Chan Chan

Considered the largest mud brick city in pre-Hispanic America, and the largest adobe city in the world, Chan Chan was the administrative and religious capital of the Chimu culture, whose civilization developed between the 9th and 15th Centuries. Its territory ranged from Tumbes in the north to Carabayllo (Lima) in the south, covering the entire north coast of Peru. Among its most famous leaders were Takaynamo, who founded the city, and the warrior Minchanzaman who took the civilization to its highest point in the 15th century. Within its walls (up to 60 feet high) it’s possible to distinguish plazas, living quarters, storerooms, workshops, streets, ramparts and temple pyramids. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

Location Access
Province:Trujillo
Distance:
Time:
1.5 kilometers
from the
Huanchaco
Highway to the
complex
45 minutes on foot
from the highway.
5 kilometers north
east of Trujillo
10 minutes by car
from Trujillo
District:Trujillo
Locality
Reference:
4.5 kilometers from
Trujillo, following the
Huanchaco
highway
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
Adult ticket
S/.11 Student
ticket S/.5.50
Child ticket
S/.1.00
Monday to Sunday
and holidays 9:00 –
17:00
On site museum,
guides, bathrooms,
parking, security

Temples of the Sun and Moon

The temples form an archaeological complex that covered an extensive urban area, 5 kilometers south of modern-day Trujillo. This archaeological complex is composed of two pyramids that represent the Moche culture (from the 1st to 9th Century AD — Intermediate Period). Constructed from adobe, the temples are famous for extremely well preserved murals and colorful bas-relief carvings, combining depictions of animals and mythical creatures, framed by intricate geometric borders. The Temple of the Sun reaches a height of 43 meters. The Temple of the Moon is smaller at 21 meters high.

Location Access
Province:Trujillo
Distance:
Time:
8 kilometers from
the main square of
Trujillo
15 minutes
District:Moche
Locality
Reference:
6 kilometers from
the sea, on foot
from Cerro Blanco
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
Child ticket
S/.1.00 Adult
ticket S/.11.00
Student ticket
S/.4.50
Monday to Sunday
and holidays 9:00 –
17:00
On-site museum,
bathrooms, cafeteria,
souvenir shop,
telephone

El Brujo Archaeological Complex

El Brujo is one of the most important archaeological complexes on the north coast of Peru. Constructed in the Pre-ceramic period, 5000 years ago, “El Brujo” (the Sorcerer) consists of 3 large buildings: the Dark Temple (Huaca Prieta), the Closed-off Temple (Huaca Cortada) and the Temple of Old Cao, which offers magnificent multi-colored friezes depicting a line of red human figures in bas-relief. The three temples are unique among Moche cultural sites for their spectrum of colors and designs. Each temple measures at least 20 meters high and 1.5 kilometers long.

Location Access
Province:Ascope
Distance:
Time:
60 kilometers from
the city center of
Trujillo
One and a half
hours
District:Magdelena de Cao
Locality
Reference:
Magdelena de Cao
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
Student and
Seniors ticket
S/.3.00 Adult
ticket S/.11.00
Child ticket
S/.4.50
Monday to Sunday
9:00 – 16:45
N/A

Markahuamachuco Archaeological Complex

A collection of stone buildings on a plateau at the top of Markahuama peak, Markahuamachuco covers an area 3 kilometers long and between 500 and 600 meters wide. The complex consists of three principal elevations: the Castle Hill (East), the Fort (Center), and the Galleries of the Peak of the Nuns (West). Its building techniques and layout demonstrate a high level of construction engineering, architecture and urban planning. With these attributes, and the altitude of the plateau (3000 meters above sea level) the complex offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Location Access
Province:Sanchez Carrion
Distance:
Time:
10 kilometers from
the town of
Huamachuco to
the complex.
30 minutes drive
from Huamachuco
181 kilometers
from Trujillo to
Huamachuco
8 hours drive from
Trujillo to
Huamachuco
District:Marcahuamachuco
Locality
Reference:
On the access road
between Trujillo and
Quiruvilca
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
N/AN/AN/A

Pakatnamu Complex

Pakatnamu is an imposing ceremonial, political, administrative and ceremonial center from the Chimu kingdom in the Jequetepeque river valley. It includes more than 50 truncated pyramids and connected residences. The complex also features corridors and plazas, and in other sections, murals with painted relief carvings. Three large walls or ramparts protect the north, south and other sectors of the cemetery, where important textile pieces have been recovered.

