Peru Opens Sacred City of Caral to Tourists

Following restoration efforts the Proyecto Especial Arqueólogico Caral-Supe (Caral-Supe Special Archeological Project), Peru’s sacred city of Caral is now open as a prime destination and archeological treasure for tourists who visit Lima, the Commission for the Promotion of Peru (PromPeru) announced .

Caral is the oldest city in the Americas and is regarded as an integral part in changing the history of Peru since its discovery in 1994. The city is built over 5,000 years ago, is not only the oldest city in the Americas but also third overall after Mesopotamia and Egypt, followed by China and India. This historical treasure, located in the Supe Valley, is just two hours north of Lima and easily accessible by the Pan-American Highway.

Although Machu Picchu, located in Cusco, has gained considerably more attention around the world as the capital of the Inca Empire, many do not know that the sacred city of Caral was the first political state formed in Peru 4,400 years prior to the Incas, PromPeru said in a release.

According to PromPeru, the Caral civilization was ruled by a hierarchical system with differences in rank and position in society; this is evidenced in the unequal distribution of wealth and occupational roles. “Tourists who visit the area will be able to see how this system influenced the Caral way of life when they tour the residential and public housing areas, pyramids, sunken circular plazas, temples, altars, and more.”

Due to the civilization’s organizational structure, PromPeru said, they were able to flourish in specialties such as astronomy, medicine, engineering, trade, music, textiles and basket weaving.

Agricultural cultivations were also an important part of the Caral daily life. Colored cotton was the Caral product of choice for trade especially when it came to anchovies and shellfish arriving from Aspero, the first fishing town in the Americas, one of 19 contemporary settlements of this civilization.

Other contemporary settlements to Caral are Kotosh in Huánuco and Piruro in the Marañon Valley; Huaricoto and La Galgada in the Santa Valley; Las Haldas in the Casma Valley; El Paraíso in the Chillon Valley; Bandurria in Huacho and Culebras near to the Culebras Valley.