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Cultural tourism

Cultural tourism forms the largest sector of the tourism industry in Peru. Pre-Columbian civilizations – most notably the Inca Empire, Chavín, Moche, and Nasca – left a large archeological and cultural impact on the nation. The ruins of Machu Picchu are the most internationally recognized of all the ruins of Peru and therefore receive the most tourists. The other popular ruins are those of Chan Chan, Sipán, Kuelap, Nazca Lines, Ollantaytambo, Caral, Sacsayhuamán, and Sillustani.

Tourists also visit the Spanish colonial architecture in many cities in Peru. Some of the most outstanding examples of Spanish colonial architecture are in the cities of Lima, Arequipa, and Cusco. These areas, many built over 500 years ago, demonstrate the superb architectural ingenuity of the colonists during the Viceroyalty of Peru. The city of Lima has many acclaimed museums holding works of art reflecting the diverse history of the country. These museums include the National Museum, National Museum of Anthropology, Archeology and History; Rafael Larco Herrera Archeological Museum, National Museum of Peruvian Culture, and Museum of Italian Art, among many others. There are also many museums outside Lima, including the Regional Museum of the National University of San Martin in Tarapoto, San Martin.

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