Civilizations of Trujillo
During this full day tour you’ll explore Peru’s Moche and Chimú civilizations. Along the way you’ll visit the Sun and Moon Huacas, Huaca Arcos Iris (Rainbow Temple/El Dragon), the archeological site of Chan Chan, and the traditional town of Huanchaco.
up to 10 days in advance
- Duration: 8 hrs
- Available Days: Every day
- Schedule: 9:00 AM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Free cancellation up to 10 days prior
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
The Sun and Moon Huacas, also known as Huaca del Sol (Temple of the Sun) and Huaca de la Luna (Temple of the Moon), were built during the Moche empire. The temples are huge adobe mounds that were used for various purposes—Huaca de la Luna was used as a religious complex, while Huaca del Sol was an administrative center. The temples were built over centuries in platforms. Every century the Moche sealed the bodies of their dead rulers into the temple and then covered the existing platform with a new platform. Over some 700 years, the temple evolved into a huge stepped pyramid. While here you will also visit the Huacas de Moche Museum, which houses an assortment of artifacts, ceramics, utensils, and tombs.
The tour continues on to Huaca Arcos Iris (Rainbow Temple/El Dragon). The Chimú built this temple around A.D. 1200. Explore the temples’ two platforms to get looks at carved adobe panels and niches that were once used to store ritual objects. Local legends describe Huaca Arcos Iris as the home of Takaynamo, the mythical man who is believed to have founded Chan Chan.
You’ll then have lunch at Huanchaco. Huanchaco is an ancient fishing village where local fishermen continue to fish using traditional reed rafts known as “Caballitos de Tórtora.”
The tour ends with a visit to Chan Chan. The archeological complex of Chan Chan is the largest pre-Columbian adobe city in America and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimú empire and was once an elaborate city complete with courtyards, terraces, palaces, and gardens. Between 30,000–60,000 people are thought to have lived here. Needless to say, Chan Chan is a wonderful place to explore.
Attractions VisitedChan Chan
Chan Chan is the huge abandoned capital of the Chimú civilization. Set just outside Trujillo on the North Coast of Peru, Chan Chan is the largest adobe city in the world.
A beautiful and relaxed beach town close to Trujillo and many historical sites, Huanchaco has enough charm to be a destination of its own: with vibrant boulevards, traditional reed fishing boats, and surfing culture, it’s the perfect choice for an entertaining day at the beach. Now an International Surfing Reserve, one of only five in the world, Huanchaco is a popular vacation spot where visitors and locals share the water and waves for surfing, swimming or fishing.
What to Bring
Camera, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes.
Transportation, entrance fees, lunch and guide.
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “More Time and Rates” for full details.
This tour provides travelers with an excellent look at Peru’s Chimú civilization. You’ll visit the Huaca Arcos Iris , the traditional town of Huanchaco, and Chan Chan, one of the most important archaeological sites in Peru.
3 hrsFrom $38