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The pre-Columbian Chachapoyas culture, conquered in the 15th century by the Incas, has left a landscape scattered with ruined settlements and burial sites which until recently has been largely overlooked by archaeologists. Situated in the cloud forests around the town of Chachapoyas in Peru's northern Amazonas Department, these sites are dominated by the mighty fortress-temple of Kuelap, perched majestically atop towering cliffs overlooking a verdant Andean landscape.
The Chachapoyas region has historically been somewhat isolated from the rest of Peru. Local traditions are distinctive, daily life revolves around cattle and horses, and forest-covered remnants of a glorious past can be spotted on every ridge and cliff.
From arrival to Chiclayo on Day 11 you can opt for a 4 Day Beach Resort Extension to Mancora or a 4 day Jungle Resort Extension to Tarapoto. Alternatively you may return to Lima.
Arrival in Lima, meet and greet at the airport, transfer to your hotel. Overnight stay in Lima.
Lima / Huaraz
Morning transfer to local station to board our tourist bus to Huaraz. Get comfortable because we are going on an eight hour road trip to the City of the Snow-capped Mountains, north east from Lima.
We will arrive in the evening and we will transfer you to your hotel where you can have a good sleep, acclimatise and prepare for the next day activities. Overnight stay in Huaraz.
FD Chavín de Huántar Temple
We will visit the most representative ceremonial centre of the Peruvian High Culture. Over 3,000 years old, considered as the first Peruvian high culture. Here we will appreciate its monumental architecture with sunken plazas and underground galleries, the fine lytic art with the outstanding “Lanzon de Chavin”, the “Estelas”, with anthrop-zoomorphic figures. Outstanding are also de “Front of the Falcons” with its columns and cornices, and the “Stone Heads” surrounding the Main Temple. At the end of the tour, we will be transferred back to our hotel. Overnight stay in Huaraz.
We will enjoy a nice breakfast in the hotel and will enjoy some time at leisure to explore the city.
In the evening, we will be transferred to local station to set off to Trujillo, known as “Eternal Spring City” for its nice and mild weather on a 7 hour road trip. Overnight stay In tourist bus.
We arrive early in the morning and we will be escorted to our hotel.
FD Moon Huaca, Chan Chan mud citadel and Huanchaco with lunch
We will start by visiting the awesome Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, the centre of power of the northern coast of Peru at the time of the Moche. We will be able to appreciate the outstanding group of frescoes in adobe on one of the walls of the Temple of the Moon, disclosed by the archeologists. After that, we will visit a traditional family descendant of the ancient Moche inhabitants.
Then, we will visit the Temple of the Rainbow (Dragon), of the Chimu Culture. The tour continues with a visit to the Huanchaco fishermen’s cove, famous for its totora reed boats called Totora Horses. Lunch time at one of the best seafood restaurants in the area. Finally, we will visit the ancient citadel of Chan Chan, with an area of 18 km2 approx., and tour Nik-An Palace, located in the south-west of Chan Chan touring its ceremonial plazas, shrines, water reservoirs, barns, cemeteries, among others. Overnight stay in Trujillo.
We will wake up early to explore the “Northern Sand Kingdoms” and Chiclayo City. Departure on private transportation to Chiclayo. It is a three hour ride to enjoy the beauty of the valleys.
Transfer to Chiclayo and HD El Brujo Archeological Site on the way
When we reach Casa Grande sugar hacienda we’ll take a detour towards the Brujo Archaeological Complex and Museum, named after the polychrome friezes on its walls. In the surrounding areas a pre-Inca cemetery is to be discovered. Then we will visit the Lady of Cao Complex in which we can see this well preserved mummy, discovered a few years ago, and possible ruler of the Moche culture.
We will arrive to Chiclayo where we will enjoy a nice traditional lunch.
HD City Tour and Witch Market
In the afternoon we will visit to the famous Paseo Las Musas, a pleasant place to enjoy a moment of family entertainment, continue to the main park. This park is not called Main Square, because Chiclayo wasn’t founded by the Spanish, in the beginning it was a crossroads. Tour of the City Hall, a republican building with temporary exhibition halls. The tour ends at the witches market, also known as herbal market or model market. Overnight stay in Chiclayo.
FD Sipan, Tucume and Sipan Royal Tombs Museum
The tour starts with a visit to Huaca Rajada, an archaeological site in which the Lord of Sipan's remains were found. Then it’s off to the Pyramids Valley in Tucume, an impressive urban centre and the most important of its time, located only 33kms from Chiclayo. The legend of the Naylamp god and the Cetemi queen, who came from the sea, still lives strong among the settlers. We´ll have lunch at one of the restaurants in the area for a chance to try the best traditional local cuisine: a varied and spiced arrange of flavours for our palate. To end the day, a visit to the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, known also as the 21st Century Museum. It was built as an exact representation of the original tomb and it is home to amazing gold, silver and precious stones treasures. An incredible experience you will never forget. Overnight stay in Chiclayo.
Today, we will have the day at leisure to explore the city.
In the evening, we will be taken to the local station to board our bus to Chachapoyas During the journey we will cross one of the driest deserts in Peru, then climb up the Andes and down again to Marañon River, finally we will go through the stunning Utcubamba canyon into the humidity of the jungle. Overnight stay in tourist bus.
Arrive early in the morning and we will be escorted to our hotel.
FD Gocta Waterfall
We will have an early breakfast in the hotel and departure to the waterfalls, hiking across Andean farms and forests. We will arrive at the base of an incredible 771 metre (2,529 feet) high waterfall. At one point, it was considered the third highest waterfall in the world, and is now regarded as being in fifteenth place. ‘La Chorrera’, as it has been dubbed by locals, was discovered in 2002 by the German explorer Stefan Ziemendorff, who stumbled upon it while exploring Sarcophagi located on the other side of the Utcubamba valley, in the province of Luya-Lamud, Amazon department. Snack box on the way back and free afternoon to enjoy the lodge where you will spend the night. Overnight stay in Chachapoyas.
FD Kuelap Fortress
This day we will visit the archeological complex of Kuelap consisting of hundreds of round houses covered by clouds at 3000 metres asl. We will explore ceremonial constructions and aqueducts. Although Kuelap was discovered 60 years before Machu Picchu, it is not so well known worldwide. However, recent findings in nearby areas associated with Kuelap and its history has attracted the attention of archeologists, international magazines and the movie industry. Lunch in a local restaurant. Return to Chachapoyas. Overnight stay in Chachapoyas.
After breakfast at our hotel, we will have time at leisure to enjoy our hotel facilities and relax.
In the evening, we will enjoy a bus ride back to the city of Chiclayo (10 hours). Overnight stay in tourist bus.