little buses) are much more inexpensive (s/ 1 to s/ 2). You have also the option of “mototaxi” (3 tyres vehicle, as a motrocycle), present in most of the Peruvian cities. Don’t you reject the long trekkings, since it’s a good option the days of tiresome traffic.- In some taxis you will see that there is a drainage system; it’s due to the strong rains that arrive from December to April.Extras:-In Juliaca is placed the Aeropuerto Internacional Inca Manco Capac, the unique airport in all the Puno region. The most demanded flights are the ones to Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. Juliaca has the longest landing track of South America, with 2.6 mi (4.2 km).-The Ferrocarril Transandino (the railway) goes through the city, connecting Puco, Cusco and Arequipa. The route made by the PeruRail train has won important awards worldwide due to its first class service.In Juliaca, the thefts in the critical points of the city are a constant problem, since they can occur even in broad daylight. On your stay in Juliaca we recommend you to avoid going alone to distant or not tourist places. You should also avoid having in sight valuable objects as cameras or cell phones -don’t you use them on the streets.
Best time to visit Juliaca
The best period to visit Juliaca is in January, when the locals celebrate the Carnival of Juliaca or beginning of May for the Fiesta de las Cruces
Climate in Juliaca
-The climate of Juliaca is dry most of the year, although from December to April the rainy season is very intense. During the day the temperature can reach 64.4 °F (18 °C) and at night it descends to 41 °F (5 °C), since there are months really cold.
Things to do in Juliaca
Nightlife in Juliaca
Kamizaraky Rock Juliaca
Location: Jr. Loreto 129 Hours: doesn’t say Price: doesn’t say The bar is quite little but big in amusement for the rock lovers. There is good music for the people who like this genre, live music on the weekends, drinks variety, snacks.
La Oveja Negra
Location: Jr. Loreto 115b, 2 nd floor Hours: doesn’t say Price: doesn’t say A place where you can spend a cheerful evening with friends, having a wine or a cocktail, accompanied by a tasty pizza.
Boozer Lounge Bar
Location: Jr. Manuel Prado 335 Hours: doesn’t say Price: doesn’t say It’s a propicious atmosphere for fun and hang out (or spend the whole night), with theme events and incredible mix of the resident DJ, the best of the Peruvian south.
Where to eat in Juliaca?
Doña Julia (Kankacho Ayavireño)
Location: Jr. Mariano Nuñez 538 Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Price: s/ 8 - s/ 16 It’s an emblematic and recognized restaurant, known as one that best prepares the Kankacho. It has other restaurants in Arequipa, Ayaviri, Cusco and Juliaca. From its participation in Mistura (the most important gastronomy fair in Peru) the restaurant hasn’t stopped captivating the palates of the local and abroad diners. The environment is rural, nice to visit with family and tasting the best typical food of the region.
Location: Jr. San Román 152 Hours: 12:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Price: doesn’t say Typical and creole food, pizzas, the tasty “pollo a la brasa” (roasted chicken) is what you will eat if you visit this restaurant, one of the most popular and crowded of Juliaca city.
Location: Jr. Bracesco 247, close to the Plaza Bolognesi Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Price: s/ 11 The restaurant propose a varied menu and the daily menu changes every day. If you don’t feel full easily, here you will be satisfied. They serve combinations of typical and creole abundant dishes. The atmosphere is nice and has good music, but it’s quite cold. Some guests affirm that is colder inside the restaurant than outside. Go sheltered to get a filling lunch.
El Asador Point
Location: Jr. Unión 113 Hours: doesn’t say Price: doesn’t say The pleasant and warm atmosphere of this restaurant-bar is what is underlined, and the modern but rural decoration. The menu is not very varied, but the flavour of its grills, pizzas, pastas and meats really worths it. The unique weakness of the restaurant is the delay in the attention of the orders. The restaurant has also a bar where you can taste the most popular drinks of the city. Another plus point is the price, it’s affordable to the quality they offer.
The tourist places to see in Juliaca are:
Plaza de Armas de Juliaca
Location: between the Jr. Ica and the Av. Salaverry Hours: all day Price: free entrance The square has a modern construction and a simple architecture. On the center there is a fountain in plate shape from where you can contemplate the Templo de Santa Catalina.
Templo de Santa Catalina (Iglesia Matriz de Santa Catalina)
Location: between the streets Dos de Mayo and Salaverry, in front of the Plaza de Armas Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Price: free entrance Its construction started ending the 17th century, by the Jesuits. It was never finished, reason why there is only one tower in one side. Besides that, the temple occupies one block, standing out among the other architectural places that surround the main Plaza. In its architecture you can appreciate the combination of the indigenous influence with the Baroque art. Inside the temple you can find works of the Cusco school, sculptures that date from the colonial period and a beautiful door sculpted on wood with unique ornamental details.
Templo de La Merced (Iglesia Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes)
Location: in the Plaza Bolognesi, in front of the railway station Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Price: free entrance Built in red limestone, iron and cement, this splendid work of the republican period dates from 1889. It was re-opened in 1959 and restored in 1995, thanks to the devotion of the locals. The temple has a bell tower, similar to the Santa Catalina temple, that besides that has a four faces clock.
Cristo Blanco del Mirador
Location: on the top of the Huayna Roque hill, on the South-East of the Plaza de Armas Hours: all day Price: free entrance Religious image that represents Christ with open out arms. The peculiarity is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, located in its chest and with a purple colour that contrast with the white colour of the whole sculpture. On its feet is located the viewpoint from where you can admire all the city and the surroundings nature.
