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Home » Puno » Pucará

You are visiting part of southern Peru and you have already visited Lake Titicaca, now it's your turn to visit Pucara, an unmissable destination that you have to do in Puno, this site stands out for being the sculptural capital of the "Toritos de Pucara" figures that are traditionally placed on the roofs of the houses for their protection.

Pucará is 70 km from Juliaca (Puno) at an altitude of 3910 masl. It was declared Cultural Patrimony of the Nation granted by the National Institute of Culture; the place is very popular for making the famous "Toritos de Pucará" very traditional figures that have a traditional value and the villagers point out that and serve to ward off bad vibes.

Pucará comes from the Aymara word meaning "fortress" and still has pre-Inca roots. Another characteristic of this culture is the cult of the condor, the toad and the puma, which can be seen on the outskirts of the city.

What to see in Pucará

  • In Pucará you can see monoliths, dwellings, underground constructions and ceremonial centers.
  • Visit the Stone Museum, where numerous pieces of archaeological value, zoomorphic sculptures and other relevant objects are exhibited.
  • 1 km from Pucara is Kalasasaya, a ceremonial center with 9 pyramids of different sizes and shapes.
  • Museum of Ceramics of Pucará.
  • Temple of Santa Isabel, Temple of Santiago de Pupuja.

Bulls of prosperity

According to the locals, years ago the city of Pucara (Puno) suffered a drought that worried the locals, so a villager decided to give a bull as an offering to the god Pachacamaq.

It is said that he climbed with the animal until he reached the rock of Pucará and began to make his pleas; at first the bull resisted and in the struggle one of his horns pierced the rock and miraculously came out of that place enough water to supply the city and no longer suffer the ravages of drought.

From that moment on, the bull became a ritual element that signified protection, strength, vitality, prosperity, abundance and wealth, as well as protector of homes.

That is why in the Peruvian highlands you will see bulls placed on the roofs of houses or on the front door. Nowadays you can buy this symbolic figure in different sizes and colors.

It is advisable to have two little bulls at home, according to this tradition duality ensures protection and happiness.

Toritos De Pucaras Como Simbolo De Proteccion
Pucara bulls as a symbol of protection, prosperity.

Visiting the Lithic Museum of Pucará

The Lithic Museum of Pucará was founded in 1999 and exhibits lithic sculptures of the Pucará culture, including collections:

  • Monoliths of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures of different shapes.
  • Granite trails, rain or lightning trail measuring 2 meters high.

Where is Pucará located?

How to get to Pucará?

Pucará si trova a 61 km da Puno, per arrivare a Pucará è necessario viaggiare in autobus da Puno - Juliaca (ci vogliono 45 minuti) e da lì dobbiamo prendere un altro autobus che ci porterà a Pucará in 1 ora e mezza, una volta arrivati sul posto dobbiamo camminare per circa 10 minuti e arriviamo al Complesso Archeologico di Pucará. È possibile visitarla dal lunedì alla domenica dalle 9.00 alle 16.00.

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