Itinerary in brief:
- 2 nights in Trujillo
- 1 night in Chiclayo
- 3 nights in Chachapoyas
Day 1: Trujillo
Today you will land in Trujillo in northern Peru, where you’ll be picked up and driven to your hotel. You have the rest of today at leisure to rest or explore a little.
Day 2: Trujillo and surroundings
After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will collect you for a guided tour of Trujillo, with lunch included at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you’ll continue to the Chan Chan archaeological complex that around 1100 AD was the most important city of the pre-Incan Chimú Empire. It’s the largest mud city in the Americas.
At 20km squared, the central complex is a group of ten, walled premises known as ‘citadels’ and other independent pyramids. The rest of the Chan Chan complex has several small structures, sidewalks, canals, walls and cemeteries which you can explore.
Next, you’ll visit Huanchaco, a fishermen’s cove where you can still see old reed boats being used by the locals as part of their ancestral way of fishing. At the end of the day, you will be taken back to your hotel in Trujillo.
Day 3: The Lord of Sipán and Chiclayo
After breakfast, we’ve included a tour of the Huaca Rajada archaeological complex of pyramid-shaped, adobe brick, royal tombs from the Moche civilisation who lived on the Peruvian coast around 100-700 AD.
In the 1980s, archaeologist Walter Alva uncovered an impressive Moche burial site and the tomb of the ‘Lord of Sipán’. You’ll also visit the Museum of the Royal Tombs in Lambayeque, which displays some of the artefacts found amongst the tombs, which were kept from looters. (Lunch is included at a local restaurant).
Day 4: Chachapoyas
Today, you’ll be driven to the mountain city of Chachapoyas, the capital of the Amazonas region. The drive takes about eight hours, but you’ll stop at several places of interest, and you’ll pass through coffee and sugar plantations and typical Andean villages. When you arrive, you’ll be taken to your hotel, and you have the rest of the day to rest and relax after the journey.
Day 5: Gocta waterfall
Today you will hike to Cocachimba, a spot in the middle of the jungle that is home to several waterfalls, including Gocta Falls, which at a drop of 771m, is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.
Your walk takes you along a beautiful route full of lush vegetation, on the lookout for wild animals. Once you arrive, you can admire the falls and enjoy a refreshing spritz over from the spray!
Day 6: Kuelap fortress
After breakfast, your guide will take you to the impressive Kuelap fortress, known as the ‘Machu Picchu of the north’. On the banks of the Utcubamba River, set amongst cloud forest, you reach the fortress via a 20-minute ride on a modern cable car.
The fortress is an archaeological site that was built by the Chachapoyas culture who lived here around the 500-1100 AD. The large complex was originally inhabited and has 505 structures, distributed on several levels with walls stretching to 600m.
On the way back, you’ll stop into the ghoulishly fascinating Leymebamba Museum. It is home to more than 200 mummies which were recovered from a mausoleum in the cliff face above the Condor Lagoon. Few burial sites escaped looting by the conquistadors, so these are precious finds.
Day 7: Departure
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to the airport for your onward flight.