If you are planning to learn more about Peru’s mining history and present, Juliaca is a great place to visit. It is a cold and stunningly beautiful place, with access to ruins, mountains, and mines. You can walk along the streets of this quaint little town, try local food, and enjoy the cold sun of the mountains.
Most colonial cities in the world grew up because of mining, especially gold mining. In distant Australia, Ballarat grew up as a gold mining town. Further away, Kolar Gold Fields in India was once a prosperous gold mining town close to beautiful nature and sylvan valleys. Peru is no stranger, and there are many towns and villages which are associated with gold mining. If you are planning to visit Peru sometime soon, Juliaca might just be an opportunity for you to discover Peru’s gold mining tales. Juliaca is located on the altiplano and is the nearest city to La Rinconada.
What makes La Rinconada special is that it has a functioning gold mining, and many successful gold miners currently live in Juliaca. However, be warned, that both the places are very cold and are at elevated altitudes. La Rinconada sits at a height of 16,830 feet above sea level, while Juliaca is at a more temperate 12,549 feet above sea level.
The city is known for its Juliaca’s Carnival and is very close to the Sillustani ruins as well. Juliaca is a great place to understand the gold mining history of Peru. Speak to its local residents, walk into a bar, and just learn about its history. As this is a town that is a center of woolen garments and socks, you can rest assured that you will not develop a frost-bite while learning about gold mining.
The Ney Yorker reports that at the mines of La Rinconada, women are not allowed. This is partly blamed on women’s physical strength, but of course, it is sexism and gender discrimination at the root of it all. If you have the time to learn more about Juliaca and La Rinconada, read this long form article on The New Yorker to learn more.
Make sure that you are properly tested medically as such altitudes can make many people sick if they are not used to them.