Explore Chiclayo and the Tucume Pyramids and Sipan ruins before continuing into the cloudforest to the lost civilization of Chachapoyas. This trip in northern Peru features visits to the huge mountaintop temple and fortress of Kuelap, the Leimebamba museum with its collection of 200 mummies, and the Revash tombs. There is an optional hike to Gocta Falls, the world's third tallest free-falling waterfall.
Explore Lima, the Peruvian capital named as a UNESCO World Heritage site
Experience Mochica culture and to house dozens of colonial buildings
Visit an impressive archaeological site, the icon of the Chachapoyas culture
Arrive at Lima Airport. Transportation service will pick you up from the airport at the scheduled time to transfer you to your hotel in Lima. The Peruvian capital is a modern metropolis full of history, currently undergoing an exciting process of cultural and economic changes
Wake up to breakfast in the hotel before hitting the streets of Lima’s old town; a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site packed with fascinating historical buildings. Start with the Larco Museum, located in the traditional Pueblo Libre district, which is housed in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built on a pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum boasts the world’s most complete pre-Hispanic collection of gold and silver objects, as well as pieces of erotic art. Then visit Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion granted in 1535 by chief conquistador Francisco Pizarro to Jeronimo de Aliaga, one of his captains. This is the only house from that time that has always been owned by the same family. Continue to a scenic tour in the colonial downtown, which originates and spreads out from the Main Square. Here you can appreciate the grandiose architecture of the Spanish Empire and be amazed by Lima´s Cathedral. Erected in the 16th century, this building took more than 80 years to complete. After the tour, you’ll be transferred back to the hotel.
After a tasty breakfast, enjoy a comfortable transfer from your hotel to Lima Airport to catch a flight to Trujillo. A transport service will take you to the selected hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy a brief tour of the attractions of Trujillo. As an important city during the colonial era, Trujillo has managed to conserve its beautiful buildings and mansions of the time. Make a visit to the Santa Clara andEl Carmen churches, and their cloistered convents, as well as to the Church of San Francisco. Then visit the Church of La Merced and the Superior Court of Justice. Continue to the Main Square and the Cathedral, where you can see rococo altarpieces and paintings from the Cusco and Quito schools of art. Next, visit the Archbishop’s Palace and Casa Calonge, a colonial residence where the liberator Simon Bolivar stayed. Continue to the House of Emancipation, the Iturregui Palace, the Plazuela El Recreo, and the old city wall. Then head to the National University of Trujillo’s Museum of Archaeology Anthropology and History, where objects from different cultures that were developed in the territory of La Libertad are exhibited. After the tour, return to the hotel.
Day 4: Trujillo | Huacas del Sol & la Luna, Chan Chan and Huanchaco
Today you will meet the most famous tourist attractions in Trujillo. Early in the morning, transport will pick you up to take you to the outskirts of the city where the Huaca del Sol and de la Luna are located - two magnificent buildings of Mochica culture. According to the investigations, the Huaca del Sol was political while the Huaca de la Luna was religious. Among them, a series of streets, passages, and houses are proof that middle and upper-class people inhabited the area. Although the Huaca del Sol is the largest, the Huaca de la Luna is the one the most impressive because of the level of conservation and study. It has incredible murals that remain until today that show the different Moche deities and other scenes of religious connotation.
Continue your walk through history in Chan Chan - the impressive mud city declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Considered the capital of the Chimu culture, it is composed of nine citadels that cover an area of more than 20 square kilometers and make it the largest in America. The details on its walls reflect the great work done in its construction and that has remained more than a thousand years until today.
Before returning to your hotel, you will take a walk through Huanchaco, one of Trujillo's most traditional beaches and famous for totora horses: boats made of vegetable fibers used by artisanal fishermen to navigate among the waves of the Pacific.
Day 5: Trujillo - Chiclayo | El Brujo archaeological complex
The El Brujo Archaeological Complex is of great importance to learn about the Moche culture. Located in the valley of the Chicama River, 60 kilometers from Trujillo, it's the house of one of the most impressive discoveries of recent years: the mummy of the Lady of Cao, the Mochica ruler that changed the perception of women in ancient Peru. The complex consists of three pyramids: Huaca Prieta, Huaca Cao Viejo and Huaca Cortada. Huaca Cao Viejo is the main enclosure, with decorative friezes and a ceremonial square. It was there where the funeral bundle of the Lady of Cao was found, in a tomb denoting her importance. The body was almost intact thanks to the techniques used for mummification and adorned with tattoos and jewelry such as necklaces, earmuffs, and filigree nose rings, made with gold, silver, copper, semi-precious stones, and shells. After the visit, you will follow the road by road to your hotel in the city of Chiclayo.
Day 6: Chiclayo | Tucume, Tumbas reales and Huaca Rajada
After a delightful breakfast at the hotel, head towards the archaeological complex of Tucume. With more than 200 hectares, the complex houses 26 monumental buildings associated with lower-level structures such as plazas, murals, courtyards, and canal systems, reflecting a policy of planned growth and the unique social structure of Lambayeque. Visit the site museum to have a better idea of what life was like during that period. Then transfer to Lambayeque to visit the Royal Tombs Museum. Due to the discovery of the Lord of Sipan, whose importance was demonstrated in the complexity of his funeral and its apparent semi-divine condition, a new museum was created. After lunch in a typical restaurant, head to the archaeological complex of Huaca Rajada, an inspiring set of huge adobe pyramids. The place gained special notoriety in 1987 when Dr. Walter Alva, then director of the Brünning Museum in Lambayeque, became aware of the clandestine excavations that were taking place. And what then began as a protection plan ended with the magnificent discovery of the tomb of the Lord of Sipan, one of the most impressive pre-Columbian burials in Peru. Afterward, go back to your hotel to collect your belongings and enjoy a transfer from your hotel to the Chiclayo airport for your onward travels.
Get ready to get to know one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the country. Kuélap, the central complex built by the Chachapoyas, dates from 500 AD and is located on top of a mountain at 3,000 meters above sea level. Its more than 500 interior enclosures distributed in levels and its imposing walls of more than 20 meters high - which can be seen over long distances - show that the place had a function as a population and fortress. To get there, you can take the new cable car that transfers you to the resort in just 20 minutes. After your visit to the fort, continue learning about the Chachapoyas culture in the Leymebamba Museum, where you will find more than 200 mummies that show the special techniques used in their funeral customs.
One of the greatest charms of Chachapoyas is its waterfalls, majestic waterfalls that break with the green landscape reminding us of the power of nature. A private vehicle will pick you up from your hotel to move to the town of Cocachimba, the starting point of your walk to the Gocta waterfall. The fame of this waterfall has multiplied over the years, not only because it is one of the highest in the world (770 meters), but also because of its beauty. Walkthrough mountain forests with vast vegetation and species such as monkeys, toucans, orchids, giant ferns, etc. Once in Gocta, take a break and contemplate the impressive waterfall before satisfying your appetite with a picnic lunch. After eating, start the way back and then return to Chachapoyas.
Day 10: Chachapoyas | Departure
A vehicle will pick you up at the indicated time at your hotel to transfer you to the Chachapoyas airport.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!