When it comes to one of my favorite topics of discussion, archeology, there is no better location for discussion than Peru.
Peru has so much history and is definitively excellent in terms of culture and mystery. You can find treasures untold through personal exploration by traversing mountains, hiking through jungles, or pacing through sand. Nowadays, you certainly don’t have to be Hiram Bingham to discover the beauty of Peru, but dressing the part might help.
I have compiled a list of the most profound observable archeological sites that you can include in your itinerary.
1. The Nazca lines are steeped in shadowy mystery.
Most people will venture to this site and be dazzled into submission by the geometric figures, but if you peer even deeper, you will find suspiciously straight lines and accurate depictions of birds and wildlife. A flyover is necessary to witness this majesty in person, as these depictions can only be viewed from above. It is easy to pick out favorites, mine being the condor which I painfully had tattooed on my ribs!
Additionally, around the city of Nazca, you will find the ruins of the Nazca culture which flourished between 100 AD and 800 AD. Grand temples and pyramids are found stretched over a vast area half buried in the desert. This advanced civilization included astounding aqueducts that still function in the desert today! Researchers will most likely never uncover the full extent of these cities. Tours can be arranged, which I hope to do someday soon.
2. No list of archeology and Peru would be complete without including Machu Picchu, but did you know that even higher up exists another site similarly titled Huayna Picchu?
Both sites are magnificent and include an impressive architecture that almost seamlessly immerses itself with the mountains. No wonder the Spanish conquistadors couldn’t locate these sites! To get to the latter of the two, you will need a few more hours available to climb up and down another mountain. You can pace through these areas for hours without the slightest hint of boredom.
3. Sacsayhuaman is relatively familiar to many people because of the massive stones used within its walls.
This site sits on the edge of Cuzco, overlooking the grand skyline of the city. A short hike up a mountain will lead you to the confines of this area. Feel free to explore as llamas traverse the landscape with you. You will be amazed by the many 20 ton stones used to construct the site, as well as the lush green that coexists peacefully with this artwork.
4. Lastly, you can bring many of these experiences into one by visiting the local museums.
The curators pride themselves in having extensive collections, and questions are encouraged. You can find many world-renowned museums throughout Cuzco and Lima, adding worth to any vacation you may take. The fun never stops there of course when discussing Peru. You could take a dozen vacations there and still never capture the full image of this country. On top of archeology, you can find beauty in rainforests, colorful mountains, or the diverse flora and fauna. I hope you will take the journey soon!