Peru has several stone forest that are perfect for adventure seekers and nature lovers. These rock formations will enchant you.
Because of their location, you can head to these rock forests mostly all year round. Also because of their location in the Andean range, while the days may be sunny and warm, the nights will be cold so pack accordingly especially if you end up camping.
1. Rock forest of Huayllay, Pasco
Located in the National Sanctuary of Huallay, this rock forest has over 4,000 rock formations that resemble animal figures and humans. Find also ancient cave paintings and impressive flora and fauna. Learn more here.
2. Hatun Machay, Ancash
Located on the western side of the Cordillera Negra in Anchash, Hatun Machay has become the perfect destination for astrophotography due to the altitude and light pollution to be found. You’ll find avid rock climbers there, as it has one of the biggest crags (steep cliff) in the world at (4290 m.a.s.l).
3. Pampachiri, Apurímac
Three hours from the city of Andahuaylas is the town of Pampachiri. To get to the impressive rock formations of the area, one must climb a muddy trail. It’s no easy feat but the views are impressive. The stones have pyramid shapes that measure up to 10 meters high and originated million of years ago, a product of volcanic material. Learn more about this and other hidden gems in Andahuaylas here.
4. Cumbemayo, Cajamarca
Located at 3,500 m.a.s.l, Cumbemayo is an archaeological site and rock forest all in one. Petroglyphs (some of the oldest in the Americas) date back from 1500-1000 BC and can be found in grottos a stone aqueduct that stretches for about five miles with a zig zag shape.
5. Stone Forest of Marcahuasi, Lima
Just a few hours from Lima you’ll find the rock formations of Marcahuasi, a perfect location to stargaze and spend the weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The hike takes about three hours (you can opt to go by horse) but the views of the green hills will astound you. Spend time exploring the stone formations that have a liking to human and animal figures, as well as the lakes and pre-Colombian chullpas. Learn more here.
6. Imata, Arequipa
Arequipa is known for its volcanoes, Colca Canyon and its food. Few people know that Arequipa also has one of the best stone forests in Peru. Located in the province of Caylloma, in Imata you’ll find alluring disfigured rock columns resembling monstrous shapes and others like Andean birds. To get to Imata, travel for about 2 to 3 hours northeast along the highway to Puno.
Cover photo: u/_kered on Reddit
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