FROM SIPAN AND CHAN CHAN TO MACHU PICCHU: amazing cultural and historical tour in Peru
For the ones that would like to travel and visit the best archaeological destinations of Peru today, featuring the Northern Pre-Incan kingdoms and Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
After arrival to the Lima International Airport, usually after midnight, you will be transferred to your hotel in Miraflores and rest few hours before taking a day tour in Lima. Around mid morning, a guided visit to two important museums such as the Larco Museum and the Gold Museum will give you a quick introduction of what you will see in the very next days as you will travel from North to South Peru.
Lima, the capital of Peru with 11 million inhabitants, offers interesting cultural experiences and gourmet cuisine. On the best stops is the Huaca Puccllana that has a site museum that exhibits about earlier Lima pre-Incan cultures. This location is right next to one of the best restaurants in the city where you can enjoy fine cuisine based on traditional and international dishes. You also can spend time shopping for fine silver jewelry and unique outfits made from alpaca. Additionally, if you have interest in nature attractions or photography near Lima, you may consider one extra day to explore locations to see wildlife from the Peruvian desert.
The next part of your adventure will be a three-day visit to Northern Peru, flying from Lima to Chiclayo. At arrival you will start a visit the Huaca Rajada, where an intact and untouched tomb of the Lord of Sipán was found in 1987, considered the most important archaeological discovery in South America in the last three decades. Later in 2007, other fourteen tombs were located and identified and are now protected against thieves and looters, who for many years have been destroying sacred tombs and monuments of pre-Incan cultures that once flourished along the Peruvian Coast. All these sensational findings have placed North Peru in the bucket list for international travelers. The City of Chiclayo is home of one of the best museums in the world featuring more about the discoveries in Huaca Rajada.
The next morning a comfortable van or minibus will take you from Chiclayo to Trujillo by the Pan American Highway and take a rural coastal road in the Chicama Valley to visit a large ceremonial, ritual and funerary site El Brujo Archaeological Complex conformed by Huaca Prieta, Huaca Cortada and Huaca Cao Viejo, all stepped truncated pyramids build by the Moche Culture. These locations show several phases of the Moche Era. The Huaca Cao shows spectacular polychrome reliefs, mural painting and a tomb where the Lady of Cao or Señora de Cao was buried becoming the earliest evidence of a female ruler during pre-Incan times. This archaeological location has a site museum dedicated to the Lady of Cao, opened in 2006, where you will learn about current research unearthing the glorious past of the Moche. This day the tour ends arriving to Trujillo, one of the largest cities in Peru where you can taste traditional dishes from North Peru and also enjoy live music and even dance La Marinera.
The exploration of North Peru continues travelling to the West of Trujillo, to access the Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, built by the Chimú Culture before the Incas. This ancient urban area of about 20 sq km with a dense center of 6 sq Km and was the largest city in South America during pre-Columbian times, a complex of citadels with housed plazas, storerooms, workshops, also places where royals had their burials. A guided tour will take you through the architectural maze build from adobe bricks and smooth walls showing carving designs or realistic and stylized representations of fish, crab, turtles, birds, small mammals and also fishing nets that lasted well-preserved thanks to the lack of rains in the Peruvian Desert. A visit to Chan Chan will definitely illustrate you how earlier societies of Northern Peru were organized and evolved. By night, it will be another opportunity to enjoy more cultural attractions in Trujillo before Cusco and Machu Picchu.
The adventure continues taking a morning flight from Trujillo to Cusco with a short stop in Lima. Briefly after arrival in Cusco, the capital of the Incan Empire you will visit the Q’ oricancha or Temple of the Sun and finish the day enjoying a sunset in the Plaza de Armas and stay nearby to try a gourmet restaurant. Cusco by night offers interesting places to find souvenirs or see a live show with local music and traditional dancers. The next morning, not far from Cusco, you will visit several archaeological sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo and Tambomachay, all locations dedicated to ancient rituals, you could enter as part of a full-day tour. Lunch will be a time to enjoy some iconic dishes from the Andean gourmet cuisine and have short visit to some cultural and historical museums in town.
You cannot miss a visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas before going to Machu Picchu. This warm inter-Andean valley shows fertile agricultural lands still in use since pre-Columbian times. This day offers a lot for photography due to the amazing panoramas from the Pisac Archaeological Park and the local indigenous market, it is also a good opportunity for touring one of the most interesting cultural attractions presented by local women textile weavers who also will invite you a healthy and delicious organic lunch made from native products harvested from their gardens. Later in the afternoon, the tour closes in Ollantaytambo, another archaeological park and have a short walk along the narrow streets of the small village considered the only living Inca town left today.
For more información about tour to North Peru visit: https://www.ecoamericaperu.com/northern-peru/
All this adventure will greatly complement with tour extensions to Bolivia, visiting Lake Titicaca, Sucre and Potosi and of course the extraordinary Uyuni Salt Flat. https://www.ecoamericaperu.com/peru-bolivia-tours/