I didn't time it exactly, but I think this is about 3 hours north of central Lima. It's quite a ride, but well worth it.
Just 18 years ago, this area was simply a series of hills until an observant scientist recognized that the placement of the hills simply couldn't be a natural occurrence. Her efforts soon unearthed this startling site. Not only an unknown civilization, but the oldest civilization in the Western Hemisphere and perhaps the second oldest in the world, preceded only by Mesopotamia.
The civilization of Caral formed and prospered in isolation, with no other competing or cooperating civilizations from which to learn. It's accomplishments are completely its own. It was also a peaceful culture, with no signs of fortifications evident and no weapons of any kind found.
Caral's distance from Lima makes it less popular with tourists than some other sites. When I was there, on a weekend, there were fewer than 10 other people sharing it with me. Go, and be one of the few who actually walk amidst a discovery that has truly changed history.
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