Kuelap & Northern Peru Tour
Take the 13 Day Kuelap & Northern Peru tour to discover the Archeological Treasures of Northern Peru
- Full Itinerary
- Price & Contact
- Trujillo City Tour
- Moche Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon
- Chan Chan
- "EL Brujo" archaeological complex
- Sipan, Sican Royal Tombs & Museums
- Chaparri Natural Reserve
- Moyobamba Orchid House Tour
- Revash & Leymebamba Museum
- Kuelap Tour
- Tingana Reserve Canoe Tour
- 12 hotel nights
- All breakfasts in hotels
- All tours, transfers, and entrance fees
- Lima: Hotel Thunderbird Las Americas *****
- Trujillo: Hotel Libertador Plaza Mayor ****
- Chiclayo: Gran Hotel Chiclayo ****
- Chachapoyas: Hotel Casa Vieja ***
- Chachapoyas: Hostal Estancia Chillo
- Moyombamba: Puerto Mirador Moyombamba Hotel ***
- Tarapoto: Hotel Rio Shiclayo
See all our Northern Peru Tours
Day 1: Arrival to Lima
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.
Day 2: Lima to Trujillo, Trujillo City Tour, & Tour of Chan Chan
Wake early and start your day with breakfast in your Lima hotel. Then you'll transfer to the city of Trujillo, called "The City of Eternal Spring" because of its perrenial good weather. Named after the conquistador Francisco Pizarro's hometown, Trujillo boasts plenty of old world charm. On your Trujillo City Tour, stroll along the beautiful Plaza Mayor, tour the Cathedral and colonial mansions such as Casa del Mayorazgo and Casa Orbegozo, the Church of La Merced, and the Archaeological Museum of the National University of Trujillo, one of Peru's best collections of ceramics, textiles and metal artifacts from various Pre-Columbian civilizations.
Next, head to two most important Moche ceremonial centers, located just south of Trujillo. The Temple of the Sun is a huge terraced pyramid measuring approximately 43m high (the tallest pyramid in the Americas), which is estimated to have involved over 200,000 workers in its construction and over 140 million adobe bricks. Some 500m away is the Temple of the Moon, the Moche political centre where recently uncovered friezes of mystical images are believed to belong to a divinity of sacrifices.
Lunch will be served in the seashore village of Huanchaco, known for its "caballitos de totora" - a typical small reed boat still used by the local fishermen, as their ancestors did centuries ago.
Continue to Chan Chan, the ancient capital of the Chimu Kingdom (700-1400 AD), which reached its peak in the 15th century, many centuries after the collapse of the Moche Culture and not long before falling to the Incas. The planning of this huge adobe city, the largest in pre-Columbian America, reflects a strict political and social strategy, marked by the city's division into nine 'citadels' or 'palaces' forming autonomous units. The Chimu called it Jang-Jang, which in the ancient Moche language means "Sun-Sun". Marvel at this fascinating city, UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986.
In the evening, return to your Trujillo hotel to relax.
Day 3: Trujillo to Chiclayo & El Brujo Tour
After breakfast in your Trujillo hotel, you'll take a tour of the El Brujo archaeological complex, located in the Chicama Valley about 50km north of Trujillo. It dates back to the Moche Culture (100 BC-650 AD) and is one the most impressive sites of Northern Peru. 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, you will check into your Chiclayo hotel.
Day 4: Chiclayo Tour of Tombs of Sipan and Sican Museum
Start the day with breakfast in your Chiclayo hotel, then head out on another full day tour of Northern Peru's archeological treasures. Start the tour with an excursion to the impressive Necropolis of Huaca Rajada, a Mochica funeral centre where the tombs of the Old Lord of Sipan (3rd Century) and the Lord of Sipan (5th Century), famous for its objects in gold and semi-precious stones These Sipan tombs were unearthed in the 1980s by Peruvian archaeologists led by Dr. Walter Alva.
