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CAJAMARCA, THERMAL VILLAGE OF THE CAPAC ÑAN

 

The Project will energize the Ecoturismo of Camino del Inca

CCajamarca, snugly nestled amidst the rolling hills of a picturesque valley under a pure blue sky and crossed by rivers that flow mainly into the Marañon River, the Department of Cajamarca is privileged with rich agricultural, dairy and mining production. Its capital is the city by the same name and there are 13 provinces whitin its region.

Today Cajamarca is a rapidly growing city with a rich agricultural, mining and dairy production. The Yanacocha mine rank first as the most productive gold mine in Latin America.

Tourisme has also significantly increased due to the distinct atractions Cajamarca has to offer including the Tourist Complex Baths of the Inca and the properties of its thermal waters close to the historic " Puddle of the Inca Atahualpa" is considered the most important touristic thermal district in northern Peru.

Its valuable archaelogical findings, the warmth of its people, its colorful folklore and the awesome diversity of its flora and fauna.

In november of 1986, Cajamarca was declared Historical and Cultural Patrimony of the Americas.

THE CAPAC ÑAN

The complex network of trails known as the "Capac Ñan" wichc means "Great Path" in Quechua languaje, was a monumental project undertaken by the Incas. In some parts of Peru the network was knowm as the "Inca Ñan" Later Spanish chroniclers referred to it as "The Royal Roads of the Incas"

At the peak of its expansion, this most important of all Pre-Colombian transportation system in the New World consisted of more than 30.000 kilometers of perfected constructed trails, the majority of which were paved in stone. Part of the ingeniousness of its desing resides is the fact that rhater than use a single model throughout the paths adapted to the topography of the each zone. The quality of its construction demostrates the extent to whichc its architects and engineers meant it to last quite literally forever.

The Width of the trails varies in some casesreaching more than fifteen meters across, in others reduced to a width of a meter and a halft as the paths skirt ravines and cliff sides. At strategic points along the trail were buildings knowm as "tambos" or lodges; often they occur at intervals of twenty kilometres or more closely , as required required by the level of dificulty of a given trail. The lodges served both as shelter for travelers and as storage of food and clothing.

The Capac Ñan was perhaps the element most responsable for the rapid expansion of Tawantinsuyo and for the development of the incas empire, which at its height comprised northern Argentina, northern Chile, Bolivia, Peru and southern Colombia.

THE CAPAC ÑAN IN CAJAMARCA

The Capac Ñan of the northern sector of the Incan Empire, knowm as Chinchaysuyo, passes through the department of Cajamarca longitudinally with secondary trails crossing transversally. These ancient trails provided access to nearly all Cajamarca.

The Great Path run from Huacamayo in the south towards Cajabamba, passed through Cauday, drops dwon to the Crisnejas River , pushes up along the Inca Rise to Chancay and from there runs though Ichocan. San Marcos and Namora

It then borders Lake Sulluscocha, passing through of Shaullo and finally reaching the historic Inca Baths.

From there the trail runs directly to the city of Cajamarca, continues on to Rumichaca in the distrct of Porcon, and from there heads toward Ingatambo in San Pablo, pushes to the northeast in the direction of Chancay Baños in Santa Cruz, then passes throug the Pucará region before crossing the Huancamba River valley several times, at last reaching Caxas and Ayabaca in the department of Piura.

During the Incan time, Cajamarca was an important administrative, military centre and religious of singular importance as Huanucopampa, Vilcashuaman, Jauja and Cuzco. On November 16, 1532 the city was the stage for one of the most important event in all human history:

Francico Pizarro captured Inca Atahualpa in the Main Square of Cajamarca, thus fostering the encountering of the two worlds.

The deadth of Atahualpa on July 1533 following a fraudulent trial and despite having filled once a room with gold and twicw with silver as ransom for his freedom, brouht about the downfall of the Incan Empire

The city reflects the Spanish influence in the architecture of the Cathedral, the churches of San Francisco, Nativity and La Recoleta; and in their houses of two floors and roof to two waters.

Located in the north circuit of Peru, it constitutes a key region for the tourist development, with grateful competitive advantages in market segments that are projected as those of bigger growth of the sector.

It has other important atractives of type ecoturístic, cultural - historical, agroturístic, mystic and religious, besides a handycrfts and creative activity that motivate the visit of different types of tourists, for the variety of their resources and the diverse activities that they can carry out.

The combined effort of companies, institutions and local governments of the valley of Cajamarca to preserve and to revalue the natural resources and getting its development. The district has in the thermal riches of the mineral waters, a tourist inducement that, without doud, it will energize the economic development of the region. The current social agents are joining efforts to reach this important objective.

INCAN IDENTITY

During our stay in Cajamarca we could enjoy the Incan identity in the customs of a people proud of their past and of their cultural and historical patrimony. Warm people that welcomed us with great sympathy and we corresponded with respect to its ancestral culture and fomenting the necessity to design a thermal tourism based on the people own identity.

The feeling about to share the present without giving up its past and trusting the strategies of a future tourist without losing its identity, is the best incentive to transform Cajamarca into the "thermal village of the Incas." That was precisely our motivation when we attempt to establish the best way to get a modern thermal village using the logic and the feeling of admiration for this ancestral Andean culture.

