Continuing my series, Explorando Lima, in which I demonstrate the immense diversity that Peru has to offer without even leaving the region of Lima, I visit the town of Matucana and its surroundings, 75km from Lima at 2378 metres above sea level.
Matucana, some three hours along the Carretera Central which leads to places such as San Ramon, La Merced, Tarma, Juaja and Huancayo, is at this time of year warm, sunny and still mostly green from last rains (Dec-Apr). It’s somewhere ideal to do some light hiking of 3-8 hours. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold and it’s not too high up.
The town itself still consists of buildings of around 100 years in age, a boom time when the world famous central railway was built. Passenger trains don’t stop here any more, though mineral trains still pass by, which leaves the train station as a preserved historic building.
From the town, there are routes that vary in length from 3-8 hours allowing you to see waterfalls, green mountains and lakes. We opted for a walk to the waterfall of Antankallo, about an hour and a half from the Los Olivos area of Matucana. This mostly uphill route of 2.65km takes you to an altitude of roughly 2700 metres above sea level.
For those with more time, equipment and ability, a route via Markahuasi leads to lagoons under looming mountains. Ask in the towns Municipality building for details.