Express North Peru Itinerary 6 days 5 nights

Express Peru's North: Trujillo Chachapoyas  & Chiclayo 6 days 5 nights

Day 01: Trujillo Colonial City Tour - Temple of the Dragon - Chan Chan - Huanchaco - Temples of the Sun & the Moon

chan chan

We start of our colonial city tour. During the city tour we will go through the historic center of the colonial city of Trujillo: Main Square, one of the most beautiful and the largest of Peru. It highlights the Freedom Monument, located in the center of the square. We visit the Emancipation Mansion, the Cathedral and its beautiful paintings and altarpieces, the El Recreo Park and its colonial water system, The Iturregui Palace and La Merced Church.This day, we will visit The Temple of the Dragon, decorated with anthropomorphic and geometric figures, then we continue learning about the Chimu culture in the Chan Chan Site Museum. Next place to visit is Chan Chan (UNESCO Heritage), the largest pre-Columbian citadel of the Americas. Here we enter to the Nik-An Palace, built with refined architectural technique, which includes impressive reliefs and exquisite geometric and zoomorphic designs and friezes depicting fish, pelicans, diamonds, originally painted in ocher, yellow and red tones. The Citadel of Chan Chan had ceremonial plazas, water reservoirs, defense systems and rooms designed to store food. Chan Chan population was about 60,000 inhabitants of the Chimu empire. Then we head to the fishing village of Huanchaco, where you can see the "little reed horses", traditional pre-Columbian rafts which still are the main tool of the current Huanchaco's fishermen.

Time to enjoy lunch in Huanchaco.

After that, we visit the Moche Valley and the flat-topped pyramids called Temples of the Sun and the Moon. The Temple of the Sun served as administrative center and was built with about 140 million adobes. The Temple of the Moon holds the most stunning and best-preserved murals throughout Peru. This pyramid walls are beautifully decorated with polychrome friezes, where the main character is the Moche deity "Aia-paec" and different themes like snakes, prisioners, and mystical subjects alluding their ceremonial rituals. We end our visits in The Moche Temples Site Museum, to see the artifacts found during excavations of the Moche Temples Archaeological Project such as ceramics of great beauty, pieces made of gold, cotton and feathers, which were used in their ceremonies. 

Overnight in Trujillo.

Day 02: El Brujo Archaeological Complex - San Jose de Moro - Huaca Rajada - Chachapoyas

huaca rajada sipan lambayeque

We start travelling to the Chicama Valley, to visit El Brujo Archaeological Complex, comprising Huaca Prieta, Huaca Cao Viejo and Huaca El Brujo. We visit the interiors of Huaca Cao Viejo, which has stunning polychrome reliefs and friezes. Some of these friezes depict some prisoners moving from west to east, and behind them standing still several warriors carrying their weapons painted all in natural size scale. The tomb of the Lady of Cao, ruler and Moche Priestess, considered an almost divine character was found in Huaca Cao Viejo. It is of great importance since before this finding, it was thought that only men had held high positions in ancient Peru. We also visit the Museum of Cao, here in a special room we see the mummified remains of the Lady of Cao, and her impressive tattoos that have a religious and ritual symbolism, her ornaments, jewelry and costumes that accompany her funeral bundle. 

We continue to Sipan, to visit the Tomb of Sipan in Huaca Rajada. This place comprises two adobe pyramids and the burial chamber of the Lord of Sipan where he was found together with sacrified servants, concubines and warriors, llamas, etc, offerings and ceramics that accompany the Lord to his journey to the afterlife according to the Moche belief. Besides of beautiful ornaments made of gold, silver and semi preicius stones, now in the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum. 

Bus Chiclayo Chachapoyas

Day 04: Kuelap - Revash Mausoleums (or The Museum of Leymebamba)

kuelap

Upon your arrival in the early morning, you will be transfered to the hotel.

We will visit the archaeological site Fortress of Kuelap, located in on a natural rocky elevation at 3000 meters. The fortified citadel of Kuelap, oval fortress surrounded by an imposing wall, almost impenetrable, rises from 5.5 meters to 11.5 meters. oriented from north to south. Kuelap is one of the most important architectural remains of the Chachapoyas culture. The citadel, measuring about 584 meters long and an average of 110 meters at the widest part, has a total dimension of approximately 6 acres. It is surrounded by a perimeter wall that varies between 10 and 20 meters high, depending on terrain, and is entirely built of limestone blocks weighing up to 3 tons. On the west side of the citadel, lays the Great Temple, for the ceremonial rites that were performed there. The citadel walls are decorated with many carvings in high relief depicting anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and geometric designs in the stones, located mostly in the Great Temple; where also numerous burials were found.

