Dec 16, 2011

Peru - Trujillo

Leaving Ecuador was not that easy! For our first long bus trip in Latin America we had decided to take a first class ticket or as the bus companies called it "deluxe class". We were disappointed as soon as we entered the bus. Unfortunately it was not the last surprise! 

We were mentally prepared for a twenty-four hours bus ride but the engine of the bus broke down after (only) eight hours. We waited three hours and a half in the middle of a road before our two drivers miraculously succeed in repairing it!! We finally arrived six hours late in Trujillo... 


In the north of Peru we were surprise to find lanscapes similar to some parts of the Middle East: huge desert areas between the sea and the beginning of the mountains! Passing through high sand dunes in the middle of the night was really magic.

On the road to Chan Chan archeological site
Trujillo is a little city with some sumptuous colonial monuments. Our charming guide at the museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History explained us that the north of Peru is less visited by foreigners, authorities having long highlighted the attractions of the south of the country. But the north has a very rich heritage to share, especially from the pre- Inca times. 

Plaza de Armas

Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History

Plazuela Enrique El Recreo

For those fed up with ruins, a few kilometers east of the city is the beach of Huanchaco: some surfers and a lot of boats made with straws and polystyrene. We were really curious to see how these typical boats would float because at first sight they don't look very practical. But none of them were on the ocean.


However Trujillo is mostly known for two major archeological sites: the Huacas de la Luna y del Sol (Temples of the Moon and Sun), and the Chan Chan site.

The Huacas were the center of the Moche civilisation which developped between the second and the eighth centuries. The Huaca de la Luna was home of the religious autorities while the Huaca del Sol synthesizes the political and administrative powers. Unlike other civilizations, the end of the Moche civilization was not due to a violent overthrown but to a slow decline. Inhabitants started to leave the village as their faith tailed off.

View from the Huaca de la Luna over the excavated village and the Huaca del Sol

The two huge temples made of bricks were separated by a village where lived the highly qualified craft workers of the Moche population, which is now an excavation site. Only the remains of the Huaca de la Luna can be visited. The works on the Huaca del Sol have not started yet because of lack of funds. Anyway what we could see was impressive. And we love learning about new civilization and the History of Peru before the Spanish arrival.

Cerro Blanco and a tiny part of the Huaca del la Luna

Huaca del la Luna
Huaca del la Luna

After the decline of the Moche civilization flourished the Chimú civilization whose political and religious center is (luckily for us!) also located a few kilometers away from Trujillo. Chan Chan archeological site is composed of nine palaces but only one of them, the Palacio Nik An, is opened to the public. Actually, not much remain of the palace, only bare walls and a few carved ones.

The atmosphere of the place is nice with the ocher walls forming huge rooms and corridors, with in the background the sound and the wind from the close Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless we had the feeling that the site was not taking care of carefully enough. The three workers we saw on site were.. well.. not working or sleeping and some parts of the remains are protected only by canvas sheets abandoned to the winds.


  1. Félicitation pour votre énergie ! Tant d'enthousiasme fait plaisir à lire ! Continuez ainsi et portez vous bien, Christophe

  2. Merci! :)
    Au plaisir de se revoir!