The province of Recuay is located at 3,394 m.a.s.l. (11,132 ft.), 25 km south of Huaraz. Its name comes from the Quechua term sucaracoay which means "to extract fine metal". As the first province in the Callejon de Huaylas, it bids us welcome. It is a town of unsophisticated, hardworking people who devote their efforts to agriculture, raising livestock and mining. It is not uncommon to see republic-type architecture in most of the homes, which the visitor can admire while walking down narrow streets. This type of architecture is characterized by adobe walls, traditional balconies and shingled roofs slanted in both directions. The townspeople of this province have proudly preserved the traditions of their ancestors, the Recuays, as well as the peculiar name of their town.
Said culture developed between the years 0 and 600 A.D. and greatly influenced the peoples of the Callejon de Huaylas. Its name has been changed during different research periods, and archeologists are still debating as to the date and location of its origin. One of the best-supported interpretations is one that argues that the Recuay Culture is an extension and modification of the Chavin Culture.
In terms of its social organization, researchers have been able to determine very little. Due to the large amount of fortresses found in strategic locations, it is common to refer to the Recuay Culture as a military society that may have been responsible for keeping the Moche peoples from expanding out to the Andean region.
Since its architecture is a classic inheritance from the Chavin culture, it is characterized by the use of underground passages in temples as well as homes. These were built using sculpted stones. Temples had a large courtyard. Recuay tombs were the most elaborate in the Andes. Most of them are found inside temples or homes. We must also mention their ceramic, similar to that of the Cajamarca Culture. White and orange are the predominant colors. There is a great variety of sculptures although the finish is very rough. Depictions include llamas and felines, as well as humans receiving offerings and playing musical instruments. The Recuays have produced very important lithic work, including art in high and low relief capturing scenes from daily life and the famous stone heads inspired by the Chavin Culture. Most representations depict felines, snakes, sculpted heads and human bodies. This culture's function is still to be determined.