Maca and Pinchollo
Maca, 23 kilometers west of Chivay, was nearly destroyed by repeated eruptions of nearby Sabancaya Volcano in the late 1980s. Because it sits on a geological fault line, it is continually disturbed by earthquakes.
The village’s charming church, Santa Ana, is damaged but still standing. The facade is decorated with miniature false pillars, carved flowers, and a curious balcony that was used by missionaries to preach and present images to the natives.
On the way outside of town, the Choquetico Stone is a carved Collagua model of nearly 10,000 hectares of terracing in the Colca Canyon. This rock was perhaps used for prophetic or rainmaking rituals, perhaps in conjunction with chicha or llama blood. On the surrounding hills are ancient colcas, adobe-and-stone granaries for which the canyon is named.
The 17th-century San Sebastián church in Pinchollo, 27 kilometers west of Chivay, is another church worth visiting, with a baroque altar and a baptistry with elaborately painted entrance.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition