Travel to Marcahuasi: how to get to this natural sanctuary?
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Travel to Marcahuasi: how to get to this natural sanctuary?

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Travel to Marcahuasi: how to get to this natural sanctuary?

To the east of Lima is one of the most striking destinations in the world, it is a huge forest of granite stones that everyone knows as Marcahuasi. It is located in the province of Huarochirí, at 4000 m a.s.l. n. m. and it is four square kilometers long, so it is a wonder to go through it.


The gigantic rocks, eroded by the action of the weather, can measure up to 25 meters high. For many years, those who have visited Marcahuasi have climbed to the top of the huge stones to gaze at the stars at night and some have even dared to camp there.


Although, if it is about camping, it is best to do it at the Monument to Humanity, a gigantic granite formation, which resembles the profile of a person. Another ideal place is the Amphitheater, preferred by many because it is protected from the wind and cold.


In Marcahuasi, the Fortaleza also stands out, the highest point of the plateau, where there is a monolith with an immense stone altar. In addition, you can find chullpas, terraces and numerous constructions of pre-Hispanic origin, which are the record of the human presence that inhabited the area centuries ago.


The Cachu Cachu and Huacracocha lagoons, the Valley of the Seals and the Sacred Feline, are other attractions that stand out in this Lima destination that is one of the obligatory stops for lovers of trekking and rock climbing. Traveling through Marcahuasi from end to end can take about three and a half hours, so visitors should try to be in good physical condition and don't forget to bring several bottles of water.


All those who undertake the walk through this destination must wear a windbreaker jacket or a vest, because even though it is sunny, there is an icy breeze. Likewise, it is recommended to use gloves, sunglasses, cocoa butter on the lips, a hat and sunscreen. It is also necessary to opt for footwear with non-slip and waterproof soles.


Summer is the best season to visit Marcahuasi, since the days are usually sunny and the nights are refreshing. So if you visit it, have the most fun and don't forget that you must take care of nature at all times and respect biosecurity protocols.


What I can see in Marcahuasi?

Disconnection. Monuments, lagoons, animals and a long walk offers you this tourist destination. Large stones such as the Monument to Humanity, the Amphitheater and La Fortaleza are some places that yes or yes you should visit during your stay.


Throughout the plateau, which is four kilometers long, you can find stones with humanoid and animal shapes such as The Prophet, Las Focas, El Sapo and much more.


You will also find loopholes. There you can see various animals such as vicuñas and vizcachas. In addition, the plateau houses pre-Hispanic remains such as funerary chullpas and La Fortaleza.


The best thing you can do in Marcahuasi is take advantage of the walk and enjoy the disconnection in this magical place. The stars, for example, will be your best company at night.


Discover Marcahuasi

Marcahuasi is a plateau of the Cordillera de los Andes, of volcanic origin, and whose extension is approximately 4 km2. It is located in the province of Huarochirí. This place, also known as "La Casa del Protector" or "La Casa Grande", is surrounded by abysses and has a unique set of immense rocks with humanoid and animal shapes.


The origin of Marcahuasi

Several archaeologists have come to this plateau of the Andes Mountains to study the gigantic granite rocks. One of the first to explore Marcahuasi was Julio César Tello. He was followed by another Peruvian researcher, Dr. Daniel Ruzo de Los Heros, who, upon discovering the place, spent years studying it. He concluded that the sculptures that existed there were similar to those from other sites he had explored in Mexico, Brazil, Romania, France, England, and Egypt. Based on his finding, he named the culture "masma".


The investigations of Daniel Ruzo leave evidence that the men of 8 thousand years ago were not as primitive as thought. However, the more pragmatic opt for the theory that the figures on the rocks are the product of erosion by wind and rain over millennia.


Geologists have endorsed the formation of the plateau with their observations and tests; however, the origin of stone sculptures is still the subject of archeological studies.


What will you find in Marcahuasi?

The route to Marcahuasi involves a 3 and a half hour walk, so you should try to be in good physical condition to undertake the trip. Height is another component that you must consider, since, as we have mentioned before, the mountain range is almost 4,000 meters above sea level.


Marcahuasi is known worldwide as a place of energy. Scientific theories have supported the activity of energies in the physical constitution of the site. The rocks of the volcanic plateau are largely composed of crystals such as quartz, which contributes to the emission and channeling of high frequencies of astral energies. Added to this are the underground water currents that circulate in the depths.


The monuments

Whether it is the hand of man or the action of nature, the truth is that when you arrive at Marcahuasi, the stone forms found there will be the focus of attention. You will find various rock formations, among which stand out:


The Monument to Humanity, a huge granite mass that, when viewed from different angles, a human profile can be distinguished.

Dolmen, also known as “the mushroom”.

The Amphitheater, the favorite place for campers. It is surrounded by large rocks that protect tourists who spend the night in that area from the wind and cold.

La Fortaleza, the highest place on the plateau. In this space stands a monolith that resembles a large stone altar.

The Alchemist, where the most detailed can see the hidden profile of a man.

You will also see other impressive humanoid and animal forms, such as The Prophet, The Sphinxes, The Dove, The Seals, The Toad and The Goddess Tueris.


Marcahuasi is the subject of rumors and stories about UFO sightings. This site has a high magnetic power that makes it the perfect destination for fans of this type of "other world encounters".


On the other hand, if you are a lover of bird watching, the surroundings of Marcahuasi are perfect for photographing or filming a wide variety of birds typical of the region.


How to get to Marcahuasi?

Marcahuasi is east of Lima, in the province of Huarochirí. To go there, the first thing you have to do is get to Parque Echenique, in Chosica. You can make the trip in the following way:


By public transport:

If you are in Callao or downtown Lima, you must get to Paseo Colón, where you will find buses that go to Chosica. It is approximately two hours of travel.


