Peru Wonders

Arequipa

Arequipa city is widely known as the “Ciudad Blanca” (White City) for its beautiful colonial homes, churches and monasteries constructed of a white ashlar that is unique to the zone. Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa, which was recognized by the UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site, is surrounded by a beautiful countryside. You may also visit the nearby Colca Valley and Colca Canyon, Valley of the Volcanoes, protected natural areas as Salinas and Aguada Blanca and the Mejia Lagoons. Arequipa is an ideal destination for those interested in colonial architecture, living culture and in spectacular outdoor natural beauty, biodiversity and outdoor adventure.

Colca canyon

It is located north of the city of Arequipa, at 180 Km (111.8 miles) and 42 Km / 26 miles west of the town of Chivay (1 hour by car), the departure point in Colca Valley.

In Colca area there are hotels, from economic rates located in the towns, luxury hotels and lodges are located in the countryside. The minimum recommended to visit is 2 days, combined with Colca Valley.

The Colca Canyon is one of the deepest places on the planet, reaching a depth of 3,400 meters (11,155 feet) at the lowest point in the location of Canco. On the right side, it is flanked by the Chila Cordillera (Bomboya, Serpregrina, Mismi, Queshihua) and on the other by Mount Hualca Hualca, Sabancaya, and Ampato. You can see Mount Ubinas and beautiful Mount Coropuna in the distance.

Over this area, the erosion from the Colca River creates a canyon of about 70 Km. (43.5 miles) length, being the deepest of the world, 3000 meters (9,842 feet). Very beautiful landscapes with strong wind, over flight by condors which are the biggest birds in the world.

In the mirador “Cruz del Condor” located among Maca and Cabanaconde’s town (place of privileged view), is very common to see condors in majestic flight.

This area possesses a great diversity of flora and fauna. Among the most representative species are the condor, the kestrel, the peregrine falcon, and the Andean tinamou.

Between December and March, the waters of the Colca River offer for the lovers of river running (white-water rafting), one of the best places in the world for the practice of this sport. It includes rapids of high speed (gradient + V), and great isolation in certain tracks. The upper part (Andagua) and the middle of it can be navigated in kayaks by sportsmen with much experience. This is an area of pure adrenaline for trekking, mountain biking or clambering up Andean peaks.

This area was traveled and explored for the first time in 1979 by an expedition of students of the University of Cracovia (Poland), who baptized the route with the names of Canyon of Juan Pablo II, Canyon of the Poles and Reparaz Canyon in honor to its discoverer Gonzalo de Reparaz Ruiz.

The lower part of Majes river can be navigated in rubber rafts, it does not have long rapids but the beauty of its landscape and clarity of its waters will give you an unforgettable experience, and it will also provide strong emotions and high doses of adrenaline. This area can also be navigated from April to November.

In the side banks of the river you may find lodgings specially conditioned for the sportsmen and adventurous, providing all the equipment you will require, and experienced guides.

Chiclayo

Chiclayo was a simple village of Indians and mestizos in the road between Lambayeque and Zaña in colonial times. It had the good fortune, however, of being in the center of an important Pre-Incan archaeological area, the site of recent spectacular archaeological discoveries such as the Lord of Sipán in Huaca Rajada, The Lord of Sicán in Batán Grande and the pyramids of Túcume. The Museo de Tumbas Reales de Sipán (Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum) and Sicán National Museum, housing a collection of incalculable worth, has made these discoveries accessible to all. Chiclayo has thus become Peru’s second destination, after Cuzco, in terms of archaeological and historical interest. Chiclayo, also known for its highly-regarded sorcerers and healers, is located on Peru’s northern coast .

Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum

He was a very important Mochican warrior priest, which remains were founded in Huaca Rajada by Dr. Walter Alva in 1987.

In his tomb were discovered a great quantity of gold and silver objects, jewels, ceramics and carved wood of incredible value. This investigation had given archaeologists the chance to know many more aspects of the Mochican Culture.

In the main tomb was found a guard, skeleton of a young man with a golden shield and sectioned feet.

“El Señor de Sipán” (The Lord of Sipan), was founded in a sarcophagus made of wood (this is the first event founded in America), next to his head were the skeleton of two young women, and at his sides a skeleton of a dog and two lamas.

He was all covered with gold, silver and copper, chest protector with jewels and gold necklaces. His skull rested on a big golden plate.

Very close to this tomb, in 1989, some investigators of the Brüning Museum discovered the tombs of “El Sacerdote” (The Priest), and the tomb of “El Viejo Señor de Sipán” (The Old Lord of Sipan).

The tomb of the “Viejo Señor de Sipán” (Old Lord of Sipan) is chronologically older, and with difference among the others, was found a sarcophagus without company and wrapped in vegetal fiber. It had signs of royal importance, dressed with gold scepter, fine gold and silver jewels, chest protectors made with pearl shells, peculiar and unique pictures.

