The Mysteries of Machu Picchu
Since its discovery in the early 20th century, Machu Picchu has taken off as a world destination, being named year after year as a best travel destination and one of...
Beyond the wonders of Machu Picchu and the beautiful streets of the Imperial City, Cusco has enchanting spots that do not receive as many visits. One of them is Oropesa, a city located only 25 km/15.5 mi from Downtown Cusco and polular for its delicious bread.
If you want to get to know a typical district from Cusco and escape the busy streets of the city for some hours, you cannot miss out on what Oropesa has to offer.
Its Bread, the Main Attraction of Oropesa
Such as it happens in each region of Peru, Oropesa has its own delicious, unique and exclusive gastronomy from this district: the bread. An exquisite product that has given this city the alias of National Capital of Bread.
85% of the inhabitants bake bread as a living so while walking down the streets, you will smell some of these products: chutas, rejillas, molletes, hurones. You will want to try them all!
Mysticism and Religion: The Baker Boy Story
Like other traditions from Peru, the Oropesa bread hides a story that mixes religion and mysticism, two important characteristics in the everyday of the inhabitants of the city.
Legend says that many years ago, a boy would go from oven to oven in the district helping the bread baker masters knead the dough. Then, the boy would gather the bread to go sell it but would end up playing with other children from the area and giving away the valued product. By the time the bread bakers would claim the money, the boy had to explain what had happened and before the bread bakers could scold him, the money would miraculously appear.
No one knew who that boy was, who eventually disappeared from one moment to the other; until one day, in a Virgen del Carmen procession, known as La Espanola in Oropesa, someone noticed that the boy the Virgin held in her arms had the same face of the boy who had disappeared. This is how his task was attributed to a religious miracle and the baby the Virgen del Carmen was carrying was forever named Niño Panadero.
This is how the secret arises to why this type of bread cannot be copied in other places in Peru. According to some masters from the area, this bread is made with water from the Apu Pachatusan, one of the highest mountains of the Cusco Valley. Additionally, each bread that comes out of the oven is blessed by the Virgen del Carmen and the Niño Panadero. Lastly, this bread can only be baked days that there have been no deaths in the district because the dead people’s spirit does not allow the dough to ferment.
This entertaining legend gives a result of 2,000 kilos/4,409 pounds daily of chuta, its most desired bread, which is handed out daily in Cusco and other cities in Peru like Arequipa and Puno.
What else is there to see in Oropesa?
If you decide to visit the Oropesa district, besides trying the freshly baked bread from the ancient ovens, you have to visit the three churches. One of them is the San Salvador Church of Oropesa built in stone with a beautiful Barroque altar and all of its walls with frescos with diverse religious images.
Without a doubt, this building is a great example of the architectonic colonial wonders that are still preserved in Cusco and surroundings.
If you are looking for some adrenaline, Oropesa also has a paintball yard named Zona Gama where you can spend some hours of entertainment with friends and family.
Location and Weather
Just like we mentioned before, the Oropesa district is located 25 km/15.5 mi east, only thirty minutes away from Cusco. Also, only 7 km/4 mi north of Oropesa is the Archeological Tipon Park, one of the most representative places of the Inca hydroelectric architecture.
The weather in Oropesa is very similar to Cusco. The year is divided into two seasons: dry season (from May to October) and rainy season (from November to April). In general, it is sunny during the day and cold at night but we recommend to always be prepared for climate changes year round.
How to Get to Oropesa
The Oropesa district is perfectly connected to Cusco city so you should have no troubles getting there by taxi or by taking a bus at the bus stop at Mercado de Wanchaq.