009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

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009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:36 pm

Ive got a lot of pics from SA, 1000s upon 1000s, just sorting them is a job in itself. After rackin my brain for a way to share some with yall, i came up with this.......

My top ten Ruins list of SA.
I dig ruins. About my favorite thing to do when traveling is finding a pile of rocks stacked up by somebody, the longer ago, the better!
Every ruins experience is different, even if at the same place. So many variables can make a site so much more then just an ancient house, storeroom, or temple......
Weather, terrain, climate, animals and insects, amount of people, and who you are with.


10 - Batan Grande
Just north of Chiclayo, Peru. Chiclayo is a neat urban town. Not a lot of foreign tourist stuff going on. I stayed just off the plaza de armas. Also visited the ruins of Sipan, which is an easy collectivo ride and worth the effort.

While i consider the the 'ruins of batan grande' to actually be 5 different sites/ruins/temples, set in the largest dry forest in the world. In the area are also the ruins of tucume, and the museo tumbes, which holds the treasures of sipan. I also visited those in the same day.

After taking a combi from chiclayo to tacume, then a 20 minute walk to the impressive ruins of tucume, I hiked back into town and asked a mototaxi driver if he wanted to take me on a tour of Batan Grande. He was quite happy to do something different, and jumped at the chance. I scored with this dude, he knew a bit about the history, and knew where all the good spots were. He charged me 40 soles for about 3 hours, which was a bit high, but i didnt care, it was worth every penny.
The area was at one time densely populated, and was based on agricultural and trade. These people were some serious goldsmiths as well.

Theory is strong el ninos had a devastating effect on food production, which led to loss of power by the elite, who as gods, didnt look so good when the other gods seeemingly could not pleased. A common theme in the decline of city states on the north/central coast of peru, and other parts of the world. The early culture of northern peru, which evolved into the moche and chimu, is theorized to have combined with the cultures of nazca and tiwanaku, to form the Wari culture that dominated the central highlands, and laid the foundation for the inca culture....
Literally, they built most of the roads the incas used. More on the Wari in another edition.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moche
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=-6.464505 ... gl=us&z=16


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9 - Caral
This had the potential to be in the top 3 on my list, but this place had rules....
When i visit ruins, i go for the day. I get there early, i bring lunch, i try to check every square inch of the place. Caral is a huge site. It had the best paths, and the best signage of any ruin site i have visited in SA and CA. Yet you are only allowed to take a one hour tour, with a group of at least 10, and you cant leave the group. You see a fraction of the site. I ditched my group and made it on my own for almost 3 hours before i was kicked out. I was furious. I hadnt experienced anything like it at any ruins site id been to in peru. While i do understand the delicate nature of this site, it was laid out for self guiding, and it seems they actually did to good of a job.... Setting up a site so people can guide themselves doesnt give useless guides that make stuff up jobs. So it seems all that was done for nothing, unless you break the rules, then its pretty kooool. If not for that experience, and it being towards the end of my trip, i likely would of spent a week in this valley hanging out and ruin hoping.

Caral is Its also a very old site, it rewrote the timeline of south america culture when it was dated. This place was around when the Egyptians were building the great pyramids. Caral was said to be the oldest urban center in the americas, but other sites in the area have been found to be older. If you like desert scenery, the area is spectacular. Its obvious that most of what looks good has been rebuilt. Im sure this site was nothing more than piles of dirt a few years back. This site has had a lot of money dumped into it, and more is on its way since it can be visited in a daytrip from Lima. Peru is trying to improve other sites, as well as infrastructure to them, attempting to get people to see more than just machu picchu and leaving.

I stayed in Barranca, a tourist would see nothing in this town. After almost 2 years in SA, and having only a few weeks left, i thoroughly enjoyed my window overlooking the mototaxi v bus v combi wars on this action packed strip of the panamerica. Took a shared taxi to the town outside the ruins, the driver took me the rest of the way to entrance, then a 20 minute walk i stretched into an hour and half through the shady trees along the river, then up to a viewpoint overlooking the site. To return i walked all the way back to town, 45 minutes. Then waited about 45 minutes for shared taxi. 2 went before me, and the one i was in was waaaaay full.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caral
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=caral&ll= ... s&t=h&z=16


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7 - Chavin de Huantar

Thought to be the cultural center/origin of the of the precolonial south american world. The ideas created here would last until the incas, and still exist today. The influence of this place is so strong, that in the timeline of culture history of SA, the Chavin Horizon is the period from around 600-300 bc, and it was a time of great advances in agriculture, building, trade, and most of all the spread of a religion throughout the precolonial world.

