Discover the ancient ruins and fascinating archaeological sites of Northern Peru on this 4-day itinerary from Trujillo. Explore the Moche religious sites at Huaca de la Luna and Huaca del Sol, wander the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ruins of Chan Chan, witness the cosmic and mythological murals of El Brujo and visit one of South America’s most impressive archaeological museums in Lambayeque.
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Trujillo City Tour
You’re greeted by your guides upon arrive in Trujillo. After checking into your hotel, set off on your guided tour of the city. We begin our tour in Colonial Trujillo with a stop at the Main Square and its Freedom Monument. From there, we visit the Cathedral, the Calonge Urquiaga House whose neoclassical house has been renovated into a museum housing Chimu gold, the Emancipation House, Recreo Park, and “La Merced” Church. After our town tour, we have time to visit the UNT Archeological Museum. Located in the “Risco House,” this museum follows the north coast’s cultural development from 10,000 BC to the arrival of the conquerors in 1532.
After our full day, return to your hotel.
Moche Valley, Rainbow Temple, Huanchaco Beach and Chan Chan
Rise early and enjoy breakfast before meeting with your guides at the hotel. Then set off for the day’s adventures into the Moche countryside where you visit the Huacas de Moche Museum, known for its pottery exhibitions featuring Moche iconography.
Up next, visit Huaca de la Luna, or Temple of the Moon, a Moche religious center lined with murals depicting their god Aiapaec, or the beheaded, as well as warriors, dancers, animals, giant spiders, abstract motifs and more.
From here we venture to the Huaca del Sol, or Temple of the Sun. This pyramid stands 43 meters high and was built for administrative purposes in the Moche Urban Area; it formerly housed the upper class Moche people.
This afternoon, we continue our travels to the Temple of the Rainbow, or Temple of the Dragon. The Chimu people crafted this temple and decorated it with fertility figures as a place of worship. From here, we continue on to the traditional seaside village of Huanchaco. Enjoy a fresh seafood lunch and sights of the local fishermen venturing out on their “Caballitos de Totora,” or reed boats.
By late afternoon, we finish up with a visit to Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site once home to 100,000 habitants who resisted the expansion of the Inca Empire. The city of Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimu Empire, which grew in the region after the fall of the Moche Empire. It is the first and largest non-pyramidal structure built with mud brick “adobe.”
Return to your hotel and enjoy another Peruvian dinner.
Trujillo, El Brujo Archaelogical Complex, Cuseum of Cao and Chiclayo
Rise early and travel to Chiclayo City. On the way we visit the archeological complex of El Brujo and the museum of Cao. The complex of El Brujo comprises Huaca Prieta, Huaca Partida and Huaca Cao Viejo, which has decorations in high relief of the god Aiapaec depicted in murals. Wonder up at the mural depicting around 50 figures related to the cosmic world, mythological animals, shamans, warriors, and human sacrifices.
Also discover where the mummy of Lady of Cao, the probably ruler and priestess, was discovered. The Lady of Cao is also known as the “Lady of the Tattoos” because her arms and legs are coursed with tattoos of spiders and snakes; the tattoos themselves are well-preserved and can be seen in detail. You may even look upon the jewelry, precious stones, pottery and textiles discovered in the tomb along with the Lady of Cao.
Our afternoon adventures take us to Chiclayo, there you are free to explore the city for the rest of the afternoon.
Huaca Rajada, Pyramids of Tucume and The Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum
After an early breakfast, our morning’s adventures take you to Huaca Rajada where the Tomb of the Lord of Sipan, one of the most powerful Moche governors, was discovered in 1987. His tomb is representative of the Mochica governor’s splendor and power.
Next, we go to the Tucume Pyramids Arachaeological Complex, a valley filled with 26 mud brick pyramids. This archeological site was the last capital of the Lambayeque and Chimu kingdom before the Inca’s arrival in northern Perú. Here, the Túcume lords resided in luxury, decorated expansive palaces in mythic reliefs, and furnished their spaces in fine furniture and jewelry. After our explorations, we relax with some lunch at a local restaurant in Lambayeque “El Cántaro.”
This afternoon, we continue our journey with a visit to the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum in Lambayeque. Here we find the remains of the Lord of Sipan and witness one of South America’s most impressive archaeological museums.
