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Peruvian Heritage beyond Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu is the most famous cultural site in Peru—and understandably so, given it was named one of the new 7 wonders of the world. But Peru's cultural heritage extends way beyond Machu Picchu. As well as plenty of other Inca ruins, there are numerous pre-Inca archaeological sites—including the mysterious Nazca Lines—as well as more recent colonial structures to explore.
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Caral, Peru
Just a few hours north of Lima, you can visit the sacred city of Caral-Supe, an ancient archaeological site that marks the earliest known instance of complex civilization in the Americas. The ruins at this UNESCO World Heritage Site date to...
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Santo Domingo s/n, Cusco 08000, Peru
This Cuzco corner presents a notable juxtaposition between ancient Incan and Spanish colonial architecture. Since the Incas worshipped their sun god, Inti, above all others, this temple in their imperial capital was the most important of the...
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Jirón Lampa, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru

Centuries-old catacombs decorated with human bones pepper the crypts at this Franciscan monastery dating to 1774. Decked out in impressive Spanish Baroque architecture, the canary-yellow church and monastery also house a remarkable library with...

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The Nazca Lines are massive geometric and zoomorphic designs laid out in the middle of the coastal desert of the Ica region. These 2500 year old sand etchings are so big that you can only see them from the air. Their origin is a mystery....
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The Chavin civilization is considered one of the first major pre-Inca cultures. The Chavin de Huantar, which was constructed beginning around 1200 BC, may have been a hub of this culture. Archaeologists believe that the site once served as a...
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Sacsayhuaman is an impressive Inca fortress on a steep hill that overlooks all of Cusco. The ruins are humongous, but archeologists believe that the original site was as much as four times larger. What remains today are the impressive outer walls...
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Jr. las Mercedes, Bagua Grande, Peru
Kuelap is an ancient fortress in the clouds: a pre-Incan citadel hewn from a cliffside, wreathed with mist, and surrounded by thick, hilly jungle. Unlike the geometric designs of Incan architecture, the walls of this Chachapoyan city depict animal...
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Built of mud and adobe, Chan Chan—the nine-square-mile former capital of the Chimú empire (850–1470)—was the most expansive city of its time. Wander along pathways with a guide to see wall reliefs that depict creatures from the nearby Pacific. You...
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Plaza Independencia, Callao 07021, Peru
Callao has been one of the most important ports in South America since the colonial era. This seaside district of Lima still echoes a rich maritime history, and historically-minded visitors will find much to explore. Be sure to check out the...