Location: Central Andes
Area: 22,133 km2
Minimum: 1,900 m.a.s.l. (Ocoyo)
Maximum: 4,475 m.a.s.l. (Santa Ana)
The Huancavelica geographical outline is one of the most mountainous of the country. It is located between 3,000 to 3,700 m.a.s.l. The great altitude of cities, including its capital -Huancavelica- is almost uniform, but the roughness of relief difficult so much the inter-communications. Its soil has been destroyed by the force of great rivers which not only go throughout, but have shaped it. These are the Mantaro, Pampas, Huarpa and Chunchanfa. The Mantaro river enters into Huancavelica by narrow throats, thus forming the Tayacaja Peninsula. Another river that shapes the Huancavelican relief is that of Pampas river basin, which arises in the upper Huancavelica highlands lagoons, like Choclococha and Oclococha.
In Huancavelica we can find rich quicksilver and mercury beds, and nowadays, is one of the more evolved regarding mining, comprising silver, copper exploitation centers and concentration and treatment plants like that of Julcani.
Huancavelica is one of the departments of major production of potatoe and wheat. The Tayacaja, Angaraes and the other provinces hillsides are very goo poducers of cereals. Its cattle breeding of alpaca, bovine cattle and porcine have reached higher figures of production for some years.
Historically, the Puna is its most outstanding area, intensely crowded by hunters, shepherds and mine operators from long time ago. From there the old towns all over the country, provide themselves with obsidian, and later with silver. At about 500 A.D. was developed the Huarpa Culture. Around the XII century of Christian era this was embodied into the Wari Empire, epoch where important sites such as Hatun Wayllay o Churcampa belong to. Later, after the split of the empire, there was formed a local culture known as Coras, related to Wankas and Chancas, which after long-time battles was conquered by the Incas.
During the Colony, Huancavelica shone up thanks to quicksilver exploitation, which made the operators to become wealthy miners. While the Independence, the Huancavelica's sons rose up in arms against the spanish authorities, giving support to the Mateo Pumacahua's Rebellion.
When Peru undertook the republican constitution, Huancavelica was a part of the Intendancy of Huamanga. In 1822, San Martín acknowledged Huancavelica as a department.