After this visit, you can pick between visit the Mausoleums of Revash or the Leymebamba's Museum.

We will visit Leymebamba to visit the Revash Archaeological Site (2700 m). The site comprises mausoleum tombs belonging to the Chachapoya culture (Late Intermediate: 1100 - 1470 AD). Revash mausoleums are built in cavities carved into the limestone rock cliff. The walls of the tombs are made of small stones settled with mud mortar, painted in shades of cream and red. Some tombs are decorated with paintings depicting cats, llamas and figures of geometric shapes. Also a variety of pictographs decorate the cliff walls behind the mausoleums. Or we will visit The Leymebamba Museum, which houses more than 216 mummies and 2000 objects of grave goods recovered in 1997 from the archaeological site Lake of the Condors or Lake of the Mummies. Besides the three archaeological rooms housing the recovered material, there is an ethnographic room that explains the various expressions of the ancient chachapoya inhabitants, their customs and life.

Overnight in Chachapoyas. 

Day 04: Gocta Falls - Sarcofagos de Karajia

gocta chachapoyas

Departure to the Cocachimba town, from here we hike for about 2 hours to the Waterfall of Gocta. The waterfall drops in two crashes, the first measures 231 meters high and the second 540 meters high, reaching a total drop of 771 meters, is one of the highest in the world and the third one highest in Peru. In the area, there are approximately 110 bird species like the cock of the rock (rupicola peruviana), and the Spatulatail Hummingbird (Marvellous Spatuletail, endemic to the Amazon region). As for mammals, there are 20 species as the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (flavicauda lagotrix) and the night monkey (Aotus miconax), both endemic primate of Peru. And in terms of plants, 355 species have been recorded of which 6 are endemic of Peru and 6 are endangered species. It also features 41 species of orchids. After this visit we will departure to Lamud to start hiking to the Karajia Sarcophagi, located at 2700 masl. This place was part of Chipuric Archaeological Complex. It consists of 6 Purunmachos (old father in Quechua) which are pre-Inca tombs - kind of sarcophagus that have anthropomorphic form with human features and elongated jaw. The sarcophagi are about 2.5 meters high. Found at the archaeological site about 14 Purunmachos. They have a fine plaster outward layers of paint with red ocher and white smoke. The sarcophagi are painted in different strokes that indicate the shape of the eyes, mouth and even in some cases clothing or sex. The head is crowned by a headdress or skull trophy. Each coffin contained one mummified individual (unlike mausoleso containing various individuals). In the sarcophagus, the individual was placed in a fetal position or squatting, wrapped with cotton sheets forming a bundle and tied with string or twine rush and then be placed facing forward on a deerskin. Usually ceramics accompanied the body and other materials according to the belief of the time that it should accompany the soul on its journey to the afterlife. 

Bus Chachapoyas Chiclayo. 

Day 05: Sican Museum - Tucume Pyramids - Huaca Balsas - Pomac Forest (Batangrande)

balsas tucume

Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

We visit the Sican National Museum. It has a permanent exhibition of all aspects of society and culture Sicán. It also describes details of the domestic life of the Sican population and the development processes of their ceramics and metals; in addition to the recreation of two tombs of noblemen, containing gold ornaments and other valuables. It explains how the Lord of Sican was buried face down in a fetal position. One of the most important rooms features pieces like the famous golden mask of the Winged Eyes, crowns, necklaces, among other precious ornaments and ceramics, found in the Huaca El Oro and Huaca Las Ventanas in The Pomac Forest.

