Peru's north coast
Northern Peru is totally different from classic southern circuit. Here are more pre-Inca civilizations, some of them very important which have left amazing vestiges. In the extreme north are beautiful beaches of warm water and perfect waves for surfer lovers.
Open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm – Tour guides on site
200 km (125 mi) north of Lima (less than 4 hours), the Sacred City of Caral-Supe has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2009. The American Paul Kosok, who discovered the Nazca lines, discovered Chupacigarro (the name of the site at this time) in 1949, but it is the Peruvian Archaeologist Ruth Shadi that really began the study and date the complex.
The first civilization in the Americas built over 5,000 years ago, 18 urban centers in this region, Caral is the capital. It was mainly a religious center and you can contains many pyramids and temples.
566 km (352 mi) from Lima (8 hours) at the Pacific Ocean along the Pan-American Highway North, the city of the everlasting Spring is the third most populous metropolitan area of Peru with 850,000 inhabitants (after Lima and Arequipa), capital of the department of La Libertad and offers many tourist attractions.
Founded in 1534 by the Spanish conquistadors, the center has retained its colonial style, numerous houses and mansions of brightly colored facade with typical window grilles and beautiful churches, are a charm for lovers of colonial style.
The city knows fast-growing economy in recent years with the culture of sugarcane and especially asparagus and paprika (world's largest exporter of for both), artichokes, avocados and mangoes.
Trujillo is famous throughout the country for the quality of her skin, and became the shoes capital of Peru. The region also has several machine manufacturers, truck and bus coachbuilders.
Open 7 days a week 7:00 am - 12:00 and 4:00 pm - 9 pm
Built in 1616 in the Plaza de Armas (Main Square) and rebuilt in 1666 after two earthquakes, contains a beautiful Baroque Rococo altar and many paintings of the Cusco and Quito Schools.
Monasterio El Carmen
Corner Colón and Bolívar streets- Open Mon-Sat from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
The monastery and church El Carmen were built in 1759 and the gallery exhibits 150 paintings from the Quito school.
Jr. Pizarro 668 – Open Mon-Sat from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Built in the nineteenth century, this luxurious neoclassical palace is one of the most beautiful colonial buildings of America, characterized by its impressive columns, furniture and Italian marble statues.
Casa del Mayorazgo de Facalá
Jr. Pizarro 314 (now home of Scotiabank) - Open in bank openning hours,free admission.
This Casona was built in 1709 in a neoclassical style, the typical window grilles ant and the corner balcony are beautiful.
Inside the courtyard there is a statue of Pizarro in Carrara marble.
Jr. Orbegozo 563 (now home of Interbank) - Open 7 days a week from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm
This eighteenth century house retains much of its original furniture and carpets.
Casa Ganoza Chopitea
Jr. Independencia 628 - Open Mon-Fri 9:30 am - 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
The lobby is decorated with beautiful murals.
Museo de Arqueología e Historia
Jr. Junín 682. Open Mon-Fri 9:00 am - 1:00 pm and 3:00 - 7:00 pm. Sat/Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Housed in the beautiful Casona Risco, this museum exhibits archaeological pieces of different local cultures.
The region has been mainly marked by two civilizations, the Moche or Mochica (300 BC to 800 AD) which are considered the best potters of ancient Peru and precursors of surf and the Chimu (1100-1400 AD), one of the most important prehispanic kingdom.
15 minutes northwest of the city, this small resort is one of the favorite surf destinations in Peru.
Here you can see local fishermen still riding the waves like surf using "caballitos de totora" (little reed horses), small, long and narrow watercrafts built of reeds, an ancient practice of the Moche since 2,000 years.
Huaca del Sol y de la Luna
15 minutes south of Trujillo, these two archaeological sites belong to the Mochica civilization. The Temple of the Sun was a political and administrative center composed of five levels built with 130 million adobe bricks (mud bricks). The Temple of the Moon was a ceremonial center and consists of several temples built, each covering the the olders.
Admire the impressive frescoes that adorn the walls, geometric figures and representations of the Mochica god Ai-apaec.
Huaca del Dragón or Arco Iris
10 mn from Trujillo centre, the Temple of the Dragon or the rainbow dates from the Wari period and the beginning of the Chimu time, between the 10th and 11th century. This pretty well preserved pyramid, presents sculptures in high relief as representing a two-headed creature with uncountable feet similar to a dragon, some of which are in the shape of rainbow.
10 minutes northwest of Trujillo, this huge site was the capital of the Chimu Empire and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The impressive Chan Chan is the largest adobe city in the world, covering 20 km2 (0.4 sq mi) and archaeologists estimate its population to 100,000 inhabitants until the arrival of the Incas in the 15th century. The city has ten districts surrounded by walls that reach up to 10 meters (33 ft) high, finely engraved with geometric patterns or representing mythological figures and animals. A maze of streets links the different plazas, palaces and urban areas.
Between Trujillo and Chan Chan, this Chimu ceremonial temple consists of 3 platforms with central ramps and walls are adorned with relief sculptures.
