Huancavelica is the capital of the department of Huancavelica. The population is about 37,000, altitude 3,680 m. Huancavelica is surrounded by about 4000 m high mountains that give a fantastic panorama. Around the plaza, many colonial buildings dominate the view.
The Tourist Office is very helpful, Jr. Victoria Garma 444 (next to the marked hall) and also at the main plaza, Tele-fax 064-752938.
Train service from Huancayo is now (Nov. 2012) reduced to three times a week, leaving from Huancayo at 6;30AM on Mon/Wed/Fri and from Huancavelica at 6:30 AM on Tue/Thu/Sat. The journey takes about 5 hours.
There are buses too for around 15 Soles from Huancayo. Shared Taxi´s are taken from right around the bus station and cost 30 Soles, but take four hours. The road is now paved so the trip competes with the train for comfort now.
From Ayacucho (note: dirt roads may be impassible in the rainy season)
The direct way via colectivo to Julcamarca, a second colectivo to Lircay, and a third colectivo to Huancavelica (all dirt roads). With luck and an early start, you could make it through in one day. Basic accomodation is available in Julcamarca and Lircay, if necessary.
Via Rumichaca and St. Ines. Take a 5:30 am shared van (Transporte Lalo's. tel (066)791710, on Via Los Libertadores, near "26 de enero" market, next to Grifo Ayacucho gas station) to Rumichaca (paved and in good condition), or morning bus before 7am heading the coast (but you may have to pay the fare to Lima), and then catch a bus to Huancavelica (departure 11 AM, dirt road). The landscape is unique and impressive, most of it is between 4000 and 5000 m above sea level.
Take the morning bus to Huancayo, get off at Izuchaca (8-10 hours) where the dirt road becomes paved, and then catch onward local transport to Huancavelica (~1 hour).
To Ayacucho Do the above in reverse.
Colectivos to Lircay, Julcamarca, and the Ayacucho. An early start is required if you are going to get through in one day.
Via Rumichaca: The bus leaves at 4.30 AM(!) from Plaza Tumpac Amaru del Barrio de Yananaco to Rumichaca (dirt road, very impressive landscape, 6h). The bus company San Juan Bautista at Plaza Tupac Amaru sells tickets. From Rumichaca, take one of buses that go from the coast to Ayacucho (paved road). Most of these do not pass through Rumichaca until mid-afternoon.
Take local transport to Izuchaca, and catch the Huancayo to Ayacucho bus from there around 8 or so.
Not a problem. Distances are small, just walk. If you need a taxi, don't pay more than 3 Soles (1,11 US$) in the city.
Most of the churches are open between 5PM and 7PM. They are worth a visit.
Thermal bath with water temperatures between 18 and 22°C. The basins are refilled every day in the early morning hours. So, the earlier you come, the warmer the water.
Mochica Sanchun, Av Virrey Toledo 303.
Hotel Presidente, Plaza de Armas, Chinese menu and à la carte.
Santa Barbara is a very old mining village, founded just after the conquista. It was abandoned in the late 80's. You still can see the mining plants and tunnels as they were. The church gives an impression of the former richness. Take a taxi (ask the driver to wait, otherwise you have to walk back) or make a day trip by feet. It is on the other side of the mountain with the remarkable antennas on the top.