El Pedregal/Majes, Perú

2024/04/23

Majes/El Pedregal, Perú, has a population of around 52,000. The city was established in 1999 as a district with the town of El Pedregal as its capital. The metropolitan area is young but there is evidence of the area having been inhabited long before, as in thousands of years ago. There is nothing left of any archeological significance in the area, though.

It is believed the Wari people lived in the area long before the Incas came in and conquered them. Then, as with the entire Inca civilization, the Spaniards arrived and conquered them. In 1981, an irrigation district was set up and the land became rich farmland, which drew in people. The district of Majes was established in 1999, then the town grew substantially. In 2002, dinosaur tracks and fossils were found in the area, and since then the city has built a dinosaur-themed park (see photos in the photo album).

The climate typically sees an average afternoon high of 24° C (75° F) and an average nightly low of 14° C (58° F). The town sits at 1420 meters (4660 feet) above sea level in the desert with the Colca River on one side and desert and farmland surrounding the rest of the city.

For a town of barely more than 50,000, I am surprised by all of the new construction/renovations that are happening at the city level - new parks and plazas are being built, others are being renovated, many roads are being widened and paved, there is a new bus terminal and all the surrounding streets are being greatly improved. Of all the towns I have visited, more than 200 in South America, this town has more new construction than any others I've visited, including big cities. The city center has many small plazas and parks, the main plaza is being renovated, one of the main roads was widened and the center median is being turned into park space. In a few years, this will be a very nice town. Right now, it's dirty and dusty, the majority of the neighborhood streets are dirt/sand/gravel. I walked out to the eastern neighborhoods and found where they are building a new plaza and parks with at least three blocks, with an area that has been cleared that covers a couple of more blocks. There are many trees throughout the town's parks and plazas that have been trimmed topiary-style so it appears the town hired someone who knows how to do that and maintain them. So, for now, it's not a tourist town, but maybe in a couple of years, it will be a pleasant town to visit.