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Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 22-08-2023

Found in the North of Peru, amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the coastal desert, lies an ancient marvel that has captured the curiosity of astronomers, archaeologists, and travelers alike – the Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex. Often dubbed as the "Stonehenge of the Americas," Chankillo stands as a testament to the ingenuity of ancient civilizations and their profound connection with the cosmos. This remarkable and largely unheard-of archaeological site is of incredible significance and contains the oldest and best-preserved astronomical observatory in the Americas. Read on for more fascinating insight into this ancient astronomical observatory of the Casma people and why you should think about a visit to this lesser-visited archaeological site in Peru.


Chankillo is a fascinating archaeological site that offers a glimpse into ancient Peruvian civilizations and their relationship with astronomy. Chanquillo is located in the Casma Valley, about 5 hours north of Lima by car. If you're looking to escape the big smoke when you visit Lima, head out to Chankillo for a few days!

Casma Valley


A Glimpse into the Past: Unearthing Chankillo's Secrets

Dating back over 2,300 years, Chankillo is an ancient Peruvian site that consists of a series of 13 towers built atop a low ridge. These towers are strategically aligned along a north-south axis, providing an extraordinary example of prehistoric astronomical planning. Researchers believe that this complex was designed to track the movement of the sun along the horizon, with specific alignments coinciding with solstices and equinoxes.


When you travel to Lima Peru, head up north to Chankillo. The site dates back to the late Initial Period (around 400-200 BC) and is believed to have been a ceremonial center.

Aerial Shot of Chankillo


Chasing the Sun: The Astronomical Significance

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. This alignment allowed the ancient observers to mark the changing seasons and track time with remarkable accuracy, underscoring their profound understanding of celestial cycles.


While on Lima Peru tours, if you have the time head to Chankillo. The central features of Chankillo are the series of 13 stone towers built atop a ridge, which are thought to have served as an ancient solar observatory.

Sunrise at Chankillo


Archaeoastronomy Unveiled

Chankillo provides a unique window into the lives and minds of the people who inhabited this region centuries ago. It offers a glimpse into their sophisticated understanding of astronomy, mathematics, and the interconnectedness of nature. Imagine standing amidst these ancient stone structures, feeling a profound connection to those who walked this land long before us, and marveling at their ability to align monumental architecture with the cosmos.


Chankillo features a complex of circular and rectangular structures, as well as a central plaza. The site is spread out over a large area and offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. As a Lima Travel Agency, we can help you get there!

Astronomical Site


The Journey to Chankillo: Exploring Peru's Archaeological Treasures

For travelers with a passion for history, Chankillo is a must-visit destination. The journey takes you beyond the well-trodden paths of Machu Picchu, into a lesser-known realm of wonder. As you venture through the arid landscape, you'll encounter the remnants of an ancient civilization that left its mark through ingenuity and vision. Guided tours provide insight into the cultural and historical context of Chankillo, enriching your experience with the stories of its creators. By having multiple observation points, Chankillo is unique among ancient observatory sites. Similar sites elsewhere in Peru, and worldwide, contain only one point of astronomical alignment, which does not provide the measurements necessary to track the passage of time over a full year. 


Our private tours in Lima have expert guides that canexplain the fascinating site of Chankillo. Due to its remote location, it's advisable to arrange a guided tour with Valencia Travel.

Archaeologists at Chankillo


The Rediscovery

Although Chankillo's towers had been known of for centuries, it was only in 2007 that archaeologists Ivan Ghezzi and Clive Ruggles provided a full hypothesis of their use and importance, in which they concluded that sun worship existed in pre-Columbian Peru nearly 2,000 years before the well-known sun cult of the Inca Empire.


Visiting Chankillo on a personalized Peru tour offers a unique opportunity to explore this ancient astronomical site.  You will be able to gain insight into the advanced knowledge and skills of Peru's ancient civilizations.

Tower at Chankillo

Preservation and Future Exploration

While Chankillo has survived the test of time, it's essential that we continue to safeguard this unique archaeological gem for future generations. Conservation efforts and responsible tourism are crucial in maintaining the site's integrity and ensuring that its legacy endures. In this way, visitors can appreciate the magnificent history, culture, art, and architecture of the ancient civilizations such as The Casma people, that once dwelled in this region of Peru.

According to researchers, Chankillo is the only observatory from the ancient world that we know of, that is a complete annual solar calendar. Find out more fascinating facts about this ancient site on a personalized Peru tour.

