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Chan Chan, Trujillo & Kuelap Peru Tour

Kuelap & Northern Peru Tour

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13 Days / 12 Nights

Kuelap & Northern Peru Tour

Visit Chan Chan, Sipan, Sican, Moche and other archeological treasures in Kuelap, Trujillo, and Chiclayo. These remnants of peoples who thrived before the time of the Incas include some of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th century, and archeologists are still digging up artifacts and trying to make sense of these important cultures of Northern Peru. The thick stone walls of the Kuelap fortress were built on a hilltop well before the time of the Inca Empire.

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Per Person Pricing Options

We include what others call optional

This tour includes:

  • 12 hotel nights
  • All breakfasts in hotels
  • All tours, transfers, and entrance fees
  • English-speaking guides

Highlights:

  • Trujillo City Tour
  • Moche Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon
  • Chan Chan
  • Chaparri Natural Reserve
  • Kuelap Tour

Lima Costa Verde in Miraflores Peru

Arrive in Lima

Day 1

Upon your arrival in Lima, you'll be greeted by one of our travel representatives and transfered to your Lima hotel, where you can rest and relax.

Trujillo Peru

Trujillo City Tour & Chan Chan

Day 2

After breakfast leave the Peruvian capital to arrive in Trujillo. Explore this colonial city, its cathedral, churches, mansions, and its Archaeological Museum, boasting one of Peru’s main collections of ceramics, textiles, and mental artifacts belonging to Pre-Columbian civilizations.
Head to the south to visit the two most important ceremonial centers for Moche civilization (100 BC-650 AD). First, visit the Temple of the Sun, meassuring approximately 41m/135ft. Over 200,000 workers are believed to have been involved in its building. Reach the Temple of the Moon, located 500m away, which worked as a political center.
Stop for lunch at the seashore village of Huanchaco.
Afterwards, visit the ancient capital of the Chimu Kingdom: Chan Chan. This civilization reached its peak in the 15th century, many centuries after the collapse of the Moches and was submitted by the Incas some centuries later. Admire the architecture of this native American city, which denotes a strict political and social strategy, marked by its division into nine citadels that make up an autonomous unit. Chime people called it Jang-Jang, meaning Sun-Sun in the ancient Moche language.
Return to your hotel in Trujillo in the evening.

Wall carvings in South America

Chiclayo & El Brujo

Day 3

After breakfast in your Trujillo hotel, visit the El Brujo (Spanish for 'the wizard) Archaeological Complex. This impressive area of Northern Peru is located about 50 km north of Trujillo and dates back to the Moche times. The complex is famous for its colorful mural ornamentation discovered in the 90's. The well-preserved painted reliefs in the principal pyramid contain figures showing scenes of fishing and navigation, human figures related to the cosmic world, mythical animals, shamans, warriors, and human sacrifice. In the evening, check into your Chiclayo hotel.

Royal Tombs in Sipan Sican Museum

Chiclayo Tour of Tombs of Sipan and Sican Museum

Day 4

After breakfast, continue your trip into Northern Peru’s archeological treasures with a visit to the Necropolis of Huaca Rajada, a Moche funeral center. It is here that acclaimed Peruvian archaeologist Dr Walter Alva unearthed the tombs of the Old Lord of Sipan (3rd century) and the lord of Sipan (5th century) in the 80s.
Visit the Sican National Museum and take in the gold and treasures owned by the Lambayeque or Sican people, who conquered the Moches and ruled the region between 700 and 1300, before falling under Chima rule. Learn about its fascinating technological developments and trading systems. Many of the current discoveries of this civilization are due to the Japanese archeologist Izumi Shimada, who excavated two royal Sican tombs in 1991. The museum was launched ten years later with donations from Japan.
Next, head to Lambayeque and visit the Sipan Museum, shaped like a Moche pyramid. Here you can find the gold masks, scepters, and other royal objects found in Huac Rajada (Sipan).
Return to your hotel in Chiclayo.

