I stayed in Lima a few days before flying to Cuzco and then hiking the Inka trail. Two women we met on the trail told us about pre-Inkan ruins inside the city of Lima and said they were amazing. So when Denise and I got back to Lima after Machu Picchu and from our trip down to Puno and back, we decided to go. The night before, we had dinner at a Parrillada (BBQ restaurant) with an AMAZING dinner deal – for about $25, we got 2 chorizo, 2 pieces of beef, and 2 pieces of pork, a big plate of fries with delicious sauces AND a bottle of wine! Dinner for 2 for $25? I’ll take it! They bring the meat sizzling on a grill to your table!! Holy foodgasm!
Walking back to the hostel, we could actually see the ruins! It blows my mind that you can WALK to ruins from where you are staying! INKA RUINS just walking around Lima!! The next morning, we walked to Huaca Pucllana. You can’t go in on your own (probably to preserve the ruins) so we waited a bit for a tour. The information the ruins was interesting, but the guide was a little less than thrilled about conducting the tour, so we added our own fun facts such as Denise asking “Do you know what the word Inka means?” Guide: “uhh BS BS BS” Me: raising hand “I do I do! .. a king or man with many wives!” I’m sure the guide was even more thrilled with us! But you gotta have fun!
Huaca Pucllana was used as a centralized location for the government, held ceremonies, there was a place for ritual games to be played and had a market. It was incredible seeing these bricks that were made so long ago, being able to be so close to them (you weren’t supposed to touch them) to see actual handprints and imprints of corn in the mud!
There was a tomb with an “important person” with items to use in the afterlife (much like the Egyptians) a “bodyguard” and a “baby”, the latter two were killed to usher the “important” person into the afterlife. That was really sad to me; two people were killed for each “important” person. It was heavy thinking of the way that certain lives were (and still are) deemed “more important” than others and worth sacrificing!
The sign reads “The bales are covered with reed ropes; inside is filled with leaves of Lantana and Pacae (a flowering plant) also placed are offerings related to their craft. In this tomb, there is a bundle for a weaver, a fisherman, and several sacrificed children. The burial destroyed the Lima wall. ” Definitely needed a moment to let that one sink in…. Having just a bit of fun with the exibits hehehe. One thing I learned from my amazing Inka Trail guide, Saul, was the difference in architectural style between the Inkas and the Pre-Inkas. You can see in this picture, the bricks are not completely even, and slope in certain places whereas Inka structures, such as Machu Picchu were so precise, even when carving stone, that you could scarcely put a paper in between the stones!
They also had an area with different crops growing, such as purple corn and hominy as well as a few Alpacas and Cuy – the guinea pig which is a delicacy for Peru. All in all, this was a great learning experience. I am a big fan of being able to see history up close and learn that way. I would definitely recommend Huaca Pucllana!