Just inside the beautiful Peruvian capital is one of the largest archaeological sites to appreciate. Every tour of the capital includes a guided or panoramic visit to this particular archaeological site in the middle of the city. Huaca Pucllana is one of the jewels of the Andean country. It’s one of the capital’s main attractions and is located right in the middle of the city. Located between the modern buildings in Lima and different renowned establishments, forming one of the greatest contrasts between the modern and ancient world. If you are wondering what this beautiful show is about and where it is located, together with Machu Travel Peru we want to tell you all about this beautiful place and its fascinating history.
The Huaca Pucllana pyramid was built by members of the Lima culture. The culture of Lima was a pre-Inca indigenous coastal civilization. It remained in the region from around AD 100 to 650. This culture stood out for its great irrigation management. This allowed them to develop settlements in vast territories. The region is characterized by having a desert climate, forcing early cultures to seek solutions. These cultures created extensive networks to carry water from springs and rivers to the different settlements.
Everything you need to know about the Huaca Pucllana Pyramid
- What is Huaca Pucllana?
- The history of the pyramid
- The function and purpose of the ruins
- Guided tour in Huaca Pucllana
- How to get there
- Other enjoyable attractions
WHAT IS HUACA PUCLLANA?
The beautiful archaeological site of Huaca Pucllana is a clay and adobe pyramid located in the tourist district of Miraflores. It is usually the main attraction on a tour in Lima and a pleasant sight to explore within the bustling city. The site is made up of a pyramid about 25 meters high. It is surrounded by a set of beautiful squares and patios to the north of the pyramid. The pyramid is made up of 7 tiered levels and 6 hectares of space. On-site you will find an exhibition hall, a visiting circuit, and other attractions such as a beautiful and delicious restaurant.
The pyramid was a kind of administrative center for the surrounding irrigation zone. This complex was separated by an extensive wall that runs from north to south. It was also separated by spaces believed to have been used for storage and public gatherings. Along the east side, you can also see other organized spaces focused on production. While on the west side there was a ceremonial sector that contained the 22-meter pyramid. It was used for different religious rites and celebrations.
Previously, this place occupied a much larger space. But the ignorance and interest in urbanization in previous years caused abandonment and disinterest in the area, losing sight of important evidence and other much smaller pyramids around the area. It is one of the best things to do in Lima and an essential part of any tour of the city.
THE HISTORY OF THE PYRAMID
THE FIRST OCCUPANTS AND INHABITANTS
The culture of Lima occupied the central coast of Peru from 200 to 700 AD. They built Huaca Pucllana around 500 AD. What is known today as Lima was at that time rich farmland. It had a network of intricate water channels that branched off from the Surco River. So it was a fairly agricultural civilization. Those who did not cultivate were engaged in fishing.
It was the culture of Lima that built the pyramid of Huaca Pucllana. It was built during the heyday of Lima’s culture. For the construction of this pyramid, the early culture used the bookseller technique. This consisted of placing adobe bricks vertically with spaces between them. The structure was capable of absorbing the different tremors that occurred in the region. Trapezoidal structures were also used, similar to those seen in Machu Picchu. These make the walls wider than at the top.
During the 6th and 7th centuries, a new power was developing in the south of Lima. In what is now known as Ayacucho, the Wari culture was starting to develop as a power. They even came to seize much of the central coast of Peru. Despite this, much of the evidence suggests that the expansion of the Wari culture was peaceful. Agreements and alliances were formed instead of conquering violently.
Sometime around 700 A.D., Huaca Pucllana began to be used as a burial place for the nobility. During this time, the pyramid had been abandoned from its ceremonial functions. The Lima culture buried the pyramid, but the Wari dug the upper part and used it as a burial place. During excavations in 2008, the first intact tomb belonging to this period was found. This tomb contained the remains of three people: a sacrificed child along with two adults wearing masks.
After the Wari culture, the Ychsma culture settled around Huaca Pucllana. This culture was established from 1000 to 1532 AD. They also used the pyramid as a kind of cemetery. Then it was the Spanish who took power when Francisco Pizarro founded the city of Lima.
But today the Huaca Pucllana complex includes numerous tourist areas. From an area for workshops, a restaurant overlooking the ruins, and a quaint souvenir shop. In addition, you can enjoy a wonderful museum that includes an interesting collection. You will be able to see some of the remains found on the site over the years, such as artifacts, tools, ceramics, and textiles among other things. Before enjoying the different day trips from Lima you can get to know this wonderful complex of ancient ruins.
THE FUNCTION AND PURPOSE OF THE RUINS
Huaca Pucllana had great significance during the Pre-Columbian era. It was an administrative and ceremonial center of pre-Inca cultures. The Culture of Lima and the Wari culture were the ones that had the most to do with its construction and use. They lived on the Peruvian coast during the years 200 AD and 1100 AD approximately. The center was used for different social, administrative, and political gatherings. In addition to community meetings for worship, sacrifices, and other types of sacred events.
