Pukara de Quitor and Tulor

Atacama – Chile – February 2015



Pukara de Quitor and the village of Tulor are attractions close to San Pedro de Atacama and popular with tourists. In this article we discover their characteristics and the accessibility of these important archaeological sites.

Among the most popular and recommended excursions of the Atacama area near San Pedro there is definitely the one that allows you to visit the fortress of Pukara de Quitor that is generally combined, at least in organized tours, with that of the village of Tulor.
These are two separate and very different visits: accessibility issues therefore require distinction.

Pukara de Quitor

Dating back to the 12th century, Pukara de Quitor was an important defensive fortress that protected the Atacameo people from the neighboring populations with whichthey were in perpetual conflict.
It was built in a strategic location that allowed it to be naturally defended from the ravine on the river and a wall in the most accessible part. The building climbs the steep hill from which you can see the original houses and walls built with stones and mortar.

The city remained under Inca rule until 1536. It took the Spaniards about 20 years to conquer the city and annex the population to their dominion, years in which

the Spanish destroyed almost all the evidence of the ancient indigenous civilization. The archaeological site of Pukar de Quitor preserves the ruins of the fortress, which rises over 260 feet high while it is assumed that under the ground there are still important remains capable of dissolving the thousand doubts that the archaeologists have still failed to escape.

Pukara de Quitor is 3 kilometres from San Pedro de Atacama and covers an area of 2.5 hectares. Unfortunately, the site is not accessible to a wheelchair disabled person and not easy for those with mobility difficulties: the hill climb often has stairs that cannot be avoided.
For this reason, the hike is strongly discouraged for those who have walking problems.

The village of Tulor

The archaeological village of Tulor is the oldest settlement found in the Valley. The human presence in this village seems to date back to the 800 bc and was miraculously preserved by the sand that almost completely submerged it. It consists of dwellings composed of circular rooms joined by corridors and balconies. Built with mud and surrounded by walls that served as protection could reach up to 2 meters in height.
Home to about 200 inhabitants (a very high number that made Tulor a very important city for the time) today houses an open-air museum buried in the sand in the middle of the desert.

The village of Tulor is an archaeological site that can also be visited by a wheelchair-bound disabled person: the entire complex is spread over a flat territory with an excellent degree of accessibility.
If you have difficulty walking on the disjointed and very sandy bottom no problem: at the beginning of the site have been set up two perfect reconstructions of the original houses in which you can access and touch the atmosphere of the ancient inhabitants of Tulor.

Photos of Pukara de Quitor and the village of Tulor


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