The Treasures of Northern Peru
Take the 8 Day "Trujillo Circuit"
to Trujillo, Chiclayo, and Cajamarca
- Full Itinerary
- Price & Contact
Trujillo, Chiclayo, and Cajamarca are three of Peru's most important archeological treasures, and they are all located close to each other near the northern desert of Peru. Often collectively referred to as The Trujillo Circuit, these Peru travel destinations are an excellent introduction to the great pre-Inca civilizations of the Moche, Chimu, and Sican. In Trujillo, visit the ancient Temples of the Sun and Moon, and the impressive adobe brick palace of Chan Chan. Then stroll along the colonial plazas, visit the mansions, and glimpse the sunsets on the beach in downtown Trujillo. Next, head to Chiclayo, home of the archeological trove of Sipán. Finish your northern Peru tour with a visit to Cajamarca, the infamous location where the Inca emperor Atahualpa met his end at the hands of the Spanish conquistadors.
Highlights of this Peru Tour:
- Trujillo City Tour
- Cajamarca City Tour
- Tucume and the Valley of Pyramids
- Otuzco Necropolis
Included in this Peru Tour:
- 7 nights
- All Breakfasts
- All Entrance fees
- Hotel Thunderbird Principal Lima
- Hotel Libertador Trujillo
- Hotel Laguna Seca - Cajamarca
- Gran Hotel Chiclayo
Day 1 - Lima
Upon arrival in Lima, meet your local SouthAmerica.travel guide or representative at the airport and transfer to the 4-star Hotel Thunderbird Principal Lima located in the fashionable district of Miraflores. This neighborhood has many shops and restaurants within walking distance, and hugs the coastline, called the Costa Verde, where paragliders are often seen soaring above the Larcomar shopping mall and the seashore. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure, getting to know Miraflores and trying the delicious Peruvian seafood in any of the restaurants.
Day 2 - Trujillo City Tour
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the short flight to Trujillo. Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Trujillo is a temperate coastal town and the third largest city in Peru. Founded in 1534 by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro, the town was named after Pizarro's hometown in Spain, and the strong Spanish influence is noticeable in the colonial mansions and plazas. During your Trujillo city tour, stroll along the beautiful Plaza de Armas, surrounded by the Cathedral and brightly-painted colonial mansions. Admire the colonial charm on this fascinating Peru tour, which includes a visit inside La Merced Church and some mansions such as Casa del Mayorazgo, Casa Orbegozo and Casa de la Emancipacion. Then tour the Archaeological Museum of the National University of Trujillo, where you'll find one of Peru's best collections of ceramics, textiles and metal artifacts from various Pre-Columbian civilizations. Check into the Hotel Libertador Trujillo, a wonderful 4-star hotel facing the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and illustrious colonial mansions.
Day 3 - Trujillo Tour to Temple of the Sun & Moon, Chan-Chan & Huanchaco
After breakfast in your Trujillo hotel, you'll head out on a Trujillo tour of some of the most famous Peruvian archeological finds in recent history. The tour includes a visit to the two most important Moche ceremonial centers, the Temple of the Sun, a huge terraced pyramid measuring approximately 43 m high (the tallest pyramid in the Americas), and the Temple of the Moon, the Moche political centre whose friezes of mystical images are believed to belong to a divinity of sacrifices. These adobe brick ruins boast intricately carved friezes and decorative work with rainbows, dragons, and beasts, some incredibly well-preserved.
Continue to Chan Chan, the ancient capital of the Chimu Kingdom, 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. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1986, this huge adobe city was the largest in pre-Colombian America, and its design reflects a strict political and social strategy marked by divisions into nine palaces forming autonomous units.
Have lunch in the seaside village of Huanchaco, known for its caballitos de totora, a small reed fishing boat that has been a traditional fisherman's vessel for centuries. Return to your Trujillo hotel for the night.
