Discoverer the Wonder of the Peruvian Archaeology in the North Coast
We explore and enjoy the amazing archaeological sites and diverse cultures of the north coast. With one night in Chiclayo and one in Trujillo, this itinerary includes visits to Túcume, the Sipán archaeological site, and the Museum of the Royal Tombs. Between Chiclayo and Trujillo we stop in Paiján to enjoy a colorful show by world-famous Peruvian paso horses. Near Trujillo we visit Chan Chan, the sprawling 500-acre complex of adobe palaces built by the pre-Inca Chimú culture, and also the majestic Moche Temples of the Sun and the Moon
|Duration||3 Days and 2 Nights|
|Activities||According the below itinerary|
|Airfares||Not included, available upon request|
Please note that is high recommended overnight in Lima or Chiclayo the night previous to the tour beginning, this is in order to avoid flight delays
DAY 1 LIMA TO CHICLAYO: THE “CRACKED PYRAMID”, TÚCUME, AND THE ROYAL TOMBS OF SIPÁN.
We take an early morning flight from Lima to the northern city of Chiclayo (Airfare Not Included), Upon arrival transfer to the hotel and after some rest time we set off for the mud-brick pyramid that made world headlines in 1987 with one of the most sensational finds of recent archaeology. Known as the Huaca Rajada — the “Cracked Pyramid”, because of the deep gulleys weathered into its flanks — this eroded adobe platform yielded fabulous ancient treasures from a series of deeply buried tombs of the pre-Inca Moche culture, who lived in the valleys of Peru’s north coast 1,500 years ago. To get there we drive east up the broad, flat Reque valley past fields of sugarcane studded with varicolored pastel foothills of the great Andean chain, then arriving at the modern village of Sipán. Here we see the tombs themselves, with superb reconstructions of the burials of priests and chieftains, together with their sacrificed guards and companions.
A highly informative site museum tells the story of this extraordinary civilization, who created some of the finest pottery, jewelry and goldworking of the Americas — while also staging macabre costumed rituals of combat, sacrifice and propitiation as they sought to mediate a never-ending struggle between the forces of Order and Chaos.
We return to Chiclayo for a delicious lunch of Peru’s northern-style cuisine, and then continue on to Lambayeque, where we visit the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum. This modern building, representing the style of a Moche pyramid, was built to house the stunning and priceless objects unearthed at Sipán. (A single looted object from the tombs was intercepted at an auction in the U.S. — carrying a reserve price of $1.6 million!)
Here we see the incredible array of precious symbols and images, stones and shell necklaces, ear-plugs and headdresses that were worn and displayed at Moche ceremonies, and also learn what is known of their meaning. This astonishing visit ends at an “animated waxworks” exhibit of the lords and retinue of the Moche court, allowing us to glimpse and imagine the world of an unfamiliar but dazzling civilization that thrived here at a time when Europe was sliding into the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire.
After these sensational experiences we drive to an oasis of calm at Tucumé, today’s final destination. Here we see the chronological sequence that followed the fall of the Moche, at a site where their descendants, the Sicán culture, continued to amass millions of adobe bricks for the building of mighty pyramids — including the longest of its kind in the world, at more than 700m/2,300ft — but were now influenced by highland tribes, and began to abandon their old ways. The history of this scenic site — extensively investigated by the famed Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl — leads us all the way to the Incas, who conquered the region not long before they, in turn, were conquered by the Spanish. We can climb to a viewing platform with superb views of the surrounding pyramids and the dry woodland habitat of the Leche valley. We can also visit the small, intimate and low-tech site museum, to enjoy the excellent collection of excavated objects, dioramas of daily life, and models of the pyramids.
We return to Chiclayo for an overnight stay. (L)
DAY 2 CHICLAYO TO TRUJILLO: ACROSS THE NORTH PERUVIAN DESERT TO TRUJILLO AND THE MOCHE PYRAMIDS OF THE SUN AND MOON.
In the morning, we’ll travel with our guide by private car or bus to Trujillo. This half-day journey south down the Pan-American highway offers a shifting panorama of scenes from coastal Peru, alternating irrigated river valleys such as the Jequetepeque and Chicama, with stretches of arid dune and rocky desert. We make a stop at pacasmayo to enjoy a delicious lunch.