All the original pieces were restored in Germany at the Mainz Museum (1988-1993). Besides, all the replicas from the originals are used as demonstration in Huaca Rajada.

This fabulous and extraordinary collection had been exhibited in the principal museums of the world and in the capital of Peru, Lima. The investigators that found these tombs are in continuous discoveries.

According to information published in “El Comercio” (newspaper from Lima), on July 15th., 1998, Dr. Walter Alva received the “Coxal Protector” of “Señor de Sipán” from Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and also from the District Attorney of Philadelphia (U.S.A.). This piece of gold was stolen by tomb profaners and illegally taken to the United States. It was seized to an international group of archaeological pieces traffickers. Its value at the international market surpassed 1.5 million dollars.

This “Coxal Protector” was exhibited at the “Archaeology and Anthropology Museum” of Philadelphia University, as sign of gratitude of Peru, and then transferred to Brüning Museum to be integrated to the collection of “Señor de Sipán”.

After spending years on exhibit in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the treasures of the Lord of Sipán are now on display at the Museum “Tumbas Reales de Sipán” in the town of Lambayeque. This will ensure the ancient noble will continue to unravel his mysteries for future generations.

Cusco – Machu Picchu – Inca Trail

Cuzco “The Archaeological Capital of America”; it constitutes the biggest tourist attractiveness in Peru, and the most visited one. Cuzco, was the biggest city and capital of the Inca Empire and then taken by the Spanish conquerors; today it has an architecture that fuses the Inca with the Spanish style. Their people conserves with pride its customs and traditions. It is also the forced step to know the mystic and enigmatic Machu Picchu Inca City that the Spaniards never knew and was discovered by the occidental culture in 1911. Cuzco, as Machu Picchu, for its historical value, and for its beauty is considered Cultural World Heritage Sites. The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Choquequirao, beautiful places and the Inca Trail are waiting for you. Also, the Manu National Park, the best wildlife destination in the Amazon, Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Machupicchu

The New7Wonders of the World, in random order, are: The Great Wall of China, Petra, Chichén Itzá , the Statue of Christ Redeemer, the Colosseum, Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal. More than 100 million votes were cast worldwide.
It is a mystical place, a monument to divinity, where people can feel that they are a creation of God.

The high sense of spirituality that inhabits this place seems to transport its visitors to a place where everything “in an unimaginable way” is possible.

It is a place where strange forces of nature allow the individuals to reach an incomparable cosmic state, a state that can only be experimented in Machu Picchu.

It is one of the most popular archaeological sites of the world, and therefore, the most visited attraction in Peru.

The Citadel of Machu Picchu (Quechua language “Old Mountain”) is known throughout the world for its amazing ruins and its unusual location on a high mountain overlooking the mighty currents of the Urubamba river.

Even today nobody has been able to solve the mystery how the builders and designers managed to transport the huge blocks of limestone to the top of the mountain required for the construction of the city.

Probably built during the 15th century in a very difficult location, it is the greatest achievement of the Incas architects due to the intelligence and dare demonstrated by their design. It has an extent of 13 sq/km and its main functions were military and religious. It used to be surrounded by an outer wall with a height of 6.00 m. and a width of 1.80 m. and it is estimated that it was inhabited by 10,000 people. Built of limestone (the outer and inner walls), wood (doors and frames), and ceilings made of straw.

Machu Picchu is located 2,300 meters above sea level (7,546 ft.), at 112 km. (70 miles) from Cuzco, in the Urubamba valley in the lowest part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas in a area of direct access to the upper jungle. Without doubt, Machu Picchu was part of a very big complex of fortresses which defended the Andean lands in Sacred valley of any assault from native people out of the jungle.

Having Huayna Picchu as a background they divided Machu Picchu in four sectors. Northwest is located the area that was probably used for the main religious purposes, that includes a Plaza named by Hiram Bingham as “Sacred Plaza”, also the temple of the “Three Windows”, “The Sacred Temple”, the “Priests Mansion”, and the “Intihuatana” that is a large block of limestone used during Inca ceremonies.

The “Intihuatana” (Quechua “place where the sun is bonded”) is a solar observatory that allowed the Incas to keep track of the seasons of the year and the flow of time based on the shadows caused by the sun over the stone.

The largest residences are located on the northeast of the complex. The most luxurious residences and also a watch tower are located on the southwest of the complex and therefore it is assumed that this part of the Citadel was probably the heart of all the urban activities.

To the southeast of the complex are located the smallest and most humble of the buildings built around very narrow streets, close to numerous terraces constructed for agricultural purposes as denoted by the existence of a very complex aqueduct system in this area. In the lowest part of the terraces is a cemetery, where during a search were discovered 135 skeletons and 109 of them were identified as females. This fact has allowed historians and archeologists to believe that Machu Picchu’s inhabitants were mostly females that could have been the chosen ones of the Inca, fleeing from Cuzco when it was overrun by the Conquerors of Spain and seeking refuge in Machu Picchu that, by the way, was never discovered by the Spaniards.

