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Shape of a human head on Marcahuasi

Marcahuasi (Spanish pronunciation: [maɾkaˈwasi]) is a plateau in the Andes Mountains, located east of Lima, on the mountain range that rises to the right bank of the Rímac River. This mountain range dominates the landscape at 4,000 m above sea level.


The plateau originated from a volcanic reaction. It is about 4 square kilometers in area, and is located almost 4,000 meters high in Huarochirí Province, east of Lima, Peru. Marcahuasi is home to a unique set of huge granite rocks with curious shapes resembling human faces, animals, and religious symbols. There are many theories as to their origins, including the assertion that their unusual shapes formed naturally through erosion.

There is also a collection of ruins on the north side of the plateau. Over 50 structures still stand in varying states of decay. The doorways are very small, some three feet high. Most of the structures are narrow since the use of arches was not known, therefore spans had to be covered with suitable rock that may have been quarried locally. There are also what appear to be burial tombs on the outskirts of the settlement.


See also[edit]


  • Mazzotti Lopez, Daniel (2001). A mochila en Perú (Backpacking in Peru) Peruvian explorers.
  • Video: Marcahuasi: Enigmatic Stones in the Peruvian Andes

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 11°47′20″S 76°34′25″W / 11.78889°S 76.57361°W / -11.78889; -76.57361