Highlights

  • Marvel at Peru's impressive pre-Incan ruins like Chan Chan and Tucume Pyramids
  • Explore the fascinating Royal Tombs Museum
  • Soak up local life visiting the seaside town of Huanchaco

Discover lesser-visited northern Peru during this private four-day Highlights of Northern Peru trip. This carefully crafted itinerary is designed to take in the region’s most fascinating archaelogical and cultural highlights in and around Peru’s cities of Trujillo and Chiclayo. Visit the most important sites along the so-called Moche Route like Chan Chan, Huaca de La Luna, Tucume pyramids and the Royal Tombs Museum – one of the finest museums of the country. Begin to understand the pre-Inca Sican, Moche and Chimu cultures with special insider access. Enjoy expert guiding from archaeologists and specialists who are working every day to uncover the secrets that lie beneath the sand. With direct flights to Trujillo from Lima and Cusco, visiting the north or Peru has never been easier.

Daily Summary 4 Days / 3 Nights

Day 1 Lima or Cusco Arrival and overnight in Lima or Cusco.
Day 2 Lima or Cusco – Trujillo Fly Lima/Cusco to Trujillo. Visit Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna with specialist guide. Lunch at Huanchaco seaside resort. Visit Chan Chan archaeological site. Overnight at Libertador Trujillo
Day 3 Trujillo – Chiclayo Overland transfer to Chiclayo. Visit El Brujo archaeological site & Cao Museum en route. Visit Tucume Pyramids. Overnight at Casa Andina Select Chiclayo
Day 4 Chiclayo Visit Chiclayo Witches Market. Visit Tumbas Reales Museum. Visit Huaca Rajada archaeological site. Fly to Lima or Cusco. Departure.
  • Day 1
    LimaView on map
    Overnight in Lima

    With direct flights from either Lima or Cusco, you can choose either as the starting point of your journey. In either location, an Aracari representative will be expecting you from your flight with a sign bearing your name. He will escort you to your hotel to assist you with check-in and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have at this point.

    Accommodation options
  • Day 2
    Lima – TrujilloView on map
    Treasures of Trujillo

    An Aracari representative will meet you in the lobby of your hotel in order to assist you with checkout, and then escort you to the airport for your domestic flight to Trujillo. After you have checked in your luggage, he will accompany you until you pass through to the departure area. Today you will enjoy a varied view of the old and new world Trujillo. First, you will head to Huaca de La Luna (Moche c. 100-700 AD), a superb archaeological site where excavations are currently under way. The site is known for its magnificent coloured friezes and reliefs which are surprisingly well-preserved. The surrounding communities have played a vital part in the success of the archaeological complex, where they display and sell typical handicrafts in a traditionally constructed gift shop. Depending on availability, you will also have the chance to meet archaeologist and project director Dr. Ricardo Morales.

    Afterwards, visit the easy-going seaside town of Huanchaco where you will enjoy a typical coastal lunch. Here you will be impressed by the small traditional reed boats used by fishermen today, exactly as they were used by their forefathers hundreds of years ago. Then drive to the ancient mud brick city of Chan Chan, a UNESCO world heritage site, and the capital city of the Chimu Kingdom which fell to the Incas in the 15th Century. This was the largest city in Pre-Columbia America and it was carefully structured by being split into nine citadels or autonomous units.

    Accommodation options
  • Day 3
    Trujillo – ChiclayoView on map
    The Moche Route & Tucume Pyramids

    This morning, you will picked up at your hotel by your guide and together you will head north to the city of Chiclayo. En route you will visit El Brujo, an archaeological site only recently opened to the public in 2006. Much like Huaca de la Luna, this site features tiers of polychromatic friezes and also served as a religious and sacrificial complex. Museo Cao, is just a short walking distance from the actual site, and contains a variety of captivating artifacts including collections of pottery, textiles, and golden regalia, along with the bones of Moche royalty and human sacrifices. Perhaps the site’s greatest discovery was the Moche mummy of the only known female ruler, justifiably referred to as Señora de Cao, whose remains are also on display in the museum. After your visit, you will continue to your hotel in Chiclayo.

    TIn the afternoon, transfer to the incredible pyramids of Túcume located north of Chiclayo. Spanning 218 hectares/540 acres and with 26 monumental adobe pyramids, Túcume was built in c. 1100 AD and is thought to have been a regional centre for successive cultures – the Sicán (750-1000 AD), Chimu (1350-1450 AD) and Inca (1450-1532 AD). The area is said to possess spiritual powers which local Shaman tap into when performing rituals. Take a look inside the small site museum that details the treasures found in and around the pyramids, visit the charming community run gift shop, and stroll through the shady algorrobo tree forest.

    Accommodation options
  • Day 4
    ChiclayoView on map
    Tombs of the North & Fly to Lima (or Cusco)

    Depart from your hotel in Chiclayo to explore the Witches’ Market, a local market with a wide array of interesting trinkets and exotic ingredients for sale. Afterwards, head to the Tumbas Reales Museum. Located 20 minutes from Chiclayo, the museum houses the world famous collection of burial artifacts from the Lord of Sipán tomb and other tombs uncovered at the Huaca Rajada archaeological site. Built to resemble the ancient tombs from which the artifacts were sourced, the museum also serves to provide visitors with insight into the process of the excavations. Explore the museum and its incredible jewelry, pottery, and human remains that were discovered at Sipán before heading to Huaca Rajada, the actual archaeological site located 35km from Chiclayo.

    Of the large tombs found at the Huaca Rajada archaeological site, the Lord of Sipán tomb, discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva in 1987, held an extensive collection of burial items. Explore the various adobe tombs with your guide, who will provide you with insight into the history of the site. After exploring the tombs, visit the Sipan Site Museum before heading back to back to Chiclayo, where you will transfer to the airport for your flight on to your next destination.

Aracari specializes in tailormade travel. Here are just some of our further trip suggestions. Contact us for more bespoke ideas to inspire your travels.

Some optional activities

  • Explore more of northern Peru visiting Chaparri, a private nature reserve home to the endangered spectaled bear
  • Visit Batan Grande, monumental adobe mounds once filled with gold
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Itinerary pricing as of 2018

Basic Pricing - US$1,629

This is a sample itinerary and can be tailored to your interests and travel style.

  • Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
  • Price is per person for this 4-day itinerary extension

What's Included?

This itinerary is based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy, excluding flights (international and domestic).

  • Includes all specified services in the itinerary description
  • All transfers and entrance fees
  • A welcome pack on arrival including: a pre-loaded cell phone to contact your travel consultant at any time, a printed booklet packed with insider tips alongside your detailed itinerary and up-to-date recommendations on dining and shopping
  • Hand-selected English-speaking guides
  • Specialist guides (where noted)
  • 24-hour support from our locally based team
  • 3 nights in a hand-picked and personally tested selection of Peru’s finest hotels
Highlights of Northern Peru
An archaeological adventure