Huancayo, city, central highlands of Peru. It lies at 10,659 feet (3,249 m) above sea level in a fertile basin drained by the Mantaro River. The settlement at Huancayo (from the Quechua word meaning “clan of the Huancas,” a powerful Indian people) was given the status of a city in 1823. The major commercial center of the central Andes, Huancayo is connected to Lima and other Andean cities by railroad and highway. Indians and mestizos (people of mixed European and Indian descent) from the surrounding villages flock to the city’s large and colorful Sunday market. The seat of an archbishopric, Huancayo contains a cathedral and many picturesque religious buildings. It is the location of the National University of Central Peru (1962) and is a tourist center. Pop. (2005) 101,917.