Chankillo Aerial Shot

Why Do an Adventure Tour to Chankillo?

Chankillo stands as a testament to Peru's rich history and cultural heritage. By undertaking this adventure, you'll step into the footsteps of ancient civilizations, unlocking the mysteries of an archaeological marvel that has captivated historians and explorers alike. Immerse yourself in the magic of Chankillo, where every stone tells a story waiting to be discovered. The fact that it is relatively difficult to reach, means that you will probably have the archaeological site to yourself which is perfect if you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience on your Peru Vacation Package.

In addition to the towers, Chanquillo features a complex of circular and rectangular structures, as well as a central plaza. The site offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape, that can be seen on a custom Peru tour.

Model of Chankillo

Why a visit to Chankillo on your Peru tour is Worth It

Chankillo offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. The breathtaking celestial observatory, often referred to as the "Fortress of the Sun," provides a mesmerizing backdrop to an exploration that transcends time. The profound sense of connection to the past and the awe-inspiring landscapes make this adventure truly worth the journey. If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Lima for a few days, Chankillo is the perfect escape on your Peru trip.

The Casma Valley is a great destination for travelers looking to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations in Peru. The valley can be reached by road from Lima on Peru tour packages with Valencia Travel.

Casma Valley

Different Itinerary Suggestions for Visiting Chankillo

Itinerary Option 1: Starting from Lima

Day 1: Lima to Huaraz
Day 2: Huaraz to Chankillo via Casma
Day 3: Chankillo Exploration
Day 4: Return to Lima

Itinerary Option 2: Starting from Huaraz

Day 1: Huaraz to Chankillo

Morning departure to Chankillo.
Afternoon arrival in Casma
Day 2: Chankillo Exploration
Guided tour to learn about the site's history.
Enjoy the unique celestial experience at night
Day 3: Return to Huaraz

Tailor your Chankillo experience to suit your preferences with various itinerary options. Whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, or seeking a blend of both, there are customizable routes that cater to diverse interests. From sunrise hikes to evening stargazing, Chankillo offers an array of experiences for every adventurer.

What makes Chankillo even more fascinating is that it is still being researched. Archaeologists and scientists continue to study the site to understand its purpose and significance. This makes it an exciting destination for travelers interested in history and archaeology when they visit on their Peru tour packages.

Archaeologist at Chankillo

How Difficult is the Chankillo Trip?

While a Chankillo is accessible to all levels of travelers, it's essential to be aware of the terrain and climate conditions. Exploring the Chankillo archaeological site itself doesn't require extensive physical fitness. The main structures are accessible, and there are marked paths. The difficulty may come in the journey to Casma, where Chankillo is located. The road conditions can vary, and the mode of transportation (bus, private car) can impact comfort. If you're traveling from Huaraz, keep in mind that Huaraz is at a higher altitude (around 3,100 meters or 10,170 feet). Altitude-related symptoms might be experienced, so acclimatization is advisable. Chankillo is at a lower altitude than Huaraz (approximately 180 meters or 590 feet), which can be beneficial for those concerned about altitude sickness.

Chankillo is an excellent destination for those who are concerned about high altitude on their Peru vacation packages. Being on the coast, the elevation is just a couple of hundred meters.

Chankillo Archaeological Site

Trip Advisor Comments About Chankillo

Review by AdventureSeeker123:

Rating: 5/5
"An archaeological wonder! Visiting Chankillo was like stepping back in time. The guided tour brought the site to life, explaining the celestial significance. The sunrise view from the Sun Temple is a must-see. Truly a journey worth taking!"
Review by StarGazer27:

Rating: 4/5
"Breathtaking stargazing experience! The night sky at Chankillo is absolutely mesmerizing. The site's astronomical alignment is incredible. Just a tip, bring a telescope if you have one for an even closer look at the stars."
Review by HistoryBuff88:

Rating: 5/5
"Fascinating historical site! The structures are well-preserved, and the guides provide in-depth knowledge. It's like a history lesson in the midst of stunning landscapes. Don't miss the Equinox event for a truly magical atmosphere."
Review by SoloExplorer99:

Rating: 4/5
"Explored Chankillo solo! It's doable on your own, and the freedom to go at your own pace is liberating. The trails are well-marked, and the solitude adds to the mystique. Just be prepared with water and snacks for the journey."
Review by FoodieTraveler2023:

