On my final day in Lima, I looked at the tour brochure to find a 1/2 day tour to fill my morning. My options – a museum or going to the outdoor ruins of Pachacamac. To be honest, it was a time filler and I figured I could always learn something – I had no expectations. This was my first experience with the tour company (the only bus tour company it seemed) and it wasn’t the greatest in terms of pick up, waiting for tour bus, etc. which marred the experience a bit but the guide was wonderful – young, friendly and knowledgeable.
We would drive about an hour outside of town, passing the houses on the hills, the daily life of people shopping and the crazy buses (there is no public transit so you see many small private buses with a guy hanging outside to yell the route as it slowed on the street).
Arriving at the site, which has a view of the Pacific Ocean on a clear day (this was not one of those days) and the Andes mountains on the other, I was struck but the sand, dirt and color beige – this really is an active site. There is a small museum, cafe and crafts vendors at the entrance. This day, there was a small crowd of visitors and many schoolchildren, most of whom were walking through the site, we would drive to each marked area.
At one time a religious site for the Incan people, you can climb up to the top to see the former altar and the panorama of the area. The rest of the site is focused on the architecture of the Incans which used mud and bricks to build their village.
The admission fee is $2, as it is about an hour outside of town, you will need a car to get there. Not sure if a taxi would be cheaper, I opted for the small group tour. Our tour was about two hours at the site, driving between points of interest, if you choose to walk/hike, then allow for more time. It was an interesting side trip from Lima to learn of the history of the Incans and the ongoing work that continues today so a good choice to fill my time.