Costal Ruins

September 3, 2009 - Chiclayo, Peru

 We've made our way north of Lima to have a look at the remains of the Chimu and Moche cultures that flourished along the coast before being conquered by the Incas.

Our first stop was the city of Trujillo. Not the greatest place we've stayed to be honest, and the hostal was a slightly surreal place too. Still, its main advantage was its proximity to the sites of Chan Chan and Huaca del Sol/del Luna. Chan Chan is a vast site in the desert, built by the Chimu culture between 850 and 1470 AD. Parts of it have been partially restored to make the decorations on the walls clear, the mud bricks used in construction have not lasted too well.

We also visited Huaca del Luna. Along with the Huaca del Sol it is a pyramid built by the Moche. The Huaca del Sol was partially looted by the Spanish and suffered a fair bit of damage, currently there has been no excavation work done on it due to lack of funds. The Huaca del Luna has had considerable work done on it and is amazing. The pyramid is a series of temples built over the top of each other (like a russian doll). This meant that only the fifth and highest level was damaged and only part of the site was looted. It also means that when excavations reached the third and fourth levels they found the artwork on the walls intact and with original colours, along with many burials. You'll have to look at the pictures section to see these, its impressive to think they have been buried for so long.

To escape Trujillo we came north again to the city of Chiclayo. It is much nicer, with a better hotel and more food! We seem to be pretty much the only non Peruvian tourists here, but are finding plenty to do. Today we caught a local bus out though the canefields to visit the site of Sipan, another Moche pyramid. Not too much to see with this one, but the excavations did uncover some impressive ceremonial armour etc, pictures will follow at some point!

So for the moment we're staying in the north and generally avoiding going to Lima!



Huaca del Sol
Trujillo Plaza de Armas
Kids that mobbed us
Chimu warrior
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