Rating: 4/5
"Local flavors around Chankillo! After exploring the site, ventured into nearby towns for some amazing Peruvian cuisine. Fresh seafood and local specialties. Make sure to ask locals for their recommendations; you won't be disappointed!"
Review by AdventureFamily365:

Rating: 5/5
"Family-friendly adventure! Our kids were fascinated by the ancient structures, and the guides tailored the tour to keep them engaged. The short hikes are manageable for all ages. A memorable experience for the whole family."
Review by EcoTraveler2023:

Rating: 5/5
"Sustainable travel paradise! Chankillo promotes responsible tourism. Kudos to the guides and locals for their conservation efforts. We felt a sense of environmental consciousness throughout our visit. A must for eco-conscious travelers!"

See more Trip Advisor comments here 

Unlike Machu Picchu, which requires a train or hike to reach, Chanquillo is more accessible by road. However, its remote location means that it is much easier to get to as part of a Peru vacation package.

Entrance Door

Best Time to Do a Trip to Chankillo

Timing is key when it comes to exploring Chankillo. Discover the optimal seasons for your adventure, considering weather conditions, crowd levels, and celestial events that enhance the overall experience. We'll guide you through the calendar, helping you choose the perfect time to embark on your Chankillo expedition.

The dry season in the Casma Valley typically runs from May to October, coinciding with the winter months in the Southern Hemisphere. During this time, you can expect clear skies and minimal rainfall, making it an ideal time to visit Chanquillo on Peru holiday packages.

Misty Chankillo

Can You Do A Trip to Chankillo on Your Own?

Chankillo is located near Casma in the Ancash Region of Peru. You can arrange transportation to Casma and then explore Chankillo from there. You can reach Casma by bus or private transportation from nearby cities like Huaraz or Lima. The road conditions may vary, so check the current state of transportation options.

While not mandatory, hiring a local guide at the site or organizing a tour with Valencia Travel can enhance your experience by providing historical and cultural insights.  A guide will offer a more complete and informative visit to Chankillo offering historical and cultural insights to this remarkable site.

The Casma Valley is also home to several other archaeological sites, including the Sechín Alto complex. this site features more monumental architecture and stone carvings. Why not visit Sechin and Chankillo on your Peru private tours?

Mythological Etchings at Nearby Sechin

What to Consider When You Opt for a Trip to Chankillo

The practical aspects of planning a Chankillo expedition can be somewhat of a challenge. When opting for a trip to Chankillo, there are several important factors to consider to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are key considerations:

Weather and Seasons: The dry season (April to October) is generally considered the best time to visit Chankillo. However, weather conditions can still vary, so check the forecast and pack accordingly.

Transportation: Plan your transportation to and from Chankillo. Consider options such as buses, private transport, or guided tours. Be aware of road conditions and travel times.

Accommodations: If you plan to stay overnight in the area, consider booking accommodations in advance. Casma is the nearest town with lodging options.

Permits and Entrance Fees: There is an entrance fee to access Chankillo. Pay attention to the regulations and payment methods to ensure a hassle-free visit.

Health and Safety: Be aware of local health facilities and services in case of emergencies. Consider having travel insurance that covers medical expenses and evacuation if needed.

Time of Visit: Plan your visit to Chankillo during daylight hours for optimal exploration. Consider arriving early to avoid crowds and to witness the sunrise or staying later for a sunset or stargazing experience.

Cultural Respect: Respect the archaeological site and local customs. Follow guidelines, avoid touching or climbing on structures, and be mindful of the environment. Ask for permission before taking photos of locals.

Language: While some locals may speak English, especially in tourist areas, it's helpful to know basic Spanish phrases to facilitate communication and show cultural respect.

The carvings of the Warriors of Sechin are considered some of the oldest examples of monumental art in Peru.  They are notable for their detailed and intricate depictions of warriors engaged in combat. See this and more on Lima tour packages to Casma Valley.

