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Visiting Ancient Ruins of Lima, Peru

"the Huacas"

- ("wah-ka") meaning an historic site or ancient ruins. There are many around the city, which are neglected and unmarked.


  Magdalena del Mar
More Info Here
More Info Here
  San Borja
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  San Isidro
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  San Miguel
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  Suburbs nearby-

Lurin, Pachacamac

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Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved.







Huaca Huantille

This is one of many archaeological sites neglected or destroyed with the city sprawl of Lima. Fortunately, this district recently elected a mayor, Francis Allison, who has been instrumental in changing the long period of neglect to this site. This huaca was built around 800 or 900 AD by the Ischma people. Ichma is the name that the people of Lima’s valleys referred to themselves after the earlier Wari empire ended. This pyramid complex was among green farmland, on the outer edge of the Maranga complex (at the zoo in San Miguel- Paque de Las Leyendas).

This pyramid was the main part of the Señorío de Magdalena, a complex that included five other huacas which are gone. From this pyramid, the pyramids of Maranga would be visible as well as other administrative centers.

The mayor has been doing good work to excavate and research the site as well as improve the surrounding community; rehousing the families that lived on the site. There was great loss from people stripping away the ruins over the last four decades. The site was found to have only one third remaining of a once large complex. Archaeologists discovered dozens of artifacts such as ceremonial vases and intact mummies yet covered in fine textiles.

Being under excavation, they are working to prepare it for tourists.

Located- at the 12th block of Av. Castilla with Av. Jr. Amazonas., Magdalena del Mar.

Taxi: "cuadra doce de la Avenida Castilla con Avenida Jiron Amazonas" - Pronounciations- cuadra "kwa-dra," doce" doe-say", Castilla "cas-tea-ya," Jiron "here-ron"









Huaca Pucllana

(Zona Arqueologica Huaca Pucllana) - Huaca Pucllana is situated in the middle of Miraflores, surrounded by residential structures, on an area of five hectars or about 10 acres. The large part of it was constructed by the inhabitants of the Lima culture as a ceremonial function. It dates from the 6th century A.D. The historian María Rostworowsk, during the study of a document from the 16th century, found that it was ruled with the indigenous name of Pucllana.The largest structure of Pucllana is 500 meters in length, more than 100 meters wide and 22 meters high, in a massive pyramid style. It is constructed above a base filled dirt and small adobe houses. Besides that, the site is encircled by smaller levels but equally notable rooms, patios and ramps, that had fine details, some with remains of a yellow paint. The monumental size of this antique construction of adobe houses remians in view, with its highest point near level with the modern structures that surround it. From its architecture and the unearthed objects, the function of Pucllana appears to have been the administration of the culture and of the land. The workers recovered textiles, ceramics decorated with colors of red, white, black, gray and orange. Objects found included shapes of corn, beans, fruits: chirimoya, pacae (pa-kai), lúcuma, guayaba (wha-ya-ba) and of domestic animals like alpacas, llamas, guinea pigs (or "cuyes"- ku-ease) and ducks (patos). Being located a few kilometers from the ocean, it had a large population. Their food supply was fish such as bonito, sardines, "machete," manta ray, anchovie, molusks of the Pacífic like el choro, snails (caracol) and crustaceans like crab (cangrejo). Of importance was the textile production.

Pucllana is today a historic cultural park that is under the control of the municipality of Miraflores. It has been investigated since 1981 by the architect Isabel Flores and her team.. It is often visited by researchers and tourists. Onsite, there is a small museum, a park of native flora and fauna, a tourist restaurant and a craft gallery.

Hours: Monday to Friday- 9:30 to 3:00 pm.. except Tuesdays. Lunches with a folkloric show at 1:00pm. Telf.: 45-8695. Web:

Location: in the 8th block of Av. Gral. Borgoño, which is parallel to the 45th block of Av. Arequipa. This site is also about two blocks from the corner of Av. Angamos Oeste and Av. Comandante Espinar, near the Ovalo Gutierrez.

Taxi: Huaca Pucllana (wha-ka, Puc-yana) "cuadra ocho de Av. General Borgoña" (pronounced "Hen-er-owl" "Borgone-yo"), cerca Avenida Angamos con Comandante Espinar" (cerca "sair-ka")


Huaca San Borja

This archaeological zone was constructed by the Ichma culture and resembles pyramid foundations made of mud. Inside there are enclosures, passages and uneven levels to explore. Guided visits are being prepared.

Location: Av. Canada y Av. Arqueologia (on the corner), San Borja, Lima. This is in the area behind the Museo de la Nacion. Av. Canada is a busy route, parallel to Av. Javier Prado.

Taxi: "la esquina de Av. Canada con Av. Arqueologia"






Huaca Huallamarca

This site used to be known as Huaca Pan de Azucar "Sugar loaf" which is referenced in older books. Huallamarca was occupied in the 2nd century B.C, about the time of the first construction, making it probably the oldest man-made structure in Lima. Huallamarca was abandoned as a ceremonial center after 1200 years, about the time of the Spanish conquest. It was then used as a cementery by a succession of cultures. Remains of the Maranga, Chancay, Lima, and Huari-Tiawanaku-influenced peoples have been found. When the Incas arrived in the 15th Century the area was occupied by the Hualla people, hence the name given to the site: Hualla + marka (place of).

