Peru’s northern coastline is blessed with a year-round mild climate and perfect sets of rolling waves.
It’s also home to the picturesque colonial city of Trujillo.
Yet, there is another, much more fascinating reason why you should visit…
Almost two thousand years ago, the first settlers of the Moche Valley achieved the seemingly impossible with their bare hands.
They created farmland in the desert… fishermen’s rafts that could surf the waves…
fine jewelry crafted from crude metals… and entire cities out of mud.
From the treasure trove of ruins in these sand-swept desert plains,
it’s clear that the Peruvians developed impressive agricultural, architectural and artistic insights long before the Europeans arrived.
When the Spanish did come, they swiftly created one of Peru’s finest and largest cities: Trujillo.
Exploring its compact city center is like browsing an open-air museum of Spanish colonial architecture.
Everywhere you go, you’ll pass colorful mansions, adorned with tall window grilles and enclosed wooden balconies.
For more than 400 years, the exterior of the Cathedral on the northern end of the Plaza de Armas has remained largely unchanged.
Step inside to see precious religious paintings and admire the cathedral’s central altarpiece with its twisting columns.
From the Historic Centre, it’s only a short taxi ride to the seventeenth-century mansion of Trujillo’s Archaeological Museum.
Its exhibits paint a picture of the pre-Columbian peoples of northern Peru.
The fascinating pieces they left behind help us piece together their story.
Start your tour of the region’s famous ruins at the Temples of the Sun and the Moon.
Made from millions of sun-dried bricks, these were once the largest adobe pyramids in the world.
While the language of the Moche people has been lost,
we can interpret their habits and beliefs through their elaborate murals and brilliantly expressive artworks.
They were warriors who sacrificed their rivals to appease the gods.
Yet, their pottery shows there was also harmony in their fierce existence.
Like the Egyptians, the Moche buried their elite in pyramids.
See one of the world’s most mysterious mummies at the coastal site of El Brujo where, as recent as 2005, the Lady of Cao was discovered.
The tomb of this tattooed Moche woman also held copper darts and jewelry, suggesting that she was a priestess or warrior leader.