Baby owls in the Chaparri Reserve in Peru

Chaparri Reserve Tour

Day 5

Connect with nature during today's morning tour to the Chaparri Reserve, located 75km east of Chiclayo. This reserve is home to many species endemic to the Tumbesian region, including 214 birds species, 21 mammals and 20 reptiles and amphibians. It also shelters seven endangered species such as the white-winged guan, and the last remaining short-faced bear: the spectacled bear.
Return to Chiclayo in the late afternoon.

Chachapoyas Kuelap Peru Tour

Chachapoyas & Utcubamba Valley

Days 6-8

Get an early start with a 9 hour drive from Chiclayo to Chachapoyas. Along the way, you'll stop in Tucume, a town built of adobe bricks. Continue on past Peru's northern coastal desert, one of the driest in the world. Journey through the Andes mountains and then descend to the Maraon River, a tributary of the Amazon River. In the evening you'll arrive in Chachapoyas and can check into your hotel and relax.

After breakfast, continue on the journey this time passing the Utcubamba canyon and crossing over into the Province of Luya. Find a small village called Cruz Pata, where the sarcophagi of Karajia are found. Sculpted in the likeness of humans, these sarcophagi are the resting place for elite Chachapoya warriors. After touring Karajia, continue through the Utcubamba Valey, stopping to see some more important burial sites. Check in to your hotel in El Chillo.

From within the Utcubamba Valley, head out in the morning on a short drive to Yerbabuena. From there, hike for 2 hours to get to a remote spot located on a cliffside, where you can rest, take in the spectacular views, and then explore a colorful cliffside tomb area. The tombs are perched on the hillside, and they look like small houses. Some contain pictographs dating back to 1200 AD. Hike back to Yerbabuena, then continue driving to Leymebamba to visit a museum in town that houses 219 mummies, all found at the nearby lake in 1997. Return to your hotel in El Chillo for the night.

Hut in Peru

Kuelap Ruins

Day 9

This morning rise early and drive 1.5 hours to Kuelap, a beautiful region nestled in the cloud forest of north central Peru. Here, towering walls and hundreds of roundhouses capped by verdant cloud forest amaze first-time visitors. Explore the many ceremonial constructions, aqueducts and architecture, with plenty of opportunities to wander on you own.
Return to Chachapoyas, soaking in the beautiful scenery made all the more so by the setting sun.

Colorful Moyobamba bird in Peru

Moyobamba & Tarapoto

Days 10-12

Continue the exploration of Utucabamba Valley with a tour to Moyobamba, known as "The Orchid City" for its plentiful orchids. Take a morning drive through scenic cloud forest, then head east to the Amazon plains. Lunch in Yacumama will be prepared for you, and you can stretch your legs with a short walk around small lakes and forests. Continue to Moyobamba where we visit an orchid house. Spend the night in Moyobamba.

To get the most of your final full day in the Utucabamba Valley, get an early start and drive to Rio Mayo, board canoes for a canoe tour of the Tingana Reserve. If you're quiet enough, you may see monkeys, sloths, and many species of birds. Return to the canoe launch for lunch, then head back to Moyobamba for the journey on to Tarapoto. Check in to your hotel for the night.

Breakfast at the hotel and then transfer to the Tarapoto airport for the flight back to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, you'll be greeted by a travel representative and then transported to your hotel, where you can rest and relax.

Colonial Lima Historic Disctict

Depart Lima

Day 13

Breakfast at the Lima hotel, and then transfer to the airport for your flight home or to another South America tour.


13 Days / 12 Nights

Kuelap & Northern Peru Tour

Visit Chan Chan, Sipan, Sican, Moche and other archeological treasures in Kuelap, Trujillo, and Chiclayo. These remnants of peoples who thrived before the time of the Incas include some of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th century, and archeologists are still digging up artifacts and trying to make sense of these important cultures of Northern Peru. The thick stone walls of the Kuelap fortress were built on a hilltop well before the time of the Inca Empire.

Download itinerary pdf version

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