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Your 3-day tour starts at the Chiclayo airport (Capitán FAP José A Quiñones Gonzáles International Airport), where you’ll be met by your local guide. Please note that airport pickup is only included for flights that land before 8:30am; if you land after this time, you will miss the morning excursion and must make your own way to your hotel in Chiclayo. If you are planning to fly out of Trujillo at the end of Day 3, you must schedule your flight for 8:30pm or later, as your activities on Day 3 will not end in time for you to make an earlier flight. Please also note that if you stay in Trujillo on your own past Day 3, you will not be able to use the provided airport transfer on any other day. You have your choice of four levels of hotel accommodation in Chiclayo and Trujillo: Comfort Class (Casa de la Luna and La Posada del Rey), Tourist Class (Los Portales Chiclayo and Costa del Sol Trujillo), First Class (Costa del Sol Chiclayo and Costa del Sol Trujillo) or Deluxe Class (Casa Andina Select Chiclayo and Libertador Trujillo). Breakfast is included at all hotels. Lunch is included on Days 1 and 3; all other meals are at your own expense, and your guide can provide recommendations for local restaurants.
Day 1: Chiclayo (L) After airport pickup, you’ll be transferred to your Chiclayo hotel to drop off your luggage and freshen up. Then start your 3-day immersion into northern Peru’s ancient cultures with a tour to Huaca Rajada, the archeological site where the remains of the Moche mummy known as the Lord of Sipán were found in 1987.
A 45-minute drive east of Chiclayo, Huaca Rajada consists of an adobe pyramid built by the Moche people, the civilization that inhabited this region from the 1st to 8th centuries. Explore the site with your guide, learning about the important excavation that unearthed the Lord of Sipán, who was buried with jewels and other treasures.
Then head about an hour north of Chiclayo to Túcume, also known as the Valley of the Pyramids (Valle de las Pirámides), an archeological site made up of 26 pyramids. With your guide, learn about the site’s history as the regional center for the Sicán culture, who are believed to have built Túcume around 700 AD, and hear the legend of their god Naylamp.
Next up is lunch, which you’ll enjoy with your guide at an area restaurant that serves traditional regional cuisine, and then head back toward Chiclayo to end your day at the Lord of Sipán Royal Tombs Museum (Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán).
Some of the rarest artifacts from the Moche civilization, including those found buried with the Lord of Sipán, are housed in this museum, which opened in 2002. Before going in, take a moment to admire the museum’s unusual exterior — a replica of a Moche tomb. Inside, see gold and silver artifacts, precious stones, jewelry, headdresses and other rare treasures found in the Moche tombs, and learn about the Moche culture and what position the Lord of Sipán held in the ancient community.
After the museum, you’ll be dropped off at your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure.
Overnight: Casa de la Luna, Los Portales Chiclayo, Costa del Sol Chiclayo or Casa Andina Select Chiclayo hotel, depending on option selected at booking
Day 2: Chiclayo – Trujillo (B) Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, and then start your day with a tour to the Sicán National Museum in the town of Ferreñafe, 13 miles (20 km) north of Chiclayo. Explore the museum with your guide to see its large collection of artifacts found in the tomb of an important Sicán who was excavated in the early 1990s on the site of the Batan Grande sugar plantation. Learn about the Sicán people, who inhabited this region from around 750 to 1300 AD, after the Moche people, as you admire jewelry, weapons, armor, funerals masks, crowns, gold and silver objects, and other treasures from the tomb.
After the museum, return to Chiclayo, where you have two hours of free time to have lunch on your own and finish up any packing. Then you’ll be picked up for the 3-hour drive toward Trujillo, about 130 miles (210 km) south of Chiclayo. When you reach the town of Casa Grande, detour toward the coast to visit El Brujo Archeological Complex.
As you tour the site with your guide, learn about the creation of El Brujo, built by the Moche between the years 1 and 600 AD. See the three huacas (temples) that make up the site — Huaca Cao Viejo, Huaca Partida and Huaca Prieta — and hear the theory behind the site’s name, El Brujo (The Witch). Take a look at the detailed drawings and carvings that can be seen on the sides of the structures, and hear about the religious ceremonies that took place in the temples.
Then visit the onsite museum dedicated to the Lady of Cao, a female mummy just discovered in 2006. Excavated in a highly preserved state, the Lady of Cao is thought to have been an important woman, maybe even a ruler, as she was found surrounded by ornate jewelry and weapons. See the mummy and her treasures inside the museum, and then make the final 1-hour drive to Trujillo.
When you arrive, you will be dropped off at your hotel. Spend the evening enjoying dinner on your own and exploring town however you wish.
Overnight: La Posada del Rey, Costa del Sol Trujillo, Costa del Sol Trujillo or Libertador Trujillo hotel, depending on option selected at booking
Day 3: Trujillo (B, L) After breakfast at your hotel, start your final day with a tour to the Temple of the Moon (Huaca de la Luna), just 3.5 miles (5 km) south of town. When you arrive at the site, your guide will tell you about the history and significance of the terraced temple, built by the Moche out of adobe brick. Learn about its purpose, believed to be used for ceremonial and religious events, and admire the frescoes that adorn the walls.
Lunch today is included at a local seafood restaurant, after which, you’ll head with your guide to Huaco el Dragon, the Temple of the Dragon — also known as Huaco del Arco Iris, or Temple of the Rainbow. Built for religious and ceremonial purposes by the Chimú people, who lived in northern Peru from about 900 to the 1400s, the adobe pyramid is known for its intricate frieze murals. With your guide, walk around the temple and learn a bit about the history of and theories behind the site — the temple features carvings of a dragon (hence its name), and it’s believed that the temple was used during rituals to honor the rainbow (hence its other name).
Next, continue your tour to Chan Chan, the former Chimú capital. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest pre-Columbian city in South America and was the center of Chimú political and cultural life from approximately 900 to 1470, when the Incas arrived and conquered the city.
Tour the 7-square-mile (18-sq-km) archeological site with your guide, exploring its variety of shrines, reservoirs and ceremonial plazas. Learn about its structure — made from adobe brick and mud — and admire its expansive, walled design. You’ll visit one of the main features, Nik-An Palace, a complex that features ceremonial courtyards and walls adorned with friezes.
Finally, head about 15 minutes to Huanchaco, a coastal fishing village known for its caballitos de totora (little reed horses), small boats made out of reed that have been used by Peruvian fisherman for about 3,000 years. As you admire their interesting design, learn about their history and modern-day use from your guide.
When you leave Huanchaco, head back to Trujillo. You’ll be driven to the airport if you have a departing flight tonight. If you are staying in Trujillo on your own, please note that you will not be able to use the provided airport transfer on any other day.
Transfers to / from airports in Chiclayo and Trujillo (flights must arrive before 8:30am and depart after 8:30pm)
One piece of luggage (50 lb) and one carry-on
2 nights of accommodation at select hotels in Chiclayo and Trujillo
Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Guided sightseeing tours
Transport by car or minivan (depending on the group size)
Food and drinks not specified
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Please note that if your flight arrives in Chiclayo later than 8:30am, you will miss the morning excursion
Departs from the airport in Chiclayo
Concludes at airport in Trujillo (note: flights must depart after 8:30pm)