Markawasi (4000 m) is an enigmatic stone forest, located in the mountain range of Lima, on which much has been written. Several authors, fascinated by the mysterious and imposing landscape, have attributed the origin of its unusual geological formations to ancient cultures that are lost in time, while others have attributed it to beings from other galaxies.
In this regard, it is known a study made by Dr. Daniel Ruzo in 1952, “Marcahuasi, history of discovery”, which postulated that the plateau was inhabited, in ancient times, by the so called “culture Masma”, a civilization which would have left stone figures around the world. This is why the eerie silence surrounding the plateau, the huge mountains around and the energy that seems to radiate from the stones, make this place one of the most mystical of the planet.
The fact is that Markawasi is important not only for its stone sculptures, but for being the center of origin of the early history of Andean culture, with its archaeological remains in the area known as Fortaleza, the pre-Inca chullpas, irrigation channels, its observation center and stunning volcanic stone amphitheater, to which are added the lagoons and the biodiversity of the high andean ecosystem, making it an ideal place to practice ecological and cultural tourism.
The first references to Markawasi Plateau are in the chronicles about the myths of the area, as well as notes from explorers like Dr. Julio C. Tello. But the most important contribution is that by Dr. Ruzo, who photographed hundreds of human and animal sculptures -of which the best known is, perhaps, the Monument to Humanity-, that must be observed from a specific angle and when the sun is in an exact sector in heaven.
The Quechua name “Markawasi” means “house of the people”. It is a plateau glacier -probably once ice covered- with volcanic rocks which form a spectacular site with cliffs, large flat areas, ponds and of course, abundant rocks are carved by abrasion and other geological agents such as rain and wind.
To get there you must go first through San Pedro de Casta (90 km from Lima), a town renowned for its traditional water festival. From there you walk three hours to the area known as Amphitheatre. You can contact guides in town. We recommend warm clothing for the night and if you plan to stay overnight at the site is essential a tent and a good sleeping bag.