One of the most important pre-Colombian sites in Lima, the Huaca is also home to a celebrated restaurant.
The adobe structure is a great place to learn about Peruvian pre-history and how it still influences contemporary culture.
For most visitors and Peruvians alike, Peru’s pre-Colombian history is dominated by the Incas. Yet the celebrated empire only existed for around two centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th Century and was just the chronological climax of millennia of civilization in the Andean region. One of the many cultures that preceded the Incas was the Lima culture, from around 200AD to 700AD, along what is modern-day Peru’s central Pacific coast. It is the mysterious Lima people — writing never developed in the Andes, meaning that there is no written record of their way of life —who left behind what may be the Peruvian capital’s greatest archeological site, the Huaca Pucllana, a five-minute walk from Atemporal.
Often described as a “pyramid”, the Huaca Pucllana is an 80ft-high structure made from adobe bricks believed to have been an important ceremonial site. Huaca actually means “sacred” in the indigenous Quechua language still spoken by millions of Peruvians today and has even been adapted to the modern-day Peruvian Spanish verb huaquear, meaning to steal archeological artefacts. Fortunately, the Huaca Pucllana is now in good hands, allowing visitors to tour the site and even meet endemic Peruvian animals firsthand, from llamas to guinea pigs and, of course, Peruvian hairless dogs. There are also recreations of daily life in the Lima culture, a small museum showing ceramics and other artefacts found at the Huaca, and an exhibition of local plants.
Visiting the Huaca by day is a great experience. However, at night it may be even better. It is home to an eponymous, celebrated restaurant, which specializes in Peruvian classics as well as Italo-Peruvian fusion. Although you can lunch at the Huaca Pucllana, by night the ruins are lit up with colored lights, making for a dazzling backdrop to your culinary experience. With much of the restaurant al fresco, dining there is a magical experience, especially in the sensuous embrace of the Lima summer, from Christmas through March or April.
To visit the Huaca Pucllana as part of your stay with Atemporal, contact email@example.com or on +51 1 700 5106 or, if you are in the US, 347 713 7030/34.