Once we’ve completed our tour, travel to the airport to catch your return flight home.
Dates & Rates
Year-round daily departures available as an extension to any Peru tour.
Price $1185 per person, based on 2 people sharing in Tourist Superior Hotels
Single Supplement: $255
Please inquire for availability and pricing for larger groups.
• All Accommodations as outlined on the itinerary
• All meals as outlined on the itinerary
• Service of a bilingual guide (Spanish/English
• All transportation while on tour
• Full service of our Adventure Consultants
• Airfare to and from Peru
• Meals not specified on the itinerary
• Alcoholic beverages
• Items of a personal nature
FAQ & More
Weather in Peru varies by region, for the coast (Lima, Ica, Nazca, Mancora, Trujillo) the best time to visit are the months of November to March when it is summer on the coast. In February in particular you have events like Carnaval, a very fun time of year on the coast. You can visit coastal cities during the winter (June to August) but Lima will be fairly overcast and cold as well as some other coastal cities.
For Andean cities such as Cusco, Ayacucho, Huaraz, Puno and Cajamarca the best time to visit is during their dry season which runs from May to September. During this time you can expect warm days and chilly nights and very little rain.
The Amazon Jungles of Peru have two season and they both can be equally rewarding. If seeing lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) is your thing, then the December to May might be your best choice. (Remember: Despite being the "rainy" season, the Amazon only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the low water season). If jungle hikes, exotic migratory on their way through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season (June - November).
U.S citizens do not need a visa to visit Peru as long as it's a tourist visit of less than 90 days. You will be given your visa upon arrival in Lima. It's important that you hold on to this visa as many hotels will ask to see this document in order to exempt you from the IGV or Peruvian Sales Tax.
As Visa and Entry Requirements can change without prior notice, we recommend you check the current regulations before your trip to Peru with the nearest Peruvian Consulate or Embassy.
There are no required vaccinations to visit Peru unless you plan to visit remote areas of the Peruvian Amazon, in which case you will need a yellow fever shot and you may want to take malaria medication as well. The Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos areas have not seen cases of either Malaria or Yellow fever in recent times.
Check with your Travel doctor regarding visiting Peru, we strongly recommend you bring medications for bacterial infections (Ciprofloxacin) that can affect your stomach as well as antidiarrheal medication (Immodium). Dramamine is also great for Altitude and motion sickness. For more Health Information for Travelers in Peru visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Altitude sickness, also known as Soroche in Peru, occurs when there is not enough oxygen reaching your brain. This typically occurs at elevations over 10,000ft. Shortness of breath and a pounding heart are the first symptoms as the thin air in high altitude can make you feel light headed and dizzy. As your symptoms progress you can get extremely nauseous and suffer from vomiting and intense headaches if not remedied by either medication or descending in altitude.
Preventing altitude sickness is easy, always allow for an extra day to acclimate when you visit in a location with high altitude. Relax in your hotel and lie down, drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous exercise. It can take up to a week to become full acclimated, many travelers don't have that amount of time so in order to acclimate fastest it is best to take it easy, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy foods. If you begin to feel mild symptoms then we recommend you drink some Coca Tea (legal in Peru), even drinking carbonated drinks like Coca Cola help. It's important to realize that you get altitude sickness by not feeding your brain enough oxygen, so make sure you are breathing well, take decongestants if you have a cold or can't breathe well. Prescription medications such as Diamox can also be a great help.
In the higher elevation locations such as Cusco it is possible to purchase oxygen and buy medications in case you are having a real hard time acclimating. Most larger hotels in these areas can also offer extra oxygen to be pumped in your room for an additional charge.
The weather in Peru varied; it has 28 of the world's 32 different climates. Generally speaking, May through October is the dry season; November through April is the rainy season, and the wettest months are January through April in the highlands. In mountain areas, roads and trek paths may become impassable. Peru's climate, though, is markedly different among its three vastly different regions. The coast is predominantly arid and mild, the Andean region (highlands) is temperate to cold, and the eastern lowlands are tropically warm and humid.
On the desert coast, summer (Dec-Apr) is hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 77°-95°F or more along the north coast. In winter (May-Oct), temperatures are much milder, though with high humidity. Much of the coast, including Lima, is shrouded in a gray mist called garua. Only the extreme northern beaches are warm enough for swimming.
