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Faces in the Rocks

Only a few hours' journey from Lima, you can immerse yourself in a wild and stirring mountainscape at Marcahuasi. The granite domes and crags of this Andean plateau call to mind human visages, animals, and other familiar shapes, enough so that some freewheeling theories about the site's backstory abound, including notions that ancient pre-Columbian sculptors or even alien civilizations are behind the rock formations. Though good old Mother Nature herself is likely responsible for Marcahuasi's arresting landscape, there are ancient ruins here as well. It's a fine place to camp and hike around, many visitors hiring donkeys for the expedition.

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