Archaeological roundtrip Northern Peru

The ideal trip for archaeology lovers about 13 days

The key moments

This trip is dedicated to lovers archaeology and remarkable sites in the northern regions of Peru, where pre-Inca civilizations developed over several centuries despite the hostility of the territory and the lack of water.

  • Transport in Private vehicle and English-speaking guide
  • Caral city, World Heritage Site by UNESCO
  • Chavin de Huantar Temple in Huaraz
  • Crossing the Huascaran National Park
  • Discover Sechin Temple
  • Walk through the Sun and the Moon Temple
  • Visit Chan Chan, World Heritage Site by UNESCO
  • Discover complex El Brujo and  la Senora de Cao
  • Explore  Huaca Rajada and Tumbas Reales Museum
  • National Museum of  Sican and Ferrenafe
  • Historical Forest Sanctuary of Pomac
  • Pyramids and the Museum of Tucume
  • Sarcophagi of Karajia and caverns of Quiocta
  • Hike to the Kuelap fortress
  • Museum of Leymebamba and the Momies
  • Cumbemayo
  • City Tour in Cajamarca


Detailed itinerary

Day 1 –  Lima (Caral) – Huaraz

07:30 Pick up from Hotel to travel to Huaraz city. On the route , we will visit The Sacred City of Caral. Also we will cross deserts and observe the coastal valleys of Lima and Lachay National Reserve.

10:30 Arrival in The Sacred City of Caral. It is located in the valley of Supe, Barranca province, 184 km north of Lima, in the north-central area of Peru. This is the most prominent urban establishment. Its size and architectural complexity is about 5,000 years old. The Sacred City of Caral is considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site 2009. It covers 66 hectares. It is set in a dry desert terrace and a green valley of the Supe river. Its origins date back to the Late Archaic Period of Central Andes and make it the oldest center of civilization in America, comparable to ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and China.


Site archéologique Caral Nord du Pérou

The Sacred city of Caral

Caral is the most notable establishment which meets public buildings with circular sunken square, and a set of domestic units; shows a planned architectural design and a great effort to build the pyramidal bilding. In the 66 hectares occupied by Caral, you will see the most important pyramidal buildings, circular sunken square, two spaces of mass public gatherings, plus domestic units and officials storages as well as a large residential complex.

12:30 Lunch at local restaurant in Barranca.

13.30 After lunch we´ll depart to Huaraz, located 3052 meters. The « Generous » City of Huaraz is the capital of the Ancash Region. It is called International Friendship Capital and Mountain climbing Capital in South America. It is located in the heart of the Peruvian Andes. The city is flanked by the Cordilleras Blanca and Negra, east and west respectively, forming the valley known as the Callejón de Huaylas, through which flows Santa river, through the Andes to Pato Canyon; finally emptying into the Pacific Ocean. During the tour we will enjoy the beautiful scenery and the snow covered Huascaran National Park. This trip takes about 5 hours.

Day 2 – Chavín de Huantar

08:30 After breakfast we will go to Chavín district to visit Chavín de Huantar Temple, the greatest exponent of the Andean Civilization. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It dates from 3,500 years ago. During the tour we will pass through the towns of Recuay, Ticapampa, Catac, Laguna Querococha and the tunnel Cahuish (4516 meters and 480 meters in length). We will accesses from  » Callejon de Conchucos » to descend to Chavin city.

The archaeological complex is built by diverse constructions; pyramids, squares that are built on a hillside, covers and steps. Pyramidal buildings host passages networks and interior chambers that in some cases are superimposed. The material used was stone. Also they also used the same material to portray mythical figures in high and low relief; plated walls, carved stones (ball heads) shows deity, Raimondi Stela and Tello Obelisk.

Chavin gallery also called « labyrinth Chavin », we can find a monolith carved with mythical figures named « sandeels » about 5m high.

Typical lunch at local restaurant in Chavin.

After lunch we will visit Chavin National Museum. We will observe archeological pieces that were recovered in an archaeological area and in the village.

19:00 Arrive to Huaraz.

