Snapshot of northern Peru's abundant, coastal archaeology, including Tucume & El Brujo.
Pacific Ocean and desert landscapes interspersed with valleys and dry forest.
Three nights' accommodation in vibrant cities, renowned for culture and cuisine.
2017 price from £ 399 / $US 499 p/p (based on double occupancy in small group service).
Includes all land transport, guided excursions, entrances & breakfasts.
This four-day itinerary allows you to sunshine and culture of Trujillo and Chiclayo in northern Peru. Visit beautiful churches and mansions of the Colonial era, as well as the impressive huacas, temples and archaeological sites of pre-Columbian civilizations. Visit some of Peru's best museums, see the beautiful Chicama Valley and enjoy fresh seafood from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
NB. Group size varies but typically ranges from 6 to 10 passengers.
Day1: Trujillo: City Tour with Archaeological Museum
Upon arrival at Trujillo Airport, you will be welcomed and transferred to your chosen hotel.
In the afternoon, we pick you up from your hotel and take you on a tour of the attractions of Trujillo. As an important city during the Spanish era, Trujillo has beautiful Colonial buildings and mansions. So, we visit the churches of Santa Clara, El Carmen, La Merced and San Francisco, and the High Court of Justice.
We then continue to the Main Square (Plaza de Armas) with the Cathedral, built between 1647 and 1666, which houses late Baroque altarpieces and paintings from the Cusco and Quito schools.
We also visit the Archbishop's Palace and Calonge House, built after the 1619 earthquake, which served as accommodation for Simon Bolivar, the Liberator of South America.
We then visit Emancipation House, which is now home to Banco Continental, and then Iturregui Palace, built in 1842, and which currently houses the Central Club.
We finally enjoy a scenic view of El Recreo Square and Trujillo's Ancient Wall, before going to the Archaeology & History Museum, where objects from the various pre-Columbian cultures that developed in the La Libertad area are displayed.
You will be transferred back to your hotel at the end of the tour.
Day 2: Trujillo: Sun & Moon Temples, Chan Chan & Huanchaco
Today, we drive south of Trujillo to visit the Temples of the Sun and the Moon a religious centre for the Moche culture, which developed between 100 and 900 AD. The archeological complex showcases the two large flat-topped pyramids, known as huacas, that lie in the shadow of Cerro Blanco, a volcanic hill.
We include a visit to the workshop of a traditional artisan Moche family.
We then drive to the north of Trujillo to visit Huaca Dragon, also known as Huaca Arco Iris (Rainbow Pyramid), that belonged to the Chimu culture. This was both a religious monument and ceremonial and administrative center, built in adobe, whose murals are decorated with friezes, showing human figures and representing a stylized rainbow.
We have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, before continuing to Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the Americas, built by the Chimu and covering an area of 20 square kilometres (7.7 square miles) approximately.
After a guided visit of Chan Chan, we carry on to Huanchaco, an ancient fishing village with one of the best-known beaches in Peru, where you can see the traditional reed fishing boats (caballitos de totora) still in use
At the end of the day, we return you to your hotel.
Day 3: Trujillo - Chiclayo: El Brujo
This morning, after breakfast, we drive to Chicama Valley, located some 32 km (20 miles) north of Trujillo, in order to visit El Brujo, another complex from the Moche civilization.
Archaeological excavation began here in 1990, since when the Lady of Cao, a 1,500-year-old, tattooed, female mummy has been unearthed in the Huaca de Cao - a 46 m (150 ft) high pyramid.
Unusually, the site is located very close to the seashore, so it is thought that ancient maritime rituals took place here, although investigation is ongoing and may reveal additional uses for the El Brujo area.
After this visit, we drive to Chiclayo, and check in to the chosen hotel.
Day 4: Chiclayo: Tucume, Tumbas Reales Museum & Huaca Rajada
After breakfast, we pick you up for your tour of Chiclayo and the surrounding region.
We begin at Tucume Archaeological Complex. Spread over 200 hectares (540 acres), the site boasts 26 pyramids, along with squares, walls, patios and canals, reflecting the Lambayeque civilization's system of planned growth and complicated social structure.
We also visit the award-winning site museum, to get a better idea of what life was like during that period.
Then we head to the town Lambayeque to visit the excellent Tumbes Reales (Royal Tombs) Museum, built as a fitting showcase for the sensational nearby discovery, in 1987, of the Lord of Sipan, along with many priceless pieces of jewellery.
After having lunch at a local restaurant, we head to Huaca Rajada, the huge mud pyramid where the Lord of Sipan's tomb was discovered. While the original bones and adornments have been moved to the museum, the layout and items have been recreated to give an understanding of the archaeological excitement and importance of the discovery.
Finally, we drive back to Chiclayo, either to your hotel, or the airport.