Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
The Chavín de Huántar archaeological site, belonging to the period 1,000 - 300 BC, epitomizes the development of Andean culture. Situated at 3,185 masl (10,450 fasl) and just three hours from the city of Huaraz by road, the Chavín religious center was built entirely of stone, with underground passages and a series of pyramid structures. Inside the complex, figures in low relief can be seen in the arches and columns, combining feline characters, birds of prey and serpents which are typical motifs of Chavín iconography. In the subterranean gallery stands the Lanzón, a 3.75-meter (12 feet) high monolith, with the shape of a giant spear. Chavín is one of the most ancient sacred sites in the Americas.