FX Excursions

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Top 5: Ruins in Peru

by Jack Guy

Dec 22, 2015

Chan Chan, Trujillo, Peru © Angela Ostafichuk | Dreamstime

Top 5 / Latin America

Peru was home to myriad ancient civilizations, each of which left their mark on the country.

Aside from the iconic city of Macchu Pichu, there are hundreds of smaller ruins not overrun by crowds of braying tourists only looking to snap a quick selfie and then leave. Here is your guide to some of the more interesting sites.


Moray Inca Site of Peru © Brizardh | Dreamstime

© Brizardh | Dreamstime



At Moray a series of circular terraces have been carved out of the rock, and air temperatures vary by more than 20 degrees from the top layer of the ruins to the bottom. Not only is it a beautiful sight to behold, it has been speculated agricultural experiments were carried out on different layers.


Chan Chan, Trujillo, Peru © Nicolas De Corte | Dreamstime 37242121

© Nicolas De Corte | Dreamstime


Chan Chan

Located near the coastal city of Trujillo, Chan Chan was home to the Chimu people. It was the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas before falling to the Incas. Although some areas of the adobe complex have been partially restored, the site leaves a lot to the imagination.


Kuelap, Peru © Jesse Kraft | Dreamstime 54089927

© Jesse Kraft | Dreamstime



The hilltop fortress of Kuelap is located in the cloud forests of northern Peru. It’s a drive and a hike from the town of Chachapoyas but it’s worth the effort as the nearly deserted complex affords amazing views of the surrounding countryside.


Choquequirao, Peru © Rafał Cichawa | Dreamstime 61406841

© Rafał Cichawa | Dreamstime



The ruins of Choquequirao are gaining traction as an alternative to Machu Picchu thanks to their similarly breathtaking views and the two-day hike necessary to reach them. The large ruins sit atop a valley which is nearly a mile deep and visitors should be in good physical condition.


Sacsayhuamán, Cuzco, Peru © Steve Allen | Dreamstime 15443707

© Steve Allen | Dreamstime



If you are short on time or don’t have the energy to embark on a long hiking trip to other ruins, Sacsayhuamán is located just outside the popular tourist hub of Cuzco. Its huge blocks fit together perfectly without mortar and the site is home to spectacular Inti Raymi celebrations on June 24 every year.



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