Machu Picchu Travel

Archeological Site of Pukara

Archeological Site of Pukara

Puno is mostly about Lake Titicaca for many travelers, but what they don’t know is that there are several pre-Columbian attractions and other natural wonders worth visiting. The small town of Pukara holds an ancient settlement from an important civilization of the Andean highlands.

The Pucara culture developed between the years 1,400 and 550 B.C. This ancient civilization is characterized by its impressive sculptures and pottery art, as well as for influencing following societies.

The archeological site is one of the most significant in the region since it gives us a glimpse at the beliefs and organization of the Pucara people. They certainly marked the beginning of an era, leaving a legacy behind that evolved with the succeeding cultures.

The Pukara Archaeological Site was declared a National Heritage Site in 2001 to raise awareness of the preservation of the place and the importance it had in our pre-Hispanic history. 

The site is composed of two parts, one potentially dedicated to religious purposes and another that may have served as a residential area. If you’d like to know more about this impressive pre-Inca settlement, here we’ll tell you everything about it!

About the Pukara Civilization

As we mentioned before, the Pukara culture originated between the 1400 and 550 B.C. They developed a distinctive sculpture and pottery style that distinguished them from the rest but also influenced the artistic expression of the succeeding civilizations.

It originated on the outskirts of Lake Titicaca and had a significant impact on the mountain region of the Andes, the Cusco valleys, and even Tiahuanaco in Bolivia. The culture was also recognized for mastering incredible control over the natural environment.

They managed a great agricultural system at the shores of the lake and also domesticated llamas to extract wool for their textiles which are believed to have played an important role in the urban economic practice.

The Pukara Archeological Site

The Pukara Archeological Site was their religious, administrative, and residential center. The site is composed of several structures built with stones joined with clay mortar. 

The strategic position of this settlement allowed them to control the prosperous lands around the lake, but also the occidental zone of the Andean highlands. This ancient structure was built around 200 A.C. It has an extension of 4 km2 and is located 106 kilometers away from the Folkloric Capital of Peru

As we mentioned before, the site is composed of two areas, one with monumental characteristics intended for ceremonial purposes and another with rudimentary residential structures.

The ceremonial area is the most visually striking of the site since it’s composed of nine truncated pyramids, being the Kalasaya pyramid the most significant of the complex. Kalasaya is composed of several overlapping terraces with walls engraved with figures of deities such as "the Cutthroat" or lightning.

The famous structure also has three structures on its top, each with a horseshoe shape with an open area facing the east. There are also funerary constructions where human remains were found along with gold and copper jewelry.

Museo Litico de Pukara

During the excavations onsite, some archeological artifacts were recovered. These monoliths and lithic sculptures were traced back to the Pukara culture and are exhibited in this small museum.

Several monoliths depict animal figures such as cougars, frogs, and others. You can also get to know their famous pottery art, where vessels, huacos, plates, keros, and jars have been preserved and showcased in these galleries.

Address: Jr. Lima s/n, Pukara, Puno.
General Entrance Fee: S/. 5.50. 

How to visit Pukara?

As we mentioned before, the pre-Columbian ruins are located within the region of Puno, a few kilometers away from the city. We highly recommend visiting these ruins with a professional tour guide since there’s a lot of history and mysteries involved in this location that you surely don’t want to miss.

Our Ruta del Sol Tour takes you through the most visually striking natural scenery of Puno on the way to Cusco but also makes a few stops on the way to visit this and other famous archeological sites. 

If you’re eager to know more about our history, include this excursion in your trip itinerary and start exploring Peru like a local expert! Contact our travel specialists for more information.

Would you like to know more about Peru? Here you’ll find all the information you need for your trip. Our local expert team has prepared the most complete informative guides for you! Also, if you’re eager to know Peru at its fullest, check out our travel packages and live an authentic experience with Viagens Machu Picchu