Machu Picchu was introduced to the scientific world by Hiram Bingham, who was led to the site by the folk that lived in the area. He reached it on July 24th,1911. Bingham, an American Anthropologist from Yale University, was the one that began the Archaeological studies of the area, and it was him who gave the city the title of the “Lost City of the Incas” that was also the name he used for his book on the subject.

Since 1981 it has been declared Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu as well as Natural and Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its archaeological importance as well as its unique flora such as the orchids that you may find aplenty

Iquitos – Amazon River

An ideal place for those lovers of the nature & biodiversity tourism and the ones who want to feel an intimate contact with the virgin nature of the Amazon rainforest; from the Iquitos city you will be able take a tour program in Jungle Lodges located in full jungle, and for the most adventurous and fearless you can arrive to the protected natural areas as Pacaya Samiria National Reserve or Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, with exuberant flora and fauna, and you can take contact with Amazonian aborigines or take a cruise in the Amazon river, the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

About Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve

The Amazon river is 6,470 km (4,020 miles) long and the world’s mightiest river. The Amazon Basin has the longest extension of rainforest in the world. Comprising a large part of the provinces of Loreto, Requena, Ucayali and Alto Amazonas, it has an area of 2’080.000 hectares making it the largest in the country and in South America. It is also known as the most extensive area of protected floodable forest (vareza) in the Amazon Rainforest. It is bordered by two large rivers: the Marañón in the north and the Ucayali – Puinahua Canal to the south.

In 1982, the Peruvian Government established the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve with the purpose of preserving the wilderness resources and the beautiful landscapes of the area. The Reserve has an area of 8,042 square miles, which represents 1.5% of the total surface of Peru.

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is located in Peru, at 180 Km. (115 miles) south west of Iquitos.

The name of Pacaya Samiria comes from the names of two rivers that run through it: Pacaya and Samiria. The Reserve has a great diversity of wildlife as well as aquatic life: 449 bird species, 102 mammals, 69 reptiles, 58 amphibians, 256 fish and 1,204 plants. Threatened or endangered species that can be found in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve are the jaguar or otorongo (Panthera onca), the black alligator (Melanosuchus niger), the giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), the manatee (Trichechus inunguis), four different species of primates and two different species of turtles.

An essential element that is characteristic of this protected area, is the cycle of crescent and reflux of the rivers. Between the months of October and April is the rainy season and the water of the rivers and creeks increases, flooding a large area of the rainforest. This time is known as crescent. Reflux takes place between May and September, when rain decreases greatly and the level of the water falls progressively, reaching its minimum in August. This seasonal change and the predominantly flat terrain have configured a landscape full of small rivers, creeks and lagoons.

Wildlife adapts with no problem to this cycle of crescent and reflux and so, when most of the rainforest remains flooded, animals find shelter in the highest areas, where water never reaches. During the reflux, when water is retained in small lakes and creeks, you can observe a large number of aquatic birds catching fishes which are concentrated there. During this time, large beaches are also formed specially in the main rivers, which are used by the settlers of the Reserve to grow rice, beans, peanuts, and other crops, and also by two very characteristic species of the Reserve, the “charapa” (Podocnemis expansa) and “taricaya” (Podocnemis unifilis) aquatic turtles, which use these beaches to lay their eggs.

In Pacaya Samiria, the great extension of rainforest remains flooded most of the year, with local species like the “aguaje”, a palm tree(Mauritia flexuosa) whose fruits are eaten by many animals as well as by settlers of local communities. There are other numerous varieties of flora that make the landscape of the Reserve unique in this part of the Amazon. We can also find a great diversity of medicine plants and trees that can reach a height of 150 feet, like the “lupuna” (Ceiba pentandra). In certain areas, you can still find rubber trees which preserve the marks of the famous rubber exploitation over 80 years ago.

Puno

Puno is located in the Andean highland and beside the Titicaca the highest navigable lake in the world inhabited by the Uros people;Amantani and Taquile islands are recommended places to visit. Earth of the legendary Aymara people, and the Tiahuanaco Culture. It is thefolkloric capital of Peru. Beautiful landscapes and colonial and pre-inca architecture. It offers excellent alternatives for the archaeological, living culture and nature & biodiversity tourism.
In this region the folklore is manifested in two big ways, one in the customs and ancestral rites in the forms of life of some towns, among those highlight the communities of the Uros, Taquile and Amantani, and the other one in its artistic manifestations.

Expert artisans and indigenous weavers elaborate art objects of captivating beauty by hand. The art of weaving alpaca and sheeps wool has been kept alive by the people of the highland plains. They also make musical instruments such as the siku and pan pipes. The best-known crafts include Pucará bulls and the Ekeko, a character who carries a variety of objects and products for good luck.

