Altitude : 3100 to 4650m pass Cahuish
Grade : Easy – Driving Only
Duration : 1 day Start : Huaraz – Cahvin – Huaraz

The ruins of Chavin de Huantar are located to the east of the Cordillera Blanca, about 110km from Huaraz, and at an altitude of 3250m. This fortress-temple was constructed between 1200 and 300 BC and is the only large structure remaining from the Chavin culture. It is thought to have been a major ceremonial centre. In 1985 UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Trust Site.

Most visitors come here on a day trip from Huaraz. It is a long 4-hour drive along a largely unpaved twisting road, but things should improve in the future when the road is fully paved cutting the journey time in half. The most convenient way to visit Chavin is by means of an organized tour from Huaraz (Try Chavin or Pablo Tours). Prices cost around US$15 per person including entrance fees. Tours typically depart at 9am and return to Huaraz at about 8pm.

The Chavin are considered to be one of the most influential people to have lived in the Andes prior to the Incas (who arrived some 2000 years later). They certainly had one of the most sophisticated cultures.

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