The statuettes of Caral are revealing a great deal about the civilisation that produced them, one of the oldest in the Americas.
Category: "Lima Region Guide"
Despite still being in the Lima region, the tiny settlement of Huancaya is a world apart from Peru’s cloudy, bustling and noisy capital city.
An arduous climb in ageing Volkswagen Beetles took this group of travellers some 2500 metres above sea level and beyond, stopping in various Andean villages including the near-ghost town of Olleros.
Kaitlin Nunn visits Marcahuasi, a hiking trip for some, a mystical one for others.
Let’s start in Tumbes, the smallest region in Peru and the one with proportionally the most protected areas: 50% of the territory is covered by mangroves, dry forest and tropical forest. The Usual: From Puerto Pizarro boats can be hired to get to the Isla de Amor where you can enjoy a beer and bathe in the clear sea. The Little-Known: Entering the mangrove sanctuary by taking a boat from Puerto 25, be guided by locals involved in the conservation and protection of this resource, visit the protected area and later dedicate many hours to a refreshing dip in the Zarumilla canal where also, if lucky, you might see a wild crocodile.
Continuing south… The Usual: Stopping off at Zorritos beach, or going straight on to Punta Sal or to Máncora resort towns. The Little-Known: To stay in Caleta Grau at kilometre 1,242, at the edge of Tumbes and Piura. It boasts a large beach lined with simple houses where you can find a good room with bathroom for just 25 soles a night and eat fresh lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Cordillera of the Widow may get its name from its black colour, or from a complex story passed down from pre-Hispanic and pre-Inca beliefs involving the death of creator-God Pachacamac (Pacha Kamaq), wife of mother-earth Pachamama.
At just under 4000 metres (13,000ft), Cullhuay is a tiny town in the Chillón Valley who’s population survives by agriculture and fishing.
Providing passers-through the opportunity to get something warm to drink, oh… a see a mummy discovered in an ancient burial site nearby, Cullhuay is otherwise as quiet (and as friendly) as an Andean town can get.
The town of Canta sits upon a hill high up in the Chillón Valley of Lima. Sitting on another nearby hill is Obrajillo, and on another San Miguel. This peaceful and picturesque town, green throughout most of the year, is just two hours journey from Lima.
The rock art at Checta may be as much as 5000 years old, some say more. Carved onto rocks above the Chillon valley in the department of Lima, the petroglyphs hold the yet uninterpreted secrets of some of the most ancient Peruvians.
As with all valleys leading into the mountains from Lima’s desert coast, the Chillón starts sandy and dry but soon starting turning green the higher up you go, especially during the Andean rainy season which is yet to finish.
When I visited the small Peruvian village of Antioquía over a month ago, a town that has changed its fortunes by painting its buildings beautifully, I mentioned that the project was being replicated in other towns across the country. I didn’t expect to see another example so soon…
Continuing my series, Explorando Lima, in which I demonstrate the immense diversity that Peru has to offer without even leaving the region of Lima, I visit the town of Matucana and its surroundings, 75km from Lima at 2378 metres above sea level.