Ancient city of Caral in Peru: all the information and curiosities

ancient city of caral

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It is clear that Peru is known for the wonderful ruins of Machu Picchu but it has many more that you have not yet discovered such as those of the ancient city of Caral.

Many curious people still do not know what it is and its importance. So, today we tell you all about this pre-Andean society, so you can get to know a little more about the country.

History of Caral: origin and end

The secret city of Caral-Supe is in the Supe Valley, between the rainforest, the mountains and the Pacific coast, a place with amazing views. For this very reason, if you visit Caral, we recommend seeing its closest jungle with the Iquitos Jungle Tour.

This society is the Andean culture origin and a World Heritage Site for its cultural value. It was built some 5000 years ago, before the Egyptian pyramids and the rise of the Inca Empire. Which means that, for many, it is the oldest society in the Americas.

But, everything comes to an end. Caral began to lose importance around 2200 BC, at the same time that Era de Pando, a larger city, was born. People begin to leave and in 1800 BC. Caral disappears.

Ruins of Caral in the Supe Valley


The Caral civilization was an important urban center full of monumental architecture. Its constructions were amazing, it had 6 pyramids, different religious and ceremonial temples, residences and production workshops.

In addition, it was divided into two main zones, the central and the peripheral, as well as Caral Alto and Caral Bajo. The pyramidal constructions were located in the upper zone, where the Great Pyramid stands out for its large dimensions (500 ft x 360ft x 91 ft). However, the temples were located in the lower part.

The most amazing structure was the pyramid. There were of different sizes, built with adobe, stone, logs, mud… And the colors used were white or light yellow and sometimes red.

But the most surprising thing was the distribution, you climbed a central staircase and reached several rooms. Not to be forgotten was the central hearth of these buildings, where they burned food for rituals.

Speaking of the periphery, you should know that El Áspero was a very important architectural complex for Caral. It was near the mouth of the Supe River and provided its fishing services to the entire community. The curious fact is that in its temples or Huacas human sacrifices were made.

Ruins of the largest pyramid of Caral


But how many inhabitants did the ancestral city of Caral have? It is estimated that between 1000 and 3000 people were part of the oldest society of pre-Hispanic civilizations. In addition, they survived because of the exchange network, their powerful agriculture and form of government.

The different social classes had a function assigned by the leaders and were organized and cohesive by religion. To make it all work, their cultural identity was reinforced by different joint activities.

You may be surprised to learn that this society did not use pottery in their day-to-day life. They only made small clay statues for rituals. You can imagine what their utensils were like, made of wood and stone.

Another curiosity is that no remains of weapons or objects related to the army have been found. So Caral was a completely peaceful society. Mind you, it did have power over nearby towns such as Miraya and Kotosh.

Ruins in the Stone Desert at Caral

Influence on the Incas

In case it wasn’t clear to you… the ancestral city of Caral is the origin of the Andean civilization. It was here that the exchange of goods and services, the ceremonial calendar, temples were built and renovated… And the Inca society acquired this knowledge.

Also the Caral government , so that in each settlement there was a Curaca who organized the life of the inhabitants.

Finally, some utensils such as the quipu (knotted threads), which served to store statistical information, were born in Caral and continued to be used in the later Andean cities.

If you feel you lack information about the ancestral city of Caral, just visit Peru and discover every corner of it yourself. Face to face is better than through the screen.What Caral fact has caught your attention the most?


Lucia's life motto is "go with the flow". She lets herself go with the flow and joins any plan.

She has been lucky enough to travel to many different places, but her perfect trip is any place with sun, sand and sea. Indecisive by nature, she would not know how to choose between the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands in Spain, or between Mexican and Peruvian food. Maybe that's why she will never say no to a trip... She has to find answers!

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