Monumento Nacional Wilkahuaín


This small Wari ruin about 8km north of Huaraz is remarkably well preserved, dating from about AD 600 to 900. It’s an imitation of the temple at Chavín done in the Tiwanaku style (square temples on raised platforms). Wilkahuaín means ‘grandson’s house’ in Quechua. The three-story temple has seven rooms on each floor, each originally filled with bundles of mummies. The bodies were kept dry using a sophisticated system of ventilation ducts. A one-room museum gives some basic background information in English and Spanish.

To get here by foot take a taxi to 'El Pinar' (S7) from where there are two paths leading to the ruins – a direct route via the main road (6km) or a longer but more scenic route via Marian. Alternatively, a taxi direct to the ruins will set you back around S25.

There are actually two sets of ruins. Buy your ticket at the lower complex. It's a 10-minute walk along a dirt road to the smaller second complex (Wilkahuaín Pequeno).

Avoid taking the path from the ruins down to the baths at Monterrey as robberies have been reported on this stretch.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Huaraz attractions

1. Piscigranja de Truchas

2.87 MILES

At the trout hatchery, Piscigranja de Truchas, you can see the stages of the trout-hatching process from eggs to adults. By the entrance, the Recreo de…

2. Jirón José Olaya

3.16 MILES

On the east side of town, Jirón José Olaya is the only street that remained intact through the earthquakes and provides a glimpse of what old Huaraz…

3. Museo Regional de Ancash

3.42 MILES

The Museo Regional de Ancash houses one of the most significant collections of ancient stone sculptures in South America lined up in a garden out back…

4. Mirador de Retaqeñua

3.57 MILES

Mirador de Retaqeñua is about a 45-minute walk southeast of the center and has great views of the city and its mountainous backdrop. Unfortunately,…

5. Museo Nacional de Chavín

23.65 MILES

This outstanding museum, funded jointly by the Peruvian and Japanese governments, houses most of the intricate tenon heads carved with horror-stricken…

6. Mirador de Shallapa

23.75 MILES

After admiring the Chavin ruins from ground (and underground) level, you can climb up to this trio of crosses grafted onto a crag high above town for a…

7. Laguna Purhuay

23.81 MILES

In a scoop of a valley 8km above Huari and just inside the Parque Nacional Huascarán, this idyllic lake is well set up for day excursions, but is…

8. Chavín de Huántar

23.93 MILES

In most people's minds, Chavín is less a town and more a set of ruins – not any old ruins, but the erstwhile ceremonial center of one of Peru's most…