The site has had work for appearance or for tourists, so it may look pretty, without having a proper restoration of the original structure. The structure has various enclosures and ramps, stairways, made of adobe.

Daily visits (except Mondays, when it is closed) from 9:00 am til 5:00 pm. There is a museum. Tel. 440-2145

Location: Intersection of Av. Rosario and Av. Nicolás de Rivera, and near crossroad Av. Los Laureles, San Isidro. The Av. Rivera is parallel to the golf club in San Isidro "El Golf," 2 blocks to the north side of the golf course, between the course and Av. Javier Prado.


Huaca Tres Palos

Within the property of the zoo Parque de Las Leyendas, there is the remains of a once great complex of temples from a pre-Incan culture, during a period not long after the time of Jesus. Huaca Tres Palos is one of those temples. It's massive! While the surrounding area of the district and beyond would have been open land and areas of agriculture.

Thanks to the founder of the zoo, Felipe Benavides Barreda, the grounds have protected the last remaining pyramid-type structures of this complex, which are very large
. The rest of the complex was destroyed due to urban sprawl, etc.

There is a small musuem here, with artifacts and exhibits of this early culture. It is worth a visit, and not far from the airport or the port of Callao, should your time in Lima be limited. Entrance is only through the gates of the zoo, along Av. Precursores, south of Av. Elmer Faucett.

The hours are 9am to 5:30pm daily. The entrance fee is approximately s/9 soles adults, s/4.50 for kids. Telf. (51-1) 464-4282 or 464-4264.

Location: Parque de Las Leyendas, about 20 minutes from the airport, at the south end of Av. Precursores which is not far from where it crosses Av. Faucett near Av. La Marina.



Huaca Pachacamac

Lurin and Pachacamac are adjoining suburban municipalities that border the city's southern boundary. It is a coastal region with small towns and large, dry rugged hills (called "cerros"). The area of the ruins is a coastal dessert, which changes to green farmland a short distance inland, near the Lurin river valley.

The well-known ancient site of Pachacamac was built by a pre-Incan civilization, and is the remains of a large population center. Covering four square miles, it is probably the most important religious center in the Lima area, and perhaps on the Peruvian coastline. It is divided into two parts: sacred and temporal (of temple usage). The largest temple was to the God of Creation and contained altars for sacrificial ceremonies. There is a large structure on the site called "Mamacona" where the sacrificial virgins were housed. It is very photogenic, and interesting to see with the passages, labyrinths, and walls of stone cut and laid in place or of adobe (mud/clay). The restoration work is ongoing.

It had at least one pyramid of the 200 to 600 A.D. period. Later, it was the Huari people of 600 to 800 A.D. that used the this city probably as an administrative center. Artifacts with Huari period designs appear on the construction, and on ceramics and textiles that were found in the cemeteries of Pachacamac. After the fall of the Huari culture, the city continued to grow as a religious state, as common structures and the temples were built. When Tawantinsuyo, the Incan chief, arrived, there was a small state called Ichma, including the Lurin valley and Rimac river valley which flows through Lima. Pachacamac was used as a religious site for the devotion of a creator god- Pacha Kamaq. The Ichma culture joined the Incas, making Pachacamac an important administrative center. The Incas allowed Pachacamac to continue its devotion to that god and allowed its priests to continue without interference of the Incan priests. The Inca built five more structures including a temple to the sun on the main square.

There is a museum onsite, displaying the unearthed ceramics, textiles and a wooden idol found in the original temple of Pachacamac.

TIPS- once arriving,
use the bathroom beforehand, as no facilities are inside the site. Wear comfortable shoes, take your own water, perhaps a hat and sunglasses. No food is allowed to be brought into the site. There is a cafeteria/rest area.

Email to arrange for a guide, giving your name, date of visit and number of visitors:

If possible, one week in advance, arrange for a guide to show you the museum, then the guide would go with you by car or on foot. This way you can arrive to the areas or structures of the ruins that require entry with a guide. They do not allow visitors to enter certain areas without a guide.

RULES: Do Not climb on the structures. Do Not leave the designated walkways through the site. Use the designated rest rooms, Not any other area of the site. If violating rules, the Security has the right to suspend your visit.

Hours: 9 to 4:30pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Estimate minimum timing with guide of one hour visit by car or two hours by foot.

Telf.: 011-51-1- 430-0168

Location: along the Panamericana Sur highway at km. 33, about 30 to 40 minutes south of Miraflores, depending on traffic, may be less. About 16 miles south of Miraflores, and a worthwhile trip!

Taxi: "Pachacamac, la huaca" (wa-ka). A reasonable one way fare would be in the range of s/. 50 to 80 soles, depending on time of day and the driver. It is a possibility to negotiate with the driver to take you into the site, which might either be included or an extra fare.

If you leave the taxi, you may want to get the driver's number to call when ready to be picked up on the return, and carry a telephonce number of another taxi service just in case. There are also many combi minivans that pass near Pachacamac going to Miraflores area.

There are city tours which include this site, which could be the same amount, but in US dollars.



Life is an adventure, so too is travel.
Get out there and live!


Copyright 2009 - 2015 All Rights Reserved.