I visited on a day trip from Huaraz, and arrived in huaraz on an amazing, top of the world bus journey from Huanuco. I dont normaly do the daytrip thing, but i went with a girl from the hostel. The cost wasnt really that much more. It sucked getting rushed through the ruins though. After checking the town of Chavin itself, i really wish i would of stayed a night there. The museum in town was worth the visit. The site itself does not cover much area, but whats there is incredible, and being able to go inside was pretty kool. The main temple has been added to over time, though not in layers like the pyramids of the mayan world. This place was just made bigger.

It was a ceremonial center, and these people tripped hard on likely whatever they could get there hands on. Its not known if everybody was in on the party, or if just the shamans were allowed to enter the other world. The main deity is carved on a rock, and in a buried room. This carved rock was the center of the chavin world. Zoomorphic dietys cover the site, feline to man. Caches of seashell instruments have been found. The layout fits the theory that you might be set on a spiritual journey, and the site was used to influence such journeys one may say. The engineering to build this site was impressive, somebody had a plan. A creek runs under the site, and not only were large rocks moved to build the site, but considerable planning and earth moving had to be done.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav%C3%ADn_culture
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav%C3%AD ... %C3%A1ntar
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=chavin+d ... u&t=h&z=15


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Im not quite sure how long its gonna take me to get the next installment of this done....
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Tomska » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:56 pm

Interesting stuff - thanks for posting.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby judik » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:12 pm

I'm with you- I love ruins and the provincial museums that show their treasures
I had no idea there were such ancient sites in SA
The settings are stunning

The picture with the round face is remarkably similar to stuff I saw in Turkey and Sicily

Thanks for sharing
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Bill Barilko » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:15 pm

Great post-Thanks for this-looking forward to the next installment!

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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby polardude1 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:56 pm

I visited the Chavin ruins in peru and Tawaniku in Bolivia. There are quite a few pre Inca sites all over Peru.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:19 pm

Judik, the history of SA goes back further and further with constant new discoverys.
Its crazy to think that some of these piles of rocks and dirt are over 3500 years old! Just try to Imagine the amazing structures that didnt last, much less the ones that were built before the type of technology/building techniques existed that could make such permanent structures. Or cities that were built along the coast and have been lost as the oceans have risen.
We dont know much about human history.

Pdude... I missed tiwanaku, gutted.
It just didnt work out that i could. There is a lot left for me to do in bolivia, and i look forward to my return.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby polardude1 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Tiwaniku predates the Inca by centuries

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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby chimes » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:44 pm

Amazing! Beautiful!

Thanks for sharing here.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:10 pm

polardude1 wrote:Tiwaniku predates the Inca by centuries

Most the ruins in SA predate then incas. Then incas just get all the pre55.
The reality is, the inca empire wasnt around very long. Most of the sites that are attributed to the inca have a history that predates them as well. The inca ruins have got the most publicity, are just on top, in the best condition/most restored, or are the most noticeable.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby polardude1 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:21 pm

Being the last empire befire the arrival fo the Spanish, they were the ones who left the most intact phsical stamp in that part of SA
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:58 am

polardude1 wrote:Being the last empire befire the arrival fo the Spanish, they were the ones who left the most intact phsical stamp in that part of SA

While that is true, some of it has to do with marketing.....
Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas are the most marketed ruin sites in the world. For something that was 'found' a hundred years ago, the pilgrimage to MP that has been manufactured is as awe inspiring as the ruins themselves.
Peru has spent decades promoting only cusco and machu picchu, but that is changing. Major pushes are being made to make sites such as caral and kuelep more accessible, and more visible to tourists.
Its amazing how many people, even those who are in peru as tourist visiting ruins, have no idea how far back the history of humans in peru go, and generally also shocked at how short a time the incas ruled.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby polardude1 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:45 am