Location Access
Province:Pacasmayo
Distance:
Time:
14 kilometers from
the main plaza of
Pacasmayo
30 minutes
District:Guadalupe
Locality
Reference:
Between
Jequetepeque and
Pacasmayo
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
Free entryN/AN/A

La Esmeralda

La Esmeralda archaeological site belongs to the Chimu culture and was constructed from adobe during the civilization’s first stage of development. The rectangular complex covers an area of 2600m2 and forms two platforms that you can ascend by two central ramps. The main features of the pyramid are the carved friezes depicting fish, birds, marine animals and fishing nets, which were central to daily life in the coastal civilization. The carvings remain in their original, un-restored state.

Location Access
Province:Trujillo
Distance:
Time:
3 kilometers from
Trujillo
Approx 8 minutes
District:Trujillo
Locality
Reference:
Between
Jequetepeque and
Pacasmayo
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
University
Students
S/.5.50 Adults
S/.11.00
Children and
Seniors S/.1.00
Monday to Sunday
9:00 to 16:30
N/A

Wiracochapampa

An archaeological complex linked to the Huamachuco culture, consisting of various architectural structures that form an octagonal plane. Enclosures, plazas and galleries have been conserved inside the complex. They are built from stonemasonry and red clay mortar with walls up to 5 meters high, still in their original state. The tops of the walls project outwards, presumably to support the roof. From its layout the site appears to have been an administrative center.

Location Access
Province:Sanchez Carrion
Distance:
Time:
181 kilometers
from Trujillo to
Huamachuco
8 hours
3.5 kilometers
from the main
plaza of
Huamachuco to
the complex
10 minutes
District:Huamachuco
Locality
Reference:
North of
Huamachuco where
it passes an Inca
trail
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
Free entryN/AN/A

Temple of the Dragon or Rainbow (Huaca El Dragón or Arco Iris)”

One of the oldest pyramidal temples in the Moche valley, the Temple of the Dragon is considered to be the first settlement of the Wari culture in the region. The American archaeologist Richard Schaedell considered the site to be about 1100 years old, between the Chavin and Tiahuanaco periods. It covers an area of 3245m2. The structure is almost square in shape and built from adobe and mud bricks. Visitors can admire the high level of engineering development the Wari achieved, as the whole structure is built to withstand earthquakes.

Location Access
Province:Trujillo
Distance:
Time:
4 kilometers from
the main plaza of
Trujillo
10 minutes
District:La Esperanza
Locality
Reference:
N/A
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
Adults S/.11.00
Children S/.1.00
University
Students
S/.5.50
Monday to Sunday
9:00 – 16:30
N/A

Chepén Mountain and Crucis Path (Via Crucis)

The attraction of Chepén is the mix of pre-Hispanic archaeological buildings with 23 statues collected from more recent eras. It now forms part of a Catholic pilgrimage route emulating the “Via Crucis” — the Way of the Cross. The path is a series of stone constructions built in the pre-Inca era, integrated with a collection of altars, combined with meeting and living areas for the nobility. A large wall surrounds the site with main entrances on the north and south.

Location Access
Province:Chepen
Distance:
Time:
130 kilometers
from Trujillo to
Chepen
2 hours from
Trujillo to Chepen,
20 minutes walk
from Chepen to the
peak
District:Chepen
Locality
Reference:
N/A
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
N/AN/AN/A

Pirca Pirca Archaeological Complex

This circular complex of 350 buildings includes a number of underground chambers and features a rectangular building five stories high, situated on the highest part of Mount Pirca Pirca. In Quechua “pirca” means wall. It appears Pirca Pirca was used as a ritual center. The walls are stonemasonry supported by mud mortar.

Location Access
Province:Bolivar
Distance:
Time:
5 kilometers from
the district of
Uchumarca
3 hours by mule
District:Uchumarca
Locality
Reference:
N/A
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
Free entryN/AN/A

San José de Moro

This complex is an integrated collection of archaeological structures and mounds built from adobe, many of which are more than 9 meters high. A number of tombs have been discovered at a depth of more than four meters. The most prominent belongs to the “Priestess of San Jose de Moro.” Scientists have identified three styles of Moche burial here: “boot” tombs, chamber tombs, and well-style tombs. Archaeological excavation has turned up some of the most intricately painted Moche pottery in the Trujillo region.

Location Access
Province:Chepen
Distance:
Time:
4 kilometers north
of Chepen
7 minutes from
Chepen
137 kilometers
from Trujillo to
Chepen
2 hours from
Trujillo to Chepen
District:Pacanga
Locality
Reference:
N/A
Site Details
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Museum & Other Services:
N/AN/ABuilding with
interpretation hall