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Peru's early history

Information

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

  Green Tours | Price

Pax based on double occupancy
US$ 3,590.oo

Single suppl.
US$ 330

Detailed Itinerary

Peru's early history

11 days tour

Day 1 Lima - Caral - Huaraz
Early morning drive to the town of Barranca for a visit to the “sacred city of Caral”. This archaeological site is considered to be the oldest evidence of civilization in the Americas, contemporary to old Egypt, Mesopotamia and China. The “city” consists of a series of administrative, religious, and residential buildings made on stone and mud, which have been built about 5,000 years ago.
After the visit we will have lunch in Barranca. Then we will drive for about six hours to the Andean city of Huaraz.
Overnight in Huaraz.
Meals: Lunch.
Day 2 Chavín de Huantar
This morning we will explore the site of Chavín de Huantar. Dated 1,400 b.c., this site is the most ancient pilgrimage center known in Peru. One of the most important temples within the complex is the “Old Temple” which features the famous sculpture “El Lanzón”, a stone obelisk depicting a very old Andean anthropomorphic deity.
After a typical lunch we will visit the Chavín National Museum, a small but very interesting museum featuring the artifacts found in the archaeological site and in the surroundings of the village. The most important piece here is the “Tello Obelisk”.
Overnight in Huaraz.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 3 - Sechín - Trujillo
Early start for a full day drive to the coastal city of Trujillo. In the morning we will stop near the town of Casma for a visit to the archaeological site of Sechín. This is a stone built temple dated 1,600 b.c. Very few is known about this site, the most impressive feature of the site is the façade, which is decorated with bas-relief figures apparently representing human sacrifices. The slabs at Cerro Sechín may represent the central Andes’ oldest known monumental sculpture.
Overnight in Trujillo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Days 4 Trujillo
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.
Overnight in Trujillo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 5 Trujillo - Chiclayo
Moring drive to the city of Chiclayo. 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.
After taking lunch in Chiclayo we will have a visit to the oldest known archaeological monument of coastal north Peru: Cerro Ventarrón. This site represents the first evidence of civilization in northern Peru, dated 2,500 b.c. Archaeologists have found here one of the most ancient temples devoted to fire worship and the earliest representation of the “Andean Cross” or “Chacana”.
Overnight Chiclayo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 6 Chiclayo: Sipán and the Moche culture
Moring visit 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 Sipán, 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 7 Chiclayo - Chachapoyas
Full day traversing the Andes towards the Chachapoyas area. It will take about ten hours to reach the hotel, during the trip we will drive across the Río Marañón valley and its fantastic scenery.
Overnight in Chachapoyas.
Meals: Breakfast, Boxed-lunch.
Day 8 Kuelap - Leymebamba
In the morning we will explore Kuelap. This is an imposing building on the edge of a deep cliff. Recent archaeological research points out that this could have been an important religious center dedicated to the Chachapoyans gods, probably the god of thunder and rain, and others. An impressive 2,000 feet long wall surrounds the citadel, the gates or main entrances are constructed as narrow walled passageways that continue to narrow as they reach upwards and into the fortress, so the income would remain restricted to the complex.
After lunch we will drive to the charming small town of Leymebamba.
Afternoon visit to the Leymebamba Museum, one of the most interesting museums in Peru where you can see the collection of more than 200 Inca-Chachapoyas mummies in a superb state of preservation. Furthermore, this museum has the largest collection of Kipus in Peru.
Overnight in Leymebamba.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Days 9 Leymebamba - Cajamarca
Full day drive from Leymebamba to Cajamarca. A seven to eight hours’ journey traveling across two cordilleras and several different habitats, such as cloud forest, agricultural land, desert-like areas and the Río Marañon Canyon. The journey from Leymebamba Cajamarca, passing by the Marañon Canyon, is one of Peru’s most spectacular drives, offering astonishing scenery. The Marañon River forms one of the world’s deepest canyons, the road descends through different ecosystems from over 10,500 feet to the town of Balsas at 2,790 feet. After crossing the river, it ascends back through the various habitats to nearly 9,850 feet.
Overnight in Cajamarca.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 10 Cajamarca
First place to see in Cajamarca is Cumbemayo, an archaeological site where one of the oldest South American aqueduct is 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.
In the afternoon we will explore 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.
In the evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner.
Overnight in Cajamarca.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Days 11 Cajamarca
Today we will drive to the airport for your flight to Lima.
Meals: Breakfast.

Travel tips and recommendations

  • Weather: In the Pacific coast weather is generally dry and warm. Between June and August it could be humid and slightly cold. Most days in the Andes could 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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