On 2005 Taquile Island was proclaimed as “Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by its textile art, which is produced as an everyday activity by both men and women, regardless of their age, and worn by all community members.

Puno has been denominated the “folkloric capital of Peru” by the wealth of its artistic and cultural expressions, especially through the dance and music. There are registered more than 300 autochthonous and religious dances, from the 1,500 existing in the national environment.

These dances reach their biggest manifestation in the celebration, in February, of the Feast of the “Virgen de la Candelaria” (considered as one of the most important from Peru) and in the Regional Competition of Autochthonous Dances, being their people’s maximum expression.

These big celebrations have the participation of the whole town of Puno and also communities of near towns.

Lake Titicaca

It is an ideal place for the lovers of the ecological tourism, rural tourism and everyone who wants to visit the archaeological locations of old civilizations, everything in landscapes of unforgettable charm.

Its name, deeply significant in local mythology, derives from “Titi” Aymara for cat and “Caca” Quechua for The Sacred Rock on the Island of the Sun.

It is located on the Collao plateau. Constitutes the highest navigable lake in the world, 3,812 meters above sea level. It possesses an extension of 8,300 sq. Km, of which 4,966 sq. Km corresponds to Peru and 3,334 sq. Km to Bolivia. It measures 195 Km. length and 65 Km. width and it reaches until 304 m. depth. It presents numerous geographical accidents, 36 islands, some of those inhabited and with archaeological remains.

The south part denominated “Huiñaimarca” is separated from the lake by the “Estrecho de Tiquina” (Strait of Tiquina). It receives the waters of all rivers of the Collao plateau. The biggest quantity of water is received from rains, and it reaches difference of levels up to 2 m. The waters of the lake discharge by the Desaguadero River, but mostly it loses its waters because of the evaporation (95%). The average temperature of its waters is from 9°C to 12°C (48.2°F to 53.6 °F).

This lake is very important in Andean mythology since, according to legend, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, children of the sun god and founders of the Inca Empire, emerged from its waters.

The lake is very popular among tourists and scientists alike, who are amazed at the richness of its waters. It is a National Reserve and is home to numerous species of birds and water fowl, a dozen species of fish, a variety of mammals and seven amphibians, including a unique species of giant frog.

The famous scientific and expeditionary Jaques Cousteau carried out, in 1968, the biggest scientific investigation in the Titicaca.

Uros

One of the most primitive pre-Inca people of Peru. Of ferocious and brutal people’s origin, the Inca who considered them as a sub human tribe subjected them. This ethnos lived in a perfect symbiosis with the Titicaca and they lived exclusively in artificial islands that they knitted on the not very deep waters of the lake.

As pure race it was extinguished almost 50 years ago, today their descendants are the miscegenation Uro Aymara; they speak the Aymara, and conserve many of their ancestral customs.

The current Uros inhabit the swampy area of the Bay of Chucuito, very near Puno City where they coexist in a social-political organization far from the traditional way of a modern civilization.

This people has received the influence of the Catholic religion, and they celebrate its festivities also burying their deaths in mainland.

For the subsistence in height average of 4,000 meters above sea level (13,122 feet) and with a cold climate, they have achieved an excellent adaptation. The color of its skin is dark, high lung capacity and development of the thorax; they have two more litters of blood then the average, with high content of red globules, what grant them great physical resistance.

A family usually builds its housing, hut knitted in totora (rush or cane), with waterproof roofs against the rain, but existing in its interior great humidity for what is frequent that they suffer from rheumatism at short age. Each family also knits these islands and they are held to the bottom of the lake.

They hunt wild birds and maintain traditional fishing methods, especially those used for the carachi and the silverfish. The men are skillful handlers of the totora reed boats, and the women are expert knitters.

The floating islands of the Uros are locate in Lake Titicaca – 5 km (3 miles) west of the Puno harbor (20 minutes by boat). (3,810 m.a.s.l. / 12.497 f.a.s.l.) number around 20 and are located in the Bay of Puno. Three to ten Uro – Aymaras families live on each one. They roof their houses with totora reed carpets, although some families have replaced their traditional roofs by metal ones.

The largest Islands are Tupiri, Santa María, Tribuna, Toranipata, Chumi, Paraiso, Kapi, Titino, Tinajero, and Negrone. The Uros call themselves Kotsuña, “the lake people”.

In some of the islands are found schools for the children, maybe the only floating schools of the world. The children arrive every morning in their own rafts that they learn to knit from early age.

The characteristic cold and dry weather of the region is tempered in this area thanks to the constantly evaporating water of the large lake.

The floating islands of the Uros offer to tourists an authentic travel to the past, sharing the life with local natives and beautiful landscapes. The tourist are accommodation in a family house and all activities will be with natives. Is a real experience of rural tourism. In these areas visitors come into contact with ancient communities, and have the opportunity to share their ways of life and see their splendid handicrafts.

