The ruins of Chavin de Huantar are located to the east of the Cordillera Blanca, about 110km from Huaraz, and at an altitude of 3250m. This fortress-temple was constructed between 1200 and 300 BC and is the only large structure remaining from the Chavin culture. It is thought to have been a major ceremonial and pilgrimage center. In 1985 UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Trust Site.
To avoid the temple’s being flooded and destroyed during the rainy season, the Chavín people created a successful drainage system. Several canals built under the temple acted as drainage.
The Chavín also showed advanced acoustic efects. During the rainy season water rushes through the canals underneath and creates a roaring sound that emulates a jaguar, for the Andes people a sacred animal.
The main deity was the so called Lanzon, which is at the end of one underground narrow corridor,
The external architecture featured large ceremonial squares, and the main temple had the form of a flat pyramid, as well a main gate with cylindric-formed columns, the only ones existing under the old cultures in Peru.
The circular square at the left side of the complex, features several stone-carved images. one of these shows probably a priest holding a San Pedro hallucynogenic cactus.