Overlooking Cajamarca’s plaza is the Cerro Santa Apolonia, a 500 metre high hill that rises out of nothing in the centre of the city. Now merely a lookout point, it was once an important sacred spot for the many civilisations that inhabited the area over the ages, such as the Chavin, who in 1200BC built platforms, tunnels and tombs near and on the top of it.
In the time of the Incas, it is thought to have been used for strategic reasons more than religious ones. As a good spot survey the city and the valley, Inca leaders are said to have used it. Near the top there are some Incan carvings in the rock, including steps, a seat and niches used to place idols.
The cerro has since been turned into a park area for walking in, with paths, trees and plants. To gain access, head towards the church and the huge white cross from the plaza.