In this post, we’ll go over 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Peru that you should visit while you’re here, especially if you’re a history nerd.
When the Chimu Kingdom was at its peak, between the 12th and 14th centuries, Chan Chan served as its capital before falling to the Incas. The well-decorated nine citadels of Chan Chan, which is thought to be the largest metropolis in pre-Columbian America, showcase the social and political advancements made there.
The high Peruvian Andes town of Chavin, also known as Chavin de Huantar, was founded by the same-named pre-Incan culture. Chavin is home to several archaeological sites that date from the 6-12th centuries. It served as a ceremonial and religious centre for people from all over Peru.
The City of Cusco, which lies 3400 meters above sea level, is the Peru’s historical capital. Cusco’s ashlar masonry techniques, sturdy terraced platforms, and Baroque-style churches and monuments showcase the ideal fusion of Incan and Spanish architecture.
The Historic Center of Lima was established in 1535 by the Spanish ruler Francisco Pizarro. It transports you back to Peru’s colonial era. Don’t forget to visit Lima’s Cathedral, Presidential Palace, and Plaza de Armas.
One of the biodiverse locations on the planet is the Manu National Park, with cloud forests to lowland rainforests, several habitat types are home to more than 150 mammal species, 200 reptile and amphibian species, 860 bird species, and native populations.
The most popular UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world is arguably the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu! The ruins will intrigue you because they served ceremonial, agricultural, and administrative purposes throughout the Incan era. The hiking trails are stunning but challenging.
The Historical Center of Arequipa transports you back in time to see the fusion of European and Andean styles. The use of the indigenous volcanic rock known as “sillar” gave it a completely white ambience and earned it the nickname “White City of Peru.”
The Lines and Geoglyphs of Nazca and Palpa nestles a few hundred kilometres south of Lima. They are vast in size and portray animals and plants among other things. Who constructed them is even more of a mystery given that they date from somewhere between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Peru is Qhapaq Nan or the Traditional Incan Trail. It runs over 1000 kilometres and up to 6000 meters above sea level from Cusco to Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo. Qhapaq Ñan also runs across other neighboring countries.
The oldest settlement in America is the Sacred City of Caral-Supe. It was built more than 5000 years ago, about the same period as the ancient Egyptian civilizations. Along with six massive pyramidal buildings, there is also proof that they used the quipu knot method of recording information.
The Huascaran National Park, with its glacial lakes, snow-capped peaks, hiking paths, and exotic wildlife, is home to the highest tropical mountain range in the world. Mount Huascarán, rises to 6768 meters above sea level.
The Rio Abiseo National Park is home to around 35 pre-Columbian archaeological sites. It also houses a huge number of endemic species of plants and animals, including the previously thought-to-be extinct yellow-tailed woolly monkey.