Archeological Attraction: Markahuamachuco

MarkahuamachucoThe principal ceremonial center of the Wamachuko culture, Markahuamachuco is the largest archeological complex of the northern mountains of Peru and possibly of the Peruvian mountains in general, with the exception of Cusco and Wari. According to archeologists this is one of the most interesting sites in the country, and some have even called it the "Manchu Picchu of the North.” Due to these archeological accolades, Markahuamachuco obtained valuable recognition in 2008, being named one of the marvels of Peru. Recommended length of stay: 3-4 hours

General Information:



It is located 10 KM Northwest of the actual city of Huamachuco and at 3600 meters above sea level. The journey to Markahuamachuco can be made in 30 minutes by car or 2-3 hours by foot.


The climate of this plateau is very pleasant and mild despite the altitude, due to the warm winds that blow over the valleys below. Although, be aware that if it's cold in Huamachuco, the wind and environment in Markahuamachuco will also be chilly.


Markahuamachuco covers an area 5km long and 500-600 meters wide.


According to studies done in the area, the constructions date back to the years 400-1000 A.D.

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Meaning of the Name:

According to the Quechua language, Markahuamachuco derives from the combination of the following words: Marka=Town, Huaman=Falcon, Chuko=Hat

Translated to English, Markahuamachuco means,
"The Town of the Men with Falcon hats."

Inside the boundaries of Markahuamachuco, we can find four sections:

  • El Castillo- The Castle
  • Las Monjas- The Nuns
  • Las Corrales- The Corrals
  • Cerro Viejo- The Old Hill

Of these four sections only two are open to the public, el Castillo and las Monjas, because of time and distance. The route through these two sections lasts approximately two and a half hour for tourists between 16-50 years old and three hours for children, the elderly, and the handicapped.

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