Stone Carvings at Sechin

Essential Packing List to Visit Chankillo

Clothing and Personal Items:
Comfortable Clothing: Lightweight, breathable clothing is essential, considering the hot and arid climate. Long sleeves and pants can provide protection against the sun.
Hat and Sunglasses: Protect yourself from the strong sun with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Sturdy Walking Shoes: Comfortable, closed-toe walking shoes with good traction are necessary for exploring the site.
Sunscreen: Use a high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from intense sun exposure.
Insect Repellent: While Chankillo may not be heavily infested with insects, it's wise to bring some insect repellent for added protection.
Daypack: A small daypack can be useful for carrying essentials like water, snacks, and sunscreen during your visit.
Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle. Ensure you have enough water for the duration of your visit.
Camera or Smartphone: Capture the stunning views and historical features of Chankillo. Don't forget to bring extra memory cards or a portable charger.
Personal Identification and Documentation: Carry your passport, identification, and any necessary permits in a secure, waterproof bag.
Travel Towel or Handkerchief: Useful for wiping off sweat or as a makeshift head cover.
Health and Safety:
Basic First Aid Kit: Include bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may need.
Prescription Medications: If you're on prescription medication, bring an ample supply for the duration of your trip.
Personal Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, and any other personal hygiene items you may need.

Navigation and Communication:
Map and Guidebook: Have a map or guidebook of the site to enhance your understanding of Chankillo's historical and astronomical significance.
Mobile Phone: Ensure your phone is charged and has local coverage. Consider bringing a power bank for extra battery life.
Cash: While Chankillo may not have entrance fees, it's always good to have some local currency for any unexpected expenses.
Snacks: Pack lightweight snacks like energy bars, nuts, or dried fruits to keep your energy up during your visit.
Light Rain Jacket or Poncho: Be prepared for unexpected weather changes, especially if you're visiting during the rainy season.
Plastic Bags: Useful for separating dirty or wet clothes from the rest of your belongings.
Multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife: Handy for various purposes, including cutting fruits or opening packages.

Visiting Chanquillo when you travel to Lima Peru, can provide a unique cultural experience, as travelers can learn about the ancient civilizations that once inhabited the area.

Visiting Chankillo

How to Prepare for a trip to Chankillo

Embark on your Chankillo journey well-prepared and informed. Discover pre-trip rituals, essential readings, and recommended activities to enhance your understanding of the site. We'll share insights on cultural nuances and historical context, empowering you to fully immerse yourself in the Chankillo experience.

At Chanquillo in Peru, one of the most notable features is a series of circular structures. These structures are part of a larger complex that includes the famous Thirteen Towers. These are believed to have served as an ancient solar observatory. When you visit Lima, take a side trip to Chankillo!

Circle at Chankillo

Tips on Altitude Sickness at Chankillo

Chankillo is not at a high elevation, however, altitude can be a factor on your Chankillo Peru adventure. While the site itself is at 100m, many people choose to visit from Huaraz at over 3000 meters elevation. If you are coming from Lima then you will not have any altitude issues.

When you visit Lima, head to The Casma Valley, where the archaeological site of Chanquillo is located. It is part of the broader coastal region of Peru, which is characterized by its arid climate and proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

Seagull at the nearby Casma Coastline 

Pro Tips for a Trip to Chankillo

-Arrive early to witness the sunrise at Chankillo. The morning light illuminates the ancient structures and provides a serene and magical atmosphere.
-If you have an interest in astronomy, consider visiting Chankillo during the evening for a stargazing experience. The site's astronomical alignment makes it an excellent spot for observing the night sky
-Show respect for the archaeological site and its surroundings. Avoid touching or climbing on structures, follow designated paths, and ask for permission before taking photos of locals.
-Pack essentials such as water, sunscreen, a hat, comfortable walking shoes, and a camera. The sun can be strong, so protection against UV rays is important.
-Check the weather forecast and be prepared for varying conditions. Even during the dry season, temperatures can fluctuate, so layering is advisable.
-Capture the essence of Chankillo with good photography. Consider the angle of the sun for unique shots, especially during sunrise or sunset. A wide-angle lens may be useful to capture the expansive views.

The doorways at Chanquillo are significant because they provide clues about the religious and ceremonial practices of the ancient people who once lived here. If you enjoy history and culture check out Peru culture travel on our cultural tours.

Ancient Doorway

How Much Does a Trip to Chankillo Cost?

Budgeting is crucial for any adventure. The cost of a Chankillo tour depends on where you would like to start the tour. These are the general cost breakdowns for each aspect of a Chankillos tour.
Bus from Lima to Huaraz: $15 - $40 (one way, depending on the class and company)
Bus from Huaraz to Casma: $10 - $25 (one way)
Domestic flight (Lima to Huaraz): $60 - $150 (one way, depending on the airline and time of booking)

Accommodation: Mid-range accommodations in Casma: $50 - $100 per night

Entrance fee to Chankillo (as of 2023): $10 (approximately)

Guided tours at Chankillo:  $50 per person 

Meals: Dining at local restaurants in Casma: $15 per meal

Local Transportation: Local transportation within Casma: $1 - $5 per trip (depending on distance)

When you travel to Lima Peru, There are many side trips from Lima you can consider. Caral, Chankillo, Paracas, Huacachina, and Sechin are only a few hours away from the capital.

