Marcahuamachuco

Northern Highlands

This spectacular collection of rugged ruins sprawls over a windswept plateau at a dizzying 3600m. The 3km-long site dates from around 400 BC and has immense defensive perimeter walls and towering ceremonial buildings. Research suggests that the complex formed a center of religious worship. Different communities from all corners of Huamachuco lands would visit to worship the gods that were believed to reside on the mountain peaks surrounding the site on all sides.

The largest archaeological site in the northern mountains, it is divided into four main sections, two of which, Cerro del Castillo and Cerro de las Monjas, are open to visitors on a well-marked circuit.

Marcahuamachuco is located at the end of a sketchy dirt road, 10km from the town of Huamachuco. A private vehicle to the entrance can be arranged on the Via de Evitamiento near the Casa de Arcos and will cost from S60 to S80, depending on how long you want to stay at the site. Alternatively, you can charter a taxi one-way and walk back down.