Mancos is the main city of the Yungay Province, and is known as the “heart” of the Callejón de Huaylas for its location in the middle of the valley. The name derives of a colonial anecdote: after receiving the gold of the Inca rescue in Cajamarca, the spaniards lost the gold in the valley. However, they found it intact days later, so they concluded the inhabitants must be “mancos” (without hands) as they didn’t grab the gold for themselves. A different tradition argues that the same anecdote happened during the times of Simón Bolívar, although both versions rescue the honesty of the locals. Mancos was founded as a district the 2nd of January of 1857, and nowadays it is an attractive destinations for those interested in ecotourism.
Travel tips for Mancos
- It is advised to bring light clothing for the day and a warm ones for the night. If you are travelling during the rainy season, it is advised to bring a waterproof coat.
- In the city you can find mototaxis that offer transportation through thecity, as well as cheap taxis. Distances aren’t big, so it is also viable to walk your way around the city.
- Due to its altitude, it is common to suffer from sorojchi. It is recommended to rest upon arrival and avoid physical exercise. It is also advised to eat lightly, hydrate and avoid fried meals.
- As with any other city, it is advised to keep your personal belongings close and avoid wandering on your own during the night.
Best time to visit Mancos
We recommend you visit Mancos between February and March, to coincide with the Carnival. If you are interested in ecotourism you might be interested in visiting the city during winter.
Climate in Mancos
Mancos has a mild and dry climate, but becomes warm and humid during the rainy season.
Things to do in Mancos
The tourist places to see in Mancos are:
Mancos Main Plaza
Gathering point for several Manqueans. It is surrounded by the town hall and the towns church.
The things to do in Mancos
Visit to Parón Lake
Beautiful lagoon surrounded by impressive snow peaks. It is the most important water reservoir of the Callejón de Huaylas. It is estimated to have 55m³, and can be easily reached by taxi or by even by bike.
Fields of Puyas Raimondi
The biggest fields of Puyas Raimondi are located in the Department of Ancash, 28.5 miles west of Caraz. Their spot make up a an amazing natural vista, from which you can appreciate about 90 miles of Andean wilderness. The Puya Raimondi is a special and unique plant which blooms in the highest parts of the andean mountains, can grow up to be 10 meters tall and live up to 100 years.
Trek to the Snow Peaks
From Caraz you can easily reach several Snow Peaks such as the Huandoy, Santa Cruz (6.259 m), Caraz I (6.025 m), Caraz II (6.020 m) and Alpamayo (5.947 m).
Typical dishes in Mancos
It’s a delicious dish of guinea pig meat cooked crunchy and comes with potatoes and pepper sauce (spicy if you like it) and peanut.
Llunca Kashki with hen
It’s a soup of Ancash area, whose ingredients are groundes wheat, potatoes, vegetables and some aromatic herbs. Just delicious!!
It’s a roasted pig, cooked with pepper (ají), its sauce and vinegar in it.
Api (sweet) of pumpkin
Pumpkin peeled, cut in pieces, and boiled with cinnamon, clove and peels of orange; to obtain a better flavor you add burnt sugar. The sweet tooth will enjoy a lot this Andean dessert!!
Chicha de jora
It’s a alcoholic drink very consumed in Peru; it comes from the fermentation of sugar from the grape juice of the malt’s corn. Ask it very cold to eat with your delicious dishes.
How to reach Mancos
Mancos by train
There is currently no passenger train service operating in Mancos.
Mancos by flight
Mancos doesnt have an airport of its own. The closest one is the Comandante Arias Graziani, located in Huaraz, one hour away from the city.
Mancos by bus
Mancos is located 8 hours away from Lima. The closest city is Huaraz, capital of the Department of Ancash, which is located one hour away from Mancos. From there it will be easier to reach any other destination in central Peru.
Important dates in Mancos
(Between February and March)
The andean carnivals are among the best known peruvian feasts. During the carnival a yunza is held, which is the planting of an artificial tree full with gifts, and around it the guests dance while they chop down the tree. The couple that gives the coup de grace is chosen to be the host of the next yunza