As far as historic charm and setting , it really is hard to beat Cusco and MP.I enjoyed the Sacred Valley just as much as MP. The trek itself was...ok and is now overpriced. Cordillera Huayhuash, near Haurez, was far better, Local to MP, I have recommended to travelers the Salkantay trek. Lake Titicaca was over marketed.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:03 pm

Cusco is the anus of south america.....
Every backpacking loooser, wheelie bag toting tourist, kids who honestly dont even know where they are while getting pi55ed on their gap year trip, that end up on the continent of SA, pass through Cusco at some time. That hot steaming pile is then pinched off on MP.
If you find that charming, so be it........ Ill be in Ayacucho.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby rider5 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:17 pm

I'm indifferent to ruins at best, but I enjoyed your post and pics. Keep them coming.

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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby polardude1 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:18 pm

Historic tourist destinations are popular for a reason. There is plenty to see in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley area
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:16 pm

polardude1 wrote:Cordillera Huayhuash, near Haurez, was far better, Local to MP, I have recommended to travelers the Salkantay trek. Lake Titicaca was over marketed.

When i go back ill check those out.
As for titicaca, copacabana was dumb, didnt do puno or the floating isles. After hearing 1000s of reports on them at the bar in la paz, didnt feel the need.

On isle del sol there are 2 towns, south and north. the south town is full of hotels and pizza shacks, uphill has great views though.
The north town is where its at. Just a few hotels, including a great hippie place up on the hill, maybe 3 places to eat, no internets, a beach, and a nice easy hike to some sweeet ruins that have a private beach.

polardude1 wrote:Historic tourist destinations are popular for a reason. There is plenty to see in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley area

While true, I still say part of it is marketing.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby polardude1 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:19 pm

Actually one of the most impressive site were the salt pans ( Salineras0, outside of Urabamba
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:30 pm

Salineras, that place was awesome! I got a big bag of salt, it was good. The town of urubamba was nice to spend a few nights.

The ruins site of chinchero that is usually done in a daytrip combined with salineras, was also way kooool. That and if the theory is correct, it was used as a sort of place to experiment with agriculture. Having that bit of usefulness makes the site all that more impressive to me. Like seeing the water flow through the aqueducts at another sacred valley site, Tipon. It adds another layer to the experience, making whats around you more then just a pile of rocks.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby polardude1 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:39 pm

The ruins site of chinchero that is usually done in a daytrip combined with salineras, was also way kooool.

i went there on tyhe way balc to Cusco after a few dasy in teh Sacred Valley. They ahd a nice market

That and if the theory is correct, it was used as a sort of place to experiment with agriculture.


That was Maras. It's theorized that the Incas experimented temperature fluctuations for rice and potato crops in the terraced circles. You can walk to Solanaras fro Maras and onto Urabamba
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:42 pm

Ya, ya thats the name We took a taxi to the salt pans from Maras, then hiked from there back to town.....
That was a great day.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby northern_goddess » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:33 pm

Great pictures, looking forward to more. It's awesome there are so few people there.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:31 pm

NoGs.... While these, and honestly, any ruin site that is slightly off the gringo trail are empty, i dont take many pictures that have people in them.
Batan Grande i saw nobody, Caral had a group of english speaking exchange students from lima, as i was leaving, around 1, another 30 people had shown up. There were a lot of stalls set up to sell stuff on site, and people selling food and drink, giving horserides near the entrance in typical SA style capitalism. I would guess that Caral has busy times, especially on weeekends.
Other then the group of 7 i was with at Chavin, there was another group of 2 with a guide, and a few others wondering around. As hyped as the site is, and as many tourist pa55 through Huaraz, i expected more people.
Chavin was the most heavily protected site i visited..... As in 4 well armed guards.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Lost Soul » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:53 am

Well done, Jack.

This is on the short list for post of the year.

I'm looking forward to 7 through 1.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of SA, 10-8......

Postby Agent009 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:36 pm

Im glad people are enjoying this. Being in these places were the highlights of my adventure.
The next one is almost done..... Should be up soon.
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