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Rupac, the Machu Picchu of Lima

Tierras Vivas Travel > Rupac, the Machu Picchu of Lima

Rupac, the Machu Picchu of Lima

The Rúpac Archaeological Complex is known as the Lima´s Machu Picchu, due to the location of its remains, at 3400 meters above sea level, on the mountain, it is perfectly understandable that from this area they could dominate the entire area, have a view of everything and a position strategic, just as the Incas did when they built Machu Picchu. 

If by chance you find yourself in Lima, and you want to have an incredible experience outside the city, then Rúpac, the Lima Machu Picchu, is the place you are looking for. The archaeological complex is impressive, since it has a wonderful architecture that is still maintained after so many years, beautiful landscapes, a majestic sunset and its famous mattress of clouds. 


The archaeological site of Rúpac is located in the district of Atavillo Bajo, within the province of Huaral, at 3,500 meters above sea level and 145 kilometers from the city of Lima. 

How to get to Rúpac?

There are 2 ways to cover the journey by car (private or bus), but we must take the part of the walk. Don’t worry, here we will cover both ways and we will give you some tips to cope with trekking if you are not used to it.

Private car tour

  • We must take the Panamericana Norte highway to the city of Huaral.
  • We take Los Naturales avenue that will take you to the route that goes to the mountains.
  • After an hour of travel we will arrive at a toll.
  • Before reaching the bridge “Ing. Oscar Vargas Avendaño” you will see a detour that indicates the La Florida – Pampas tourist area.
  • From here the path becomes more complicated, as it is very steep and only one track. Make sure you have a full tank from Huaral, because the elevation will make it consume much more and it may not enter your calculations.
  • After an hour and a half of travel we will arrive in La Florida, where we must pay the entrance fee to Rúpac with 10 soles (USD 2.50).

Bus and collective tour 

  • We will go to the Grand Terminal Terrestre in Plaza Norte and take a bus that will take us to the city of Huaral.
  • Then we will take a bus to Las Pampas, whose average ticket is usually 25 soles (USD 6) per person.
  • After 2 hours of travel we will arrive in La Florida, where we must pay the entrance fee to Rúpac with 10 soles (USD 2.50).

Arrival to the Pampas 

After about 10 minutes of paying for the entrance, we have arrived by bus or car, we will arrive at the ‘Ghost Town’ of Las Pampas.

Finally, once in Las Pampas, we will be able to find restaurants and shops where we can stock up before starting the trekking. The origin of it being a “ghost town” is due to the fact that, a long time ago, its inhabitants decided to move to another place, leaving their houses intact. 

Today, the town is seen more as a tourist attraction. The residents of La Florida go up and install their food and tourism businesses, since the route to Rúpac has Las Pampas as a mandatory point, so it is a win-win situation between locals and visitors. 

Now yes, without further ado! The part of the tour arrives on foot to Rúpac. You can choose to go on your own or hire a guided service, in addition to having the opportunity to rent burritos to transport your things to the city of fire. 

Hiking and camping in Rúpac

The hike will be strenuous, so it is always recommended to go in good health. There are 6 kilometers of walking that can be extended up to 3 hours depending on your physical condition, but everything has its reward. 

On the way you will be able to observe a dream landscape and contemplate a waterfall on your way. Once you arrive at Rúpac, your reward will be even greater, since you will be greeted with a beautiful sunset. Remember to rest for bits and then resume so you don’t miss a beat. 

Don’t think about it too much and set up your tent in the camping area as soon as you can, since a surprise rain could complicate things for you. 

Cloud mattress in Rúpac

The cloud mattress is possibly the reason why many interested parties found out about the existence of Rúpac and were encouraged to visit the archaeological complex. It is, as its name says, a mattress of clouds that forms at the top and gives us the feeling of being above the sky. 

In general, it tends to form frequently in January and February. However, you can visit the place at any time of the year and enjoy the other attractions in the same way.

Rúpac Archaeological Complex

The Rúpac Archaeological Complex was built by the Atavillos, one of the most important pre-Inca cultures in the province of Lima. Their purpose was to create a defense system from the heights, so they dominated the tops of the mountains that go from 3,500 to 3,800 meters above sea level. 

To this day, the buildings remain intact over the centuries, which is why it has earned its title as the “Machu Picchu of Lima”. You will be able to observe the kullpis (dwellings) and the chullpas (funeral towers) in their settlement areas. Not only that, but you will also be able to identify warehouses, fireplaces, patios and other environments that have been known to be maintained after so many years. 

If you wonder why they call it “the city of fire”, it is because it is said that its buildings would have been painted with such a bright red that, at sunset, the citadel seemed to catch fire. Small vestiges can still be found that would prove the origin of that name. 

To finish, keep in mind some tips that will help you on your trip: leave early for Huaral, bring warm clothes and special tents or sleeping bags for mountains, take pills for soroche, bring an umbrella and try to have enough water for the trip.

Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views. 

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticketin advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchuwithout any problem.

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