The story goes that after the tribes of Los Huancas had been conquered by the Incan Empire, the great Incan Pachacútec began his campaign to conquer Los Tarumas. Soon, the Incan troops began to dominate the tribe, and quickly and easily dominated their capital, Taramtambo.

The land was then governed by Chief Mayta Puma. He was a valiant leader who was loved for being well groomed, and good-looking. During his mandate he turned Los Tarumas into a more powerful and progressive group. He organized them to build andenes* and aqueducts to increase agricultural production. He also created military forts in strategic places. Therefore, Los Tarumas came to respect and admire their beloved leader.


Not being able to defend his capital, the Chief of Los Tarumas and his men marched off into the hills to the fortresses of Yanamarca and then to Choquemarca to plan their last resistance at their invaders.

One night when the land was covered in peaceful night, a chasqui came running and panting announcing that the powerful Incans were coming. The valiant Chief of Los Tarumas decided then to fall back and he directed his men towards the cave of Huagapo. There he reunited his leaders and rallied them to fight and die if it was necessary to defend their families and their land.

The sun was coming up over the horizon and the disciplined warrior Tarumas were gathering within the mighty cave. The high chiefs had penetrated the interior and there they humbly received virgins one by one to bathe them as an offering to the crystalline waters. The ceremony was very emotional. The silence was disturbed only by the rhythmic murmur of the spring and the rushing water down into the bottom of the ravine.

Before the new chasquis, or messengers, arrived to announce the proximity of the Incan enemy, the warriors prepared themselves for battle. They marched in long lines in the direction of their offenders and the Taruma leaders took their places.

The rival armies collided furiously. The brave Chief of Los Tarumas died heroically in the fight, but none of his men backed down. The captains of the Incas equipped with their strength and battle skills had only been able to pass when the final brave Taruma soldier remained.

So, for that the story goes that when you pass the cave at the late hours of the night when silence immerses the narrow ravine, the bottom of the cave becomes sorrowful and from its deep base emerges woeful moans that are believed to come from the souls of the beautiful virgin women that remained in those crystalline waters, waiting for their brave warriors to return. And the cave is always weeping for the fallen Tarumas, which is why from it’s mouth flows a beautiful waterfall flowing over the rocks as the virgin’s hair falls.


* andenes: these are terraced chacras (plots for farming) created on the mountainsides, which increase land space for growing crops, and create flat surfaces to more effectively capture the sun.#ckpm{position:absolute;clip:rect(430px,auto, auto,430px);}