The majesty of the palaces, temples, plazas, and the high truncated pyramid at the site convey to us the political, cultural, and religious hierarchy of ancient Pachacámac. In the pre-Inca and Inca periods, it was the most important oracle of the Peruvian coast, where thousands of pilgrims travelled from the farthest corners of ancient Peru.
The god Pachacámac, indigenous to the central coast, survived the influence of the Incas and the Spanish. According to Inca mythology, he was the god of fire and the child of the sun, rejuvenator of the world—in short, the creator of the world and all the creatures that inhabit it.
The first settlements at the site date to 200 B.C., but construction of the shrine began with the flourishing of the Lima culture (1300 A.D. to 1400 A.D.), with the Temple of Urpiwachak to the west of the site and the Juncture of Adobitos, two large buildings that demonstrate mastery of complex architectural techniques.
400 years before the Incas established themselves, the Ichma culture erected the great Ceremonial Center: roads, numerous temples with ramps, and the Painted Temple are examples of their religious town planning.
Upon arriving in the valley, the Incas adapted the pre-existing structures for their own administrative needs, desecrating the city and losing the oracle at the center. They built the Temple of the Sun, the Acllahuasi, the Plaza of Pilgrims, and other palaces whose careful reconstructions allows us to envisage the site as it was 500 years ago.
Today, the shrine of Pachacámac is an archaeological complex that includes a museum where visitors may browse artifacts from the Wari, Lima, Ichma, and Inca cultures—most notably the Wooden idol (ídolo de Madera), which depicts Pachacámac.
Location: 31 km (19 miles) up the Panamericana Sur highway
Average temperature: 18 °C (64 °F), with a maximum of 27 °C (81 °F) and a minimum of 15 °C (59 °F)
Season: The most humid season is the summer, from June to September.
Access by Land: approximately 45 minutes from Lima by carñ.