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Huagapo Cavern

From Tarma city, following the route towards northeast, we arrive to Palcamayo  (20.5 miles - 33 km.), where the biggest cavern of South America is located: Huagapo (quechua voice: the cavern that cries), its name based on a legend which story relates that in the expansion times of Inca's Empire, women and children of Tarama culture, who ruled the zone, had to shelter in the cavern waiting to be rescued by their brave warriors when the war had finished.  But as the Incas won, nobody could rescue them and they got trapped into Huagapo cavern which entrance was blocked up by a huge rock. It is said that they could never get out and their screams are heard until now.

Although it is still under study by many scientist from all over the world, the cavern formation might have occurred 80 millions of years ago approximately, due to a explosion produced by a heavy concentration of energy and gases.

Arriving by road we can see a beautiful waterfall coming from the interior of the cavern, which waters will accompany us along all our crossing. As you will observe the outside walls have cave paintings representing persons and animals (llamas, snakes and frogs) which date from 6,000 years BC. In the interior we found stalactites and stalagmites produced by the salt concentration, which have formed figures like the virgin, the lion, the cathedral, etc. The depth explored in Huagapo cavern reaches 10,006 feet (3,050 meters), being accessible the first 1,312 feet (400 meters) to all people in general, and needing special equipment for rock climbing and oxygen tank for diving  at greater depths. At 5,249 feet (1,600 meters) of depth is located the first siphon and at 9,006 feet (2,745 meters) is the second one where the blind trouts live.

The Huagapo cavern is a unique place in Peru. It represents an important source of research for speleologists and scientist of many fields and allow the practice of adventure sports.

 


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