Petroglyphs of Pusharo
The Petroglyphs of Pusharo are an important cultural monument located in the Manú National Park of Peru. The closest accessible community is Palotoa-Teparo, an indigenous Matsiguenka community that also runs tours to the ruins through their ecotourism committee. It is also possible to visit the Petroglyphs through a small number of licensed tour companies, most of which are headquartered in Cusco. A permit from the Manú Park officials is required to enter the park and see the Petroglyphs.
The Petroglyphs of Pusharo constitute a unique and extensive ancient rock art site in southeast Peru's Manú National Park, a jungled expanse that still contains unexplored and little known areas, and for which an official government permit is required for entry.
The site is made up of an array of deeply incised rock carvings that cover up to a height of 9 feet, a perpendicular rock face that is over 100 feet long and 75 feet high. Its location is on the south shore of the Río Palatoa (designated on some maps at this location as the Porotoa, and known by others as the Palatoa Chico). The petroglyphs are thought by some researchers to be purely pan-Amazonian in origin, and of mistico-religious or shamanic significance to those Amerindians of past centuries who must have been their creators. Others believe that there is an Incan component that is now coming to light, and that the glyphs constitute parts of a map. Definitive word on the meaning of Pusharo's glyphs must wait until further research is conducted and completed. The glyphs contain elements such as heart-shaped faces, some with double borders, spirals, zigzags, suns, "curlicue X's" and others that defy verbal description.
It is possible to visit the petroglyphs either on an organized tour or on your own with the permission of the closest native community, Palotoa-Teparo. To go with the community on your own, you must first contact the community of Palotoa-Teparo. The community has a tourism committee that is in charge of directing activities to obtain revenues. They will help you obtain a permit with the park officials and then take you by boat to see the petroglyphs. The petroglyphs are a 5 hour boat ride from the community of Palotoa-Teparo and may only be reachable in part on foot through the dry season. To plan for the trip, contact the community in advance, at least 3-5 days in advance, so that you may apply for a permit from the park in Cusco. In the community of Palotoa-Teparo, you can sleep in the Albergue Pusharo and then undertake the trip to the petroglyphs in one day. It is possible to camp at the site of the petroglyphs, although there is slight danger of animals such as large jungle cats. You may also return the same day to the community. The boat ride along the way is very beautiful.