Day 4 - Transfer to Cajamarca
In the morning, you'll head out from Trujillo to Cajamarca, and check into the 4-star Hotel Laguna Seca, located in the beautiful valley of Cajamarca. This relaxing hacienda-style hotel has its own natural hot springs sourced from the Laguna Seca. Kick back in this leafy green oasis in the evening.
Day 5 - Cajamarca Tour and the Cumbemayo Aqueduct
After breakfast in your Cajamarca hotel, you'll drive to Cumbemayo, a collection of fascinating rock formations called the Frailones, Stone-Age petroglyphs, and a pre-Inca aqueduct that is still in operation. After exploring the Cumbemayo area, continue to the necropolis of Otuzco, where the graves of the Cajamarca people, who flourished between 500 and 1200 AD, are cut into a volcanic rock cliffside.
In the afternoon, contine on to the Tres Molinos Farm, where excellent kinds of cheese and butter are produced. Return to your Cajamarca hotel for the night.
Day 6 - Cajamarca City Tour & Transfer to Chiclayo
After some free time, you'll take a Cajamarca city tour to explore the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral, San Francisco Church, Museum of Relgious Art, and more places that give insight into the historical importance of this city. The highlight of every Cajamarca city tour is a visit to the Ransom Room, which the last Inca emperor, Atahualpa, commanded to be filled with "once with gold, twice with silver," in efforts to fulfill his ransom to the Spanish conquistadors keeping him hostage. Although the Incas sent the precious metals, the Spanish reneged on their promise and killed Atahualpa in Cajamarca.
Continue to the Belen Church, built entirely out of volcanic rock, then tour the Medical, Ethnological and Archaeological Museums. Lastly, finish your Cajamarca tour with a trip to Santa Apolonia Hill, which gives a panoramic view of the valley of Cajamarca as well as the site of the Inca Atahualpas' ceremonial seat.
In the afternoon, transfer to Chiclayo and check in to the 4-star Gran Hotel Chiclayo, located in the city center. Relax in your hotel for the night.
Day 7 - Chiclayo Tour of Sipan, Tucume, and the Royal Tombs Museum
After breakfast in your Chiclayo hotel, you'll tour several important archeological sites. First is Tucume and the Valley of the Pyramids, an important archaeological complex of the Lambayeque Culture who flourished between BC 1000 - 1350 AD. Tucume was the last capital of the Sican culture, which succeeded the Moche in 750 AD and succumbed to the Chimu in 1375. Archeologists believe that Tucume was built after the Sican burnt and abandoned their former capital of Batan Grande. This stunning landscape is best seen from Cerro Purgatorio, which rises in the midst of 26 adobe pyramids scattered throughout 400 acres of dry forest.
Then visit the extraordinary Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum in Lambayeque, which was built to look like a Moche pyramid. The museum holds radiant gold masks, scepters, jewelry and other objects of the royal Moche tombs discovered in the Huaca Rajada of Sipan.
Continue the tour with an excursion to the impressive Necropolis of Huaca Rajada, where the Old Lord of Sipan and the Lord of Sipan lay buried. Gold and semi-precious stones were unearthed here in the 1980s by Peruvian archaeologists led by Dr. Walter Alva. The recent discoveries and ongoing archeological excavations in northern Peru continue to shed light on the fascinating the Moche, Sican, and other pre-Inca cultures.
After this day touring northern Peru, return to your Chiclayo hotel for the night.
Day 8 - Chiclayo Tour of Batangrande, Pomac Forest and Sican Museum
Enjoy breakfast in your Chiclay hotel, then begin another day of touring the incredible archeological sites of northern Peru. Head to the pyramids of Batangrande, the first Sican capital and the source for much plundered gold. Also visit the Sican Museum, which has a fabulous collection of gold and other materials of the Sican Culture, who are famous for discovering bronze, which they made by mixing arsenic with copper. The Sican 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 AD, the Sican mysteriously abandoned Batan Grande and built the even more elaborate city of Tucume.
Depart in the early afternoon to the Chiclayo airport for your return flight to Lima, or continue on another Peru tour with SouthAmerica.travel.
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