The National Park of Manu, a World Cultural Heritage Site, is one of the areas with greatest biodiversity on the planet. It is located in the departments of Cusco (Paucartambo province, Kosñipata district) and Madre de Dios (Manu province, Fitzcarrald and Manu districts), including the entire basin of the River Manu. Located in the south of Peru, in the eastern sector of the Andes mountain range and bordering the Amazon basin, it is the only park in Latin America to cover the full range of environments, from low, tropical jungle to cold, high grassland over 4,000 masl.
One of the most significant archeological sites in Peru, Chan Chan is well worth a visit. In the native Mochica language, its name is Jang-Jang, which means: Sun-Sun. It was the capital of the Chimú kingdom, which stretched along the entire north coast between 1100- 145 AD, before being conquered by the Incas.
Chavín was one of the most important cultures of the pre-Inca era. Its principal temple, located in the department of Áncash, was one of the main oracles of Peru. It was built in 1400 B.C. but was in decline by the year 500 B.C, during the so-called Formative period. People came to this center to consult the oracle and to make offerings to the gods. The supreme divinity was represented in El Lanzón or Dios Wari, a giant, carved, lance-shaped monolith, almost 4 meters tall, reached by a series of narrow underground passages
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 boasts a variety of structures, most notably the six pyramids with their circular plazas. Based on archaeological findings such as tools and artifacts, it has been established that its inhabitants supported themselves by fishing and farming. Among the more important discoveries is the oldest “quipu” (an instrument used to record data) and 32 flautas (flutes) made from condor and pelican bones.
Watch the video and learn more about Caral, the oldest civilization in the Americas.
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 regions powerful winds, nor any other natural adversaries have been able to erase.
At the crest of the Amazonian Andes of northern Peru, 3000 masl (9,843 fasl), is the imposing Fortress of Kuélap, built by the Chachapoyas, a pre-Inca culture that developed between 800 and 1470 A.D. By its location and construction, the complex was designed to defend against other peoples; nevertheless the Chachapoyas were conquered by the Incas.
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.