Galeria las Calceteras
Location: on the north of the Plaza Bolognesi, in front of the railway station Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Price: free entrance In the heart of Juliaca is located this handicraft shopping mall, where you can see the handmade textile art of the famous hosiers. The offer of textile products is large: knitting, gloves, woolen caps, scarfs, trousers and even carpets made of alpaca leather. The most used materials for this production are alpaca fibre, sheep wool, sheep or alpaca skin. Take advantage of your visit and buy something as a souvenir or present, since those are high quality products and are well valued in Peru and abroad.
Laguna de Chacas (lagoon)
Location: at 6.2 mi (10 km) to the north-west of the city (towns of Kokan and Chacas) Hours: all day Price: free entrance Surrounded by impressive hills, among them Iquinito, it has a long shape and an area of 6 km2 approximately. Some seasons this lagoon is inhabited by all type of birds, as wild ducks and pariguanas (a type of flamingo). If you have a look inside the cold water of the lake, may be you see the carachis (a kind of fish they use to prepare the soup levantamuertos andino) and pejerreyes swimming. If you go to this lagoon our recommendation is that you come sheltered.
The things to do in Juliaca
Cycling in the Chacas lagoon
One of the sport activities most practiced in Juliaca is cycling. During the most important festivals there are competitions where cyclists of all ages compete from early in the morning, going through the most representative places of Juliaca and surroundings. If you travel to Juliaca, ask about the guided tours and the places to rent the bikes, close to the Plaza de Armas.
Carnival of Juliaca
It’s the most important cultural festival of Juliaca. It’s celebrated with traditional dance competitions during 7 days, one of the longest festivals inside the country.
Typical dishes in Juliaca
Thimpo de karachi
It’s called levantamuertos, what means wakeup the deads, due to its regenerative properties, for the people exhausted after an intense journey. It’s prepared with the ancestral fish carachi (or also pejerrey, another fish from the region) and it’s served with potatoes, muña (a medicinal plant), onions and chilly pepper.
It’s one of the typical dishes of the Andean South, prepared with tender lamb meat, seasoned with chilly pepper, pepper and other spices.
It’s a typical dish that also has a ritual function of payment or gratitude to the earth, after a harvesting time. For the preparation, a hole is dug on the land and they put stones inside that are heat in high temperatures. On the stones they put potatoes, manioc and goose and then they will be recovered to be cooked in this underland oven on the traditional way. It’s served with fresh cheese.
It’s a thick soup of intese flavour and high nutritious value. It’s prepared of lamb meat, vegetables, potato, black freeze-dried potato, salt and oregano.
This plate includes a variey of ingredients that provide the special rustic flavour. The dish has shelling barley, field beans, peas, pork skin accompanied by the millenary Andean potato, mint, salt and chilly pepper.
Mazamorra de quinua
It’s made of powdered and boiled milky maize pudding. It’s usually served with grated cheese and milk.
How to reach Juliaca
Juliaca by train
There is a train that gets to Juliaca from Puno called the Andean Explorer.
Juliaca by flight
If you prefer to take a flight from Lima, you get to Juliaca in 1.5 hours, to the Aeropuerto Internacional Inca Manco Capac. To this airport arrive commercial flights from other places in Peru and from abroad.
Juliaca by bus
-Travelling by bus from Lima the route takes about 20 or 21 hours. May be the time it takes is a disadvantage facing the commercial flights, but the price is much lower and you can enjoy a great variety of landscapes during the journey.-The bus company Civa has this route in its itinerary. The normal price is between s/ 110 and s/ 140. If you travel by bus from the closest cities to Juliaca (Puno, Cusco, Arequipa, etc.) the rate will be lower as well as the time of travel.
Accomodations in Juliaca
Hotel San Martin Inn
Location: Jr. Mariano Núñez 233 Price: s/ 67 s/ 127 One of the cheapest options you can find in Juliaca. The rooms are modest, but the beds are comfortable. The manners of the staff are very attentive. The wifi is not so good. For your comfort we recommend you to host in rooms not facing the street, since the noise of the bumpy life in Juliaca could annoy your stay.
Hotel Don Carlos
Location: 9 De Diciembre 114, Plaza Bolognesi Price: s/ 120 - s/ 210 It’s located at 200 meters from the railway station. The hotel has wifi, comfortable but modest rooms, heating, TV, private bathroom and room service. It’s one of the few hotels that has achieved the category of 3 stars.
Royal Inn Hotel
Location: Jr. San Román 158 Price: s/ 140 - s/ 240 It’s considered one of the best of Juliaca. It’s well located, with heat for the freezing nights, wifi, elevator, restaurant, breakfast is included and other needs; this Royal Inn will let you have one of the best impressions of the hotel experience.
Important dates in Juliaca
Carnaval de Juliaca
The date of the carnival is not fixed. It’s considered the longest carnival of Peru. There are competitions of typical dances between different artist groups and dance companies of the city. The carnival has achieved a great cultural relevance the last years, reason why it’s broadcasted in several cities of the country and abroad.
Feria Internacional de las Alasitas / Fiesta de las Cruces
(May 3rd to 8th)
The Fiesta de las Cruces is a religious festival that celebrates the discovery of the trunk that presumably was part of the cross where Christ died. Masses, processions and activities of religious type are done. At the same time, the Feria de las Alasitas joins the artisans of the high plain. You will find here little pieces of handicrafts that represent the deepest wishes of the people (you will see from a little car to minute house). The activities have a religious connotation combined with the influence of the Andean tradition.
Fiesta de la Virgen de las Mercedes
(September the 24th)
The Patron Saint of the Virgen de las Mercedes is celebrated with masses and processions in honour of the protector of the city, the image of the Virgen de las Mercedes, who goes on a pilgrimage from the Templo de las Mercedes.