From the Pacific coast with mud cities, rich tombs, hidden treasures to the people of the clouds and world-class trekking.
From Chiclayo, you can visit pre-Inca archaeological sites, such as Chan Chan, the largest adobe (mud) city in the world, once the capital of the Chimú, and the pyramids of Huaca del Sol. The treasures buried within these tombs rivalled those of ancient Egypt. Further north, are the two ancient cities of Tucumé and Sicán, whose ruins are surrounded by a carob tree forest.
Trujillo city has a fine colonial centre. Nearby you can relax or surf the Pacific breakers at Huanchaco, or watch the traditional fishermen using reed rafts, or dine on their latest catch.
Heading into the mountains lies Chachapoyas, known as the land of the cloud people, this civilization built huge walled cities, such as Kuelap, long before the Incas. There are a number of sites that have only recently been opened for visitors, set among dazzling scenery but the roads to get there are not for the faint-hearted.
For the adventurous we suggest the lofty snow-covered peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, hiking and climbing are popular. This area of the Andes is renowned as one of the most exciting trekking regions of South America. More than twenty-five of its peaks exceed 19,500 feet. The hub of trekking activity is Huaraz, Peru’s tallest mountain at 22,200 feet. Don’t miss Puya, dramatic plants that burst into bloom with an enormous spike that bears thousands of brilliant green blossoms.
Pre Incan archaeological treasures
When to go: All year round (driest May to September)