Taquile

Pre-Inca vestiges are found in the highest part of the island. During the Colonial period and up to the first years of the twentieth century, it was used as a political prison, until the island became property of the Taquile people in 1970.

The town of the same name, Taquile, is characterized by its friendly inhabitants, who maintain their customs and traditional clothing. They distinguish themselves by their detailed, fine, and colorful textiles with symmetrical decorations and symbols that reflect their way of life, customs and Andean beliefs.

Taquile Island Intangible Heritage: On 2005 Taquile Island was proclaimed as “Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by its textile art, which is produced as an everyday activity by both men and women, regardless of their age, and worn by all community members.

Taquile has fertile lands on which inhabit some 300 Quechua families that live keeping their ancestral customs. The men are devoted to the agriculture and the fishing, and the women to the weaving.

The landscapes and customs of its residents life cause an impressive effect. The special and beautiful cloth that they wear, are product of their textile art, as old as the same history. The manifestations of religious and folkloric habits have a great scenario in Taquile. The family in its group carries out practically all the activities. The residents of the island carry out the traditional celebration of Santiago’s feast in the month of July.

Lima

The capital of Peru is a great metropolis; normally it is the entrance door to the country. You will be able to enjoy and know its historical centre with beautiful colonial constructions declared Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the best museums in Peru, some pre-Hispanic archaeological places as Caral the new Cultural World Heritage Site (June 2009), and a great variety of live concerts, cultural shows, folkloric, centers of amusement, luxurious casinos and game houses, and rich culinary tradition.

CARAL: THE NW CULTURAL WORLD HERITAGE SITE (UNESCO June 2009)

Seville, Spain, 28 June

13 new sites have been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List which lost one site while three were placed on the Danger List.

The World Heritage Committee holding its 33rd session chaired by María Jesús San Segundo, the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO, has inscribed two new natural sites and 11 cultural sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Since it also withdrew one site – from the List, Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany), the List now numbers a total of 890 properties.

The Committee also inscribed three sites on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger to help raise international support for their preservation. One site was removed from the Danger List. More sites may be inscribed on the Danger List as the Committee continues examining state of conservation reports on Tuesday.

During the session, which is scheduled to end on 30 June, three countries had their first World Heritage sites inscribed on UNESCO’s List of properties recognized as having outstanding universal value. They are, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Kyrgyzstan.
CARAL

The Sacred City of Caral – Supe (Peru). The 5000-year-old 626-hectare archaeological site of The Sacred City of Caral Supe is situated on a dry desert terrace overlooking the green valley of the Supe river. It dates back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes and is the oldest centre of civilization in the Americas. Exceptionally well-preserved, the site is impressive in terms of its design and the complexity of its architectural, especially its monumental stone and earthen platform mounts and sunken circular courts. One of 18 urban settlements situated in the same area, Caral features complex and monumental architecture, including six large pyramidal structures. A quipu (the knot system used in Andean civilizations to record information) found on the site testifies to the development and complexity of Caral society. The city’s plan and some of its components, including pyramidal structures and residence of the elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions, signifying a powerful religious ideology.

MUSEUMS OF LIMA CITY

To come closer to the millennial Peruvian culture, Lima has diverse museums, the best ones of Peru, on which you would be transport in the archaeological, historic and artistic ambits. The museums of Lima keep the richest collections in the whole Peruvian past. Minimum and recommended to visit the Museo Nacional de Antropología Arqueología e Historia, Museo Larco and Gold of Peru Museum.

The following museums constitute the places in which you will be able to recreate a complete scene of the millennial Peruvian past in archeology, history and art.

Museo Larco

Located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, is surrounded by beautiful gardens that won the price for best gardens in Peru in January 2009. The main idea of Rafael Larco Hoyle, the archeologist founder of the Larco Museum in 1926, was to share his passion for pre-Columbian art and its development until the Spanish arrival. This passion makes him investigate through all his life (1901 – 1967) and to discovery important societies such as the Lambayeque, Salinar, Virú and the Mochica. Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of Pre-Columbian art, after being exhibited in the world’s leading museums.

The great Cultures Hall

Shows remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 4500 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. The Larco Museum is renowned for its Mochica Collection, but is also appreciated for the easy and didactic information about the art, beliefs and rituals of the pre-Columbian societies of Peru, organized by time and place, providing an excellent brief of Peru as one of the world’s cradles of civilization.

The Sacrifice Ceremony Gallery

Narrates a scene of human sacrifice from the Mochica religion that was represented in the celebrated “Larco bottle” that has great importance to the collection, as it is one of a kind. The ceremony began with the ritual battle between important warriors and ended with the sacrifice of the ones that lost the combat so their blood was presented in a goblet to the main Gods. The rulers and priests dressed up with their best apparels for this ceremony, covered in gold and silver, so that their supernatural nature was to be appreciated.

