Chavín de Huantar, Peru
Chavín de Huantar is a pre-Incan ruin that contains an exciting subterranean section. It's a fun and unique place to visit, especially for travelers who are interested in the history and culture of Peru's Central Highlands.
Explore the beautiful and interesting Chavín de Huantar. The road to the site is challenging and will put you on the edge of your seat, thanks to some adventurous switchbacks and mind-blowing views. Depending on the season, you may even find snow on the highest peak before descending to the traditional village of Chavín.
Chavín is a small town with a traditional plaza and local market. This area is best known for the archaeological site, but it's also important to stop in the village and absorb some of the local culture. Traditions vary from valley to valley in the Central Highlands, and each village is unique.
Chavín de Huantar is a large complex with well maintained paths. Set at an elevation of 10,335 feet (3,150 m), the ruins date back to 1300 BC and are separated into two parts. There's an original temple with underground tunnels, and a larger extension that is comprised of a pyramid-like building and a main plaza.
The most beautiful carving is the Lanzon de Chavín, which is underground inside the main temple. This 13-foot (4-m) granite carving is the most important statue of the central deity of ancient Chavín culture. The complex of other underground tunnels are enough to satisfy youngsters or adventurous travelers; the tunnels are safe, well-ventilated, and give an exciting twist to touring the complex.
The Chavín are the oldest major culture of Peru and are thought to have inspired other civilizations. If you're interested in the history and culture of the Central Highlands, Chavín de Huantar is a great place to visit.