POINTS OF INTEREST
Few people realize it, but the oldest urban site in the western hemisphere is just 220 km (120 miles) north of Lima. Caral was first settled around 5,000 BC, long before the rise of ancient Egypt, though Caral's squat Pirámide Mayor is slightly younger than Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza. It may not be as spectacular as other Peruvian sites, but Caral has some interesting structures that evoke a well-developed people, who archaeologists have dubbed the Caral-Supe Culture. It takes nearly four hours to drive to Caral and it is not easy to find, so the best way to visit it is on an organized tour.