The Stonehenge of the Americas.


Hey explorer!

Welcome to Adventure Fix, the newsletter that helps you discover extraordinary journeys and experiences across the globe.

Today we are heading to the San Raphael District of Peru to…

Explore Chankillo, a pre-Inca solar observatory that is the oldest astrological complex in the Americas.

This journey takes you beyond the well-worn paths of Machu Picchu, into a lesser-known realm of wonder.



Chankillo Peru

Photo: Municipalidad Provincial de Casma

Situated in the Casma Valley within the Ancash Province, amidst the coastal desert of Peru, Chankillo stands as an archaeological marvel that unveils the ingenuity of its ancient inhabitants.

Covering an area of approximately 1.5 square miles (4 square kilometers), this archaeological site includes a hilltop fortress, communal gathering spaces, storage facilities, as well as ceremonial centers, and a temple within the fortress.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Chankillo is a collection of 13 stone towers strategically positioned along a low ridge.

As the sun rises and sets throughout the year, the towers cast shadows that sweep across the landscape.

During the solstices and equinoxes, the sun aligns perfectly with the outermost towers, creating a mesmerizing visual spectacle.

There are two lookout platforms, below the hill, one to the east (for watching the sunset) and one to the west (for watching the sunrise).

From this vantage point, Chankillo inhabitants could determine the date, with an accuracy of two to three days, allowing them to decide the best times for planting and harvest times.

These observation platforms made it possible to track the passage of time over an entire year. They are also what sets Chankillo apart from similar sites in Peru, which usually only feature one point of astronomical alignment.

Chankillo offers a glimpse into the lives of ancient peoples as well as their sophisticated understanding of astronomy, mathematics, and the interconnectedness of nature.

Chankillo Peru

Photo: Ivan Ghezzi


Explore More

If you would like to learn more, here are some links you can check out to get more information about exploring Chankillo.


How To Visit Chankillo

Chankillo is close to the Pan American Highway, so access is not difficult. If you have your own means of transport, you can visit the site independently.

This area is not as set up for tourism as other parts of the country so many visitors feel more comfortable going on an organized tour.

Some good options are PeruNorth, Tourismoi, and Valencia Travel Peru.

Some of these companies also have itineraries that visit the nearby Sechin Archeological Complex and Las Aldas.

The dry season (April to October) is generally considered the best time to visit Chankillo.

Pro tip: Visit this site in the morning before the coastal wind picks up.

Spending the night in the town of Casma, Barranca or Chimbote makes it possible to get to the sites early in the day.

We hope your travels take you in this direction very soon.

Until then - keep exploring!


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