Northern Experience 12 days 11 nights

Northern ExperienceHuaraz Trujillo Chiclayo Chachapoyas & Cajamarca 12 days 11 nights


Day 01: Chavin de Huantar

chavin huantar huaraz

Upon arrival, early in the morning, we take you from the bus terminal to the hotel.

We travel through the "Callejon de Conchucos", which runs parallel to the "Callejon de Huaylas" while we enjoy the views of the east side of the "Cordillera Blanca", while visiting towns like Recuay, Ticapampa and Catac where we stop in Querococha Lake (3980 m), located in the Huascaran National Park, and from where we can see the Yanamarey Pucaraju Mountain. We will go through the Cahuish Tunnel (Kawish), which crosses the Cordillera Blanca at an altitude of 4,516 meters linking Catac with the people of Chavin. Finally we arrive at the Chavin de Huantar Archaeological Site (3180 m), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site has several buildings: pyramids, plazas that sit on a hillside, and stairways. The pyramidal constructions house a network of passages and interior cameras. The material for the stone architecture was also used to portray mythical figures in high and low relief; plated walls, carved stones, and stone heads depicting their deity. In the Chavin Gallery or Labyrinth, you will find a monolith carved with mythical figures, called Lanzon, measuring about 5 meters high. Chavin also has many representative monoliths as the Raymondi Stela, the Tello Obelisk and Yauya Stela. We visit the Chavin National Museum, which houses most of the gargoyle type heads, and the magnificent Tello Obelisk, which is the oldest Chavin art sculpture, that it is thought it was a solar calendar.

Overnight in Huaraz.

Day 02: Llanganuco Lake

llanganuco lake

We visit the northern side of the "Callejon de Huaylas", visiting the towns of Anta, Mark, Carhuaz, Yungay and Llanganuco Lake (Chinancocha or female in quechua), located at 3,850 meters above sea level within the Huascaran National Park. This magnificent natural scenery is located in a narrow glacial valley between the Huascaran (6,768 meters) and Huandoy (South Peak 6,160 m). Also the Pisco Mountain, Yanapaccha and Chopicalqui can be seen. The lake waters are turquoise-green and surrounded by dense forests of Quinoa, cattail and is the habitat of the Mallard. We can make short walks (aprox 30 min) or take a boat in the lake. The flora of the lake make the colors of the lake to change according to the position of the sun. Time for Lunch. We visit the picturesque town of Caraz, beautiful little andean town that is known as "Caraz sweetness" because their speacialty is a sweet made of milk and other fruit flavors like lucuma and cherimoya. Finally we visit the artisan workshops of the Taricá village.

Overnight in Huaraz.

Day 03: Pastoruri Glacier

pastoruri huaraz

We visit the southern side of the Callejon de Huaylas: the village of Recuay, San Patricio Natural Caves, and their small water leaks and stalactites of capricious forms, continue to the Patococha Lake (4130 m) and Pumapampa Springs, sparkling water emanating from the depths up to a height of about one meter. Then we visit the Pumapashimin springs, wich has a visual effect caused by algae and mainly by sunlight to produce the decomposition of light, resulting multicolored effects in the water. The surrounding landscape offer us the highlands grasslands and the Puya Raimondi, endemic flora, that can grow upto 12 meters high and can produce up to 8000 flowers when blooming. Finally we go to Pastoruri Glacier, one of the most beautiful places in the Huascaran National Park. The ice occupies an area of ​​1.28 km2. 

Night bus Huaraz Trujillo.

Day 04: Trujillo In - Temple of the Dragon - Chan Chan - Huanchaco - Temples of the Sun & the Moon

chan chan peru

Upon your arrival, our guide will pick you up at the airport or bus terminal, and take you to your hotel.

09:00 AM 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 05: El Brujo Archaological Complex - Chiclayo In

temple of the moon trujillo

09:00 AM 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.

Bus Trujillo Chiclayo.

Overnight in Chiclayo.

Day 06: Huaca Rajada - Tucume Pyramids - Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum


Today we 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.

Then 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). We will have time to visit the Museum of Tucume

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.

Night bus Chiclayo Chachapoyas.

Day 07: Chachapoyas In - Kuelap 

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

We will visit the archaeological site 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. 

Overnight in Chachapoyas.

Day 08: Gocta Falls

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. We return to Cocachimba for lunch. Return to Chachapoyas.

Overnight in Chachapoyas. 

Day 09: Karajia Sarcophagi - Quiocta

karajia sarcophagi chachapoyas

We pick you up from your hotel.

Departure to Lamud (1 hour 30 minutes), we 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. After lunch. We explore the Quiocta Caverns, where we find stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, flags and columns. Also cave paintings  and a small inner lagoon. It is inhabited by bats. This cavern for its location, is an interesting place becase of archaeological and geological reasons.

Night bus Chachapoyas Cajamarca.

Day 10: Cajamarca In - City tour - Ventanillas de Otuzco

otuzco necropolis

Upon arrival, we take you to your hotel.

City tour: we visit the Plaza de Armas, St. Catherine of Alexandria Church (Cathedral), San Francisco Church, Ransom Room, Church of Bethlehem, Men & Women Colonial Hospital (Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum), St. Apolonia Viewpoint & Sanctuary and the "Chair of the Inca". 

In the afternoon we visit the Ventanillas de Otuzco (literally Windows of Otuzco), pre Inca archaeological site that belongs to the Cajamarca culture. This necropolis consists of niches carved in the rocks, called windows. It is a cemetery, which dates back to the first centuries of our era. The entrances are rectangular and quadrangular cut of 50-60 cm. Then we visit a Viewpoint to enjoy the  countryside landscape of the valley.

Overnight at Cajamarca.

Day 11: Cumbemayo - Inca Baths

cumebmayo frailones

We visit today the Cumbemayo Archeological Site, located at 3,500 meters above sea level, surrounded by an impressive stone forest. This consists of the aqueduct (pre Inca hydraulic engineering work), the sanctuary and its antropomorphic figures - feline forms. We visit the Bella Vista Viewpoint from where we can see the valley of Cajamarca in all its beauty. We also will hike a little though the Layzón "Stone Forest", where we see the giant "Monks" (frailones) called like this because of their great size. 

After our visits we will go to the Inca Baths to enjoy the medicinal thermal waters, and visit the Poza del Inca (Inca favourite spring) and Perolitos (springs), with temperatures reaching 78 ° C. According to chroniclers this place was the first stage of encounter of the Spaniards and the Incas. 

Overnight in Cajamarca.

Day 12: Cajamarca Out

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)
  • 02 nights accommodation in Huaraz with breakfast included.
  • 01 night accommodation in Trujillo with breakfast included.
  • 01 night accommodation in Chiclayo with breakfast included.
  • 02 nights accommodation in Chachapoyas with breakfast included
  • 02 nights accommodation in Cajamarca with breakfast included. 
  • Transportation Huaraz ---> Trujillo.
  • Transportation Trujillo ---> Chiclayo.
  • Transportation Chiclayo ---> Chachapoyas
  • Transportation Chachapoyas ---> Cajamarca
  • 24 / 7 hours assistance during your trip

What is not included?

  • Lunch and dinner.