Cahuachi temple in the Nazca lines

When settling the Nazca Valley the Nazca Civilization looked for the most sacred place within the valley to build their temples. They found that site at Cahuachi. Here in a direct line with the sacred mountain of Cerro Blanco where the waters of the river seem to magically reappear from the dry pampa a lush fertile environment capable of sustaining agriculture was created.

Between 100 BC and 400 AD the Nazca built the great ceremonial city of Cahuachi. The city which stretches over 370 acres consists of a series of step adobe step pyramids. The largest of the pyramids is 125 feet or 38 meters tall. Cahuachi was a ceremonial center and a palace of pilgrimage. While the majority of the site has not yet been excavated scientists have identified over 40 mounds and 34 sided enclosures built along the strip of land near the river along the side of the hills.

The first excavations at Cahuachi began in the 1950's. Archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici who currently heads the project began working here in 1983. To date all of the excavation has been done at site A including the Temple Gran, Temple Naranja and Temple Escalonado. Section B located to the northwest has been completely ignored. Though the site is still in its infancy archaeologically speaking scientists have identified 5 historical building phases showing the evolution of the site from a sanctuary or huaca to a ceremonial center.

Using archaeological evidence Orefici and other scientists are using archaeological evidence to repair and reconstruct the world of Cahuachi. Visitors to the site today can watch as archaeologists continue their work at the site and view the pyramids and plazas both that have been restored and are waiting to be restored machu picchu tours. All while gaining better insight into the Nasca people who molded this area.