In the highlands from May to October, rain is scarce. Daytime temperatures reach a warm (68°-77°F, and nights are often quite cold (near freezing), especially in June and July. Rainfall is very abundant from December to March, when temperatures are slightly milder 64°-68°F. The wettest months are January and February. Most mornings are dry, but clouds move in during the afternoon and produce heavy downpours.
Though the Amazon jungle is consistently humid and tropical, with significant rainfall year-round, it, too, experiences two clearly different seasons. During the dry season (May-Oct), temperatures reach 86°-100°F during the day. From November to April, there are frequent rain showers (which last only a few hours at a time), causing the rivers to swell, and temperatures are humid.
Packing for your trip depends on the season and locations you will be visiting. Peru has almost all of the world’s climates nestled between the coast, the Andes and the Jungle. For that reason it is important that you to pack layered clothing, that is bring a piece of clothing for both hot and warm conditions, clothing you can take on and off easily as the climates change. Refer to the provided packing list for details of what to bring on your specific trip.
Peru is generally safe to visit and the security in the major cities is getting better as the economy and tourism grows. That is not to say that there is no crime, like any of the other big cities of the world opportunistic crimes such as pickpocketing and theft are present. Below are some tips to minimize your chance of falling victim to these crimes.
1. Travel in groups and avoid dark streets at night – Basic advice but good. Thieves will target you if you stumble alone into a dark street. Avoid areas that are not well lit, this applies even if you are in a group
2. When using ATM, have a friend with you – They can keep guard from behind when using an ATM and always check that the card entry slot has not been tampered with.
3. Keep belongings out of site in vehicles - When in taxis or other modes of transport put your belongings under your feet or in the back where they cannot be seen.
4. Valuables – Most hotels will have room safes where you can leave your valuables or will have a safe in reception.
5. Blend in - don't carry large bags or luggage with you all the time, leave valuables at your hotel, try and look and act like a local. If you must check your travel guide or map then step into a cafe or restaurant.
6. Wear backpack on front, bring travel purse - Again avoid carrying large bags, if you must carry a backpack wear it on your front. Invest in a travel wallet, where you can have your money and valuables hidden from view.
7. Be Aware - a commonly used phrase in Peru is Mosca or Fly, the saying means to be aware of your surroundings. When leaving a restaurant or nightclub be sure to check that you have not left any personal belongings.
8. Taxis - If possible always have your hotel call a reputable taxi driver for you if you decide to go explore your location further. Always agree on a price before you get into a taxi to avoid confusion later, taxis are seldom more than S/.20 for a local trip. If catching a cab away from your hotel be sure your driver has identification visible, if possible go to the nearest hotel and ask them to call you a cab.
The currency in Peru is called the Nuevo Sol or just Sol. The current dollar to sol exchange rate is $1 = S/ 3.00
Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). If you want to use a 110-volt appliance in Peru, you’ll need to buy a power adapter. Most outlets in Peru accept US standard two flat blade male. Some larger Hotels have US 110 volt outlets available.
We recommend you do some reading on Peru's history to make the most of your trip. Travel guides are a great resource, this way you get to know a little more about the locations you are visiting.
We can't stress the importance of learning about the incredible cuisine. Search for recipes online and make a list of dishes to try in Peru. These should include Ceviche, Pachamanca, Anticuchos, Papa a la Huancaina, Causa, Rocotto Relleno among others, there really are too many to name.
Learn a little Spanish. A little Spanish goes a long way in Peru, not only will it help you get better prices in cabs for example but you will be able to barter better on souvenirs and goods. Interacting with Peruvians will be more rewarding as you will learn where the local hot spots are as well as get recommendations for places to see and restaurants to try. Even just learning to say thank you (Gracias) and please (Por Favor) when asking for things will go a long way in how well you are treated by others.
Most importantly we ask that you travel with an open mind. Peruvian culture is very different from the westernized world with different values and customs. You should always be mindful of these and be very patient with people.
Although Peru is going through a great period of economic growth and prosperity it is still a third world nation and the service sector still needs room to better develop. We're sure you'll have a great time in Peru if you visit with no expectations and with an adventurous spirit, a relaxed attitude and curiosity to explore a new culture.