Ayacucho Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing
A wealth of historical mansions and imposing colonial houses are spread around the Ayacucho area, with these noteworthy tourist attractions injecting a great deal of Spanish character and interest to its neighbourhoods, often boasting stone columns, impressive arches and grandiose door knockers. The artisan attractions of Ayacucho's Barrio Santa Ana neighbourhood also appeal to tourists, as do those surrounding the Plaza de Armas.
Other tourist attractions in Ayacucho include a seemingly endless selection of historic churches. In fact, although the city of Ayacucho claims to have no less than 33 churches in total (equating to one church for each of the year's during the life of Christ), there are actually almost 40 different churches present.
Address: Ayacucho, Peru, PE
A huge quantity of colonial-style churches is to be found within Ayacucho, a number of which are worth checking out. These include the Iglesia de La Compania, the Iglesia de La Merced, the Iglesia de San Agustin, the Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis, the Iglesia de Santa Teresa and the Iglesia de Santo Domingo. Look out for the Spanish-style Baroque architecture, which often features distinctive Andean influences. Step inside to discover elaborately decorated interiors, filled with carvings, vaulted ceilings, paintings and other impressive religious attractions. Although open to the public, opening times at many churches can be a little irregular. During the Holy Week (Semana Santa) at Easter, the churches of Ayacucho become focal points for all kinds of religious-based celebrations.
Open hours: hours vary
Mansions and Colonial Houses
Address: Ayacucho, Peru, PE
Tourists will find the majority of the main mansions are clearly indicated on most good maps. Nowadays most of these attractions are home to local political offices and are open to visitors during the usual business hours. Notable mansions include the:
- Casona Boza and Solis - dating from the middle of the 18th century
- Prefectura - the offices of the department of Ayacucho, located on the Plaza de Armas and dating from 1740
- Palacio del Marques - built in 1550 and standing on the Portal Union
- Salon de Actas - in the Consejo Municipal and standing alongside the cathedral, overlooking the plaza
Open hours: Monday to Friday, hours vary
Barrio Santa Ana (Santa Ana Quarter)
Address: Barrio Santa Ana, Ayacucho, Peru, PE
The Barrio Santa Ana is a very quirky and vibrant neighbourhood, with cobblestone alleyways and a large selection of workshops and artisan studios. Santa Ana lies to the south-west of the Plaza de Armas and is centred around the Plaza Santa Ana, which is presided over by the Iglesia Santa Ana de los Indios. Those looking for quality souvenirs will find this particular spot a very good place to start, with the hand-woven tapestries being especially fine.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Centro Turistico Cultural San Cristobal (San Cristobal Cultural Tourism Centre)
Address: 28 de Julio 178, Ayacucho, Peru, PE
Located just a stroll to the south of the Plaza de Armas, and on the corner of the Portal Constitucion and the San Martin, the Centro Turistico Cultural San Cristobal serves as much more than just a tourist centre. This charming, renovated building is an exceptional example of colonial architecture and was formerly a Jesuit monastery, while today it is now a rather trendy little shopping mall with a number of family friendly attractions. Tourists will always enjoy hanging out at the San Cristobal Cultural Tourism Centre, where there are also cafes, bars, restaurants and galleries.
Open hours: daily - seasonal variations