TRAVEL : QUIXO PERU : Favorite Places in Peru
The North Coast, Trujillo, Chiclayo & Surrounding Areas
Your Guide: Catherine Criolla
If you have three or four days it is well worth doing the North Coast right, at a minimum Chiclayo and surrounding areas and then Trujillo. If you only have a day or two skip Chiclayo and just go to Trujillo and the sites there.
Chiclayo and surrounding areas — Chiclayo is known for it's open 'Witches Market,' where you can buy folk remedies for everything. It is a lot of fun. Otherwise, the main attraction is that it's near Sipan and the Bruning Museum. Have a fun lunch of local specialties at the Fiesta restaurant if you want to splurge.
- Bruning Archaeological Museum — A really nice regional museum with information on the local archaeological sequence, and some good displays on prehispanic technology of various types (metalworking, pottery production, etc.)
Sipan (Huaca Rajada) — can be a little anticlimactic after the museum show (see Lima), since you never know if they will have anything exciting going on. The excavations are continuous, however, and so it is worth seeing. There is now a small Sipan site museum as well as a museum displaying materials from the Royal Tombs found there.
- Tucume — It's a long drive out to Tucume, but if you are really interested in archaeology it is worth it.
Between Chiclayo and Trujillo:
- El Brujo complex . Ongoing excavations at the Huaca Cao are exposing incredible plaster friezes dating to the Moche occupation, and it is more than worth stopping if you are driving between Chiclayo and Trujillo
- San Jose del Moro, a Moche site where the tombs of ancient royal priestesses were recovered (pdf) has a small site museum that is worth a visit as well.
Trujillo - Enjoy wandering around this town with good seafood and a very pleasant colonial downtown. The nearby beach town of Huanchaco is a really nice place to stay or spend time.
Must See Archaeological Sites and Museum in Trujillo
- The Moche Pyramids (Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna) and site museum — You can take a tour, and you can buy English language guidebooks or pamphlets either there or at the archaeological museum
- Chan Chan — Don't miss the Museo de Sitio (site museum) before you go to the site itself. This little museum is seldom visited by foreign tourists but it is great, and small.
- Archaeological Museum at the University (the website is only in Spanish ) — This museum isn't very big but it has wonderful displays of newly discovered items from the Huaca de la Luna.
There are many, many more sites on the North coast, including a number that are under excavation. You can find as much archaeology to see as anyone could ever want in this region.