Archaeological Site of Chavin

Archaeological Site of Chavin

Archaeological Site of Chavin
4.5
About
Once a place of worship, these ruins have been traced to one of the earliest known Andean cultures.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles350 reviews
Excellent
197
Very good
125
Average
24
Poor
2
Terrible
2

wanderbee07
Toronto, Canada43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Solo
Loved my visit to this site. Well worth it if you can find an English guide and also have an appreciation for pre-Inca history. This was a culture with a fascinating cosmology and use of plant medicines.

The museum is about a 1 km straight walk from the site and is included in the price of admission (save your ticket). It's a small museum and not everything is in English, but there are original artifacts (like the stone heads) and such, which make the visit worth it.

Getting there early from Huaraz to avoid the droves of tourists isn't too difficult. From Huaraz, there's numerous taxis leaving for Chavin for approx 15-25 soles on average one way. The smaller cars are faster and more comfortable, but keep in mind that you should get a car with 4 passengers total to bring the cost down, otherwise you may be on the line to pay what the driver deems to be a profit for the drive.

There's a restaurant right beside the site called Buongiorno, which has a lovely atmosphere with lots of plants and a bit of a view of the site. It's reasonably priced and also has tasty options.

There are a lot of vendors outside of the site, with lovely crafts.

The Plaza de Armas is one of the nicest I've been to in Peru, with a CHAVIN stone letters carved with historically relevent symbolism.
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

yaktent
Lima, Peru51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Friends
This ruin is possibley the most under-visited monument in Peru.

Given that Chavin is one of the original and oldest sites (pre-Incan) of indigenous shamanism on the continent, you'd think people would be jumping at the chance to check it out. However, most people don't even know it's there.

The monument was devoted to plant medicine shamanism (Wachuma) and the site is comprised of various ritualistic spaces. The underground spaces are the most impressive, originally much more extensive than what has been excavated for tourism, and the outside has been largely taken over by nature. Even so, you get the idea.

The labyrinth of passages and storage/meditation/ceremonial rooms on the left side is intricately designed to be fully ventilated yet completely dark, and insulated from outside sound. The Right side houses the Lanzon (central statue) and is limited access.

The original design of the underground structure was also to be a myriad of sonic chambers where conch shell blasts echoed and the river was diverted to imitate the roar of jaguars.

Much of the sculpture art that adorned the sides and grounds of the ruin (specifically the cabezas clavas, or head nails, carved tiles and Wachuma pots) has been relocated to the museum in town for safeguarding. Some pieces reside in Lima.

I experienced the ruins with a guide by the name of Martin Loarte Valenzuela, who's father was the guardian of the premises after it was excavated. Martin grew up living on the ruins, and playing on the lanzon, only moving into town in 2001 when the Peruvian Government mandated that families could no longer have houses on site.

As such, he is extremely connected firsthand to the monument, its history and shamanic lineage, and I would HIGHLY recommend seeking him out to fully experience the legacy and potency of Chavin.
Written March 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ron S
New York City, NY5,712 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Friends
One of the best sites I visited in Peru. Even though the Lanzon is displayed very poorly, with a protective glass 6 feet away one can't see no detail whatsoever. That was the only disappointment as I really wanted to see it. Access to all points of significance such as the Circular Plaza, the Main Portal Gates is severely restricted so use your zoom lens if you want to take close-up pictures of bas-reliefs and other details. The replicas of the Tello Obelisk and Stella Raimondi are displayed on the site (both originals are in Lima museums). It's a pity we could not visit the Chavin Museum as they have lots of artifacts on display there.

