Chavín de Huántar

Huaraz, Peru 400
Huaraz, on the way to Chavín de Huántar
Photo by: Gusjer, Creative Commons

Chavín de Huántar is a famous archaeological site located 250 km north of Lima, Peru and east of Cordillera Blanca at the Conchucos Valley. It is now visited by thousands of tourists and archaeologists annually and is currently a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Some Chavin relics are on display in Museo de la Nacion in Lima, Peru.
The Chavín de Huántar was actually constructed by the pre-Incan tribe, the Chavin, around 900 B.C. The Chavins survived basically on an agricultural economy, because of its strategic location near the Coast of Marañón River and the jungle. The Chavín de Huántar served as a ceremonial center, where the ancient people came together and worship.

The Chavín de Huántar holds a geographical, historical and religious significance because of its tremendous influence on the Ancient Chavin culture. It is located where the Mosna River merges with the Huanchecsa River. This allows the Chavins easy transport, but access is very limited for visitors. Consequently, it is the perfect site for crop cultivation such as maize and potatoes. The ancient Chavins also started domesticating llamas to help and assist in carrying load and crops.

Important sites to visit include the large central square, the temple, and the Castilla, which is an underground complex. Important artifacts are the Lanzon, which was a 5 meter carved rock that depicted the gods worshiped by the pre-Incan people: the condor, the serpent and the jaguar or puma.

Many tourists can visit Chavín de Huántar from Huaraz. It’s a long four hour drive on a rough, unpaved and bumpy road. The easiest and most convenient way to get there is through an organized tour. These tours usually leave at 9 in the morning and return to Huaraz at 8 pm.

2 responses to “Chavín de Huántar”

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