Cerro de Pasco, Peru - Polarsteps

Cerro de Pasco, Peru has a population of about 59,000. Pasco is a mining town sitting at the top of the Andes Mtns, quite literally, at an elevation of 4330 meters (14,210 feet). I think of that white-capped mountain south of Seattle, Mt. Rainier, which is 14,410 feet, and try to compare them - snow, ice, and glaciers on Mt. Rainier, at the same elevation in Peru is a city of close to 60,000 people. It's FRIGGIN' COld HERE! Some people think, and I saw a message posted on Facebook (a comment on something I posted) and the person wrote about all equatorial countries being hot. Apparently, he hasn't actually been to any equatorial countries, as I have now been in three of them, and I can tell you - Pasco is COLD, Bogotá is COLD, Quito is COLD. Being at the equator isn't the deciding factor in the temp, elevation is, and sitting on the equator, Quito sits at 2850 meters (9350 feet). Believe me, because I spent a week and a half in Quito, it's friggin' cold in that city. I also spent a week in Bogotá, 2640 meters/8660 feet, and it's very cold there, too. The hotel I'm in right at this moment has electric space heaters they rent for a little extra for those of us who can't handle the cold room. That's right, as cold as it is here, the general population, businesses, and hotels, have no heat. If they heat their space it's with space heaters of various kinds. Thankfully, they do have heated water in the shower (only). Cerro de Pasco is a mining town and has been since silver was discovered in 1630. In 1816 water pumps were brought from England to pump the mines so the miners could go deeper. In the early 1800s, the Peruvian War of Independence shut down the mine from 1820 until 1825. There are three major, working mines in the area, and there have been some atrocious pollution problems because of the mining. The city has a plan to move the city but no action has been taken on that plan, yet. The city has a soccer stadium, of course, and being at this altitude, it is one of the highest-elevation stadiums in the world. They even, are you ready for this, in this equatorial city, receive snow occasionally. And, it can happen at any time of the year. So, my impressions: There's not much in the city to attract tourists. Its calling card is its elevation and nothing more. So, if you get tired of the hot beaches or the warm Selva region (the area between the Andes and the Amazon), then pay a visit to Pasco, just be sure to bring winter clothes.
  1. ChipW
  2. My South America Journey
  3. Cerro de Pasco