In the heart of Miraflores, one of the most popular districts of Lima, tourists can visit the archaeological site of Huaca Pucllana and its great pyramid. Huaca Pucllana in Lima is a construction with more than 1300 years of existence and one of the main vestiges of the Lima Culture.
It is very worthwhile to visit Huaca Pucllana, precisely because it is a guided tour, with excellent explanations about the people who used this construction over the centuries.
See below the history of Huaca Pucllana and several tips to go to the easiest archaeological site to visit in Lima!
Then read about other Lima tourist attractions and see our suggestions for best neighborhoods and hotels in Lima to stay, even cheap!
History of the Pyramid of Huaca Pucllana in Lima
Huaca Pucllana was a religious center for the cult of the sea and its creatures belonging to the Lima Culture. Incidentally, the term “pucllana” refers to a place for religious ceremonies.
The Lima People inhabited the central region of the Peruvian coast between 200 and 700 AD, being contemporary with the famous Nazca culture, known worldwide for its geoglyphs.
The construction of the great pyramid of Huaca Pucllana, and adjacent areas, is part of the height of the Lima Culture. The main pyramid had a religious function, but around it there were public spaces, such as courtyards and squares.
The Lima People practiced three types of ritual activities: young women’s sacrifices; breaking ceramics with marine elements; and banquets, with shark meat as the main dish.
In fact, the shark is highlighted in the Lima Culture, both for the consumption of meat and for the references in the ceramics, which are very different and full of details.
From 800 AD, the Wari empire (Huari) conquered the region of Lima.
Huaca Pucllana was used as a cemetery because it was an abandoned building. The elite were buried in funerary bundles, with lots of fabrics, and there was also child sacrifice.
In 2005, a funerary bundle was found full of clothing and with sacrificed children. It is believed that it was the body of an important Wari priest, who, incidentally, was without his head.
Wari rule lasted a short time, until the 10th century. Soon after, a more fragmented society emerged, known as the Ychsma societywith Pachacámac as its center, on the outskirts of Lima.
Several vases inspired by the woman’s body were found, a remnant of the worship of the feminine practiced by the Lima People and also present in the Ychsma society.
It is curious to know that a place so rich in history began to be studied a few decades ago.
Visit to the Pyramid in Lima: Huaca Pucllana
The Huaca Pucllana pyramid has survived to the present day, mainly due to the destruction caused by urban growth from 1940 onwards, which reduced the archaeological area to a third of the original.
Only from the 1980s onwards, archaeological work was supported by the government to ensure the survival of this ancient construction.
During the guided tour, the negative impact of the uncontrolled urbanization of Lima on the historical and cultural heritage of Huaca Pucllana is highlighted.
The start of the visit takes place in some showroomswhere there are more than 70 original objects belonging to Huaca Pucllana, such as ceramics.
There are many explanations about the Wari burial bales, as well as perfect vases with marine motifs such as sharks and seals.
It’s worth arriving early to enjoy the pyramid without too many people, because the place is very popular, as it is in the heart of Miraflores. This neighborhood is the most sought after where to stay in Lima well located.
The guide gave us explanations about the building technique of Huaca Pucllana, making it clear that the Lima people knew how to build safe buildings that could withstand earthquakes.
Thin bricks were handcrafted and stacked like books and thus resisted earthquakes.
There is also a small area with native Peruvian plants, such as cotton, tomato, potato and many other foods, and with typical animals, such as the different Peruvian dog, llamas and guinea pigs, called cuy, which is also a of typical Peruvian food.
A large zigzag ramp takes visitors to the high areas of the pyramidwhere the grandeur of the building can be seen.
In fact, in the upper part of Huaca Pucllana, the sacrifices of young women in the Lima Culture took place and the elite of the Wari people were also buried there. Therefore, many important objects were found in this region, including several that are still being studied.
It is worth mentioning that the excavation work is not finished and a lot of history can emerge in the heart of the great Peruvian metropolis.
Information for visiting the Pyramid in Miraflores, Lima
First, you should know that the Pyramid is closed on Tuesdays. During the day (from 9 am to 5 pm), there are visits from Wednesday to Monday at a cost of 15 soles per adult, either in Spanish or English.
There are also night visits (from 7pm to 10pm) available from Wednesday to Sunday at a cost of 17 soles per adult.
For more information, check out the official website of Huaca Pucllana.
We hope the tips about the historic Huaca Pucllana in Lima have been helpful! Also read our special article on best tourist attractions in Lima!
Have a good trip, traveller!
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