Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac

Archaeological Complex of PachacamacArchaeological Complex of Pachacamac
Complejo Arqueológico de Pachacamac

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac

The archaeological complex of Pachacamac is located around 40 km south-east of Limas city center. The enormous site is very impressive with its great pyramidal temples, dwellings, remains of frescoes decorating the adobe walls and other interesting archaeological constructions built by different cultures. The site was the most important religious center of indigenous people at the Peruvian coast in pre-Hispanic times.

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac Lima

Pre-Inca textiles found during excavation at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Beautifullu textile discovered at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Timetable of Peruvian cultures

Timetable of different cultures in Peru and cultures that inhabited the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Textiles Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Textile excavated at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

It was the main destination for pilgrims in the costal region and attracted worshippers from all over Peru. Extensive research and excavations, especially in the last couple of years, revealed amazing findings about the significance and history of Pachacamac. The on-site museum displays artifacts discovered at Pachacamac (astonishing ceramics, beautiful textiles and religious pieces) and at the same time explains the history and importance of the Ceremonial Center of Pachacamac to its visitors.

First occupation of Pachacamac with the Lima Culture (200 AD)

The Ceremonial Center of Pachacamac was dedicated to the most important "god" at the Peruvian coast in pre-Hispanic times. Pachacamac (translated "The one who animates the world") was a powerful and feared god that was the creator of the world but on the other hand the god of fire and earthquakes.

The occupation of Pachacamac began around 200 AD. The Lima Culture built the first temples in the religious center. The materials used and the construction techniques were very complex for this time. Stone walls served as base for the amazing structures made of "adobitos" (small adobe bricks), to be seen at the "Conjunto de Adobitos", the "Templo de Urpiwachak" and the "Templo Viejo". By this time Pachacamac's influence was only locally.

Pachacamac ruins

Ruins at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Pachacamac ruins

Stairs unearth at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Construction at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

The restoration works at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima are srill ongoing

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Ruins at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

With the arrival of the Wari Culture (around 650 AD) in Pachacamac the city began to flourish and extended its influence to outer regions. The Wari mainly incorporated and modified the great religious complex of Pachacamac. Only a few new structures were built, like the "Temple Pachacamac", also know as "Templo Pintado" (the painted temple). Archaeologists discovered numerous beautiful ceramics and textiles showing the Wari influence. They identified an extensive zone of burial places. After the decline of the Wari, the city continued its growth, power, influence and the adoration of "Pachacamac".

The Ichma Culture (1200 AD) and the Incas (around 1450 AD) in Pachacamac

Around 1200 AD the Ichma Culture occupied Pachacamac. During this time the ceremonial center of Pachacamac increased its magnificence. The "Templo Pintado" was fortified and 15 main temples and "stepped pyramids" with ramps, storage facilities and patios were erected. These constructions were mainly built with adobe bricks and mortar; plastered but not painted. Two main streets connected the magnificent temples.

With the arrival of the Incas (around 1450 AD) at the central coastal area of Peru and the occupation of the ceremonial center of Pachacamac a great religious cult had developed. It was so powerful and popular that the Incas feared to tamper with it and allowed "Pachacamac" to co-exist along their own sun god Inti. The Incas modified the already existing structures, temples and other building to their needs. They built remarkable new pyramids and temples, among them the "Templo del Sol" (the Temple of the Sun) and the Acllahuasi ("House of the chosen women"), also known as "Mamacona". The "Templo el Sol" was constructed on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and dedicated to their sun god Inti. The amazing temple is built with stones and adobe blocks.

Mamacona at Pachacamac ruins in Lima

The Acllahuasi (House of the choosen women) also known as Mamacona at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Pachacamac ruins

Pachacanac ruins

Pachacamac street

Street unearthed at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Old Temple Pachacamac, Lima

The Old temple (Templo Viejo) at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Stairs Pachacamac ruins

Stairs unearthed at the Pachacamac ruins

The original red and yellow paint decorating the walls of this monument are still visible until today. The "Acllahuasi" was some kind of convent for young maidens (female priests) that were dedicated to the service of the sun god Inti. It was built using the classic architectural style of this time. Next to the "Templo el Sol" and the "Acllahuasi" are other astonishing Inca construction like the "Plaza de los Perigrinos" and the "Palacio de Taurichumbi".

Pachacamac under the Spanish conquerors (1532)

Heavily divided by a civil war and weakened by civilization diseases (especially smallpox, that swept to Peru from conquered Panama), the Spanish conquerors under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro and his brothers easily captured the Inca ruler Atahualpa in 1532, defeating his army and ending the Inca rule in most parts of Peru.

