Exploring Peru's vast cultural wealth
While Machu Picchu continues to be the major draw of most visitors to Perú, the Incas were on the scene for just 100 years in the 14th Century AD. There are 4400 years of human history before the Incas. For much of it, Perú was a seat of civilization rivaling Mesopotamia. Let us guide you off the well-worn tourist trail and help you discover the wealth of cultural treasures that pre-date the Incas.
The Moche Route
Located in the dry northern coastal region between the cities of Trujillo and Chiclayo lie the remnants of three major civilizations that preceded the Incas. Referred to as the Moche Route, explore the huacas (temples) of the Moche (100AD-800AD), the Wari (500AD-900AD) and the Chimú (900AD-1470AD) civilization that built the spectacular adobe complex of Chan Chan.
There is a wealth of fine gold artifacts dating from all three of these civilizations on display—including the Lord of Sipan tomb—a discovery rivaling that of China's Terracotta warriors and Egypt's tomb of Tutankhamen.
Your base for exploring the region is the charming and comfortable Libertador Trujillo. Located on Trujillo's main plaza, the hotel is only 10 minutes away from the Chan Chan ruins and the impressive Sun and Moon Temples.
The Southwest Coast
A few hours south of Lima, the city of Paracas is named after the civilization (900BC-200AD) that left the spectacular Paracas Candelabra. Carbon-dated to 200BC, this geoglyph is carved into the hillside overlooking Pisco Bay. Almost 600 feet tall, it can be seen 12 miles out to sea.
Following the decline of the ancient Paracas culture, came the Nazca civilization (200AD-600AD) known for famous Nazca Lines. These geoglyphs, some as large as 660 feet across, were created by removing the top layer of red gravel leaving the white desert beneath. They are preserved thanks to the dry, windless desert environment.
Between Paracas and Nazca lies the town of Ica and the center of Peru's grape growing region, most known for the production of Pisco, a brandy distilled from grapes. A vineyard visit and Pisco tasting is a must while in the region.
Enjoy your stay in the region at the Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort offering comfortable accommodations and easy access to the region.
Lima and Museo Larco
One of the finest collections of Pre-Columbian art is housed in the private Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera in Lima. The museum was built to preserve Peru's cultural heritage and protect archaeological relics from unscrupulous excavators. We feel it is such an outstanding collection, we include it as an essential visit on all our Lima itineraries.