Ancient Peru Gold and Silver Gallery at Larco Museum.

Shows the biggest and finest collection of jewelry used by the most important rulers of pre-Columbian Peru. In Ancient times, the color of gold and silver, associated with the sun and the moon, as they shine and durability in time, made metals the material expression of supernatural powers. This gallery comprises an impressive collection of crowns, earrings, nose ornaments, garments, masks and vases, finely wrought in gold and decorated with semi-precious stones. These pieces are icons of pre-Columbian Peru, as the collections of the Larco Museum became the most photographed after having been displayed in successful international exhibitions in the most important museums in the world.

The Erotic Gallery

Is one of the highlights of the collection. Ancient Peruvian cultures represented their daily life in ceramics, but one of the most surprising artistic expressions in the world is the erotic ceramic, which clearly shows the variety of sexual practice in Peru during the 2nd century AD. The Erotic Gallery of the Larco Museum holds the world’s biggest collection of this fascinating ancient sexual theme, which has turned this tourist place into a must for travelers to South America.

The storage area is open to the public.

Museums all over the world usually exhibit only 20% of their entire collection, but Museo Larco is one of the few museums in the world that allows its visitors to go into its classified storage area. The opportunity to see 45,000 objects duly arranged, catalogued and classified by culture and theme becomes an extraordinary and unforgettable experience

Museo de la Nación (National Museum)

Inaugurated in 1990, exhibition in big rooms distributed in four levels, with a sample that recreates all the pre-Hispanic manifestations among 14,000 BC. and 1532 AD. Ceramic exhibition, replicas of the main archaeological places of Peru, the most interesting being the replica of the Lord of Sipan tomb. Dioramas, paintings and diverse collections that represent the different aspects of the development of the old Peru. Restoration shops, historical file, libraries, galleries and auditorium. Today, they also put on very important temporary exhibitions and cultural activities.

Museo de Arte Religioso de la Catedral (Museum of Religious Art of the Cathedral )
Exhibition of liturgical objects, ornaments, carved articles, paintings, gold and silver work and religious imagery in wood and ivory, and furniture of the viceroyalty time.

Museo del Congreso y Antiguo Tribunal de la Inquisición (Museum of the Inquisition and the Congress)

Located on the old colonial local of the Tribunal of the Saint Inquisition that originally was Nicolás de Ribera’s house (XVII century), son of one of the conquerors of Peru. The building consists on a Chapel named “Capilla del Santo Oficio”, jewel of the colonial architecture, decorated roof that is considered one of the most valuable colonial relics in the Peruvian art, carved, secret cameras, torture rooms, and underground prisons. After having abolished the Inquisition it was the local of the University San Marcos, the Senate of the Republic and at the moment headquarters of the Museum. The museum preserves numerous objects and rooms which were used during the Inquisition process. Among them, there is the Courtroom where the members of the Inquisition Tribunal met. Interesting sights are the Secret Door, used to conduct individuals to the Grand Inquisitor’s private room, the Torture Chamber, the secret dungeon with its subterranean cells, and the Inquisition Library. Library of Congress. Across the street, occupying the area that used to be the old church and monastery of la Caridad (sixteenth century), there is the Congressional Building of the Republic, a Neoclassical building constructed between 1912 and 1916.

Museo de Arte de Lima (Lima Art Museum)

Located on the Palacio de la Exposición (Palace of the Exhibition) since 1961. It was built in 1872 with plans of Gustave Eiffel. Formed by donated pieces and legacies. It exhibits collections that show the art of Peru from the prehistory and the first human discoveries until the contemporary art. Ceramic and fabric pre-Hispanic cultures collections. Silver jewels, furniture and colonial dresses. Paintings of the “Escuela Cusqueña” and of the periods republican and contemporary, outstanding the collections of Ignacio Merino, Pancho Fierro and Carlos Baca Flor.

Museo Nacional de la Cultura Peruana (National Museum of the Peruvian Culture)

Founded in 1946, building with front inspired by the Tiahuanaco culture. Exhibition of popular Peruvian arts, amazon and folkloric ethnology; fabrics, ceramic, musical instruments, saddlery, imagery, etc.

Nazca – Nazca Lines

A unique place in the world, full with mystery and mysticism, wonderful forms of immense figures and lines, of spectacular perfection, work of a very old Peruvian civilization, the Nazca Lines, Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Also you can visit the pre-Inca archaeological complex as Cahuachi, Estaqueria, Chauchilla, Cantayoc and geoglyphs of Palpa.

The Nazca Lines /ˈnæzkə/ are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The high, arid plateau stretches more than 80 km (50 mi) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana about 400 km south of Lima. Although some local geoglyphs resemble Paracas motifs, scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 500 BCE and 500 CE. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, orcas, and lizards.

