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Kuelap Archaeological Complex

Kuelap Archaeological Complex is part of the Tentative List in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the State Party


Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
I visited Cajamarca and its churches in one day, and at night I slept in Baños del Inca, a natural thermal spa where the doorman let me enter for free.

The following day I set off to Kuelap. The hitchhiking was not easy, so I offered myself as a porter to the truck drivers in exchange for transportation. Thus, after selling all the salt from one truck in the markets of several towns, I got them to take me to Celendín, where I met with full-on festivals, with streets decorated with balloons and streamers, religious processions, bull fights, burning cane castles, firecrackers, fireworks, and music from drums, cymbals, and trumpets. On another day, I sold wicker baskets and was then transported to Balsas, on the banks of the Marañón River, which along with the Huallaga and the Ucayali form the Amazon River.

Two days later, I reached the village of Kuelap. This pre-Inca fortress was on top of a 3,000-meter mountain. Arriving at the top, I made friends with the guard, who let me enter freely and explained to me that there were many more ruins that had been discovered but were unknown to the public and many more yet to be discovered, but the government did not care enough about archaeology. The Inca Trail continued to Cuzco through the mountains, and between Kuelap and Machu Picchu there must have been many more unknown fortresses.

At night, the guard invited me to sleep in his room. We were taking some fresh air, about seven in the evening, when I asked him:

—Did you see Halley’s Comet pass?

And the guard, pointing with his index finger to the place in the sky where he saw it, answered:

—Yes, more or less over there…Uy! What is that!

I looked surprised: It was a flying saucer! It was much brighter than a big star, but the size was much larger. It was slowly moving for a minute until it disappeared behind a black cloud. We were hoping that it would go through and come out the other side, but the black cloud remained, hiding it. It wasn’t a meteorite or a shooting star, since they move faster, and it wasn’t a plane, which is smaller and gives a little light. We were convinced it was a UFO.

For the guard, it wasn’t the first time he saw it, nor was it the most spectacular. He told me that many citizens of the U.S. travel to Peru because of a book that actress Shirley MacLaine wrote. In it she tells that she observed several UFOs during her visit to the country. There are even places, in the area around Huancayo, where the American tourists themselves have made signs in English indicating the direction in which to spot the UFOs...!
Date posted: July 2013

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Site info

Kuelap Archaeological Complex
This site is part of the Tentative list of: Peru

Site History:
2011 Tentative list
Submitted as tentative site by State Party

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