Cumbe Mayo is located about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of the Peruvian city of Cajamarca, at an elevation of approximately 11,000 feet . The location is best known for the ruins of a Pre-Columbian aqueduct stretching approximately five miles in length. The aqueduct collected water from the Atlantic watershed and redirected it on its way to the Pacific Ocean. It is thought to have been constructed around 1500 B.C. and may be the oldest existing man-made structure in South America. The name Cumbe Mayo may be derived from a Quechua phrase, kumpi mayu, meaning well-made water channel, or humpi mayo, meaning thin river. There are a number of petroglyphs on the aqueduct and surrounding caverns.
This remote mountainous region is also the location of a "stone forest" composed of natural volcanic rocks which have been shaped by erosion. These formations of volcanic rock are also known as Los Frailones, or the Stone Monks.
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