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Bacpack to Rupac, City of Fire

San Salvador de Pampas, Peru



4.6 miles

Elevation Gain

1312.3 ft

Route Type



Added by Alejandro Flores

Rupac are a ruins of Atavillos pre-Inca culture in Huaral, la Sierra de Lima.

The route starts in San Salvador de Pampas in Huaral. It is 4 hours from Lima. San Salvador de Pampas is known as the phantom village because people went down to La Florida in order to get access to better ground for farming.

We started the walk at 12:00 pm after having a very good lunch in Pampas. First we passed by a little waterfall and corn farmlands. Until here the route is descending. Then we started the route going up which has dust and rocks and changes constantly. That´s the difficulty of this route, which is a very old route.

After 2 hours of walking we got to Marka Culpi an ancient lookout point of the Atavillos. Atavillos was a preInca culture and those who lived in Huaral domained a large extension of this area. One hour later we got to Rupac. We set up the campsite next to the ruins. 

When the sunset came we walked to the ruins to have the most beautiful view of the valley of Chancay River. At this moment you realize why it´s called The Fire City. The red light of the dying sun reflects on the houses.

Then we prepared to spend the night. The night was very cold up there because Rupac is over 3,400 meters above sea level and sometimes there is "helada" an event with a very cold fog thats descends from the top of the mountains. The night offers another priceless show, Rupac was also an astronomical Observatory. There is a rock on the ground with a kind of lunar calendar.

Next morning, we prepared our stuff and went again to the ruins in order to receive the morning sun and warm up. After this refill of energy we explored the ruins.

Rupac is special because the ruins have their ceilings intact after many years without maintenance, so it is not exactly correct to call them ruins. The secret is in the clay used to seal the house. Also one house can have 4 or 5 levels for 10 people approximately.

Around 9:00 am we started the walk to Pampas, but we stopped in Marca Kulpi for some exploration of this little lookout point. Marca Kulpi track is a variation of the main route.

After 3 hours of walking and taking some photos of birds like condors, hummingbirds and others we got to Pampas again. We explored the phantom village, specially its church which is visited by the people of La Florida (new village) in August for a religious festivity.

Finally we returned to Lima.

It is forbidden to camp or climb the ruin, so please if you go someday respect the legacy of our ancients.

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