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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
The Catholic Church played a major role in the Spanish Conquest that took place during the first half of the 16th century. Missionaries executed a swift and aggressive evangelization process that imposed Catholicism on the indigenous people,...
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Jirón Lampa, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
In the 16th century, when Lima was young, Catholic congregations were allotted sections of the city to build their monasteries, convents, and churches in honor of various patron saints. Most of these historic sites remain to this day, and they are...
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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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Kuelap, 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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Chan Chan (which literally translates to "Sun Sun") is the largest Pre-Columbian metropolis of South America. It was built by the Chimu civilization, a vast empire that once stretched more than 1000 kilometers from southern Ecuador all the way...
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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...