Ancient & Lost Cities
Lost Cities of Chavin, Chan Chan & Caral
- North Peru
- Base City of Tour:
- 6 days 5 nights
- US $2476*
- Pacific Desert
- Amazon Basin
Focussing on some of the oldest and most dramatic archaeology of northern Peru, you follow the Pacific desert coast from Lima up to Caral then into the Upper Amazon Basin. Here you will visit the impressive construction of Chavín de Huantar. You will also visit temples of the Moche and Chimú civilizations then tour the Spanish architecture in the modern city of Trujillo. Your tour finishes in Chiclayo where you will visit Sipán. This is where one of the most famous recent archaeological discoveries took place in 1987. After visiting royal tombs, we will return to Lima by air.
Day 1 Lima, Caral, Chavín
A Journey to Ancient Cities
You will first be driven from Lima by private vehicle heading to one of the most important centres for the Norto Chico culture named Caral. The remains of ancient pyramids lie dotted around this region.
- Amazon River
- Chavín de Huantar
You will now be driven into the Andes into a region home to Peru’s highest snow-topped peaks. After a while you will descend to see the Marañon/Amazon river drainage enroute to Chavín de Huantar. You will spend the next couple of nights at Hostal Andino.
Day 2 Chavín de Huantar to Huaraz
From Hallucinogenic Labyrinth to High Cordilleras
Today you will begin to explore the remnants of the once powerful Chavín civilization. Their centre was the Chavín de Huantar although their influence spread far and wide. Here, powerful hallucinogens were taken in scared rituals at their magnificent temple, while below us, hidden channels spread water throughout the area. You can still imagine the water rushing along the remaining underground labyrinth.
When you have finished lunch we set off to Huaráz, which is in the shadow of Peru’s highest mountain. We overnight in Huaraz.
- Sechín Alto
Day 3 Huaráz, Sechín, Trujillo
Descent to Sechín Alto and the sources of Chavín, and on to a Spanish Colonial city
Today we take a scenic trip from the Andes to the coast to reach Sechín Alto, the site of a coastal civilizationpre-dating Chavín. These were probably their cultural ancestor. Monoliths are here carved with scenes of battle, death, and mutilation.
When you have had lunch we set off to Trujillo. The city, founded in 1534, has incredible architecture with a colonial style. They have large barred windows and incredible wooden doorways. You will get a chance tomorrow to look up close at architecture.
You will spend the next two nights at the hotel Libertador in the centre of Trujillo.
- Colonial City
- Adobe Pyramids
Day 4 Trujillo
The Colonial city, the great adobe pyramids of Huaca de la Luna and Huaca del Sol, the picturesque beach resort of Huanchaco, and the pre-Inca city of Chan Chan
Today will be filled with touring and exploration of this amazing area. Starting at the historic center of Trujillo, you will immerse yourself in the still felt colonial influence. You will then explore the main square and the luxuriant 17th and 18th and century mansions built by the Spanish and Creole gentry.
- Huaca de la Luna
- Huaca del Sol
- Trujillo Seafood
- Visit Buildings
From Trujillo you will now visit the Huaca de la Luna and the Huaca del Sol. These are two large flat-roofed pyramids built by the Moche between 0 and 600A.D. You can see the colorful friezes initially buried the Moche. These had not seen daylight for 1,500 years. Fanged gods in the form of spiders, snakes, cats, and octopi are depicted with dancers, warriors, naked prisoners, and scenes of ritual combat.
Continuing to the beach resort of Huanchaco you can sample the delicious Trujillo seafood and watch fishermen still paddling to sea on their small one-man reed rafts, which have been used for millennia to collect the fruits of the Pacific.
You will now learn about the Chimú as we visit their centre of Chan Chan. Chan Chan is the largest adobe city ever built and was an elite settlement filled with palaces belonging to the various rulers of the Chimú. The population of Chan Chan once reached 50,000 people including many of the craftsman and artists who created the artwork, goldwork, textiles and pottery that made the Chimú famous. You will visit the inner patios, residences, administrative buildings, temples, platforms and storehouses, and a huge reservoir where “sunken gardens” may have produced specialized crops for Chimu nobility.
We overnight in Trujillo.
- El Brujo
- Paso Horses
- El Brujo
Day 5 Trujillo to Chiclayo
The Moche temple of El Brujo, Peruvian paso horses, and an elegant north-coast lunch
Early in the morning we make our way to El Brujo. This was featured in National Geographic after a mummy was exhumed of a tattooed priestess. The murals painted here depict daily life and also grusome sacrifice.
We being our next journey and stop at a hacienda in Paiján to enjoy lunch, along with a colorful display of the skilled horsemanship of local Peruvian paso horses and their riders. This is an optional activity (cost not included), which we highly recommend.
You will reach Chiclayo in the afternoon where you can relax and enjoy the pool or absorb the atmosphere of this busy tropical city.
- Cracked Pyramid
- Tombs of Sipán
- Huaca Rajada
- Sipán Museum
Day 6 Chiclayo then Lima
The “Cracked Pyramid”, Túcume, and the Royal Tombs of Sipán
You will now visit the mud brick pyramid that made world headlines in 1987 because of one of the most amazon recent finds in archaeology.The “Cracked Pyramid” or Huaca Rajada has deep gulleys that were eroded into its sides. The pyramid hid ancient treasures buried in the ancient tombs of the pre-Inca Moche. We arrive at Sipán to see the actual tombs complete with reconstructions of burials of chieftans complete with their sacrificed guards and companions.
You will now venture to Lambayeque to visit Sipán Museum. The building is in the style of a Moche pyramid and contains priceless objects discovered at Sipán. One looted item from this area was recovered at a US auction with a reserve price of $1.6 million.
- Northern Cuisine
You will now return to Chiclayo for lunch consisting of of Peru’s northern cuisine at a highly regarded local restaurant. Now we drive to an oasis of calm at Tucumé, today’s last visited area. You can now follow the events that led to the fall of the Moche. The pyramids have a different construction as the Moche now were building in the style of highland tribes and abandoning their old ways. We visit the musueum to see collections from their daily lives.
We bid farewell to the warm valleys of Northern Peru and set off for the airport in the late afternoon for our evening flight to Lima.
Lost Cities of Caral, Chavin & Chan Chan Rates
Daily custom departures