Barranca, Perú


Baranca, Perú and was founded in 1823 as a district. The area the town sits in has been inhabited since the pre-Inca era. The town has around 60,000 people, and is located some 175 kilometers north of Lima.

The historical name of the town is "Guamanmayo" which dates backs millenia. That name came from the Quechua language and means "River Sparrowhawk". The Spanish chronicler Pedro de Cieza de León, visited the town of Barranca in 1547 and called it "Valle de Guamán" which in Spanish means "Río del Halcón" or "River of the hawk". According to tradition the original town of Guamanmayo was located a couple of kilometers east of the current city, according to notes from the Spanish governor Vaca de Castro in 1543. At that time the town had taken the name "Karanca" which over time has become Barranca. Prior to 1543BC, the communities were characterized by dedicating themselves to activities such as horticulture, construction of houses with terraces, and working in groups on farms. They were known for making ceramics, they lived a mostly sedentary lifestyle, and where known for cotton weaving.

About 18 kilometers north of the city center is the Paramonga Fortress (Fortaleza de Paramonga), which was built by the Chimú people and also used by the Incas. It is an adobe-block stepped pyramid built in the 14th century but later after the Incas conquered the Chimú it was used by the Incas. It may have had astronomical functions, administrative, commercial, and military uses. The Spanish explorers of the mid-1500s noted that the fortress was impressive and well-built but was also deteriorated by looting.

The city's economy is based primarily on fishing and agriculture, followed by commercial trade and manufacturing.

The climate is called a subtropical desert climate. The average daytime high is 23° C (74° F) and the average nightly low is 15° C (59° F). Barranca gets 230mm (9 inches) of rain per year. Humidity ranges from 77%-82% year-round.

This town is grey, and bland in every way. There is simply no color here, like the desert around it. The only thing going for it is the six beaches that are its claim to fame. As for it being a gateway to the many archiological sites, it's not, there are other towns closer to them than Barranca. So, should you go out of your way to visit Barranca? No.