The city of Chan Chan lies only 12 km away from Trujillo, the capital of the region La Libertad on the Northern coast of Peru. The Chimu Culture constructed the city only a few kilometers away from the sea. It was a very advanced pre-Inca culture.
The total area of the city of Chan Chan was about 24 km2 at that time. This explains the name of “Biggest adobe city in the world”. But since then Chan Chan has suffered from its proximity to the sea. The phenomenon of El Nino damages it regularly. Today, its area covers only about 14 km2 and you can only visit a small part of it. But this major archaeological site of South America is just impressive.
On November 28, 1986 the city of Chan Chan was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.
The city was the political and administrative capital of the Chimu Kingdom. They reigned between 850 and 1534, the arrival of the Spanish. People believe that Francisco Pizarro in person discovered Chan Chan. Depending on the referred archaeologist, between 30 000 and 100 000 people lived there. Adobe elements decorated the walls : fish, snakes, pelicans or waves. All of these are symbols of the sea, belonging to the faith of the Chima people.
During your visit to Northern Peru, you definitely have to visit this impressing archaeological complex. Take a guide at the entrance. This will help you to better understand the organisation of the city with its royal quarters and funeral chambers. But you will also understand the importance of the hallways for special religious services and the kitchen with its enormous pantry. Your guide will explain all of this to you !