If you are in Miraflores, Lince, San Borja or La Molina, you should go to Avenida Javier Prado, where you will take a bus to Vitarte. Then you get off in front of the Puruchuco metro and take another bus to Chosica.


If you come from the North or the South, take Vía Evitamiento to the Santa Anita Bridge and descend towards the Central Highway, towards the mountains, where you will take a bus to Chosica.


In collective taxis:

There are buses or minivans that take you to Chosica from the following points:

  • Jr. Chota with Paseo Colón
  • Jr. Leticia with Abancay
  • Crossing Av. Javier Prado and Av. Arequipa (excine Orrantia)
  • Santa Anita Oval

The second step on this route to Marcahuasi is to reach San Pedro de Casta. Once you arrive at Parque Echenique, in Chosica, go to the bus stop that goes to San Pedro de Casta; This is located 120 meters from the park, heading north towards Jr. Libertad.


Adjust your travel itinerary well. At this point of the journey you only have two schedules to get to San Pedro de Casta. Check out times are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. m. and 12:00 p.m. m., and the tour lasts three hours.


When you arrive in San Pedro de Casta, we recommend you spend the first night at the municipal hotel. This way your body will acclimatize and you will make the ascent to Marcahuasi without feeling affected by the soroche.


Entrance to Marcahuasi

Ready for adventure? After a night of rest in San Pedro de Casta, you must go to the Tourist Office, located in front of the square, where you must register in the visitor's book and pay the entrance fee.


These are the reference rates:

  • Minors: S/5
  • National adults: S/10
  • Foreigners: S/20

In this place you can request more information about Marcahuasi and hire the service of local guides, or horses and/or mules as cargo transport.



If you are going to stay for only one night, tell the person in charge of the tourist office that you will return the next day on the bus at 2 in the afternoon. It is a guarantee of control that can facilitate the work of the authorities. Also, in a hypothetical case of emergencies, someone may notice your absence.


What is the best season to go to Marcahuasi?

The best time to visit this enigmatic plateau is between the months of April and October. It is not advisable to go between the months of December to March, since it is the rainy season.


If you want to see the lagoons, it is not advisable to go in the months of July to October, as most of them will be dry.


What to bring to Marcahuasi?

Preparation is important for this journey. San Pedro de Casta is the last place to stock up on what you need. Once you leave for Marcahuasi, you will no longer find a place to shop. There are no tourist services on the way.


In this sense, you must take everything you will need. Food, water, warm clothes, medicines and, above all, a “four seasons” tent, if you plan to spend the night. It should not be a beach one, because if you spend the night in these types of tents, you will not be able to sleep because the temperatures drop to zero degrees Celsius.


Tips to beat soroche

If you are not used to heights, your body can feel the discomfort of soroche or altitude sickness. The symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, fainting, vertigo, palpitations and concentration problems.


You do not want your trip to be clouded by this accumulation of discomforts. So that soroche does not affect you, we recommend the following:

  • Make several stops along the route.
  • Don't eat much on the way; Drink water and a light snack.
  • Spend one night in San Pedro de Casta to acclimatize.
  • To avoid exhaustion, ride a horse or mule.
  • Consult your trusted doctor to prescribe a nausea inhibitor and tell you how to take it.
  • Carry a portable oxygen bottle with you.
  • Avoid alcohol and cigarette consumption two days before the trip.

What to take to Marcahuasi?

Today, the Marcahuasi plateau lacks infrastructure and services for tourists, so travelers must carry the necessary equipment to spend the night in the place.


In the town of San Pedro de Casta you can find the following:

  • Rental of camping equipment: tents, mats, sleeping bag and blankets.
  • Local guides.
  • Typical food restaurants.
  • Grocery stores.
  • Assorted bazaar.


We recommend that you carry at least 4 liters of drinking water per person per day.


As for clothing, pay attention because it varies depending on the day and night. If you are going to spend the night on the Marcahuasi plateau, you must bring the following equipment, since the temperature at night drops to -5 °C.

  • Wool gloves.
  • Wool hat/chullo.
  • T-shirt, thick wool sweater and jacket.
  • Drill pants and warmer pants underneath.
  • Two pairs of thick socks.

Now, for the day walk you require the following:

  • Windbreaker jacket or a vest because despite the sun it feels cold.
  • Thin wool gloves.
  • Cap.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Lip balm or cocoa butter to protect lips from sunburn.
  • Sunglasses.
  • The footwear you should use is one with non-slip and waterproof soles. If you are well prepared, you can safely carry out adventure sports such as trekking, rock climbing and palaestra. For this you must take with you the appropriate equipment.

Now that summer has arrived, Marcahuasi is the perfect place to practice adventure tourism. This is the best season to visit, since the sun is intense in the morning, while temperatures are cooler at night.


Dare to escape for a weekend and discover the wonders of a destination near Lima.


Weather In Marcahuasi

Summer is the best season to visit Marcahuasi, since the days are usually sunny and the nights are refreshing.

  • Between January and April it is characterized by being the rainy season and it is cloudy for much of the day and all night. The average temperature is 22° in the day and 7° at night.
  • Between April and July, although the sky is clear, it is much colder at night and the average temperature is 27°C during the day and 6°C at night.
  • Between July and October it is only intense during the day, but it is very cold at night. The average temperature of 24° during the day and 5° at night.
  • Between October and December it is sunny until noon, then it gets cloudy and finally the nights are cold. The average temperature during the day is 21° and 6° at night.

Where to eat in Marcahuasi?

It is recommended to bring your own snacks and especially water, however, in the amphitheater, one of the favorite places for people to camp, you will occasionally find a food stall that offers soup, infusions and bread.


Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.

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