Coastal town located 780 km (485 mi) north of Lima (12 hours) and 214 km (133 mi) north of Trujillo (3 hours), with 700,000 inhabitants is the 4th most populous city in Peru, capital of the department of Lambayeque and is known as the city of friendship. Chiclayo was just a village during the colonial era and became a city after independence from 1835. The region is mainly agricultural, being the largest producer of sugarcane and rice in the country, and a major non-metallic producer as salt and gypsum.
The region was dominated by the Moche from 300 to 800 AD and then by the Lambayeque civilization also known as Sicán between 700 and 1400, the best jewelers of ancient Peru, creators of the famous Tumi, a ceremonial knife then used by the Incas.
Señor de Sipán
Do not confuse with "Sicán"which is the other name of the Lambayeque civilization.
In 1987, the Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva held the excavation of a tomb in the village of Sipan 27 km (17 mi) east of Chiclayo, at a place called Huaca Rajada, a complex consisting of two pyramids joined by a platform.
Research continues today and 15 royal tombs in total were found. A museum located in the site exhibits many archaeological pieces.
The tomb of the Lord of Sipan is considered the most important of America and is often compared to that of Tutankhamun in Egypt for the riches it contains. The Lord of Sipan was a leader of the Mochica civilization and was buried in 250 AD with 8 other people, 2 llamas, one dog, numerous ceramics and more than 400 items of gold, silver, copper and semi-precious stones.
Museo Tumbas Reales
Av. Juan Pablo Vizcardo y Guzmán 895 - Lambayeque (10 km / 6 mi north of Chiclayo).
Open Tue/Sun - 9:00 am - 5 pm - Admission: S/. 10 (US$3.50 - 3€)
This amazing museum, specially built in 2002 to show the fabulous treasures of Sipan, exhibits more than 3,000 ceramics, 2,000 archaeological pieces in precious metal and the representation of the tombs.
Museo Arqueológico Brüning
Av. Huamachuco – Lambayeque (10 km / 6 mi north Chiclayo). Open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm - Admission: S/. 8 - US$2.50 - 2€
Here you can appreciate many potteries of different regional cultures and a room exhibits 500 works of art in gold, displaying Moche mastery of jewelry and metallurgy.
This complex consists of 26 adobe pyramids, with houses, barns and courtyards linked by corridors and accessible by ramps, probably were residential palaces.
The "City of Hospitality" or "city of Eternal Sun", capital of the department of Piura, is the 5th most populous city in Peru with 600,000 inhabitants, located north Sechura desert that separates it from Chiclayo (213 km / 132 mi - 2 h 30), 992 km / 616 mi from Lima (14 hours) and 45 km / 28 mi from the Pacific Ocean.
Founded in 1532, Piura was one of the first Spanish cities of Peru. The region of Piura is mainly agricultural with a highly varied production, particularly avocado, tangerines, grapes for export and especially the famous Pima the best cotton in the world.
The climate of northern Peru, hot and sunny almost year round, is ideal for resorts.
The Chicama beach also known as Malabrigo, 70 km (43 mi) north of Trujillo and 600 km (373 mi) north of Lima, is known by surfers for its fast and hollow waves, particularly the longest left-hand wave in the world that can reach 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long and 1-2 meters high. In 2012, the world junior champion of surfing, the Peruvian Cristobal de Col, set a Guiness World Record by completing 34 carvings in 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
The second largest port in the country is located 58 km (36 mi) from Piura. Several beaches with calm and warm waters are located nearby, especially Colan and Yacila.
160 km (100 mi) of Piura (2 h 30), this fishing village with modest houses is one of the best surfing spots in the world with the best waves in Peru.
Cabo Blanco was the meeting point of international celebrities in the 1950's. It was famous in the past among big-game fishermen with the tuna and especially the black marlin.
The Fishing Club hotel, now in ruins, received Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Rockefeller, Lord Mounbatten, Henry Ford and more millionaires and artists of that time.
The famous author Ernest Hemingway stayed here in 1956 to film several scenes of the motion picture based on his novel "The Old Man and the Sea".
In 1953 Alfred Glassell Jr. caught the IGFA all tackle world record black marlin, weighing 707 kg (1560 pounds) and 4.88 m (14 foot-7inch).
100 km (62 mi) from the city of Tumbes (1 h 30), this town of 10,000 inhabitants is a beach resort that offers sandy beaches and ocean waters averaging around 24° C (75º F). With good waves, it is also a surfing destination.
80 km (50 mi) of Tumbes, it is one of the largest and most beautiful Peruvian beaches. As Mancora at 20 km (12 mi), Punta Sal is now frequented by national and international tourists.
It is a beautiful beach near Tumbes.
Located 30 km (19 mi) from the Ecuadorian border, 1,280 km / 795 mi from Lima (19 hours by bus or 1 hour 30 minutes by plane) and capital of the department of the same name, Tumbes is the first place visited by Francisco Pizarro in 1532 during the start of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. This city of 110,000 inhabitants is the arrival point to go to the northern beaches.