Lima: Side Trips
Located on a desert bluff, Pachacamac has panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean on one side, and a view of the foothills of the Andes on the other. The location made it one of the principal religious centers of pre-Columbian Lima. Until the Spaniards arrived in Lima in the 1530s, Pachacamac was the home of the most powerful Incan oracle on Peru's central coast.
Today, the site, which covers several square miles, offers visitors a glimpse at the intricate mud-brick structures of ancient Incan architecture. There is an on-going archaeological project run by several institutions, including Southern Illinois University and the Catholic University of Peru, and a small on-site museum that displays artifacts found over nearly a century of excavations.
Pachacamac is located within the confines of metropolitan Lima, about one hour by taxi from San Isidro/Miraflores, at Kilometer 31 of the auxiliary road that runs along the southern Pan-American Highway. A tour of the site can take several hours. The entrance fee is $2.