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Handpicked by a Peru Local Expert, we bring you our guide to 'Cultural things to do in Peru'.

Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary

Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary Machu Picchu is an Incan city surrounded by temples, terraces, and water channels, built on a mountaintop. It was built with huge blocks of stone joined to each other without any mortar. Today it has been designated cultural heritage of humanity in recognition of its political, religious, and administrative importance during the age of the Incas.   1. Gene...

Koricancha Temple

Koricancha Temple Koricancha is the most impressive example of how Inca and Hispanic cultures fused. The remains of the ancient Peruvians' Sun Temple were used as foundations on which the Santo Domingo church and convent was built. The temple is a symbol of Western dominance. The site is a living example of the co-existence of Peru's past with European architecture.   The temple was buil...

Ventanillas de Otuzco (Otuzco Windows)

Ventanillas de Otuzco (Otuzco Windows) Through its architecture, Cajamarca summarizes the encounter between two cultures: the Inca and the Spanish. Its archaeological past, however, tells of more ancient times, including the Caxamarca culture (which existed until 800 A.D.), through its aqueducts and enigmatic petroglyphs, and other even more remote civilizations.   Just 8 kilometers (5 m...

Dead Bull (Dead Bull) Rock Carvings

Dead Bull (Dead Bull) Rock Carvings Hidden within this arid landscape are some of the greatest examples of cave art in the world. An estimated five thousand pieces of volcanic tuff depict an animal, human and geometric figures likely to have been carved between 500 and 1300 B.C.   Toro Muerto reigns in the province of Castilla, very near the river Majes, whose incomparable prawns are the...

Moray Archaeological Complex

Moray Archaeological Complex The complex is located 74 km (46 miles) from Cuzco City, at 3,500 masl (11,483 fasl). An outstanding archaeological site because it holds a series of circular Andean paths that were probably amphitheaters. The largest has 12 paths and has a depth of 100 meters (328 feet). Moray  According to researchers, the circular paths in Moray served as a center for ...

Tucume Archaeological Complex

Tucume Archaeological Complex Known also as the Valley of the Pyramids, Túcume is one of the best representations of the three cultures that occupied the area: Lambayeque, Chimú, and Inca. The 26 adobe pyramids can be admired from Purgatory Hill, where viewers can appreciate why they took 500 years to build.   Studies have determined that here there were eleven luxurious palaces, beaut...

Sacred City of Caral - Supe

Sacred City of Caral - Supe The Sacred City of Caral represents the origin of Andean culture, and it is the most ancient civilization in the Americas, with historical roots reaching back more than 5,000 years. The Caral complex significantly a variety of structures, most notably the six pyramids with their circular plazas. Based on archaeological findings such as tools and artifacts, it has bee...

Wari Archaeological Complex

Wari Archaeological Complex In 1550, the chronicler Pedro Cieza de León recounted the discovery of several monumental structures approximately 25 km (15 miles) from the city of Huamanga, whose architecture differed from previously discovered Inca structures. He was describing Wari, the capital of the first Pan-Andean state, from the pre-Inca period (between 600 and 1000 A.D.).   Wari is...

Choquequirao Archaeological Park

Choquequirao Archaeological Park Located 3,104.09 masl (Geographic Institute of Peru-2001) at the summit of a leafy green mountain on the border of the districts of Cuzco and Apurímac, the Choquequirao Archaeological Park is sure to impress with the majesty of its Inca architecture with terraces, plazas, chambers, imposing walls with niches, and other structures.   Construction of Choqu...

Pachacámac Archaeological Complex

Pachacámac Archaeological Complex The majesty of the palaces, temples, plazas, and the high truncated pyramid at the site convey to us the political, cultural, and religious hierarchy of ancient Pachacámac. In the pre-Inca and Inca periods, it was the most important oracle of the Peruvian coast, where thousands of pilgrims traveled from the farthest corners of ancient Peru.  Pachacám...

Ancient Lima

Ancient Lima Lima has been officially designated an Ancient City in recognition of its pre-Hispanic past. There is evidence of buildings more than 4,000 years old that were abandoned and which the later Lima and Ichma cultures (1100 to 1450 A.D.) transformed into enormous temples in addition to channeling the water that flowed through the city in canals known as 'acequias'.   The site of...

Kotosh Archaeological Complex

Kotosh Archaeological Complex Part of the magic of traveling in Peru is the surprising number of archaeological monuments located near the major cities. An excellent example of this is the monuments of the Kotosh archaeological site, which houses the Temple of the Crossed Hands, which are located 3 miles from the city of Huánuco on the right side of the Higueras River and the Huánuco - La Uni...

Historic Center of Lima

Historic Center of Lima The history of Lima dates to the 16th century. Ever since its founding by the Spanish, and during the Viceroyalty of Peru, Lima, the City of Kings, has been a political and cultural center of the first order on the new continent. The proof is in the Historic Center, where centuries-old churches, convents, and magnificent homes with elegant balconies have been preserved, ...

The Ica Tambos

The Inca Tambos The Chincha culture ruled between 900 - 1450 A.D. They were magnificent traders, sailors, and road builders. The Chincha survive as a record of the level of development they achieved: the Huaca La Centinela, a series of adobe pyramids with rectangular bases characterized by their high mud walls, and the sacred funeral urns of Tambo de Mora. Both archaeological areas are located ...

Nazca lines and geoglyphs

Nazca lines and geoglyphs On the vast pampas of Nazca Jumana, mysterious lines and geoglyphs form geometric patterns as well the figures of animals, anthropomorphic beings, and plants, among others. But their outlines can only be recognized clearly from the sky aboard small airplanes. Despite numerous studies, the lines are an enduring 2,000-year-old mystery that neither time, nor the region's ...

Pisac Archaeological Complex

Pisac Archaeological Complex Traveling through the Urubamba Valley, starting at the town of Pisac, enables tourists to visit an archaeological area in the highest mountain areas. Here there are many different buildings, plazas, temples, pools, and other structures, all built between the 10th and 11th centuries AD. Inca architecture continues to stun admirers with the technique used to build its...

Sipan Archaeological Complex

Sipan Archaeological Complex In 1987 the archaeologist Walter Alva discovered the tomb of one of the most powerful men of ancient Peru: the Lord of Sipan, who was one of the rulers of the Moche, or Mochica, a culture that dominated the northern coast between 100 and 800 A.D. and built adobe pyramids decorated with colorful murals — some of which are still in an excellent state of preservation...

Places of Worship in Qenqo and Tambomachay

Places of Worship in Qenqo and Tambomachay Two sites near Cusco boast remarkable ritual architecture. Qenqo is an immense, rocky promontory marked by carved steps, wells, and channels, most likely for depositing the 'chicha' (traditional corn beverage) consumed during Inca rituals. The site features a semicircular patio distinguished by an isometric perimeter with several large niches around a ...

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