The Chavín were a major pre-Inca culture flourishing between 900 and 200 BC. They influenced subsequent cultural development throughout Peru. Chavín de Huántar is the most important site associated with the Chavín people, as their religious center and capital. They worshipped three major gods: the moon, the sun, and a divine creator who took a feline form.
The Tello Obelisk is believed to portray a creation story and is one of the most complex stone carvings known in the Americas for its time.
Perhaps the most striking part of the Chavín de Huántar ruins are the subterranean chambers and the Tenon heads (Cabeza Clavos), which projected from the tops of walls, though most have been removed and placed in the museum.
The Lanzón Stela, 4.5 meters of carved white granite, was the most important statue of the central deity of the Chavín people.
After the ruins we visited the nearby thermal springs. We arrived to find it closed, but were hell-bent on having a hot soak. We tried our credit card in the lock. No luck. Then we found an unlocked window. I was just about to launch myself through the window when the guy came to unlock the door. Wouldn’t that have been awkward if he came back from lunch and found two naked gringos inside.
The soak was lovely, but now we reek of sulfur and my hair smells like rotten eggs.