You'll also see the Sican Museum, loaded with a fabulous collection of gold objects of the Sican Culture. Conquerers of the powerful Moche people in 750, the Sican people were the dominant force in the region, until they were defeated by the Chima in 1375. Discoverers of the alloy bronze, the Sican people were at the hub of a great commercial network that moved emeralds and shells from Ecuador, gold nuggets from the Amazon and mercury ore from Peru's southern sierra. Around 1050, the Sican mysteriously abandoned Batan Grande and built the even more elaborate city of Tucume.
Little was known of the Sican civilization until 1991 when the Japanese archeologist Izumi Shimada excavated two royal Sican tombs. In the east tomb the king was surrounded by sacrificed women and buried upside down, his decapitated head placed in front of him. The mass of objects in the tomb included two huge golden arms, sacred spondylus shells, and a square copper-gold mask stained red with mercury ore. The west tomb is even larger with similar gold masks.
Next, you'll visit the Sipan Museum in Lambayeque. This museum is shaped like a Moche pyramid, and contains the gold masks, scepters, jewelry and other objects of the royal Moche tombs discovered in Huaca Rajada (Sipan). This museum succeeds in evoking the full grandeur and sophistication of the ancient Moche civilization.
Lunch is included at local restaurant in Lambayeque. You'll have the afternoon free to relax at your hotel in town.
Day 5: Chaparri Reserve Tour
Breakfast at your hotel, then transfer to the Chaparri Reserve. Located 75km east of Chiclayo lies the beautiful Chaparri Reserve, established in 2000 by the nearby community of Santa Catalina de Chongoyape, backed by Asociacion Naymlap and the Peruvian wildlife photographer Heinz Plenge. The community wanted to protect its natural resources and improve their standard of living, and so they established the reserve, setting a precedent for privately-owned conservation areas in the region. The Chaparri Reserve is home to many species endemic to the Tumbesian region, including 214 birds species, 21 mammals and 20 reptiles and amphibians, plus seven species that are considered globally threatened with extinction by the IUCN. These include the critically threatened White-winged Guan which now has a wild population of less than 200 individuals, as well as the Spectacled Bear. After your Tingana Reserve tour, you'll return to your Chiclayo hotel.
Day 6: Chiclayo to Chachapoyas
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.
Day 7: Chachapoyas Utcubamba Valley Tour
After breakfast, you'll continue on the journey through Peru's Northern wonders, this time passing the Utcubamba canyon and crossing over into the Province of Luya. Here you'll 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.
Day 8: Chachapoyas Utcubamba Valley Tour
From within the Utcubamba Valley, we head out in the morning on a short drive to Yerbabuena. From there, we'll hike for 2 hours to get to a remote spot located on a cliffside, where you can rest, enjoy 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 for the night.
Day 9: Chachapoyas & Kuelap
Depart the hotel 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. We'll explore the many ceremonial constructions, aqueducts and architecture, with plenty of opportunities to wander on you own. We then return to Chachapoyas, soaking in the beautiful scenery made all the more so by the setting sun.
Day 10: Chachapoyas - Moyobamba
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.
Day 11: Moyobamba - Tarapoto
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.
Day 12: Tarapoto - Lima
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.
Day 13: Lima
Breakfast at the Lima hotel, and then transfer to the airport for your flight home or to another South America tour.
Interested in this tour? View Price & Contact above.
See all our Northern Peru Tours
Got a small group? Get even BIGGER discounts!
or consider joining one of our Special Edition Tours:
THE South America Wine Tour - Special Edition
The Essence of Peru - Special Edition
Tango, Samba, Waterfalls & Carnival
Tango Samba Waterfalls & New Year's in Rio
Tango, Samba & Oktoberfest in Brazil
As most trips operates on commercial air, space may be extremely limited 90 days prior to departure. To ensure your spot, we encourage you to book as early as possible.
Follow our South America Travel Blog!
Tel (0800) 747-4540
Tel +49 (711) 856-6972
Fax +49 (711) 856-6971
We work with Travel Agents! View our Travel Agents portal for more info.
SouthAmerica.travel do Brasil
SouthAmerica.travel del Peru