Once great empires, now turned to sand and mud.

Comfortable and safe; Cruz del Sur (CdS) are the epitome of bus travel here in South America. They may not be the cheapest but they certainly are the best. Sadly my overnight departure from Huaraz to Trujillo (allegedly a journey of 8-hours) could not be accommodated by CdS and so I opted for Movil Tours. They were good but sadly not in the same league at CdS.


Founded by Pizarro in 1534 and named after his hometown in Spain, Trujillo quickly grew into northern Peru’s biggest city, though it had been ground zero for several civilizations prior to the Spanish.

The reason for my visit to Trujillo were the nearby 1500-year-old Moche pyramids, Las Huacas del Sol y de la Luna, which loom over the desert landscape as testament to once great empires now turned to sand and mud. In addition, the ancient Chimú adobe metropolis of Chan Chan is also located not too far away.

Huaca de la Luna has an amazing museum, which is near the ticket office where the local bus drops you off. To reach the pyramid, from the museum, is a 5-minute walk. Entrance to Huaca de la Luna can only be made with a guide. My Spanish is obviously improving because I did get the drift of pretty much everything the guide explained. The tour takes around one and a half hours and takes you to some of the main highlights of this massive pyramid. Huaca del Sol is currently closed to the general public.

Click here for further information on the two pyramids.

Next day it was a visit to Chan Chan. This was a more difficult place to visit. The local bus drops you off at the end of a dirt track, it’s then a 30-minute walk to the site. I then waited an hour for an English speaking guide – this place was too amazing not to understand completely what was being said! I was lucky enough to join an American couple who had just arrived on a cruise ship. We split the cost and our guide proved to be excellent and gave a great tour.

Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimú kingdom (AD 850 and 1470), located on the north coast of Peru. Chan Chan’s heyday was between AD 1200 and 1470. It was then conquered by the Inca people.

Chan Chan covered an area of 2.5 square miles, and included some 10 enclosed palace complexes, 35 intermediate or elite residential compounds, and thousands of small rooms. The population has been estimated at 30,000 people or more.

Click here for further information on Chan Chan.

Next stage: Chiclayo.








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About Richard Griffith

My first independent travel experience was a trip to Israel, in 1997, it was here that I caught the 'travel' bug! In 2001 I took an 8-month sabbatical and traveled around South East Asia. Since then I have managed to visit most of Eastern Europe along with India, Bangladesh, and a few other destinations in between. I love travel and I love meeting new people.
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