On the journey to Chavín de Huantar , one of the oldest cult locations in Peru, there’s the fascinating world of the Andes that seems to touch the clouds. Radiant colors and pure nature are constant companions on the 109 kilometre route from Huaraz to these ancient ruins.
The settlement of Chavín de Huantar has a history that dates back 3,000 years. Even today, little is known of the exact way of life of the Chavín culture, as no written history of it has been discovered. Thus, research is restricted to the archaeology that has been uncovered that also includes various stone images.
Snakes, animals, and birds engraved in stone have been among the most commonly found images of this mysterious culture. Assisted by beautiful flat reliefs, even today numerous temples and fortresses show the artistic talents of Chavín culture. During the first millennium AD, this seven hectare area was the most important place of pilgrimage in Peru.
In the oldest section, there are entrances to a subterranean world where an assortment of labyrinth-like passages and rooms extend down almost seven floors. The scant light that manages to find its way into the narrow passageways adds to the mysterious atmosphere of this ancient architectural masterpiece.
For the inhabitants of Peru’s mountains in the first millennium BC, Chavín de Huantar symbolized the beginning of a colorful new age and today, it is an atmospheric example of a mysterious and fascinating past.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.