As we have mentioned in several blogs, we couldn’t be prouder of our cultural and historical heritage. There are so many details hidden in our lands that we barely can keep track of all of them.
Likewise, Peru was the development center to many ancient civilizations that somehow, as less known as they could be, managed to influence the evolution of many other societies in many aspects.
The Huaraz region is recognized as the Trekking Capital of Peru due to its flourishing and otherworldly natural heritage, especially since it is located near the Huascaran National Park.
However, the so-called Peruvian Switzerland also holds a great part of our pre-hispanic history, where places like Chavin de Huantar have captivated each and every one of its visitors, as have many other attractions.
In addition to the different pre-Columbian settlements near Huaraz - Peru, there are even more attractions to visit outside of the region. If you love history as much as we do, then you’ll be glad to know everything about these three unique places that will give an extraordinary turn to your vacations.
For those who didn’t know, there’s a small town located in northern Peru surrounded by different pre-Hispanic settlements. The Casma region was the center to many cultures that left countless riddles yet to be solved.
One of these examples is Las Haldas Archeological Site, a pre-Columbian settlement that dates back to the 1800 and 1500 B.C. However, further excavations on the site have revealed that it was occupied around the 2500 B.C. with different construction periods dating back to the 1000 B.C and 500 B.C.
Las Haldas is located in the Peruvian northern coast, around the 345 km of the Panamericana Norte highway. The archeological site is certainly one of a kind due to its architectural value and strategic location, granting an outstanding view to the Pacific coast and the rest of the bay.
The structure is made of stones and clay mortar, situated in a rocky elevation surrounded by a desert pampa. Therefore, archeologists are still impressed about how they managed to supply fresh water since the nearest springs are located 16km from the settlement.
Las Haldas was an important ceremonial, religious and administrative center between the northern coast and mountains. Apparently, the inhabitants of the lands took advantage of the marine resources and traded them with the communities around the Casma basin.
If you’re familiar with the cult of the sun in the pre-Hispanic Peru, you’ll be surprised to know that this didn’t only start with the rise of the Tahuantinsuyo since it can be traced back to two millenniums before the recognized Inti God of the Inca Empire.
Chankillo is one of the most well-preserved astronomical observatories of the Americas, praised for its extreme accuracy that covers the entire annual cycle of the sun. According to archeologists, the site was occupied between the 500 and 200 B.C. over 2,200 years ago approximately.
The archeological site is composed of 13 towers, each between two and six meters of height, thoughtfully aligned from north to south on top of a hill, allowing its inhabitants to keep track of time with a variation of two to three days.
Also, two of these towers mark precisely the two annual solstices. Likewise, some specialists think that there could have been even more than 13 towers on the site, though this will remain a mystery since most of its structure was lost in battle.
Therefore, it is also uncertain to know which culture was responsible for this magnificent structure due to its authentic architectural style that can’t be traced back to any of the already-known pre-Inca societies of that period.
Further studies have shown that the site was attacked by rival cults to Chankillo’s. For that reason, the main temple of the site was completely destroyed and buried, and later was abruptly abandoned by its inhabitants.
Currently, many archeologists have fought to make this astronomical observatory a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical and cultural importance, certainly a place you can’t miss during your vacations.
The Waullac Archaeological Complex is located within the Nepeña district, in the Santa province, 2 km from Huaraz, within the Ancash region. Waullac would have its origin approximately in the year 600 AD. and it would be linked to the pre-Inca Recuay culture with influence or superposition of Wari architecture.
Waullac would have been created for funeral purposes. In it we can observe the presence of five structures made of stone edged with raised cavities similar to small niches, which gives the impression that they were chullpas or adaptations to these made by the Wari during their settlement in the territory of the Recuay.
Recuay funerary architecture was characterized by being located in territories that took advantage of the depressions of the ground or fractures in the rocks; this use of the land can still be seen in various structures of the Waullac Archaeological Complex.
For those who love history and art as much as we do, we highly recommend taking some time to visit any of these attractions, especially if you’re having some extra time in the busy city of Huaraz.
Would you like to know our country at its fullest? Dare to uncover its mysteries with the perfect travel itinerary and hop on to an unforgettable adventure across the vast Peruvian lands. Viagens Machu Picchu counts with a local expert team that will make sure you don’t miss anything during your trip to Peru.