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SOUTH OF HUARAZ
Chavín de Huántar archaeological site
Chavín is located at the beginning of a narrow valley formed by the Pukcha or Mosna River, which originates from the melt water of the Cordillera Blanca and runs down to the Marañón River, one of the tributaries of the Amazon.
It lies in the heart of the Andes at 3180 meters above sea level, forming part of the so-called Callejón de Conchucos that runs from south to north. Two mountain ranges, the Cordilleras Blanca and Negra, separate Chavín from the ocean and two other chains separate it from the Amazon jungle. The central one rises between the Marañón and Huallaga drainages and the eastern one separates the waters of the Huallaga and Ucayali rivers. This geographic situation creates a series of difficulties for communication among resident human populations, whose relative proximity is mediated by the altitude and the irregularity of the terrain.
This is the birthplace of early civilization. A visitor leaving Chavín de Huántar may feel a complex sensation that is a mixture of emotion, stupor and magic, not only for having come in contact with one of the most powerful and sensitive archaeological centers, but also because Chavín is capable of transmitting a unique vision of our identity, history and strengths.
As great and imposing as Machu Picchu, Chavín de Huántar is an archaeological complex built by the Chavín culture more than three thousand years ago. Declared to be a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1985, the monument is composed of impressive stone constructions with enigmatic interior galleries. Its stone carvings consist of tenoned heads, incised stone slabs and hydraulic canals. The enigmatic Lanzón shows fine technique, a heightened aesthetic sense and, above all, a refined sense of cult and spirituality.