Caral Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, activities to do, food to eat, and culture of Caral, Peru with this comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Caral

Caral is a magnificent city in the Supe Valley of Peru’s Central Coast and the world’s oldest civilization dating back to 2600 BC. Caral is not just a city; it is also an archaeological site that holds hints of the lost civilization that once thrived there. The city possesses a unique historical and cultural heritage that visitors can explore and appreciate.

List of Places to Visit in Caral

  • Caral Museum: A small yet informative museum located near the ruins, displaying the artefacts found in the area.
  • Caral Archaeological Zone: A vast and well-preserved site featuring pyramids, plazas, and other structures of the pre-Columbian civilization.
  • Mirador del Bosque: A deck area set in a thick forest and perfect for panoramic views of Supe Valley and the archeological zone.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Caral Museum: It’s an 800sqft building dedicated to the ancient civilization of Caral, displaying the preserved artefacts that have been discovered in the area. Visitors can see the first musical instruments and textiles that were used by the ancient Caral people. The museum’s architecture combines earth and stone materials used in building the site’s structures.

Natural Attractions of Caral: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Mirador del Bosque: A beautiful forest located in the Central Andes that provides some breathtaking panoramic landscapes of the Supe Valley and the archaeological area of Caral. The plants and animals are in perfect balance and provide a perfect day-trip destination for nature lovers.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Caral

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of hikes and bike trails that you can take in Caral. Following some of the hiking trails will lead you to unique views of the surrounding area. Biking is also an excellent way to explore the valleys and streams that weave through the area.

Best Things to Do in Caral: Activities and Tours

  • Caral Archaeological Site Tour: Caral’s must-do tour is a guided, immersive experience, which gives you a complete understanding of the ancient civilization’s history and the people that once lived there.
  • Spend a day in the Supe Valley: Explore the beautiful landscapes of the Supe Valley by foot or by bike. You can visit the Caral Archaeological site, take a hike up the Bosques Mountains, or just sit back and enjoy the view.
  • Go Stargazing: Caral’s dark skies offer a unique stargazing opportunity. The lack of light pollution makes for some of the best stargazing in Peru.

Week-Long Itinerary for Caral

Day Activity
1 Arrival in Lima and head towards the archeological zone of Caral
2 Local tour of Caral’s archaeological site
3 Visit Bosque de Piedras and famed Bosques Mountains
4 Relaxing day and meander through the city streets of Caral
5 Pedal through rivers and streams on bikes
6 Head to the Archeological Museum before heading out for lunch
7 Depart from Caral and take a side trip to Huacachina Oasis before departing back home

Food and Drink Scene of Caral

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pachamanca: A traditional Andean dish made of meat, vegetables, and spices. The dish is cooked underground, using hot stones and is served with potatoes and corn.
  • Cebiche: A fish dish served raw and cured in lime juice and complemented by chopped onions and hot peppers.
  • Lomo Saltado: Beef stir-fry, an iconic Peruvian dish influenced by Chinese immigrants.

Local Beverages

  • Chicha: An alcoholic beverage made from fermented maize, which has been brewed since pre-Columbian times.
  • Pisco Sour: A citrus cocktail made with Pisco, a type of brandy, lime juice, simple syrup, and topped with egg whites.

Where to Stay in Caral: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are only a few quality accommodation options in the immediate area, so tourists often choose to stay in Lima and then visit the city on a day trip. Some great places to stay in Lima include the Hotel Caral or Hostel Los Andes.

What to Buy in Caral: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Visit some of the markets in nearby towns to buy some fascinating handicrafts like pottery, musical instruments, and textiles from the Andean region.

Local Culture and Customs of Caral

The people of Caral converse mainly in Spanish, although there are also indigenous languages, such as Quechua, that are spoken. The people of Caral have a unique heritage, which is a blend of pre-Columbian and contemporary influences.

Best Time to Visit Caral

The best time to visit Caral is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this period, the skies are clear, and precipitation is minimal, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Caral


  • Dress appropriately according to cultural values
  • Be polite and respectful to the locals
  • Try the traditional food and drinks


  • Don’t bring anything valuable while visiting or hiking
  • Don’t litter as it can disturb the ecosystem
  • Don’t visit remote places after dark

Safety and Health

Safety in Caral

Caral’s a safe place to visit, but it is always better to take certain precautions. Always keep an eye on your belongings and avoid walking in remote areas after dark.

Health in Caral

Visitors should avoid drinking tap water, bring medication for certain allergies, bring sunscreen, and apply mosquito repellent when necessary.

Getting to Caral: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Caral

The Jorge Chaves International Airport of Lima, Peru, is the closest airport to Caral.

Bus Stations Near Caral

There are several buses in Lima’s central bus station that will take you to San Pedro de Lloc in the province of Pacasmayo. From San Pedro, you can reach Caral through a taxi or a private vehicle.

Other Options

Tourists may rent cars or hire taxis to reach Caral from Lima, which is a popular and cost-effective option.

How to Get Around in Caral

The best way to get around is on foot or by bike.

Where to Go Next from Caral: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

There are several destinations that travelers can visit from Caral, including:

  • Huacachina Oasis: A small oasis surrounded by sand dunes and perfect for an adventure-packed day trip that includes sandboarding and dune buggying.
  • Trujillo: A charming colonial city known for its stunning architecture, food, and beaches.
  • Lima: The capital of Peru, Lima, is a bustling metropolis, and one of the most exciting cities in South America with a vibrant culinary scene.


Caral is a hidden gem in Peru that is perfect for a day trip or even a weekend getaway. The city is rich in history and beauty and provides opportunities for authentic experiences that are hard to find elsewhere. A visit to Caral is a chance to immerse yourself in the culture and heritage of one of the greatest civilizations in the world.