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Tarma From the Inca Trail (Camino Inca)

Tarma, founded as Santa Ana de la Ribera de Tarma, is a town in Central Sierra (more specifically, in the province of Tarma, in the department of Junín), Peru. It is also known as the Pearl of the Andes and the City of Flowers.


A little over 3000 meters above sea level, Tarma has a lot to offer, ruins, caves, waterfalls and just a short distance to Jungle.

Currently this page refers to Tarma and the surrounding towns in the province of the same name (Tarma). Tarma is the largest town in the province, however many of the smaller towns have facilities such as hostels and banks.

Towns in the province of Tarma;

Acobamba, Huaricolca, Huasahuasi, Leticia, Palca, Palcamayo, San Pedro de Cajas, Tapo, Tarma.

Get in


Cruz del Sur and MovilTours have daily connections from Lima and La Merced/Oxapampa to Tarma.

  • Huancayo three hours (S/.10)
  • La Oroya is 58km south west of Tarma.
  • Lima Bus six hours (S/.25.00), Mininvan five hours (S/.40.00).


Flight connections from Lima to Jauja—a 45 minute drive from Tarma—are served by LATAM ([4]) and Peruvian ([5]).

Get around

Tarma town is relatively small and most commuting can be done comfortably on foot. The main bus terminal is just off Av. Castilla, where the hotels begin. Rickshaws, heavily utilized by locals, are everywhere and can be flagged down. Minivans, buses, taxis and personal cars offer cheap travel around the nearby towns and can be flagged down on exit roads.



  • Wilcashmarca. Ruins of buildings.
  • Yanamarca (Quechua for Black Town), (11° 20' 9 S 75° 41' 45 W). Chanca culture, ruins of a three story building. (-11.3358,-75.6958)


  • Pintish Machay (Guardianes de Mamahuari Huaricolca), Near Huaricolca, head towards Tarmatambo and keep going. (11° 32' 22 S 75° 39' 16 W). Cave featuring ancient paintings. (-11.5394,-75.6544)



  • Kutumarca. Ruins, round stone structure.



San Pedro de Cajas

  • Gruta de Huagapo (Quechua for Cavern that cries), (11º 16' 08 S 75º 47' 04 W). Possibly the largest cave in Peru. There are also ancient paintings here. About 27km from Tarma just past the town of Palcamayo. Take the road towards Junin. (-11.2689,-75.7844)
  • Gruta de Pacupa Huain. Cave near San Pedro de Cajas



  • Museo de la Cultura, Corner of Jr. Dos de Mayo and Jr. Arequipa. A great first stop as they'll give you an excellent map of Tarma and surrounding areas for free. Currently free entry and guided tour.
  • Ancashmarca. Ruins.
  • Carnaval. From the 4th to 9th of March 2011.
  • Festival of Flowers. September
  • Festival del Huayco tarmeño. November
  • Plaza de Armas. Features a nice fountain and palms.
  • Santa Ana Cathedral.
  • Semana Santa. Easter, beautiful floral displays.
  • Tarmatambo (Collcas de Tarmatambo), (11º 28' 36 S 75º 41' 07 W). Stone buildings and terraces. (-11.4767,-75.6853)


The tourist office on the East side of Plaza de Armas has a free map of the city and interest points in the region.


  • Laguna de Cocon. Heading east from Palcamayo there is a trail leading past the ruins of Llaumanpata and onto Laguna de Cocon, about 10km each way.
  • Camino Inca. The Inca trail goes between Tarmatambo and Huasqui and takes approximately 4 hours. The trail provides great views of Tarma and the surrounding hills. A S/.1-2 combi or colectivo taxi will take you to Tarmatambo, where you can see the beginning of the trail up on the hill. Paths up to the trail can be seen on Google maps. The trail leads North East and dips into a valley. Take a right at the fork twice to cross the valley and head up North between the hills. There is no defined path here, but the trail continues when you reach the dip in the hills at the top. The trail then heads West along the hills and gradually declines. From the road in Huasqui you can flag down a bus or taxi back to Tarma. Look out for the Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas) along the trek.


Tarma has a great local market which takes over half the town on Sundays where prices of snacks are remarkably cheap.



  • Los Mejorcito de Tarma, Av. Arequipa 501, Tarma, (064) 31 7329.
  • Salón Odria, Av. Ramón Castilla 512, Tarma, (064) 321411.
  • El Gallito De Oro, Jirón 2 De Mayo, 501, Tarma, (64) 323019.
  • El Pollo Stop, Avenida Ramón Castilla, 512, Tarma, (064) 321411. Has a kids playground and outdoor eating area.
  • Hot N' Tender, Jirón Lima, 730, Tarma, (064) 32 4220. Chicken, Chips, Salad.

Typical dishes

  • Pachamanca Earth oven baked meat and vegies.
  • Picante de Cuy Spicy Guinea Pig.
  • Trucha Trout.
  • Sopa Verde Green vegetable soup with potatoes and boiled egg.


Typical drinks

  • Chicha de Jora
  • Calientito hot tea with lemon and chacta (cane liquor).




  • Aruba, Jirón Moquegua 452, 064 322057. Hot water, private bathrooms, cable TV, S/.35 for double room (August 2015).
  • Hostal Inkanto, Castilla 138, 064 321413. Hot water, private bathrooms, cable TV, Wi-Fi, Sauna/Steam room on ground floor included in room price, S/.45 for double room (August 2015).


  • El Dorado, Jirón Huánuco 488, 064 321914 (), [1]. Continental breakfast, Internet, room service, hot water, private bathrooms, cable TV. These guys also have a good range of tours from S/.30.00 to S/.65.00


  • Municipalidad Provincial de Tarma, [3].


  • Bomberos, 321 700.
  • Hospital Félix Mayorca Soto, Av. Pacheco 362, Tarma, (064) 32 1401 or (064) 32 1400.
  • Serennazgo, 321 322.
  • Policia Nacional del Peru, 321 921.

Get out

  • Junin Take the road about 75km north west from Tarma, ascending around 1000 meters, passing Gruta de Huagapo on the way to Junin.
  • La Merced
  • Oxapampa
  • Pichanaki
  • San Ramon (Peru) Take the road about 66km north east from Tarma, descending over 2000 meters into the jungle, passing magnificent waterfalls on the way to San Ramon. San Ramon has an airstrip.

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