Just 35km east of Cañete, the pleasant river-based resort of LUNAHUANA is home to several hotels and a wide variety of tour agencies offering trekking, mountain biking, valley tours, whitewater rafting or canoeing. The place varies in feel considerably depending whether it is the busy time (mainly Dec–March, plus one week either side of the national holiday on July 28) – when there are festivals for the grape harvest combined with rafting competitions. Outside these, it’s empty and laidback. Few foreign visitors come here; it mainly sees a young and sporty crowd from Lima.

Lunahuana and the surrounding area consists of beautifully sculpted, dusty mountainsides surrounding a narrow, irrigated and fertile green valley floor. As well as abundant vineyards, some of which can be visited on tours (see Incahuasi), the valley is also dedicated to cultivating maize, cotton, rice, avocados, chillies, limes, papayas and bananas. And as well as adventure sports, Lunahuana is a great base for exploring the local Inca archeological complex of Incahuasi.

On the plaza there’s a fine colonial church with a cool interior and a sky-blue wooden vaulted ceiling. Within easy striking distance there’s a horse dressage (caballos de paso) centre, a traditional hanging bridge, plus rustic pisco haciendas, such as the Bodega Fidelina Candela, Anexo Jita, at Km 37 (Lima t0128 41030).

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