A Travellerspoint blog

Around the World in 20 days - sixth stop Peru

Chiclayo and Trujillo


The majority of the Constellation Journeys passengers headed to Machu Picchu for the next stop but as we had been there before we decided to take advantage of the alternative destinations on offer - Chiclayo and Trujillo. Once we touched down in Lima our small group of 16 headed off to catch a domestic flight to Chiclayo. We arrived but unfortunately our luggage didn't. Apparently the flight was too full so the airline decided to not to put the bags on as it would be too much weight! Fortunately they came on the next flight.

The first destination we visited was Huaca Rajada (Sipan) which is a Moche archaeological site dating from 50-700AD but was only discovered in 1987 when an El Nino finally eroded some of the tombs away revealing the treasures inside. Apparently, locals woke up to discover the treasures and looting began. One local was too late to the party so reported the others to the police but sadly only 10% of the treasure was recovered. Because of thousands of years of erosion the pyramid tombs looked like hills of dirt but now it is clear to see the area is full of pyramids which are slowly being excavated.

As the area has been excavated the items in the tombs now are just replicas but the site shows how there were burials over 3 levels and that sacrificial ceremonies were part of the burial. All around the site were very cute Burrow Owls, aptly named as they live in burrows.

We also visited a place called Tucume with a further 26 pyramids including a partially excavated pyramid with ocean themed murals. Tucume also had a small museum containing some of the ceramics and smaller jewelry items that were excavated.

Later that day we visited Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan which is where all the items that were recovered or subsequently excavated are now exhibited. Sadly I have no photos to share as photography was prohibited but the 'treasures' were well worth seeing. Lord Sipan along with several other people sacrificed with him were buried adorned in precious metals and jewels along with ornate and beautifully decorated ceramics filled with food and drink, carvings and animals such as llamas. It was a fascinating place to visit.

The next morning we had a 4 hour drive to reach Trujillo, another pretty colonial city. We had a quick city stop before heading to see the sun and moon temples and the city of Chan Chan.

Chan Chan was constructed around 850AD. It is huge, covering around 20 square kms, and is being painstakingly renovated. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986.

We had a lunch stop by the beach before heading to the Sun and Moon Temples.

We spent time on a guided tour of the Moon Temple which is located about 500m from the Sun Temple. The Moon Temple is a monument that has been modified during different time periods. As it has been excavated archaeologists have uncovered layers of large multi coloured murals depicting the Gods that they worshipped at that time. It was a very impressive place.

After a long, busy day we flew back to Lima for a night in the Wyndham Airport Hotel ready for our flight to Easter Island the next morning, but that's a whole new blog....

Posted by bumblebum 15:34 Archived in Peru

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