Cajamarca is a city of colonial charm surrounded by rolling Andean hills. The historical centre has many ornate baroque buildings surrounding the Plaza de Armas. We didn’t visit any of the interiors, but simply admired the architecture and enjoyed walking the city streets.
The plaza was busy with many locals enjoying the day. We enjoyed watching them go about their daily business, especially the ladies in distinctive traditional dress; layered skirts, white straw hats, and colourful woven shawls. Not far from the central square, there is a lovely street lined with artisan shops, which leads to the Cerro Santa Apolonia, a small hill with a small blue and white chapel and gardens beyond. The short and somewhat steep grade, 100+ steps are entirely worth the effort.
Beyond the chapel, for a small entry fee of one Sole (.40¢ CAN) you can walk the gorgeous gardens and admire the views over Cajamarca.As we made our way back to the hotel, the beautiful front of Iglesia de Belen with intricate columns, arches, and vaults all carved in stone caught our attention. Cajamarca, an attractive city to spend a day while you get your laundry done and decide where to visit next.