Next we explore the Valley of the Pyramids of Túcume. This spectacular archaeological complex consists of 26 adobe pyramids. In the center, the Holy Mountain, known as Cerro La Raya, a viewpoint to enjoy the scenery of the Valley of La Leche and the huacas (pyramids) in the site such as: Las Estacas, La Raya, Del Pueblo, Las Balsas, Huaca I and Grandes, among others. The Túcume Complex is one of the most prominent archaeological sites in Peru and the largest concentration of adobe pyramids in the northern coast of Peru, being Huaca Larga the largest in South America (700 meters long, 280 meters wide and 30 meters high). Within the pyramids complex, will make a special visit to Huaca Las Balsas, ruled by women religious temple dedicated to worship the water, it is decorated with mystical and ritual purposes. Its friezes recreate rafts manned by strange characters with anthropomorphic traits, surrounded by large waves, seabirds and animals. We will have time to visit the Museum of Tucume

Our next stop is the Pomac Forest Historical Sanctuary aka Batangrande Archaological Complex, a dry equatorial forest with diverse wildlife, with 16 of them being endemic to the Tumbesian area and 5 endemic to Peru. Here live mammals such as the sechura fox, anteater, wild cats, squirrels and different varieties of reptiles. The site also comprises about 20 adobe pyramids. We visit the Interpretation Centre, The ancient tree (Carob tree of great size and age, source of legends), we climb up to The Salinas viewpoint to see the forest and La Leche river in all its majesty. We will visit the Huaca El Oro (where an important Sican tomb was found and the pieces of ceramics and artifacts are displayed in the Sican Museum), and Huaca Las Ventanas (here they found the famous Tumi, a ceremonial knife made of gold). The complex also includes Huaca la Merced, Huaca Rodillona, ​​dedicated to the management, control and administration of the powerful Sican. 

Overnight in Chiclayo

Day 06: Ventarron - Collud - Bruning Museum - Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum

sipan lord lambayeque

On our way back we we visit the Ventarron Archaeological Site (pre-ceramic), that has the oldest of Americas polychrome mural (2000 BC). The mural depicts the hunting of a deer known as the "captive deer "(because looks like it is caught in a net) and another abstract motifs in red and white colors. It has several rooms of cruciform and circular shape. We continue our visit to Collud Complex, (theocratic capital)  the largest settlement in the formative period in the Lambayeque Valley and one of the most developed in that time in Peru, that has strong Cupisnique and Chavin influence. It consists of several monumental buildings such as a stepped platform and wall decorations in relief. In the Temple we find a desing with the shape of a head with feline, bird and spider features, framed by diamonds that symbolize a net, some other stylized figures also appear in their designs. 

Then we visit the Bruning Archaeological National Museum, where over 1,400 archeological pieces of Lambayeque, Moche, Chavin, Vicus, Inca and other cultures are exposed. The most important pieces dating back more than 10,000 years ago. In the gardens of the museum stands the figure of Naylamp. One of the most important rooms is the Room of the Gold and the three rooms dedicated to the Priestess of Chornancap, with more than 160 pieces of his grave goods and her artifacts of gold, silver and textiles.

We finish our Moche adventure, travelling to Lambayeque to visit the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, where we can see the great treasures and jewelry of the Lord of Sipan found in Huaca Rajada. The tomb of the Lord of Sipan is one of the biggest and richest in the world compared with that of Tutankhamen in Egypt. His goods in the museum consists of several rooms with more than 400 artifacts made of gold, silver and precious stones such as headgear, masks, pectorals, necklaces (including the famous peanuts necklace of gold and silver), nose rings, earrings that indicate his high importance and rank in the Moche civilization. Also we will see an exact replica of the tombs and burial chamber and a life-size moving diorama of The Lord of Sipan and his court, which provides additional realistic impression by the play of lights and its beautiful design. The Museum also houses the regalia and jewels of the Lord of Ucupe, discovered in Huaca El Pueblo - Quiñones - Chaquira. Definitely a must see.

At an appropiate time, we will take yout to the airport or bus terminal.

What is included?

  • Private airport / bus terminal shuttle transfer In & Out
  • Transportation with AC and professional driver.
  • English speaking guide.
  • All transfers and entrances fee (tickets)
  • 01 night accommodation in Trujillo with breakfast included.
  • 01 night accommodation in Chiclayo with breakfast included.
  • 01 night accommodation in Chachapoyas breakfast included.
  • Transportation Trujillo ---> Chiclayo.
  • Transportation Chiclayo ---> Chachapoyas
  • Transportation  Chachapoyas ---> Chiclayo
  • 24 / 7 hours assistance during your trip

What is not included?

  • Lunch and dinner.

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