Marvelous Northern Peru - Steeped in Ancient Culture

When visitors come to Peru, few of them take the time to see some of the oldest and most well-preserved ancient ruins existing in the western hemisphere. Similar to its better-known tourist sites like Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, areas like the Sun and Moon Temples and the Valley of the Pyramids, these pre-Incan wonders located in northern Peru are just as unreal and mysterious, but don’t get nearly as many visitors each year.

This area of Peru was inhabited primarily by the Lambayeque, Chimu, and Moche civilizations, and not only were excellent agriculturalists, but possessed a great understanding of metallurgy as well. The cultures ruled the area from 400 to 1400AD, when the Incans arrived. Tourists to this area can visit many local museums that have been constructed to house the archeological finds unearthed in the area.

When visiting this region, tourists should shelter in the town of Trijillo. The city is glutted of colonial, religious, and government monuments. But by far the main reason to stay here is the city’s proximity to the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon, both built around 500AD. Looters and weather have taken their toll on the Sun Pyramid, but the Moon Pyramid is still very well preserved and gives the guest a sense of mystic awe when standing next to it.

While still in Trijillo, visitors should next visit the nearby ruins at Chan Chan. This area is a vast expanse of what was once the largest pre-Columbian city, and displays a level of technology of its inhabitants thought not to exist before the discovery of these ruins. This city was built by the Moche people, was home to around 30,000 people, and lasted intact until the arrival of the Incans in the late 1400s.

Finally, a journey to Tucume will complete the journey. The Valley of the Pyramids at Tucume is an very large complex featuring 26 pyramids and earthen mounts made of adobe built by the Sicans around 1000AD. Tucume is also near the city of Chiclayo, home of the Royal Tombs Museum and the Lord of Sipan, and another fantastic place to view ancient artifacts.

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