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Classic north Peru

Information

Location:
Chiclayo, Cajamarca and Trujillo
Duration:
12 Days
Fixed departure:
All year long
Group size:
4 to 12 people

  Green Tours | Price

Pax based on double occupancy
US$ 1,365.oo

Single suppl.
US$ 390

Detailed Itinerary

Classic north Peru
Cajamarca, Chiclayo and Trujillo

7 days tour

Day 1 Cajamarca
This morning we will pick you up from the Cajamarca airport and transfer you to the hotel.
We will spend the morning visiting the city center, Cajamarca is a charming Andean city well known for its colonial architecture, mainly because of the colonial churches from the XVI to XVIII centuries like the Cathedral church, San Francisco church, and the Belen Monument Complex.
In the year 1,532 the city witnessed the fall of the Inca Empire by the Spanish conquerors. In the city center still stands the “Ransom Room”, where the Spanish kept prisoner the Inca Atahualpa. This “room” also represents the moment when the Spanish and Inca cultures merged with one another and changed the history of Peru.
After lunch we have a visit to Otuzco, this is a Pre-Inca archaeological complex located 5 miles from Cajamarca. The site is an old cemetery that consists of 337 burial cavities carved into solid rock. Its construction dates from 50 B.C. and was used until the year 1,450 D.C. by the ancient inhabitants of the valley of Cajamarca.
Overnight in Cajamarca.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 2 Cajamarca
Morning excursion to Cumbemayo, this is an archeological site where one of the oldest South American aqueducts are found. The purpose of the canal was to provide water to the people that inhabited the valley of Cajamarca 3,500 years ago. A landscape of cliffs and Andean grasslands surrounds the archaeological site, which make the visit a relaxing experience in contact with nature.
Optionally you can follow an ancient Inca trail; this trek will allow you to discover the traditional way of life of the people of the Cajamarca's countryside.
Overnight in Cajamarca.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 3 Cajamarca - Chiclayo
Today we will take the road towards the coastal city of Chiclayo. We will drive almost the whole morning along the Río Jequetepeque valley, a dry valley spangled with patches of rice paddies and colorful villages.
Before arriving to our destination we will take a detour for a visit to the archaeological site of Kunturwasi. This is a religious complex almost 3,100 years old. The hilltop temple is built upon a series of platforms, with huge steps leading up to a main plaza that displays a channel work that was designed to fill the plaza with water for ceremonial purposes.
Perhaps the most attractive artifacts are the stone monoliths, the best known is one that represents an anthropomorphic figure with crossed legs holding a trophy head to the waist, its eyes are quite interesting, one eye has the shape of a square, and the other one is a circle surrounded by a snake.
The on-site Gold Museum is located at the entrance of the archaeological site. You can appreciate the earliest evidence of gold artwork in Latin America. The collection consists of ceramics and gold pieces as earrings, pendants, pectorals, bracelets, and crowns.
Overnight in Chiclayo.
Meals: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch.
Days 4 Chiclayo: Sipán and the Moche culture
This morning we will visit the archaeological site of Ventarrón. The site represents the first evidence of civilization in northern Peru, dated more than 4,500 years old. Archaeologists have found here one the most ancient temples devoted to fire worship and the earliest representation of the “Andean Cross” or “Chacana”. It also represents the foundations of the Moche culture.
Then we will drive to the site of Huaca Rajada, near the town of Sipán. This is the archaeological complex where the tomb of the famous Lord of Sipán was found. This Moche lord was one of the most powerful rulers of his time, who had absolute power over life and death of his subjects. The tomb of the Lord of Sipán is the best example of the splendor and great power of the Moche rulers. The archaeological works have found large volumes of fine jewelry made on gold, silver, and copper, plus ceremonial utensils that are helping archaeologists to have a better understanding of the Moche culture.
In addition, there are many more burials of different important figures from the Moche elite, the findings of theses tombs are shown in an interesting on-site museum.
After lunch we will visit the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum, this is one of the most modern and impressive archaeological museums in South America. The museum holds a collection of remarkable Moche artwork pieces found in the tomb of the Lord of Sipan, at the Huaca Rajada site: silver and gold jewelry, fine weaving, emblems of religious and military power, and great quantities of ceremonial utensils.
Overnight Chiclayo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 5 Chiclayo: Túcume
To fully understand what Túcume was, and still is, we need to start the day outside the archaeological site, at the Modelo Market in the city center of Chiclayo. Here, the section dedicated to shamans and healers offers a huge variety of elixirs, potions, exotic spices and drying herbs, wild with visual overload: hanging shells, small altarpieces and bottles filled with hooves and claws, snake skins, miniature desiccated crocs, claws, skunks, and fish eggs; all of these used by the shamans in their healing rituals. All shamans from Túcume come to this market to get supplies they need for their work.