The designs are shallow lines made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than 70 are zoomorphic designs of animals such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguars, monkeys, or human figures. Other designs include phytomorphic shapes such as trees and flowers. The largest figures are over 200 m (660 ft) across. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general, they ascribe religious significance to them.

Due to its isolation and to the dry, windless, and stable climate of the plateau, the lines have mostly been naturally preserved. Extremely rare changes in weather may temporarily alter the general designs. As of recent years, the lines are said to have been deteriorating due to an influx of squatters inhabiting the lands.

Contrary to the popular belief that the lines and figures can only be seen with the aid of flight, they are visible from atop the surrounding foothills

BALLESTAS ISLAND

Ballestas Islands are located in front to Paracas, and are three small islands, North Ballestas, Central Ballestas and South Ballestas, each one has an approximate area of 0.12 km ². The islands are located outside the area of Paracas National Reserve.

They are rock formations that inhabit vast colonies of sea birds, Humboldt penguins and sea lions. The islands are a refuge for two varieties of sea lions, lobo fino ( Arcthocephalus australis) and lobo chusco (Otarya bironia) and other mammals.

Ballestas Islands provide habitat for a variety of birds and sea lions that can be seen easily from a motorboat. This tour is one of the most common from Paracas.

This recommended excursion, you can come in direct contact with the virgin nature of a marine ecosystem, and see close to colonies of seabirds and marine mammals that are often grouped into hundreds of thousands, is an incredible spectacle.

These islands are accessible from the resort town of Paracas by tour boat which typically lasts 2 hours, normally the boats begin the tour at 8 am. and depend of weather conditions. During the visits it is not uncommon for the sea lions to approach the tourist boats and make spectacles for the visiting tourists. The sea lions are also responsible for a unique audio spectacle with their wolf-pack cries that echoes around the Ballestas and creates an effect of a 360 degree surrounding choir. The show is especially unique auditory. These sea lions are harmless.

Although not allowed to land in the area, the boats pass close enough to the birds and animals that are in the islands. On the way of navigation from Paracas to the islands you can see the Candelabra, a gigantic figure of a fork (50 meters) carved into a hill. While the figure is very similar to certain designs Paracas Culture, some experts who have studied do not believe that relates to the culture and consider it more of a signal made ​​by ancient sailors.

Paracas

The desert and the sea come together in spectacular landscapes in Paracas. At shore of the Pacific Ocean is an excellent ecological destination for the nature lovers and birdwatchers, the Paracas National Reserve. It also offers cultural historical attractiveness and it is a good alternative to pass relaxed moments excellent for the nautical sports as windsurf, katesurfing, scuba diving, deep sea fishing and more, visit the Ballestas Islands.

Puerto Maldonado town

Is a city in Southeastern Peru in the Amazon rainforest 55 kilometres (34 mi) west of the Bolivian border; located at the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers, the latter which joins the Madeira River as a tributary of theAmazon. It is the capital of the Madre de Dios Region.Nearby are the Manú National Park, Tambopata National Reserve, and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, which have been established to protect natural resources. These are some of the most pristine primary rain forests in the world. They include severaloxbow lakes and clay licks, where hundreds of birds, including macaws, feed on clay.

Manú National Park

(Spanish: Parque Nacional del Manu) is a biosphere reserve located in Madre de Dios and Paucartambo,Cusco. Before becoming an area protected by the Peruvian government, the Manú National Park was conserved thanks to its inaccessibility. The park remains fairly inaccessible by road to this day. In 1977, UNESCO recognised it as a Biosphere Reserve and in 1987, it was pronounced a World Heritage Site. It is the largest National Park in Peru, covering an area of 15,328 km². The Biosphere Reserve includes an additional 2,570 km², and a further 914 km² are included in a “Cultural Zone” (which also is afforded a level of protection), bringing the total area up to 18,811 km².

The park protects several ecological zones ranging from as low as 150 meters above sea level in parts of the Southwest Amazon moist forests to Peruvian Yungas at middle elevations to Central Andean wet puna at altitudes of 4200 meters.[1] Because of this topographical range, it has one of highest levels of biodiversity of any park in the world. Overall, more than 15,000 species of plants are found in Manú, and up to 250 varieties of trees have been found in a single hectare. The reserve is a destination for birdwatchers from all over the world, as it is home to over 1000 species of birds, more than the number of bird species found in the United States and Canada combined. It is also acclaimed as having one of the highest abundances of land vertebrates ever found in Latin American tropical forests

Tambopata

Natural paradise in Amazon basin. Located between the basins of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios Rivers, the reserve covers an area of 274.690 hectares and is found in both the Madre de Dios and Puno departments. The wealth of its biodiversity is immeasurable, and scientist have already registered 632 bird species, 1200 butterfly species, 169 mammal species, 205 fish species, 103 amphibian species, and 67 reptile species. The vegetation is typical of tropical regions. Also the Bahuaja Sonene National Park.