There are confusing statements about the road to Chavin de Huantar from Huaraz. In fact, they are so confusing that I expected to see a tiny one-way road hardly passable by a car so I planned accordingly. Nothing can be further from the truth. The road is a two-lane highway wide enough for three cars. The first half (up to the tunnel) is a modern well-maintained highway, though after the tunnel it becomes a bumpy dirt road, full of potholes, still wide but paved rather sporadically. It takes it about 3 hours one way. We flagged a taxi near Plaza de Armas in Huaraz for S/. 180 for the roundtrip and tipped the guy S/. 20. Don't hire a cab at the bus station, those people are rip-off artists demanding $250 for the ride.
Written October 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FFS332
Raleigh, NC17 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
First of all this is not in the Lima Region but actually in the Ancash Department about 3 of Huaraz (which is a town 8 hours from Lima in the Peruvian mountains). Having cleared all that up the actual ruins are pretty nice but nothing special. The scenery is pretty and it is in a beautiful setting but the 3 hour drive from Huaraz just does not make it a must do in my opinion. The road is terribly maintained and makes for a less then comfortable trip and when you arrive it is a little underwhelming for the effort it takes to get to the site.
Written April 17, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travis B
Seattle, WA6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Couples
I have visited ruins all over Peru: coastal ruins and mountain ruins. I have seen Machu Pichu, Ollantaytambo, Kuelap, Sipan, Chan Chan, Sasquaywaman, and dozens more. I think Chavin might be my favorite ruins. Great energy, beautiful carvings and artwork, excellent history, and a lot of uniqueness.

We found a recommended Huachumero in town named Martin, who used to live in the ruins, and he gave us an excellent tour of the ruins during a Huachuma ceremony he performed for us (Huachuma is also known as San Pedro - a medicinal and visionary cactus used extensively at these ruins for thousands of years). Drinking this medicine at the ruins made the experience especially powerful and insightful for my wife and I.
Written October 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheHofHostel
Huaraz, Peru15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013
I think the best articulation I've heard of this place is that it is not so much a temple as it is a machine to channel energy. If you get the chance, find a good Huachumero and have a day of San Pedro here. The energy within is still very much alive and able to be tapped. It has a very good potential to give you a game-changer experience in life.
Written May 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

megwaltney
Nashville, TN10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2012 • Friends
It's a long drive from Huaraz, but the mountain views along the way make up for it. The actual site is well preserved although only a fraction of it has been discovered. Definitely hire a tour guide if you would like to know more about what you are looking at. Guides can be hired at the entrance and usually charge about 30 soles. The site also has a museum in another location. The museum is a great stop to see some of the actual artifacts discovered at Chavin since they are held at the museum rather than the site. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the Incas and forget that there were flourishing cultures in Peru long before the Incas came around. Chavin is a great reminder of that.
Written October 10, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sg421
San Salvador75 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Solo
At first I thought it would only take half an hour to walk around this site, and was beginning to regret the 3 hour trip (on rough roads) from Huaraz. However, the main plaza of the ruins is quite interesting, and there are a number of great little galerias (tunnels) inside the main building.

Like a lot of places in Peru it seems, there is only a limited amount of signage - though Chavin is better than most, and what there is is in English and Spanish.

Combined with a visit to the new museum nearby, this makes a good day out.
Written July 15, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

docgary
Beaumont, TX223 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2012 • Friends
Chavin de Huantar is an archaeological site. It has the ruins of Chavin, a civilization that developed its culture in about 900 BC, long before the most famous Inca which you see at Machu Picchu. The site is located at a altitude of 10,400 nestled between two mountain ranges. The nearest town is Huaraz, Chavin, and most people make a day trip from Huaraz to Chavin which can reach through a mountain road which is a experience untoo itself with its almost prohibitive passing but the slow drive allows your to enjoy the incrediable landscape of the Andes. We stayed the night in Chavin at the Hotel Inca( this not like a hotel in the US). We hired a local spanish speaking guide at the ruins . The ruins are not like Machu Picchu, so don't go with that intention in mind. The most known are the Circular Plaza, probably a sacred site located within an area ceremonial, and the New Temple, built between 500 and 200 BC, consists of a gallery and a square, which contains numerous sculptures. The highlight is"Lanzon", a monolithic sculpture that represents demigod, whose job was to impress or even intimidate the faithful. I found the history and the archaeology very interesting. It is definitely off the tourist path, but was well worth the trip for us.
Written June 20, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

stormbird
Pennsylvania3,814 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Solo
I went to Chavin on a last minute's notice. After seeing Machu Picchu twice, Ollantaytambo twice, Pisac and Moray, I thought I would not be impressed by Chavin, given it's size and from the pictures I saw online. Why take a six hour drive, round trip just to see another ruin?

Well, at first glance, I wasn't too impressed, but I got a guide and was soon totally immersed in the history of Chavin. Once we got to the tunnels, I was absolutely amazed.

Chavin is worth the day spent visiting the site. Very impressive indeed! Loved it!
Written June 13, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Archaeological Site of Chavin, Chavin de Huantar

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