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Pachacamac (Peru)

Practical information on Pachacamac

  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Viewpoint
  • Desert
  • Archaeological Site
  • Museums
  • Place or Historical Monument
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
1hr 40min bus ride from Lima
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
Half a day

Reviews of Pachacamac

Emilie Couillard Seasoned Traveller
117 written opinions

Pachacamac is one of Peru's biggest archaeological sites. This impressive complex sits by the Pacific Ocean.  

My suggestion:
Being based in Lima, I often need to get away from the city's oppressive air. The site at Pachacamac is a perfect getaway, being only 40km south of the city.
My review

The Pachacamac was an important pre-Inca civilisation that went into decline around 1450, the time when the Incas rose to power. 

With my guide in tow, I really enjoyed touring the huge archaeological site as well as the museum. Visiting both made my trip all the more worthwhile, as I learnt so much about the area's history.

The view that greets you when you reach the highest level of the site is jaw-dropping. On my way up, I trudged through a desert-like landscape, void of any vegetation. It was only when I arrived at the top that I found myself face to face with the Pacific Ocean. So you can imagine my surprise at seeing the expanse of green and fertile lands that stretched out below. This imposing Peruvian site will appeal to any visitor fascinated by pre-Inca civilisations. 

Eva Martin Seasoned Traveller
181 written opinions

A pre-Inca site situated at 30km from Lima.       

My suggestion:
Despite what you may be told, you don't have to go on a guided tour or use a taxi. Public transport buses stop near to the site's entrance. It goes without saying that the journey by public transport takes longer!
My review

The huge site of Pachacamac (sovereign of the world in Quechua) is in the heart of the desert, so if you're planning to explore it on your own, make sure you wear a hat, slap on the sunscreen and take plenty of water. If you go on a guided tour, you'll be on a double decker bus - less enchanting but practical.

This ancient town prospered from the Lima to Inca civilisations, namely from 200BC to 1500, so you can imagine the importance it held in the region. From what we know, the town was a religious centre and pilgrimage site. Inhabited by female acolytes it was also home to a famous Inca oracle.

I went for the cheaper option and toured the site by foot, although I regretted not having hired a guide. Fifty buildings are spread across several hectares but, as not all are restored, you'll need to use a bit of imagination to visualise the city during its heyday. The museum at the exit helps to fill in the gaps! The views from the higher levels are well worth the effort. An interesting excursion to put on your Peruvian to do list and a worthwhile stopoff between Lima and Paracas.

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