Cerro Baúl

A worthwhile excursion outside the city is to the flat-topped and steep-sided hill of Cerro Baúl, 18km northeast of Moquegua, once a royal brewery built by the Wari people. As was the case with succeeding Inca traditions, it was upper-class Wari women who were the skilled brewers here. Archaeologists who are still at work excavating the site believe that it was ceremonially destroyed by fire after one last, drunken chicha (fermented corn beer) bash, though why it was abandoned in such a rush remains a mystery so far. The rugged walk to the top of the site, which boasts panoramic views, takes about an hour. From Moquegua, a round-trip taxi costs about S30, or simply catch a combi (S1.50) or colectivo (S3) headed for Torata from central Moquegua and ask to be let off at Cerro Baúl.