The story of Lake Pacucha - Apurimac

13:58 M.K.Orange 0 Comments


Everyone has heard the legends and of the oasis Huacachina but how many of you know Lake Pacucha? Lake Pacucha is located Apurímac Region, 17 km from the city of Andahuaylas and there are several legends to this lake.

The two well-known ones are: 

1. The legend states long ago before the lake appeared there was a town known to others as a paradise for its beauty, the people were kind, humble and spiritual however, with time people from all over came to the town bringing with them their own customs and traditions. The town became corrupt, one day a poor old man arrived to large house which was celebrating a wedding and asked for charity but he was insulted for being dirty and ragged so he left. He wandered down the street to where he was met by poor lady called “Mama Petecc" who gave him food. In return the old man asked the lady to leave the town with her son and her lamb with one condition, the condition was that she could not look back to the town at any moment and must keep walking. As she left the town she heard thunder and lighting and the screams of people, her curiosity got the best of her and she turned around to look only to be turned into stone. To this day you can still see a rock close to the lake that resembles a woman. 


2. The second account of this story has more of a religious context to it: Long ago there was a town called Pacucha a place abundant of resources like corn and potatoes and as the town grew larger the people began to build more houses and with this growth the people became envious, miserly and heretics. One day Jesus (in Spanish el Señor) disguised as a dirty old traveller with scars and a large beard came to the town. He first went to a seller of pots and asked for a pot so he could take water on his travels, the seller scorned and insulted him. Travelling further on he met a cobbler and ask once again for help, this time he asked for some shoes and again he was insulted and left. He then arrived to the centre of the town where he arrived to a house that was celebrating a wedding, the party was of grandeur and luxury and while the food was being prepared, the traveller asked for something to eat. The guests were annoyed by his presence and threw him into the streets laughing and insulting him. Sad, the traveller continued down the street where he met a widow. The widow was knitting a manta, with a lamb at her side and carrying a child on her back. He asked her for some food and she humbly invited him to eat machka (Quechua for Maca) however, he thanked her and did not eat and only asked for a flower from her garden. In appreciation the traveller warned her to leave the town as it will be destroyed, she obeyed taking her son and her lamb. The traveller told her two things before she left, firstly she should travel in the direction of Andahuaylas and secondly that no matter what she hears she can never turn back and look. As the widow left and reached the heights of Wayrapata she heard a tremendous noise and as she stopped and turned around she saw a wave come from the centre of the town reaching to the skies. This wave engulfed the town and became the lake today. The people that live around that part have said that when the moon is full and when the clock strikes midnight, they can hear the music from the party coming from the lake and sometimes there is a song from a mermaid that can be heard, it is said the song goes like this: “I am already leaving this town I am going to have breakfast in San Jerónimo I am going to have lunch in Andahuaylas And I am going to have dinner in Talavera.” The fate of the widow is said to have been she was turned to a large rock made of salt and some say that the cows lick this rock and when all the salt has been dissolved it will be the end of the world. 


The communities that live around the lake like Santa Rosa, Anccopaccha, Machaybamba and Compuerta use the lake for fishing and for agriculture. The story of Pacucha is taught to children and is given as a warning, so children are taught to be kind to the elderly, be respectful and to share and not to be misery.

By: GringoPeru

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