From some pieces of evidence, we can assume that both the pyramid and the ruins served different purposes over time. Originally, the ruins of Huaca Pucllana were focused on the success and expansion of the Lima culture. The complex functioned primarily as an administrative center. In its surroundings, there were spaces for storage of products and other spaces for meetings and organizations.
While on the other eastern side of the complex, is the second section of Huaca Pucllana. The indigenous religions adapted over time. So it is assumed that the ruins served to honor the different deities. These ruins were probably reserved for religious rites and ceremonies. All celebrated by the high priests of the community. However, it is known that the later cultures that inhabited the region used the ruins for other purposes. They thought of the ruins as a burial site for the nobility.
The cultures that lived in Pucllana and almost the entire Peruvian coast had agriculture as their main economic activity. Although it is also known that they fished and raised domestic animals such as guinea pigs, ducks, alpacas, and llamas. Today, the pyramid or Huaca is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Lima, you will be able to appreciate different archaeological remains from various periods and enjoy one of the best restaurants in the city.
GUIDED TOUR IN HUACA PUCLLANA
Huaca Pucllana is usually an unmissable destination on any tour of the city, its presence in the city is indisputable. You can enter the Huaca Pucllana for a very reasonable price. The ticket will include a guided tour of the beautiful complex. You will be able to explore the pyramid itself and the spacious walled rooms built with thousands of years old adobe bricks. Naturally, these bricks have a small level of deterioration. So you will see workers constantly working on their restoration or replacement. Luckily, rain rarely occurs in the capital, one of the reasons this pyramid still stands.
Inside the Huaca Pucllana complex, you can enjoy a tour of the museum, a beautiful restaurant, and a guided tour of the ruins. In the museum, you can also learn about the cultures that inhabited the place. Both their lifestyles and the ceremonial ways in which they offered tribute to their gods. It is advisable to enjoy the restaurant as it offers some interesting traditional dishes.
One of the main attractions is the different tombs discovered on the site. Even today secrets are still being discovered in the area. All thanks to archaeologists who continue their work on the site. They have found human remains in different offerings. Inside the tour, you will be explained the process of how the bricks were made. And you will see a description of the first humans in the region with statues. Being able to enjoy this attraction is one of the best things to do on some vacations in Peru. Where you can enjoy a delicious meal and an educational moment.
HOW TO GET THERE
To get to Huaca Pucllana, you will not encounter major difficulties. It is located within the city in the middle of the Miraflores district, which is not difficult to reach. There are numerous ways to get around the city of Lima. If you are looking to explore the city a bit and get some exercise, you can always walk there. However, it will depend on how far away your accommodation is. Keep in mind that Huaca Pucllana is only a 20-minute walk from Parque Kennedy. So, it’s not that far either.
You can walk from the surrounding districts after enjoying the many things to do in Barranco or simply take a taxi. An organized tour is not necessary to get there. You can go on your own and pay for your entrance. Keep in mind that this place is usually part of guided tours of certain schools, so try to go in the afternoon. You can also opt for the city’s public transport service. It is the cheapest option of all, although it can be a bit confusing. If you are not very fluent in Spanish, it can be quite easy to get lost on city buses.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS NEAR
Within a guided tour of the city, you will be able to appreciate an overview of everything in Lima. In the morning you can explore the historic center and in the afternoon go to explore Miraflores. La Huaca Pucllana is one of the best attractions to see, however, you can find much more to do in the city. Places like the Larco Museum or the Church of San Francisco may be at your disposal on a guided tour of the city.
The Larco museum has an extensive collection of antique items and objects. From displays of mummies from ancient cultures to ceramics thousands of years old. While the Church of San Francisco is one of the best-preserved Catholic churches. Built at the end of the 17th century with some incredible catacombs to appreciate. The catacombs are part of the original cemeteries in Lima. The site houses more than 70,000 bodies. Many of which are on display today on the site.
Another place of interest to visit is Casa Aliaga. This is the oldest house in all the Americas. Built during the 16th century but has undergone numerous renovations due to earthquakes. Even if you are a sports fan, you can enjoy surfing on its beaches or even one of the best activities: paragliding in Lima. There is no best time to visit Lima, but summer in Peru can be a great time to enjoy its beaches and clear skies. You can enjoy your holidays in the best way in this beautiful city that does not rest.
“THE PYRAMID SHAPE IS SAID TO HOLD MANY SECRETS AND AMAZING PROPERTIES. ONE OF THEM IS A SENSE OF WONDER ”
We hope together with Machu Travel Peru to have encouraged you to visit one of the oldest archaeological complexes in the city of Lima. Being in the middle of one of the most touristic districts of the city, you will not need to move much. This site is a must-see for anyone looking to explore the capital of Peru. Besides, it has a restaurant that is worth trying. You can consult about our city tours with our qualified advisers, who will explain step by step how to enjoy everything that Peru has to offer. Our team of consultants will be happy to help you realize the trip of your dreams.