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The hidden mountain town known as "The Pearl of the Andes" has grown into a city of 155,000 whose Peruvian roots are held close in its traditions and sights. Long before the Spanish arrived, indigenous peoples built homes and temples in the hills that framed the town, the ruins of which are still being turned up by local farmers who have plowed much of the terrain into flower and potato fields, coffee plantations, and orchards. The town's look is all Spanish, though, with a small Plaza de Armas and several colonial-style churches and mansions.
At an elevation of 3,050 meters (10,004 feet), Tarma has a cool and breezy climate, with crisp nights all year. Get out in these nights, too, as candlelight processions are a major part of the town's many festivals—notably the Fiesta San Sebastián in January, Semana Santa in March or April, Semana de Tarma in July, and Fiesta El Señor de Los Milagros in October. Tarma is definitely not a tourist town, but a place to visit for true Peruvian traditions.
Tarma's Oficina de Turismo, on the Plaza de Armas, can help you find qualified local guides for sights in the region.
Tarma at a Glance
Elsewhere in The Central Highlands
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