Ancient Ruins of South America...
The continent's top archaeological legacy

Beginning around 9,000 years ago - long before the first Europeans reached its shores - several civilizations flourished in South America. Evidence of their passage is scattered all over the continent, whether in the form of gold jewelery, pottery, textiles or magnificent architecture and works of art of all types we can only enjoy in museums nowadays.

Despite de advent of the conquistadores - they managed to rob or destroy as much as they could through three centuries of domination - South America still holds a treasure of ancient sites and cultures yet to be understood and thoroughly comprehended.

True, some of them, like the Incas for instance, presented human sacrifices to their blood-thirsty Gods in the 1500s - and that may sound brutal by today's standard - but at this very moment in History we read in the paper that a bunch of fanatics in the name of some God or ancient religion feel right to behead people for their religious believes and to destroy millenary monuments without blinking an eye.

Others find humorous - and profitable - to ridicule someone else's God and religious believes. That in turn triggers more hate, division and killings as a consequence, while world leaders quickly get together to rally against barbarians of some sort.

Unfortunately, many governments and institutions still find very appealing to practice the old adage divide and conquer. And if that is not good enough, create some foreign wars to support a decayed state of affairs at the home front.

Have we learnt something or transformed ourselves into a more evolutioned specie over the last five hundred years or so?

With all due respect, I doubt it very much.

We are in desperate need of a better distribution of wealth on the Planet - and leaders the size of Mahatma Gandhi - for instance. Same old, same old it is not appealing to anyone anymore, irrelevant of skin color.

Today, human sacrifices are not done in the drastic way the Incas practiced during the Inti Raymi celebration, using the ceremonial knife known as tumi. We have managed to condemn the vast majority of the world's population to a slow death by lack of opportunities, health, food, water and, ultimately, any chance of survival.

Under the magnifying glass of today's reality, I can hardly think that the Incas were so brutal after all. They built an empire that looked after its people, crops and all, which cannot be said for many governments and politicians, more concerned about their own re-election than living up to the responsibilities handed over to them by democratic societies through vote.

The number of ancient sites in South America is massive, some of them are already part of UNESCO's World Heritage List, others sit on the tentative list for the time being, and a good number has yet to be explored and placed in the right perspective within South America's history and evolution.

The following list doesn't pretend to be exhaustive by any means, it only attempts to bring some insight regarding relevant archaeological sites worth to be explored if you're fond of cultural tourism, history and archaeology. It's accompanied by a small photo gallery to give you a visual perspective of the remnants as they stand today.

Ancient Ruins of South America - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Download PDF version

Gold Museum. Bogota, Colombia
Gold Museum. Bogota, Colombia


Return from Ancient Ruins of South America to Unique South America Travel Experience Home