Archaeology in South America

Soak up the rich history of myriad ancient civilisations when you explore the archaeological wonders of South America.

History lovers and intrepid travellers alike will be enthralled by the incredible archaeology in South America. From the iconic Incan citadel of Peru’s Machu Picchu, to the striking ruined city of Tiwanaku in Bolivia, there are countless mesmerising structures, sculptures and ruins to explore on this stunning continent. Created over centuries, these archaeological sites give an insight into ancient cultures, civilisations and lost ways of life.

Those interested in archaeological tours to South America would be wise to start in Peru. Machu Picchu, one of Peru’s most famous sites, is an awe-inspiring Incan citadel set high in the Andes, built in the 1400s then left to ruin. Then, Machu Picchu’s “little sister” Choquequirao is an Incan relic similar in structure, offering captivating Andean views and a challenging hike. While in Peru you can also marvel at the circular hollows of the Moray Terraces, explore the Incan wall structure of Sacsayhuaman, or take in the striking shapes of the Nazca Lines. Round off your Peruvian trip with a visit to the walled settlement at Kuelap, built by the Chachapoya people in 6 AD.

In Chile, explore Easter Island, a remote territory in the Pacific Ocean sprinkled with ahus that have been built atop volcanic rock. Or, venture to Bolivia to discover the ruined city of Tiwanaku. Once the capital of an ancient empire, the site is home to the Akapana pyramid and an imposing temple. Over in Argentina, the Cueva de las Manos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a sacred collection of caves inscribed with ancient art dating back between 13,000 and 9,500 years. Meanwhile, in Colombia, pay a visit to the fascinating San Agustin and Tierradentro, where you can view exquisite sculptures carved from volcanic rock. Colombia is also home to La Ciudad Perdida, near Tayrona National Park. A “lost city” nestled deep in the Sierra Nevada jungle, the site lay undiscovered until 1972, and is a must-see on the list of South America archaeology tours.

Archaeology in South America Highlights:
  • Explore the Temple of the Moon near Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Discover painted underground tombs at Tierradentro Archaeological Park, San Agustin, Colombia
  • Come face to face with 13,000-year-old art at Cueva de los Manos, Argentine Patagonia
  • Drink in the majesty of the Tiwanaku site near Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
  • Trek to the incredible ‘Lost City’ of La Ciudad Perdida in the Sierra Nevada, Colombia
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