Tingo Maria is the capital of the province of Leoncio Prado, it was founded on October, 15th 1938 and its name comes from Tingo that means union (of the rivers Monzon and Huallaga) and Maria that
is the name of a woman, who used to live there before the city was founded. Everyone in the region knew the woman who lived at the union, the tingo of the two rivers. When the city developed, the inhabitants decided to name it after this woman: Tingo María.
Tingo Maria is located in central Huanuco, in the oriental side of Peru, at 660 m.a.s.l. Tingo Maria is a city of tropical weather, hot and wet, temperature is between 28 and 34 degrees Celsius maximum, 18 degrees Celsius minimum, and an average humidity of 77.5%
it takes an hour from Lima to Tingo Maria by plane. Being 545 Km from Lima, it takes about 20 hours to get to Tingo Maria by bus or car. This road crosses the Cordillera de los Andes.
Tingo María is called La Ciudad de la Bella Durmiente, which could be translated as The City of the Beautiful Sleeping Woman, Tingo María lies at the foot of a mountain which has the shape of a sleeping woman, lying on her back, with an Inca crown on her head. The mountain is situated in the Tingo Maria National Park.
The city lies at an altitude of 650 metres, and has about 30,000 inhabitants. It is a typical Peruvian jungle town with streets that remind the visitor of small towns from wild-west movies. The tropical nature with the green hills around Tingo María is impressive and there are many botanical gardens and parks. There is also a agricultural university.
The most renowned local attraction is the Cueva de Las Lechuzas, a cave just outside the city in Tingo María National Park. The cave is full of beautiful stalagmites and stalactites with many, many nearly extinct nightbirds, oilbirds and parrots. Another great place is the Cañon de las Pavas, a beautiful canyon just outside Tingo María overgrown with rainforest. It is really amazing the number and size of butterflies one can find there.
Until now Tingo María is relatively unknown to tourists, although there are a few hotels and restaurants, servicesd are quite good. The city is definetely worth a visit.