Frazer x 2 - Northern Peru Archaeology Tour Review

  • Read the comments from an epic tour of Northern Peru’s archaeological hotspots.

  • In company of expert driver-guide, Ronald Watger.

  • Included Huaraz, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Chachapoyas & Cajamarca.

‘Mike and I had a truly wonderful trip round northern Peru.

The archaeology was astounding - comparable in antiquity and richness of treasures to that of ancient Egypt. We are grateful to PeruNorth for delivering an itinerary which covered everything we asked for plus a bit more.

On the hike to Gocta Waterfall.

On the hike to Gocta Waterfall.

Ronald Wagter was an excellent guide, wonderful travelling companion (we were together for 20 days!) and a very good driver. We were impressed by his stamina and concentration on the long drives, on sometimes tortuous mountain roads.

We enjoyed every site we visited, except Las Aldas:

The huge outer wall at Kuelap.

The huge outer wall at Kuelap.

  • Caral and Bandurrias for their age.

  • Chankillo for the sheer wonder of how they designed and constructed the observatory.

  • Chavin de Huantar for the remarkable way the ceremonial area had been built above a network of tunnels and water channels to create sound effects to awe the worshippers.

  • Huaca de la Luna - so much more excavation has been done since our first visit and the guided tour was very informative.

  • Castillo de Tomabale in the Nepena Valley.

  • Kuelap.

  • Cumbe Mayo rates very highly for Mike, who observed a distinctive "shimmering snake" optical effect at the "shrines" dotted along the water channel. They arose from reflections of sunlight on rippling water being projected onto a shadow formed by the way the rock above had been carved.

The museums were fabulous - we had previously seen the Lord of Sipan, to which we added the Lords of Sican and two notable women - La Dama de Cao and the Sacerdotisa de Chornancap.

Replica tomb at the Huaca Rajada.

Replica tomb at the Huaca Rajada.

Leymebamba Museum was a gem, and more special because of Ronald's involvement when the mummies were recovered.

The best hotels were Moche Sanctuary Lodge and Gocta Lodge. But the most charming was Casa Mallqui - where Ayako treated us like family visitors to a private home and fed us delicious meals with home-grown produce and home-baked bread.

Another memorable meal was in Chiclayo (I think) where a TV crew was visiting the restaurant to tape an interview with its chef for Potato Day. We got to eat his two creations!

Spectacular landscapes were driving between the Cordilleras Negra and Blanca on the way up to Huaraz during a particularly lurid sunset. And when we went to see the Puya Raimondii in the high Andes. And during the very windy drive from Leymebamba to Cajamarca.

Special experiences:

  • Watching Liverpool v Spurs in the UEFA Champions League Final over a late lunch in Chachapoyas.

  • Seeing the wonderful, life-changing work which Ronald's friend was doing for so many deaf-mute children and their families in Cajamarca.

  • Watching hummingbirds over coffee and cake in the cafe opposite Leymebamba Museum.’

A visit to the pyramids at Tucume.

A visit to the pyramids at Tucume.