Machu Picchu and Incas in general are THE civilization in South America. Everyone talks about them and visits their site. It seems like before them there was nothing. Well there was. And we did not even visit all of it. Here are 4 other great civilizations of Peru.
Kingdom of Chimor
They ruled northern coast of Peru which looks pretty much like a dessert. They created huge mud-brick city called Chan Chan. It’s one of the biggest construction of that kind in the world. Still there was really no one who wanted to see it so we visited it without any queues or crowds. I guess Peruvians think if there are no tourists yon don’t have to protect it so we also didn’t see any guards just an old man selling tickets.
Chan Chan was founded around 850 CE and conquered by the Incas in 1420 CE.
They ruled extended parts of Peruvian coast. Some say they were the inspiration for the Incas. But little is known about them. Close to Cuzco we managed to see their capital- Pikillaqta which was really impressive and… abandoned. A shame really, because rebuilt, it would be probably as breathtaking as Chan Chan.
Except for their capital, closeby Cusco there is also a Wari gate that was built over and upscaled by the Incas. It’s really weird to see and recognize two civilizations glued together.
Wari ruled parts of Peru between 500 CE and 1000 CE
They are also known as Warriors of the Clouds. No wonder as all their sites are situated in the cloud forest of the Amazon where most of the times it’s misty, cloudy and rainy. Chachapoyas probably developed around 750 CE and were later conquered by the Incas. They managed to create sarcophagi on a side of a cliff and caves in cliffs where they had their loved ones buried. They even came to visit their ancestors there… They also built a massive fortress called Kuelap which has more than 400 buildings inside. Not to mention its massive wall.
They created mud-brick pyramids in the northern coast of Peru (Huaca de la Luna y del Sol). Even though nowadays they don’t look like pyramids really, they have unbelievable wall paintings inside, full of colors, shapes and faces of different creatures.
Moche were in Peru between 100 CE and 800 CE.