Purochuco is the site of pre-Incan ruins in La Molina, in the eastern suburbs of Lima. The site is a combination of museum and active archeological investigation. The place is small, but interesting.
Like a maze. But made out of adobe. And a palace.
We visited purochuco on 11/2/2016, and the place was really quiet. It will cost 5 soles to enter, or 20 if you want a guide. The guide may be useful, as a lot of the descriptions of things are only in Spanish. We didn’t get a guide of course, and I just relied on Renée to translate.
The museum part features a collection of artifacts of the local pre-Incan culture uncovered at the site. It gives you a hint at their way of life. What I found most interesting was comparing these artifacts with those from pre-European Australian Indigenous culture. It’s amazing how cultures half a world apart, with vastly different environments and resources find solutions to the same needs.
Purochuco is also an archeological site still under active investigation. Punters are able to explore the excavated palace, but unfortunately the other areas are closed off. This is a bit shit, I would have liked to see what is being uncovered now and how the investigations take place. Hopefully more areas will be made open to the public soon.
The palace is cut into the hills
Apart from that minor complaint, the palace is quite impressive, cut into the stark grey hills that surround Lima. All the major areas are described in both English and Spanish. What I couldn’t figure out was whether the palace is more or less in its original state, or to what extent it has been restored. Either way, not a bad place.
Like Renee said, the urban sprawl of Lima is slowly encroaching on Purochuco. Houses are maybe 100m away from the palace, and they are cutting a freeway tunnel into the hill right next door. I’m not sure how much tension to expect between history and culture and “progress” in Lima. Hopefully not too much gets lost.
Urban sprawl creeps up on Purochuco