The Road to Chankillo


Do I need a guided tour of Chankillo?

Whether you need a guided tour of Chankillo depends on your preferences, interests, and level of comfort with independent exploration. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

Reasons to Consider a Guided Tour:

Historical and Cultural Insights: A knowledgeable guide can provide in-depth information about the history, cultural significance, and astronomical aspects of Chankillo, enhancing your overall understanding.
Enhanced Experience: Guides can offer context and stories that bring the site to life, making your visit more engaging and meaningful.

Navigation Assistance: Chankillo is an archaeological site with various structures. A guide can help you navigate the site efficiently, ensuring you don't miss key features.

Astronomical Expertise: If you're interested in the astronomical aspects of Chankillo, a guide with expertise in this area can provide valuable insights during celestial events.
Safety and Local Knowledge: Guides are familiar with the area and can provide safety tips. They may also share information about local customs and etiquette.

What is the significance of Chankillo, and why is it considered a cultural treasure?

Chankillo is considered a cultural treasure due to its remarkable historical and astronomical significance. Here are key aspects of Chankillo's importance:

Astronomical Observatory: Chankillo is often referred to as the "Thirteen Towers" or "Thirteen Pillars" due to its series of 13 towers or posts arranged along a ridge. These towers have been identified as an ancient solar observatory.
Solar Alignments: The towers at Chankillo are strategically aligned to the solar events, such as the solstices and equinoxes. The towers cast shadows that align with specific points on the horizon during these celestial events.
Calendar System: The solar alignments at Chankillo are believed to have been used for agricultural and ceremonial purposes. The site's layout suggests the presence of a calendar system, allowing ancient inhabitants to mark the passage of time and seasons.
Cultural and Scientific Achievement: Chankillo reflects the advanced knowledge of astronomy possessed by ancient civilizations in the region. The precision with which the site was constructed highlights the cultural and scientific achievements of the people who inhabited the area over 2,000 years ago.
Archaeological Significance: Chankillo is an archaeological site that provides valuable insights into the lifeways, beliefs, and practices of the ancient inhabitants. The site includes structures beyond the towers, such as residential and ceremonial areas.
Cultural Heritage Recognition: Chankillo has been recognized and protected as part of the cultural heritage of Peru. Its inclusion on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites underscores its global importance.

Are there restrictions on photography at Chankillo? 
Learn about any photography regulations in place and capture the magic of Chankillo while respecting its cultural and historical significance.

What accommodations are available near Chankillo, and should I book in advance?
Casma is the nearest town to Chankillo, and it offers a range of accommodations for visitors. While Casma is not a large tourist hub, there are options to suit different preferences and budgets. There are hotels and hostels in Casma that cater to various budgets. These establishments may offer basic to mid-range amenities. Some guesthouses and bed & breakfast establishments provide a more personalized and local experience. These options might be more intimate and offer a chance to interact with the local community.

Are there dining options near Chankillo, or should I bring my own food?

Casma, being the nearest town to Chankillo, offers dining options where you can find local eateries and restaurants. While Casma may not have an extensive culinary scene like larger cities, you should be able to find options for meals. Here are some considerations:

Local Restaurants: Casma likely has local restaurants that serve traditional Peruvian cuisine. These can be a great opportunity to try local specialties and experience the flavors of the region.
Cafés and Bakeries: Look for cafés or bakeries where you can grab a quick bite or enjoy a cup of coffee. These establishments might offer pastries, sandwiches, or light meals.
Markets and Street Food: Explore local markets for fresh produce and snacks. Some markets might also have food stalls or vendors selling street food.
Plan Ahead:

If you prefer specific dietary options or have dietary restrictions, it's a good idea to plan ahead. Consider bringing some snacks or small meals with you, especially if you're uncertain about the availability of food that suits your preferences.
Ask Locals for Recommendations: Locals in Casma can provide valuable recommendations for dining options. Don't hesitate to ask for suggestions based on your taste preferences.
Bring Water and Snacks: Regardless of dining options in Casma, it's advisable to bring water and some snacks with you, especially if you plan to spend an extended period exploring Chankillo.
Check Operating Hours: Be aware of the operating hours of local establishments. In some smaller towns, restaurants may close earlier in the evening, so plan your meals accordingly.
Remember that the dining scene in Casma may be more local and modest compared to larger cities, but it's an opportunity to experience authentic Peruvian flavors. If you have specific dietary requirements or preferences, bringing some snacks with you can be a good idea as a backup. Overall, exploring local eateries can be a delightful part of your Chankillo experience.

