View from Marcahuasi. © Martintoy
Marcahuasi is a plateau in the Andes. Travellers who are interested in the mythical side of Peruvian culture will find it a wonderful excursion from nearby Lima. The mountains are home to some massive and remarkable rock formations of mysterious origin, which seem to depict various animals, human faces, and other symbols. There is debate about whether the formations are natural or man-made, and theories abound as to how the sculptures could have been made and why. Visitors will also see ruins on the north side of the plateau, where more than 50 structures stand in varying states of dilapidation. Some locals view the plateau with superstitious awe, and consider it a spiritual site of great power. The dramatic landscape doesn't see many tourists. Marcahuasi has camp sites and the views from the plateau are breathtakingly beautiful. Nights can be freezing cold, though. Visitors can rent tents, mattresses and other equipment in the village of San Pedro de Casta, which is the gateway to Marcahuasi. Local guides are also available.