Upon request optional visit the archaeological site of El Brujo: This site featured in National Geographic magazine after the sensational discovery here of the mummy of a tattooed priestess, buried with a variety of ceremonial and military accoutrements. An extraordinary array of multicolored murals dating from seven or more phases of construction depicts both scenes from the daily lives of the Moche, and gory rituals of sacrifice.
Additional: $88 per person based on single and $52 based on double
We arrive in Trujillo in the early afternoon. This city, founded in 1534 on the orders of Francisco Pizarro, maintains a colonial atmosphere, with its spacious main square, and marvellous colonial-period adobe buildings in the coastal colonial style, featuring huge barred windows and massive wooden doorways. We continue onwards, driving a short way from Trujillo, to visit the Huaca de la Luna, and the Huaca del Sol, two huge flat-topped pyramids built by the Moche culture between 0 and 600A.D. The Huaca de la Luna is an extraordinary demonstration of what patient long-term archaeology can achieve. Here, at a site that has been well known and frequently looted for centuries, excavations have revealed layer upon layer of ancient construction, uncovering wall after wall of colorful friezes that were intentionally buried by the Moche, and had not seen the light of day for one-and-a-half thousand years. Bloodthirsty fanged deities and exotic gods in the form of spiders, snakes felines, octopi and other marine creatures rub shoulders with lines of dancers, warriors and naked prisoners, and scenes of ritual combat. One wall is covered with such a multitude of mystifying symbols that it has been labeled simply “The Complicated Theme” — until some future archaeologist can offer a plausible explanation of them. A site museum to display material unearthed here is under construction, and when opened it will be part of this visit.
We return to Trujillo to spend the night. Overnight. (B, L)
DAY 3 TRUJILLO TO LIMA: COLONIAL TRUJILLO, THE PICTURESQUE BEACH RESORT OF HUANCHACO, AND THE PRE-INCA CITY OF CHAN CHAN.
In the morning we tour the historic center of Trujillo, a city whose heart still pulses with colonial splendor. We visit the immense main square and the spacious mansions built by Spanish and Creole gentry during the 17th and 18th centuries. Then we make our way through Trujillo towards the coast, arriving at the great Chimú center of Chan Chan, the largest adobe city ever built. It was in fact an elite settlement, a series of nine enormous palaces belonging to successive rulers of the Chimú realm. At its height the population here may have reached 50,000 people. Many of them were artists and craftspeople, who made the sumptuous goldwork, textiles and pottery for which the Chimú were famous. At the Tschudi palace enclosure we enter a labyrinthine series of courtyards lined with clay friezes of fish and ocean birds, and walled in places with an open meshwork adobe building style believed to represent fishing nets. We visit inner patios, residences, administrative buildings, temples, platforms and storehouses, and a huge reservoir where “sunken gardens” may have produced specialized crops for the Chimu nobility.
We continue on to the nearby beach resort of Huanchaco, where we have a chance to try the superb seafood of Trujillo at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Here fishermen still paddle out to sea, kneeling on caballitos de totora — little one-man reed rafts which have been used for millennia to collect the abundant bounty of the Pacific ocean.
In the afternoon we drive to the airport in time for our flight to Lima. (B, L)
END OF THE SERVICES
1-Please note that on Mondays the Museum of Royal Tombs of Sipan and the Museum of Sican are closed.
Instead we may offer the Bruning Museum.
2-The city tour in Trujillo suggested program Monday through Friday between 9 am and 2 pm.
Outside these hours that may be widescreen or alternative views.
INCLUDES: All hotel and lodge accommodations based on double or single occupancy. All scheduled transportation. All transfers. All scheduled excursions with English-speaking guide services. All entrance fees. Meals as specified in the itinerary. B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner.
IMPORTANT: For a better service, the company informs you that it has autonomy to change the Hotels mentioned in the itinerary with another one of similar category if therefore sees it by advisable taking into account justifiable availability of spaces or other reasons, if this it is the case you will be notified ahead of time.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE FEE
International and domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls, radio calls or messages, reconfirmation of international flights and items of personal nature.