An example of the Nazca Lines, this one is called “the Spider”. License: Creative Commons image source
Peru is blessed with an abundance of fascinating archaeological sites, many of which are enigmas the tourist information office don´t like to talk about. These captivating sites hide secrets about the history of mankind, evoke mysteries and provoke questions that remain unanswered by archaeologists.
Here are five of the most intriguing archaeological mysteries of Peru.
After Machu Picchu, the Nazca lines are perhaps the most well-known ancient archaeological site in Peru. This mysterious series of geo-glyphs etched into the arid desert can only be seen from the air and tour operators arrange flights in Cessna light-aircrafts from the landing field a short distance away.
Despite a number of theories the scientific community is still baffled as to the purpose of the Nazca Lines believed to be around 1400 years old. Because of the tours’ popularity and limited numbers of people that can go in the planes on a daily basis, it’s best to book before you get to Nazca.
Puerta de Hayu Marca, Puno
Just off the shores of Lake Titicaca 35km from Puno, you will find the strange rock formation of Puerta de Hayu Marca, known locally as Amaru Muru. A 7-foot facade has been cut in to the side of the mountain rock together with a 5-foot doorway.
Visitors can feel energy radiating from the rocks and local legend says the door leads to another dimension. For a truly unique experience perform an Inca ritual with Shamans and learn about the spiritual beliefs of these ancient peoples.
Marcahuasi – Playground of the Gods. License: Creative Commons image source
More mysterious rock formations that give off high-levels of magnetic energy can be found in the mountains above San Pedro de Casta, 400 km north of Lima. Labelled as the “Playground of the Gods,” visitors will find a series of rocks that have been carved into shapes of animals and heads of people from different races around the world – 2000 years ago.
Mainstream archaeologists claim the rock formations are natural, but you have to visit the site and see them for yourself to know that they are not. Block two days out for the journey and to see the best figures, hire a local guide. You could even make the two-hour trek to the summit on the back of a donkey.
One of the most amazing and head-scratching mysteries in Peru can be found at Cumbe Mayo, a 30-minute drive into the hills near Cajamarca. Here you will find 9km of man-made canals with 90 degree angles, yet they are believed to have been cut over 3500 years ago. What´s more is that some parts of the canal walls have been cut through the solid rock of the surrounding hills.
At the entrance of the site is a large rock with a passageway cut through the middle of it that visitors have to pass through to get to the other side, where the path to the irrigation system is. Not only that, but in several areas of the site are strange, almost alien petroglyphs carved into the rock. To add to the mystique an other-worldly fog descends over the craggy rocks towards the end of the trail.
Caral was the Peruvian discovery that made historians re-write the history books. Nestled below the foothills of Supe, the discovery of the 5000 year-old pyramids caused archaeologists to reassess the history of Peru given they had previously believed the oldest culture to have lived here was only 3000 years-old.
Not only that, but there is evidence that the ancient peoples who lived here had a profound understanding of astronomy. A massive rehabilitation program has been underway to convert this sand-filled site into a major tourist attraction since 2009 and once it is completed is likely to rival the tourist pull to Peru that is currently claimed by Machu Picchu.
Cost of Peruvian holidays
Holidays to Peru are maybe cheaper than you would think, although due to the country’s remoteness air flight costs can be higher. Although if you want to book a cheap holiday, once you get to Peru you will find the daily living costs relatively low.
This article was written by John Jones who is passionate about Latin America and enjoys writing about it. If you need cost effective car rental in Peru visit http://www.carrentals.co.uk/ and compare prices from different providers.