Can I camp at Chankillo, and what are the camping regulations?
Camping at the Chankillo archaeological site itself is not officially permitted. Chankillo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and such sites typically have regulations in place to protect historical and cultural heritage. Camping directly at archaeological sites is prohibited to preserve the integrity of the structures and the surrounding environment.

How can I learn more about the celestial events at Chankillo, and is there a best time for stargazing?

Guided Tours with Astronomical Focus: Check if there are guided tours specifically focused on the astronomical aspects of Chankillo. Some tours may be led by experts in astronomy who can provide detailed explanations of the celestial events and the site's alignment.

Research Astronomical Events: Learn about significant astronomical events that occur at Chankillo, such as solstices and equinoxes. These events may be ideal times for stargazing due to the unique alignments of the towers.

Stargazing Apps and Websites: Use stargazing apps or websites to identify celestial events and understand the night sky. Apps like Stellarium or websites like Time and Date provide information on celestial occurrences in specific locations.

Attend Astronomy Events or Workshops: Check if there are any astronomy events, workshops, or festivals in the region that coincide with your visit to Chankillo. Such events often feature experts who can provide insights into celestial events.

Consider Moon Phases: Depending on your interest, be mindful of the moon phases. During a new moon, the night sky is darker, allowing for better visibility of stars and celestial bodies.

Choose Dry Season for Clear Skies: The dry season (April to October) in Peru generally offers clearer skies, providing optimal conditions for stargazing. Check weather forecasts to plan your visit during a period with minimal cloud cover.

Bring Binoculars or a Telescope: If you're a stargazing enthusiast, consider bringing binoculars or a portable telescope to enhance your experience.

Join Astronomy Groups or Forums: Connect with astronomy enthusiasts or groups online or in the local community. They may share insights, experiences, and tips for stargazing at Chankillo.

Remember that specific celestial events, such as equinoxes and solstices, happen on particular dates, so it's beneficial to plan your visit around these times if you're interested in experiencing the full astronomical significance of Chankillo. Always check for the most up-to-date information and consider local recommendations for the best stargazing experiences.

Casma Beach is located near the town of Casma, in the Ancash Region of Peru. It is about a 5-hour drive north of Lima, making it a popular weekend getaway for residents of the capital. it is also a city ecape for travelers on their Peru tour packages.

Sunset at Casma Beach

What languages are spoken in the region, and is English commonly understood?

Brush up on your Spanish, many locals in the Casma / Chanquillo region will not speak English. We suggest a guided tour if you do not speak Spanish. 

What is the condition of the trails at Chankillo, and what footwear is recommended?

The trails at Chankillo are generally well-maintained and marked, making it accessible to visitors. However, it's important to note that conditions can change, and it's advisable to check with local authorities or recent visitor reviews for the most up-to-date information.
We recommend the following:

Closed-toe Shoes: Opt for closed-toe shoes to protect your feet, especially if you plan to explore the site extensively.
Sandals with Traction (Optional): If you prefer, you may bring a pair of comfortable sandals with good traction for times when you want to relax or explore areas with less rugged terrain.

How can I contribute to the conservation of Chankillo during my visit?

Contributing to the conservation of Chankillo is essential to ensure the preservation of this cultural and historical site for future generations. Here are some ways you can actively participate in the conservation effort during your visit:

-Follow Site Regulations: Respect and adhere to all site regulations and guidelines provided by the archaeological site management. Follow designated paths, avoid climbing on structures, and obey any posted signs.

-Stay on Designated Trails: Stick to designated trails and paths to minimize impact on the archaeological features and surrounding vegetation. Avoid creating new paths or disturbing the natural environment.

-Do Not Touch or Climb: Refrain from touching or climbing on the ancient structures. The oils and residues from human skin can be damaging to the site's surfaces.
No Littering: Dispose of all waste properly in designated bins. Avoid leaving any litter or waste on the site, and consider practicing a "pack-in, pack-out" approach.