Trujillo

The capital of the spring, city of old colonial lineage, very near Chan Chan, capital of the Chimú Nation (XII Century) one of the biggest cities build with mud in the world, declared Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO, archaeological pre-Inca places as Huaca La Luna and Huaca El Sol, and new discoveries in El Brujo and the Lady of Cao. Trujillo is known as the “City of Eternal Spring”. Is also famed by the traditional celebrations of the National Contest of Marinera (Festival de la Marinera), the International Festival of Spring, Competition of “Caballos de Paso” (Peruvian “Paso” horses), Exhibition of “Caballitos de Totora” and more. An excellent destination for the archaeological and historical tourism.

Chachapoyas

Is a city in northern Peru at an elevation of 2,235 meters (7,657 ft). The city has a population of approximately 20,279 people. Situated in the mountains far from the Peruvian coast, Chachapoyas remains fairly isolated from other regions of Peru. Hikers and adventurers can visit the Chachapoya region [2] There is daily service by bus to Chiclayo and Cajamarca. The bus from Chiclayo is an overnight bus but to Cajamarca due to the difficult and winding roads the bus only goes during the day. The road to Cajamarca is a dirt road so it is almost impossible to travel to Cajamarca during the rainy season from Chachapoyas. Although there was a local airport, flight service was limited.

The city of Chachapoyas is the capital of the Amazonas Region. It was founded on September 5, 1538 by the Spanishconquistador Alonso de Alvarado “and his twenty”. Local agriculture includes sugar cane, orchid and coffee growing. Chachapoyas’ transitional location between the arid Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Central and the rainy, rainforested Cordillera Oriental, allow it to receive generally moderate annual precipitation without experiencing the copiously excessive, tropical-rainforest-like precipitation amounts in towns farther east such as Moyobamba

Kuelap Archaeological Complex

Kuelap Archaeological Complex is located at the top of Barreta plateau, left margin of the Utcubamba River, some 3000 m.a.s.l., in the humid, montane “cloud forest” ecological zone of the northern Amazonian Andes of Peru. Since its discovery in the year 1843 A.D., Kuelap has been considered the most representative and important site of the cultural tradition known as the “Chachapoya”. Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site was occupied between 500 and 1570 A.D.

The Chachapoya dominated a vast territory in the northern Andean slopes of Peru, to the east of the Marañón River, which has been anciently the natural border between the Amazonian cultures and those from the central highland Andes. Although little is known about the social and political organization of this macro-ethnic group, the settlements and other elements of their material culture share similar formal characteristics. Apparently, the Chachapoya were a conglomerate of semi-autonomous chiefdoms with a common cultural substrate, but without a centralized political entity. Nevertheless, according to colonial documents and ethnohistoric accounts, once they were incorporated to the Inca Empire, political unification was imposed to these independent groups in order to manage the area and have the control of their resources.

The Protected Zone of the Kuelap Archaeological Complex has an extension of 218.33 hectares, and the proposed Buffer Zone has an area of 609.67 hectares (see attached plan). Inside the Protected and Buffer Zone, there are at least 12 archaeological sites, all of them part of the Kuelap Archaeological Complex. It include burial areas with sarcophagi located on the top of the cliff faces surrounding the Barreta plateau, a main urban-ceremonial sector (The Fortress), a large unfinished extension located south of the urban-ceremonial sector, and an extensive rural area with groups of circular structures associated to extensive agricultural terraces on the east side of the complex.

In addition to the Protected Zone and the Buffer Zone, an Influence Zone surrounding the property is preliminarily proposed as an area to be included under official approval. At present, only the Protected Zone has been officially approved by the Ministry of Culture. The delimitation of the Buffer Zone proposed in the Management Plan involves the current population of the Kuelap Community, including the sector called Pampas de Uxul, inhabited by 65 families dedicated to agro-business activities. In this area, there are a number of small archaeological sites that exist within pre-hispanic cultivation fields, many of which continue to be used by the local population. The most important sites are: Pampa Linda, El Imperio, San José, Las Americas and El Lirio.

Beyond this agro-business production zone, the geological formation where Kuelap is located contains a natural landscape with very pronounced slopes not suitable for dwelling or farming purposes. This area is delimited by the Utcubamba River to the east, the Tingo River and the Sigsicucho Canyon to the north and northwest, and the Celcas Canyon to the south. The Tingo River, as well as the Celcas River, flow to the Utcubamba River. This area has been proposed as the Influence Zone, which is adjacent to small agricultural properties located at the bottom of the valley. The management of this zone is crucial regarding the need to control the fires originated by current farmers who use the technique of controlled fires (slash and burn technique) in extensive areas in order to prepare lands for cultivation and cattle pastures.