Cerro Santa Apolonia


This garden-covered viewpoint, overlooking the city from the southwest, is a prominent Cajamarca landmark. It is easily reached by climbing the stairs at the end of Calle 2 de Mayo and following the path that spirals around the hilltop. The pre-Hispanic carved rocks at the summit are mainly from the Inca period, but some are thought to originally date back to the Chavín period.

One of the rocks, which is known as the Seat of the Inca, has a shape that suggests a throne, and the inca (king) is said to have reviewed his troops from this point.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cajamarca attractions

1. Museo de Arqueológico & Etnográfíco

0.15 MILES

This small museum has exhibits of pre-Columbian pottery and stone statues, as well as displays on local costumes and clothing, domestic and agricultural…

2. El Complejo de Belén

0.17 MILES

Construction of this sprawling colonial complex, comprising a church and hospital made entirely from volcanic rock, occurred between 1627 and 1774. The…

3. El Cuarto del Rescate

0.25 MILES

The Ransom Chamber, the only Inca building still standing in Cajamarca, is where Inca ruler Atahualpa was imprisoned. The small room has three trapezoidal…

4. Iglesia de San Francisco

0.27 MILES

Outgunning the cathedral on Plaza de Armas is this elaborate church with striking stone carvings and decadent altars. Unlike other illustrious Cajamarca…

5. Catedral de Cajamarca

0.27 MILES

This squat but ornate building was begun in the late 17th century and only recently finished. Like most of Cajamarca’s churches, the cathedral has no…

6. Cumbemayo

4.23 MILES

Cumbemayo (derived from the Quechua kumpi mayo, meaning ‘well-made water channel’) is an astounding feat of pre-Inca engineering. These perfectly smooth…

7. Ventanillas de Otuzco

4.84 MILES

This pre-Inca necropolis has scores of funerary niches built into the hillside, hence the name ventanillas (windows). Set in alluring countryside, 8km…

8. Ventanillas de Combayo

6.09 MILES

Combayo is the largest and most impressive collection of funerary niches in the region, although its location 30km northeast of Cajamarca means it's less…