-Respect Wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance and avoid disturbing animals. Do not feed wildlife, as this can disrupt their natural behavior and ecosystem.

-Educate Yourself: Learn about the history, significance, and ongoing conservation efforts at Chankillo. Understanding the site's importance will enhance your appreciation and commitment to its preservation.

-Support Local Conservation Initiatives: Inquire about local conservation initiatives and organizations working to protect Chankillo. Consider supporting these efforts through donations or volunteer opportunities.

-Choose Responsible Tour Operators: If you opt for guided tours, choose operators who prioritize responsible and sustainable tourism practices. Ensure that guides provide information on the importance of conservation.

-Report Any Issues: If you observe any suspicious activities or witness damage to the site, report it to the local authorities or site management. Your vigilance can contribute to the protection of Chankillo.

-Promote Responsible Tourism: Share your conservation-minded practices with fellow travelers. Encourage responsible tourism behaviors, such as respecting the site and its surroundings.

How old is Chankillo?
Chankillo dates back to the 4th century BCE, making it over 2,300 years old. It belongs to the Chavín culture and is recognized for its advanced understanding of astronomy.

Why is Chankillo considered an astronomical observatory?
Chankillo features a series of 13 towers that span the horizon. These towers align with the sun's movement throughout the year, creating a solar calendar. The site is believed to have been used for tracking the sun's position and determining important agricultural and ceremonial dates.

How do I get to Chankillo?
Chankillo is located in the Casma-Sechin Oasis, about 365 kilometers north of Lima. The journey involves a combination of road travel and possibly a guided tour. It's advisable to make arrangements with a local tour operator or hire a guide who is familiar with the area.

Are there visitor facilities at Chankillo?
Chankillo is an archaeological site, and while it may not have extensive visitor facilities, there are often basic amenities available. It's advisable to check in advance and plan accordingly. It's also recommended to respect the site's rules and regulations.

Can I climb the towers at Chankillo?
Climbing the towers may not be allowed to preserve the site and ensure visitor safety. It's important to follow any guidelines provided by the authorities and respect the historical significance of the structures.

Are there other attractions near Chankillo?
The Casma-Sechin Oasis region has other archaeological sites worth exploring, such as Sechin Bajo. It's a good idea to plan a comprehensive visit to explore the rich history of the area, during your Peru visit.

Is Chankillo open to visitors year-round?
Chankillo is generally open to visitors throughout the year. However, it's advisable to check for any seasonal variations in accessibility and weather conditions before planning a visit.

Remember to check with local authorities or tourism offices for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit to Chankillo.

What emergency services are available in the region, and should I have travel insurance?
Healthcare Facilities: The region around Chankillo may have limited healthcare facilities. It's advisable to be aware of the location of the nearest medical clinic or hospital.
Local Assistance: Inquire about local assistance and emergency services available in nearby towns or villages. Local authorities or guides can provide valuable information.
Medical Coverage: Given the remote location, having travel insurance with comprehensive medical coverage is highly recommended. This should cover medical emergencies, evacuation, and repatriation.
Trip Cancellation/Interruption: Travel insurance can also protect you financially in case your trip is canceled or interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.
Lost or Stolen Items: Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen belongings, including passports and valuable items.
Emergency Evacuation: In the event of a serious medical emergency, travel insurance with evacuation coverage can be crucial, especially in remote areas.
Check Coverage Details: Before purchasing travel insurance, carefully review the coverage details to ensure it meets your specific needs and the activities you plan to engage in!

The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo are open to visitors and can be reached by a short hike from the town of Casma. The site offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape and is a popular destination for those interested in archaeoastronomy on their Lima Peru tours.

Towers at Chankillo

Chankillo invites us to bridge the gap between our contemporary lives and the wisdom of those who came before us. It challenges us to consider the harmonious relationship between humans and the cosmos, and the timeless quest to understand our place in the universe. As you stand before the towers, gazing at the same horizons that captivated ancient eyes, you'll realize that Chankillo is not just a historical site – it's a testament to the unending human pursuit of knowledge and connection. In a world where time marches forward at an ever-increasing pace, Chankillo remains steadfast, whispering tales of an ancient civilization that dared to reach for the stars. Find out more about how you can witness this incredible ancient Peruvian marvel, here!

Sunsets at Casma, and Chankillo can be absolutely stunning when you visit Lima. The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, painting the sky in vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple. Contact us for more information about a trip o Chankillo!

Sunset at Chankillo