Later, inside the archaeological site of Túcume we will find Master Healer Genaro Nima, his house is inside the archaeological site of Túcume, not far from Cerro Purgatorio and Huaca Las Balsas, and for him this is the best place to perform his healing rituals. These places give him the strength and power to heal the people that come to him searching for help. Shamas have been doing this for centuries, and will keep doing as long as people as Don Genaro preserve his faith in the sacred hills and temples of Túcume.
After having met Don Genaro we can visit the archaeological site of Túcume: Huaca Larga, the Latin America’s largest adobe pyramid; the “Cerro Purgatorio” hill, perhaps the place with the highest burden of religious mysticism of the entire complex; and Huaca Las Balsas, the residence of a caste of priest women, here, the iconography on the walls depicts how important the sea was for these people: birds and waves, bird-men and mythical birds, deities in an attitude of rowing a fishing boat surrounded by birds and fish.
Then we will have lunch at a rural lodge nearby.
Another interesting feature of the people of Túcume was their agriculture techniques. In the heyday of Túcume in the valley grew corn, lima beans, beans, pumpkins, pepper, sweet potato, as well as various fruit crops; but one of the most important crops was cotton, whose high quality fabrics were essential for making clothes and fishing nets. To learn more about native cotton, we will visit a cotton weaving workshop, where locals will talk us about the complete process of cotton weaving, from the harvest of the wool to the “waist weaving” technique. These techniques have been inherited from mother to daughter for hundreds of years and one of the most recognized person in the art of native cotton spinning and weaving is Doña Susana Bances, a long-time local celebrity about the ancient arts of the Moche that shares her ancient knowledge with their neighbors to create extraordinary pieces of craftsmanship.
Overnight in Chiclayo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 6 Chiclayo - Trujillo
Today we will drive south to the city of Trujillo. En route we will take a detour for a visit to El Brujo archaeological site and the Cao Museum. El Brujo is composed by different temples built by the Moche people, who lived in the area between the years 100 B.C. and 700 D.C. The main temple is Huaca Cao Viejo, within the temple archaeologists have found the remains of an important ceremonial precinct with two walls decorated with small high-relief iconographic designs. The narrative scenes that decorate both walls each contain approximately 50 iconographic figures showing scenes of fishing and navigation, human figures related to the cosmic world, mythical animals, shamans, warriors, and human sacrifice.
At Huaca Cao Viejo the archaeologists found the famous mummy of the Lady of Cao, the only Moche governor woman known to these days.
Once in Trujillo we will take lunch and proceed to visit the city center. The city tour is focused in the colonial architecture of the city center, the tour begins at the Main Square or Plaza de Armas with a view of the most beautiful facades of the colonial houses of the city and the Cathedral Church, a walk along Pizarro Street, and the tour finish with a visit to Casa de La Emancipación.
Overnight in Trujillo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 7 Trujillo
Our last day in northern Peru is full of surprises. In the morning we head for the Moche valley, 20 minutes drive form the city center. More than 2,000 years ago here was built what the archaeologists believe to be the capitol of the Moche kingdom, one of the most powerful and impressive cultures of pre-Incan Peru. The Moches are mainly known for the highest level of mastery in the creation of pottery and decorative iconography of their monuments.
The first visit is at the “Inconceivable Face” artisan’s workshop, where it's possible to participate in the production of modern Moche ceramics. These craftsmen have rescued the age-old techniques of their renowned Moche ancestors in the manufacture of ceramics using fine mud molds. During the visit the native music group The Caymans will present a sample of Moche music using traditional instruments like the pututo, a type of ceramic trumpet. This visit brings a touch of living culture to your Moche experience.
The final stop and principal attraction of the Moche countryside route is the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon) archaeological complex and the Huacas de Moche Museum. The Temple of the Moon is an exquisitely decorated temple that represents the spiritual center of the Moche culture. The monument consists of a series of temples built one on top of the other for many years. Within the site, archaeologists have found, among a wealth of ceremonial objects, about 40 skeletons of sacrificed soldiers. In the upper reaches of the adobe ramparts one can view the remains of enormous walls decorated with figures of multi-colored divinities, the most of important of which being the Moche “God of the Mountains”.
After a typical farewell marine lunch in the coastal town of Huanchaco we will be visiting Chan Chan.
Named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimu Empire, which inhabited this region after the fall of the Moche. It is the first and by far the largest non-pyramidal adobe construction site in northern Peru. In fact, at over 500 acres, it is the largest known adobe complex in the world, and is divided into 9 separate smaller cities.
Then you will be driven to the airport for your flight to Lima.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Travel tips and recommendations

  • Weather: In the Pacific coast weather is generally dry and warm. Most days in the Andes will be dry and slightly cold, with a mixture of sunshine and overcast conditions.
  • Time Zone: Peru is 5 hours behind GMT. Also, it is in the same time zone as US Eastern Standard Time Zone and does not observe daylight-savings time.
  • Immunizations: No necessary.
  • Electricity: 220 volts in all cities.

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