A guide to el brujo - lady of cao

El Brujo is a fascinating coastal complex 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Trujillo belonging to the Moche culture.

The highlight is Huaca Cao, a pyramid in which archaeologists unearthed a 1,500-year-old, tattooed, female mummy. The Lady of Cao was wrapped in a cotton funerary bundle with pieces of gold and jewelry, indicating her high status. Her grave contained numerous clubs and spears, unusual in Moche culture.

In previous Moche burials, women were sacrificed to accompany a nobleman into the afterlife. No one yet knows for certain why this noblewoman was tattooed or why she was buried with so many weapons, but it is the first evidence that women could hold leadership positions in pre-Inca society.  

The temple platform where the mummy was found is decorated with lavish reliefs, similar to those uncovered at Huaca de la Luna.

From the summit, you can see Huaca El Brujo, a much larger Moche site, and the oldest garbage dump in Peru, coastal Huaca Prieta. Archaeologists have deduced much from these 5,000-year-old discards.

... our trip from Chicama to Trujillo was really good, Carmen was a great tour guide. Our highlight that day was the excellent site and museum at El Brujo. I am so glad that we didn’t miss this off our itinerary!
— Leanne Webster & Frank Wallner - Kiana, NSW, Australia

How to Visit: El Brujo sits roughly halfway between Trujillo and Chiclayo and makes a great stop when travelling between the two, such as on the following itineraries: 

We can also arrange a visit to El Brujo, if you can drag yourself out of the water, during - or as an addition to - our Surfing 4D itinerary.