This is not only archeology, but a true valley where we will find petroglyphs, rock art, stone houses and the imposing Pukara of Lasana, a fortress built by the Atacameños (Likanantay) in the 12th century.
We left San Pedro de Atacama at dawn. We advanced through the desert about 140 kilometers until we found an immense fortress of stones, placed one on top of the other on a mountain. We were in front of a pre-Columbian heritage, probably one of the oldest in Chile, the Pukará de Lasana.
According to several investigations, they were defensive dwellings, supported against each other, aligning their construction according to the terrain of the mountain. They have narrow internal passages and a large and firm wall surrounding the complex. There is talk of a primitive architecture, where rationalism and self-defense prevail over decoration.
Bad tongues tell that the artists and the lovers of the painting had to go away to hide in the valley, to enter in the ravines and to construct its decorations there. It is believed that they were great murals of colors that were remaining forever in the rocks and are what today we know as petroglyphs.
Although Lasana is not known for its petroglyphs, you can find in the valley some of them that are being maintained and cared for by the same community.
But this is not all. Passing the fortress, the road leads along a curve and then a wonderful green valley, located along the Loa river canyon, a miraculous corner where the water is added to water the crops. We can find corn, chives, lettuce, carrot and letarragas.
As a tip, do not return when you arrive at the Pukará de Lasana, as it is only the gateway to beautiful green landscapes, hidden petroglyphs, Andean animals and very good people working from sun to sun to keep alive their Atacama traditions, their culture and its heritage that is and will continue to be an important legacy for all Chileans.