Published: September 6th 2012May 21st 2012 Trujillo
Caballitos de totora, Huanchaco
Traditional Peruvian fishing boat
The colonial city of Trujillo in northern Peru is known as the "Capital of the everlasting Spring." The city centre contains many examples of colonial architecture and most of them are surprisingly elegant and ornamented. Most of the buildings have been well preserved and are painted in vivid colours. Trujillo is close to two major sites of pre-Columbian monuments: Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the ancient world, and the very impressive Temples of the Sun and Moon. Temples of the Sun and the Moon
This major archaeological complex sits south of Trujillo and is considered to be the former capital of the Moche State. Its main sights are the Huacas del Moche
which were built at the time of the Moche culture (100 BC - 650 AD).
The first of two temples, Huaca de la Luna
(Temple of the Moon) is accessible as part of a guided tour. There are several temple platforms and open courts that have been built against the lower slopes of the mountain. The site features beautiful polychrome reliefs as well as several Moche burials places. It was also the site of large-scale human sacrifices as archaeologists discovered when they found the
Moche funerary mask
Funerary masks formed an important element in the burial of the leaders of ancient Peruvian societies
remains of at least 34 sacrificed adult male individuals. They had been bound and, judging by the type of wounds that had been inflicted, were probably captured in battle priot to being sacrificed.
The huge Huaca del Sol
(Temple of the Sun) was partly destroyed by looters during the colonial period, but the stepped pyramid still measures 400m in length and towers 40m above the surrounding plain - this makes it the tallest adobe structure of the Americas. lt is calculated that around 50 million adobe bricks were used in its construction. Chan Chan
Chan Chan, the once grand citadel of the Chimu empire, was built in the 10th century when the Chimu replaced the Moche (the Chimu were later conquered by the Inca). From 900 to 1500, the Chimu empire stretched along the northern coast from Lima to Ecuador. At the time it was a fertile area due to the use of irrigation via a vast network of canals diverting water from the Moche river.
Chan Chan consists of ten rectangular so-called palaces, only one of which can be visited (Tschudi palace). A palace was a personal domain of a Chimu chieftain and an independent unit
with its own temples, dwellings and reservoirs. The adobe walls of Tschudi palace are decorated with raised clay friezes. Whilst Chan Chan is nowhere near as colourful as the Temples of the Sun and the Moon the sheer size of the site is very impressive. Huanchaco
Huanchaco is famous for its caballitos de totora. These reed watercrafts have been used by local fishermen for the past 3,000 years as archaeologically evidenced from pottery shards suggests.
Accommodation: Bracamonte Hotel
in Huanchaco is a clean, quiet hotel just metres away from the Pacific coast and very close to Trujillo airport.
There are more photos below