As far as Lima’s inhabitants are concerned, Miraflores is the major focus of the city’s action and nightlife, its streets lined with cafés and the capital’s flashiest shops. A good place to make for first is the Huaca Pucllana, a temple, pre-Columbian tomb and administrative centre in the middle of suburban Miraflores. This vast pre-Inca adobe mound continues to dwarf most of the houses around and has a small site museum, craft shop and very good restaurant (see Miraflores). From the top of the huaca you can see over the office buildings and across the flat roofs of the multicoloured houses in the heart of Miraflores.
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The oracular origins of the Huaca Pucllana
One of a large number of huacas and palaces that formerly stretched across this part of the valley, little is known about the Huaca Pucllana, though it seems likely that it was originally named after a pre-Inca chief of the area. It has a hollow core running through its cross section and is believed to have been constructed in the shape of an enormous frog, symbol of the rain god, who spoke to priests through a tube connected to the cavern at its heart. This site may well have been the mysteriously unknown oracle after which the Rimac (meaning “he who speaks”) Valley was named; a curious document from 1560 affirms that the “devil” spoke at this mound.