Discover some of Peru’s most fascinating archaeological gems throughout the Northern Kingdoms region in Peru.
Although the Inca Empire (1438–1533AD) is the most famous pre-Columbian civilization in Peru, it is certainly not the only one. The Moche (100 to 700 AD) and Chimu (900-1470 AD) civilisations lived in the area where Trujillo and Chiclayo are. This area is also known as the Northern Kingdoms of Peru.
These amazing civilisations created their own unique cities, artwork and culture which rivals that of the Inca Empire. The Moche were famous for their monumental constructions (huacas) and irrigation systems. As a result, their most renowned structures in the area are Huaca del Sol y Luna, Sipan, El Brujo and Huanchaco.
From Chiclayo you can visit ceremonial monuments like the Royal Tombs, Tucume and Lord of Sipan. Whereas from Trujillo you can explore Huaca del Sol y Luna, El Brujo and Chan Chan ruins- the largest pre-Columbian city in America. You could continue to Chachapoyas for a more in-depth understanding of Peru’s ancient cultures.
Arrive in Chiclayo and transfer to your hotel.
Option to visit the mud-brick pyramid that made world headlines in 1987 with one of the most sensational finds of recent archaeology. Known as the Huaca Rajada — the “Cracked Pyramid”, because of the deep gulleys weathered into its flanks — this eroded adobe platform yielded fabulous ancient treasures from a series of deeply buried tombs of the pre-Inca Moche culture, who lived in the valleys of Peru’s north coast 1,500 years ago.
Today depart on a full-day tour visiting the Lord of Sipan archaeological site and the wonderful Royal Tombs Museum. See the incredible array of precious symbols and images, stones and shell necklaces, ear-plugs and headdresses that were worn and displayed at Moche ceremonies, and also learn what is known of their meaning. After visiting the museum we have lunch and visit the Tucume Valley of the Pyramids, where you can see the chronological sequence that followed the fall of the Moche.
Transfer to Trujillo, with a stop at El Brujo archaeological site en route. This afternoon visit the Huaca de la Luna, and the Huaca Del Sol, two huge flat-topped pyramids built by the Moche culture between 0 and 800 A.D. After a guided tour and some time to explore the site on your own, visit the onsite Museum Huacas del Moche, built in a pyramid style to look like Moche architecture, which displays some fine ceramics as well as a feline cat-cloak of gold and feathers.
Half-day tour of the impressive Chan Chan ruins, the capital of the Chimu Kingdom and the largest adobe citadel in the Americas. Afterwards we drive to nearby Huanchaco for lunch by the Pacific Ocean.
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.