A thermal village as integral urbanístic project, with solutions in bio-climáte design and the harmony of the whole of its works, able to meeting the social demands. A concept of sustainable thermal city that is becoming imposed in Europe altought preserving her own identity, that should be, without any doubt, a reference for Latin América in the Third Millennium.

Cajamarca has four sources of hyper?thermal water in abundant quantities. These have been clasified as "very healthy"with a balanced mineral and metal content, their curative powers are based on their temperature and vaporurs containing an agreeable balance of sulfurous components and ionizing characteristic. All of this has been known for centuries with the Cajamarca valley being considered excellent for relaxation and recovery.

The challenge to Cajamarca today is to value the thermal springs and create attractions for modern tourism in order to make the region an alternative destination in the international market. In a joint effort by a number of institutions work is already under way to grasp this opportunity. I is hoped that services will be extended to include new treatment techniques using the waters, MUDS therapy, herbs and fruits , as well as massage, relaxations ttreatement, saunas and swimming pools to atract both, peruvian and foreign visitors.

Cajamarca is getting ready to enter with all merits into the scope of Tourism of Health and the Well-being. The tourist of the XXI century search to improve his quality of life, relax and enjoyment of his leisure time.

These are the incentives of the routes of the "Capac Ñan "when offering an splendid nature and culture besides health, using the benefits of the thermal waters according to the necessities: as therapy for body ailments or cures anti-stress. And the thermalism of recreation where the water is an relaxing and vitalizing element.

We consider that the health and the well-being are worthy of an appropriate planificación. Thus, a committee multisectorial, promoted by the Viceministerio of External Trade and Tourism, it is carrying out combined actions in order to increase this natural attractive.

It is a priority for que the population, aware of their patrimonial richess of the thermal water, to become active part of the touristic future of their city. Its people should know that each inversión in the area, it rebounds in an social and economic improvement whenever the resources are used in a sustainable way.

The Committee for the Development of the Peruvian Thermalismis is updating the inventory of mineral-medicinal waters of Peru, consolidating the information of the MINCETUR and of the INGEMMET.

This way, the Committee that is supported by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation?AECI, is promoting the actions that the public and private sectors of Cajamarca, has decided to carry out with the object of converting the district of Baths of the Inca, in the first Thermal Village of Peru.

THERMAL WATERS.BATHS OF THE INCA

In the easthern part of the city are located "Baths of the Inca", an SPA ot hot mineral-medicinal water, formerly known with the name of Pultumarca and it was the place where the Inca Atahualpa encounter the Spaniards. It is a natural springs whose waters sprout to the surface with 70 degrees centigrade.

Baths of the Inca the First Tourist Spa of the North of the Peru because its mineral-medicinal waters that sproud to the surface through of denominated "perolitos" with a temperature that ranks between 65º and 76ºC, characteristics of great importance for the development of the crenoterapia or hydrothermal treatment.

 

The waters, according to the analyses carried out, are rich in sodium, potassium, litio, calcium and strontium, contain iron, magnesium and silica likewise; for that reason is denominated sodium water?carbonated?calcium?clorurada?sulfatada. The thermal waters of these baths, are highly medicinal especially for rheumatic illnesses and treatment of the skin. Also for nervous affections.

The Baths of the Inca are located two thousand 650 metres over sea level. During the Incan splendour,the place was an elegant residence sorrounded of trees and springs.

Here is the famous Puddle of the Inca whose measures are: four meters long and four meters wide and it has a depth of a meter with seventy centimeters. In this place, according to the historians, Atahualpa recovered his forces before undertaking new conquests and later to combat his brother, Huáscar. The Baths of the Inca shine well preserved and with some renovations.

At the present the Spa consists of around 4.5 Hás. where diverse infrastructures have been built for the attention of national and foreign tourists, the same ones that at the moment are insufficient to meet the demand especially during the weekends and the feast days.

There is a pool of 25 x 12x2.8 m.; pavilion of 36 old wells a pavilion with imperial denominated 17 modern wells, two pavilions with 56 wells apporpriate for tourists, sauna, lodging service in 8 bungalows with 24 camas and a housing with 90 beds

In the vicinity of the Baths of the Inca tourist complex, recently were exhumed archaeological findings of what it could be rooms in the antiquity where the old residents of Baths of the Inca already used the thermal waters for their healing therapies. The work was in charge of the Japanese Mission in the Peru.

With the purpose of to offer a better service and to use efficiently the water properties in medicinal treatments, it is intended the construction of additional infrastructure and the endowment of other facilities, supplementing those already in fuction, just as the construction of a pavilion to carry out the coating or bath with mud, sauna baths, Turkish baths, massages, etc.; creation of an area with recreational games and pools, construction of restaurants and coffeshops, the fitting of the archaeological area, etc. The Proyect Cajamarca is as well supported by Spanish Agency of International Cooperación.

From the Spanish Association of Friends of theThermas, we consider this proyect a milestone in the water culture. For this reason, we offer full collaboration and we propose that Cajamarca, thermal village of the Incas, be integrated in the Routes of the "Capac Ñan". as a tourist innovation with own identity, being added to the tourist routes already designed by the APREC.

MAYTE SUÁREZ SANTOS.
European consultant of Tourism and Thermal Administration.
President Spanish Association of Friends of the Termas

 
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