Chavin De Huantar Temple
At 3,185 meters above sea level and just three hours from the city of Huaraz, the magical and religious center of Chavin de Huantar was built in around 327 BC. Its walls are made of stone, while its structures are shaped like pyramids, which has sparked a great deal of controversy over what was the purpose of the complex, whether a temple or a fortress.
The local inhabitants call the site “el castillo” (the castle). The construction features a labyrinthine network of passageways and tunnels lit by strategically-placed skylights. Inside the temple still stands the Monolithic Lanzon, the 5-meter-high monolith carved into ferocious deities and figures of monstrous beasts. There are also a set of gargoyle heads which once decorated the outer walls of the complex.
Chavin was one of the earliest civilizations in the Americas, contemporary to the Olmecas in Mexico. The culture achieved a remarkable level of skills in agriculture, architecture and pottery, in addition to their administrative capacity. This enabled them to dominate much of the north and central parts of Peru. This is possibly what made Chavin de Huantar so important: its strategic location as a link between the coast, highlands and jungle. The ruins, discovered in 1919 by Peruvian archaeologist Julio C. Tello, are a crucial part of Peru’s history.
Chavin De Huantar Visiting Regulations
To help with preserving this invaluable archeological monument and world natural and cultural heritage site, we recommend you bear the following in mind:
•Bring drinks in canteens only
•Do not bring food or eat within the monument
•Do not climb the walls
•Put litter in the indicated trashcans
•Walk only on the signaled circuits
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