Posted by: Ali | April 19, 2010

Huaca de la Luna

Huaca de la Luna was one of the best ruins I’ve been to so far, hands down.  Ollantaytambo was ingenious and well-fortified, Pisaq was beautiful, and Chan Chan was just really big, but Huaca de la Luna is so well preserved and so well presented that it is definitely worth a look.  At many of the other ruins guides will tell you that a wall used to be yellow, or white, or you may be able to faintly make out motifs, but only at Huaca de la Luna can you actually see the decorated walls as they used to look, without being “fixed” or “restored” by archaeologists.

Huaca de la Luna is one of two large pyramids outside of Trujillo.  The other is called Huaca del Sol, and they mean, respectively, Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Sun.  They were built by the Moche culture around 500 AD, so they were a different civilization than those who built Chan Chan even though they are just down the road from each other.

In between the two pyramids is a valley that once housed about 20,000 Moche people, which is important because according to legend, the Huacas were each built in only 3 days – a feat particularly impressive because the larger one, Huaca del Sol, required 130 million hand-made bricks and was the largest single adobe structure in all of the Western Hemisphere.

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  1. Sounds like it wwas magical. I can’t imagine how amazing it must have been given what I was lucky enough to see when I was there and yet this being more impressive still. Great to be able to keep reading your updates.


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