Restoration work at Pachacamac, Lima

Investigation, excavation and restoration is still ongoing at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Restoration work at Pachacamac, Lima

Investigation, excavation and restoration is still ongoing at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Restoration work at Pachacamac, Lima

Investigation, excavation and restoration is still ongoing at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Restoration work at Pachacamac, Lima

Investigation, excavation and restoration is still ongoing at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Restoration work at Pachacamac, Lima

Investigation, excavation and restoration is still ongoing at the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

At the time Pizarro heard of the great religious center of Pachacamac, he immediately sent an expedition there, subdued the population, plundered the site and destroyed the idol. The cult, adoration and power that for hundreds of years radiated from Pachacamac was wiped out and the great complex of Pachacamac forgotten.

Pachacamac in the 19th century

In the 19th century Pachacamac was rediscovered by archaeologists like Adolph Bandelier, Ernst Middendorf and Max Uhle. The first investigations were carried out. But their publications about the enormous archaeological and historical wealth of the Lima region weren't recognized. Only in 1939 Dr. Alberto Giesecke started to investigate and restore the "Temple of Pachacamac", finding the idol and the unique door of the temple. In the following decades many well known archaeologist, among them Dr. Julio Tello, William Strong, John Corbett and Dr. Arthur Jimenez Borja, researched the partly restored and reconstructed the "Acllahuasi", the "Templo del Sol" and the "Conjunto de Adobitos".

Rag doll, Pachacamac ruins, Lima

Rag doll found at the Pachacamac ruins

Pachacamac statues

Pachacamac statues

Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac in Lima

Reconstruction of the Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac

Ceramic vessels discovered at Pachacamac

Ceramics excavated at the Pachacamac ruins

Ceramic vessel discovered at Pachacamac

Ceramic vessel excavated at the Pachacamac ruins

Since 1980 many foundations and cultural institutions finance further investigations and restoration projects to save this vast ancient religious center with its valuable patrimony for future generations.

Overview map of the Pachacamac Complex

On a tour through the ruins of the archaeological complex of Pachacamac visitors can discover the numerous temples, pyramids, palaces and dwellings of pre-Hispanic times, where archaeologists found thousands of mummies and numerous unique artifacts. Climb up the Temple of the Sun and enjoy the amazing view over the Pacific Ocean.

Overview Map of Pachacamac

1. Museum
2. Conjunto de Adobitos
3. Pyramid with ramp No. 1
4. Street from north-east to south-east  
5. Pyramidal temples with ramp
6. Second wall
7. Palace Tauri-Chumpi
8. Valley of Lurin – Pachacamac
9. Casa de los Quipos
10. Residences and mausoleos

11. Temple Viejo
12. Temple Pachacamac
13. Cemetery Max Uhle
14. First Wall
15. Temple of the Sun
16. Plaza de los Peregrinos
17. Temple Urpi-Wachac
18. Aclla Wasi de las Mamacunas
19. Puquios, cistern and channels
20. Lagoon and forrest of Urpi-Wachak

 

Guided Tours

There are guided tours for groups (small and big) with a special program, please call for an appointment and arrange your trip at least a week in advance! Tours take about one hour.

Recommendations

  • Wear comfortable cloth and proper shoes!
  • Don't forget sun protection (sun glasses, cap and sun cream) in the summer months
  • Take drinking water with you!
  • Use the bathrooms at the entrance, because there aren't any inside the area!
  • You are not allowed to bring food inside the archaeological zone!

General Info

Street: Antigua Panamericana Sur km 31.5
District: Lurin
City: Lima
Region: Lima
Phone: (+511) 430-0168

Visitors Details

Opening Hours: Tue to Sun 09.00 am to 05.00 om
Opening Hours Info: Please confirm opening hours on public holidays

Comments  

#Niki2014-12-05 09:28
Buenas dias,

Intente llamar pero no contestan. Quiero saber si es posible conseguir un guia que habla ingles para dar el tour en Pachacamac este miercoles (10 diciembre). Somos con 3 / 6 personas y gustariamos ir temprano, cuando abren.

Me puede confirmar si hay guias disponible, y cuanto cuesta?
Mi numero es 980543222, correo [email protected] gmail.com

Muchas gracias, saludos Nicolien
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#Merrilee Crofton2015-11-04 18:00
We are arriving on the Star Princess Dec 15th and will have 2 days. We wish to visit Pachacamac ruins. Do you offer tours from the ship, how many in the group and price please
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#Talia-Limaeasy2015-11-07 16:55
Hello, for that information please contact 430-0168.
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