Highlights of Northern Peru: The Moche Route

Get off the beaten path and discover lesser-known northern Peru on The Moche Route. This four-day Highlights of Northern Peru itinerary extension gives guests insider access to the fascinating pre-Inca archaeological sites of the Sican, Moche and Chimu cultures as well as exposure to the laid back Peruvian lifestyle of the north. Expert guides and Aracari specialists will take travelers from seaside towns, to withces markets, to historically significant sites where excavations are underway to uncover the secrets that lie beneath the sand along The Moche Route.

  • Visit incredible archaeological sights along the Moche Route
  • Peruse the stalls of the spooky Chiclayo Witches Market
  • Visit the seaside town of Huanchaco
Daily Summary

Day 1 Lima or Cusco Arrival and overnight in Lima or Cusco.

Day 2 Lima/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

    Lima (or Cusco)

    Flight Assistance

    With direct flights from either Lima or Cusco, you can choose 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.

  • Day 2

    Lima (or Cusco) – Trujillo

    Transfer Hotel to Airport for Domestic Flight & 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.

    Upon your arrival at the Trujillo airport, you will be welcomed by an Aracari representative and driven to your nearby hotel.

    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.

    After your visit, you will be transferred to 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.

    Lastly, you will 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. Afterwards, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Trujillo to enjoy the evening at leisure.

  • Day 3

    Trujillo – Chiclayo

    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. The recently inaugurated museum, 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. The trip in its entirety, including the visit to the El Brujo archaeological site and museum, will take approximately six hours.

    In 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. Following your visit you will be transferred back to your hotel in Chiclayo to enjoy your evening at leisure.

  • Day 4


    Tombs of the North - Flight 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. After exploring the market, 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.

    An Aracari representative will be expecting you from your domestic flight with a sign bearing your name. He will assist you with all check-in procedures and escort you to the departure area to catch your next flight.

Itinerary pricing as of 2018

Pricing Info - US$1,629

This is an example itinerary and can be entirely customized to suit you. Just get in touch and we’ll design your own tailor-made itinerary according to your interests, travel style and budget.

  • Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
  • Price is per person for this 4-day itinerary extension
Pricing Alternatives
  • Contact us for alternative options
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
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