Huaraz Peru Pre-Inca Archaeological Site, Willcawain

by Captain Bill

Huaraz Peru pre-Inca Archaeological sites, Willcawain and Ichic Willcawain

Marmelita and a local woman at the Willcawain pre-historical archaeological site near Huaraz Peru

Marmelita and a local woman at the Willcawain pre-historical archaeological site near Huaraz Peru

Our second day in Huaraz Peru we made arrangements to hire a guide with a car for $10 to drive us to the closest archaeological site, Willcawain, approximately 7 kilometers to the north-east. One of the best moves we made was meeting Teo Pineda Poma, of Teo Tours. He turned out to be a great guy, a knowledgeable guide,and an interesting conversationalist in Spanish.

A local man hoeing corn on the road from Huaraz Peru to the prehistoric site of Willcawain

A local man hoeing corn on the road from Huaraz Peru to the prehistoric site of Willcawain

We enjoyed riding up the steep road, through a primitive agricultural area. There were no tractors or any other labor saving devices. We saw men and women hoeing corn on steep hill sides, milking cows in the pastures, carrying fodder on foot to feed the livestock, and making adobe blocks out of clay mud and straw. All on steep slopes. We saw field after field, fenced in with stone walls, of potatoes and peas in full bloom which were lovely looking. These people work hard.

When we arrived at Willcawain we learned it is the largest pre-historic building near Huaraz, and the largest above ground burial chamber (Chullpa) in this part of the Andes. Because of the location, size of the structure, and the quality of the building technique, archaeologists surmise that very important members of the Willcawain culture were buried there.

Marmelita in the top level of the burial building at Willcawain

Marmelita in the top level of the burial building at Willcawain

The site was rediscovered in 1882, and first studied by the archaeologist Julio C. Tello in 1919. The chronological time period was 700-1100 AD, simultaneous with the Wari Culture.

We also visited a smaller near-by site called Ichic Willcawain.

I am at the smaller archaeological site, Ichic-Willcawain

I am at the smaller archaeological site, Ichic-Willcawain

When Teo drove us back to the Santa Cruz hotel I made an executive decision to move to the only hotel we found in Huaraz with wireless internet in the rooms, El Tumi. Marmelita was not happy. She felt at home at the Santa Cruz, and had made friends with Pamela, Gertrudes, Willy, and Pascal, the people that run the hotel. I was in complete agreement, I loved the hotel, the view, and the people.

I am typing and will publish this post from our noisy, small room, with the small bed, and an ugly view of concrete at El Tumi. El Tumi’s redeeming feature is wireless internet through-out the hotel, from the lobby and restaurant to every room, for $48. I hope Marmelita will get over this move soon. I like it here.

Huaraz Peru pre-Inca Archaeological sites, Willcawain and Ichic Willcawain

I recommend Teo Pineda Poma of Teo Tours. Cel.# 943916208 or 943080595. He is 31 years old with 8 years of experience as a driver and guide. He only speaks spanish but his enunciation is slow and distinct. I could understand a lot of his conversation. I liked his personality and his knowledge of the area.

Bill Grimes is president of Dawn on the Amazon, enjoying exploring around Huaraz Peru.

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