Cajamarca, city (1993 pop. 123,195), capital of Cajamarca prov., N Peru. An important commercial center, Cajamarca is situated at an altitude of c.9,000 ft (2,740 m) and has a cool, dry climate. Most of the population is indigenous. Grains and alfalfa as well as dairy cattle are raised in the region, and gold, silver, and copper come from nearby mines. Textiles, headwear, and leather products are manufactured. Francisco Pizarro captured the Inca ruler Atahualpa in 1532 at Cajamarca. Inca ruins and nearby thermal springs attract many tourists. National Technical Univ. is located in Cajamarca.
Cajamarca is located in the northern highlands of Peru and is the capital of the Cajamarca region. It is approximately 2,700 m (8,900 ft) above sea level and has a population of about 135,000 people. Cajamarca has an equatorial climate so it is mild, dry and sunny, which creates very fertile soil. The city is well-known for its cheeses and dairy products. Cajamarca is also known for its churches, and hot springs, or Inca Baths. There are also several active mining sites in surrounding areas. Most of all, Peruvians remember Cajamarca as the place where the Inca Empire came to an end; the Battle of Cajamarca and the capture and execution of the Incan emperor Atahualpa took place here.


The origin of the city goes back over 3,000 years. Traces of pre-Chavín cultures can be seen in surrounding archaeological sites such as Cumbe Mayo and Kuntur Wasi. During the period between 1463 and 1471, Tupac Inca conquered the area and brought Cajamarca into the Tawantinsuyu, or Inca Empire, which at the time was still being ruled by Tupac's father Pachacuti.

Cajamarca's place in history is secured by the tragedy of 1532. Atahualpa had beaten his brother Huáscar in a battle for the Inca throne in Quito. On his way to Cusco to claim the throne with his army of 80,000 soldiers, he stopped at Cajamarca. Francisco Pizarro and his 168 soldiers met Atahualpa here after weeks of marching from Piura. Fernando de Soto and friar Vicente de Valverde delivered the "Requirement". Atahualpa refused, effectively giving Pizarro the excuse to declare the Inca an enemy of the Church and Spain. Audaciously, the Spanish Conquistadors captured Atahualpa in the Battle of Cajamarca, massacring several thousand unarmed Inca civilians and soldiers.

Once the Spanish had Atahualpa, they held him captive in Cajamarca's main temple. They were able to convince Atahualpa's generals not to attack by threatening to kill their king if they did. But the Conquistadors were also trapped, with only a small force. Atahualpa at first did not fully understand the intentions of the Spanish conquistadors, yet he offered them a ransom for his freedom. The Inca emperor offered Pizarro a room filled with gold and twice over with silver, within two months. The Spanish were pleased by this offer, but never intended to release Atahualpa.

This room became known as El Cuarto del Rescate, or "The Ransom Room". Tourists to Cajamarca can see a room by this name in Cajamarca, but most likely the room was Atahualpa's cell, not his ransom room. In the end Atahualpa had misjudged the Conquistadors; after they had the ransom, they executed him.

In 1986 the Organization of American States declared Cajamarca a Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Americas.


Cajamarca is home to two universities. The University Nacional de Cajamarca is a public university while Universidad Privada del Norte ia a private university. As well, Davy College, an international school promoting bilingual education, is located in the city.


Cajamarca is served by the My. Gral. FAP. Armando Revoredo Iglesias Airport. Cajamarca is also serviced by two major bus lines, Linea and Cruz de Sur.


  • Conquest of the Incas. John Hemming, 1973.

See also

El Ultimo Inka Atahualpa lo mataron los espanoles en cajamarca.Segun la historia dice que antes de ser ahoracado en la plaza de armas lo bautizaron con el Nombre de Juan Athualpa.

External links

Search another word or see Cajamarcaon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature