Location: Center of Perú
Area: 44,410 km2
Minimum: 313 m.a.s.l. (Puerto Prado)
Maximum: 4,505 m.a.s.l. (Morococha)
The topography of Junin presents well differentiated zones. To the west, at the limit with the department of Lima, there is the western cordillera with its rough snow and ice covered peaks. Those of greater height have a rough relief. To the east there are glaciar valleys of great height which end up in high plateaus or punas. Among them is the Junín or Bombón Plateau that is between La Oroya and Cerro de Pasco.
The Mantaro Valley becomes wider before Jauja up to the limit with Huancavelica. This zone holds a great percentage of the department's population and great number of the population centers. Towards the east, in the Near-Jungle, there are many narrow and deep canyons, with highly inclined hillsides, covered by woods under low-lying clouds.
In the central an southern part of Junin is to be found the Huaytapallana Cordillera. This cordillera holds a great fault which is the origin of earthquakes in this zone. Towards the east is found the High Jungle, with valleys of great length, modelled by the Tulumayo, Paucartambo, Perené and Ene rivers.
In the high zones of Junín, in the punas that surround Chinchaycocha lake, the hunters that inhabited the caves of the plateau did not have to leave them for millennia, because they had aboundant and permanent sustenance. This can be seen in places such as Telarmachay, Panalauca, Pachamachay and other caves and shelters such as Pintadomachay, with rupestrian paintings. In Junín people hailing from different places, looking for the Salt of San Blas, above all starting from the discovery of ceramics and the Chavín period whose influences were felt in the Mantaro Valley. Apparently, it was not until the Wari Period when the exploitation of farming resources in the Mantaro Valley became important, that the region entered into its apogee. There was an increase in population and ceremonial-administrative centers such as WariWilka appeared. The Huanca culture was born as a result of this farming and cattle raising development with population centers such as Tunan Marka, Qotuqotu and Patáqotu. This is the period of greatest development for the region.
The Mantaro Valley was of the zones most appreciated by the Incas. Its rich fruits delighted the ancient peruvians. During the spanish period a special preferential treatment was given to the city of Jauja.
Its climate, vegetation and landscape captured the spaniards who from moment thought of giving the rank of capital of the Viceroyalty. During the Independence period, the battle of Junín took place in the Pampas of the same name.
Nowadays it is a properous department in which stands out the city of Huancayo. It is flourishing as a commercial regional center. The Marshal Ramón Castilla chose this city to sign the abolition of slavery in Peru.