The Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve (RPNYC) is located in the high and middle basin of the Cañete River and in the Cochas Pachacayo basin, in the Lima and Junín departments. Its beautiful, natural, high Andean scenery covers 221,268.48 hectares and is between 2,500 and 5,700 metres above sea level.
The reserve, created in 2001, protects one of the most beautiful high Andean landscapes in Peru. The headwaters of the Cañete River form numerous waterfalls, such as the Cabracancha stepped waterfalls, and lagoons as clear as the surface of a mirror. In addition to its stunning scenery, the reserve boasts typical Andean flora and fauna, including Andean foxes, vicuñas, Andean ducks, herons and queñua woods.
The reserve is divided into two zones: the high basin of the Cañete River and the Pachacayo River basin, where rural communities live in harmony with the area's ecosystems.
The main tourism area is close to the towns of Vitis, Huancaya and Vilca, in the basin of the Cañete River, where there are houses offering accommodation and camping areas. The reserve contains lagoons surrounded by totora trees, like Papacocha, and waterfalls like the Bosque de Amor, which provide perfect postcard settings.
Huancaya is a picturesque town with colonial bridges made of stone and lime, exclusively for pedestrian use.
Part of the Inca Trail, which runs throughout Peru, passes through the Pachacayo River basin, and visitors can see the Apu Pariacaca snow-mountain, considered a deity in the pre-Hispanic era.
Activities: Trekking, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, mountaineering, bird watching, flora observation, camping and caving.
Climate: During the day, temperatures rise to over 20°C (68°F) when it is sunny, and drop to 10°C (50°F) at night. The reserve is typically dry during the winter (May to September) and it rains throughout the summer (October to April), but more intensely between January and March. Tourists are encouraged to visit between May and November.
Access by Land: From Lima: the most frequently travelled route is the Panamericana Sur to Cañete (km 140), followed by taking the road to Lunahuaná, and continuing on a road (in good condition) from Vitis to Huancaya (130 km (81 miles) approximately). As the roads are not completely paved, visitors are advised to travel in a 4x4.