Archéologie nord du Péro

Day 3 –  Sechín – Trujillo

08:00 After breakfast we will transfer to Trujillo. We will cross Black Mountains (Punta Callán 4225 meters high) and descend to Callán 4225 meters high) and descend to 45 meter high to Casma city. On the way we will stop in Casma to visit Sechin Temple. This trip will take us about 3 hours.

11:00 We will visit Sechin Temple. This temple was made of stone and built in 1600 b.C. approximately. The most impressive are the walls of the facade decorated with bas-relief figures, more than 300 stone carvings, with representations of severed bodies, warriors (winners and losers) and wakes. These walls may represent the oldest monumental sculpture in the central Andes.

Max Uhle museum is nearby this archeological site. Here we will observe the mummy of the tattooed hands, model Pampa Colorada, Aldas, also ceramics and textiles from different cultures.

13h00 Lunch in a local restaurant in Casma.

14h00 Departure to Trujillo

17h00 Arrive at hotel in Trujillo.

Nordperu, Sechin archäologische Stätte

Day 4 – Trujillo

This morning we will go and visit the Temples of the Sun and the Moon and the Moche Temples Museum. The Moon temple has a number of temples built on top of each other for many years, also it has 12 thousand square meters of polychrome murals. Its rich iconography and aesthetics are of outstanding universal value which reflects a pattern that was built in about seven centuries. In the upper part of adobe bricks walls, you can see the remains of many walls, decorated with figures of multicolored religious symbols; the most important is Ai-apaec or « God of the Mountains ». Also it represents an exceptional testimony of the Moche cultural tradition as it materializes political power through religious ideas.

In the museum, you will see aspects of Moche´s life, the city and their environment. Also, you can witness the cult of power and the god of the mountains (Aia Paec), we are sure you will like rediscovering iconography and architecture Moche.

12:00 Afterwards we´ll visit the Huaca Arco Iris (rainbow temple) or Dragon. Its structure presents a series of stacked platforms from east to west. This temple was used for religious celebrations in honor of the rainbow and other natural phenomena,related to rainfall and soil fertility. It is also called Huaca El Dragon because of its figure that still exists in one of the main walls. This figure has two heads, like a dragon, with endless legs, as a centipede. The adobe walls were decorated with reliefs that represents the rainbow. It is also known as Huaca Arco Iris.

13:00 Lunch at Big Ben restaurant in Huanchaco. This village is well known for their artisanal fishermen who still fish in boats, as used hundreds of years ago by the Moches, called « reed horses ».

14:30 Last part of the day we will visit in Chan Chan archaeological complex, the Nik-An Palace. Chan chan has been recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO. It was the capital of the Chimu Empire that flourished in the region after the fall of the Moche empire and covers an area of approximately 20 square kilometers. The central area is formed by a set of 10 walled enclosures (called « citadels ») and pyramids. The Citadel Nik-An is the largest illustration of the importance of water, particularly the sea, that Chimu culture worshipped.

The high reliefs on the wallsrepresents fishes, directed north and south that can be interpreted as the two streams that make the Peruvian coast, the Humboldt (a cold current) coming from the south and the Child (a hot current), coming from the north as well as waves, rhombus (fishing nets), pelicans and anzumitos (mixture of sea lion and otter).

17h00 Return to hotel.


Day 5 – Trujillo – Chiclayo

7h30 Transfer to the city of Chiclayo.

09:00 On the route, we will visit El Brujo´s Archaeological Complex and the Museum of Cao in Magdalena de Cao city. This is one of the most valuable archaeological sites on the northern coast of Peru. It has a long cultural sequence of occupation that began in the pre-ceramic period (3000 b.C.). However, Moche culture (0-700 a.C.) has left many evidences in this area. Two discoveries have given a greater meaning to this complex. On the one side, a large adobe pyramid of 30 meters high, where Mochica culture draw in high relief, captivating new images as « The Decapitator ». On the other side, the discovery of the Dame or Lady of Cao (2006), also known as the Lady of the tattoos. In her tomb they discovered pottery and ornaments of gold, silver and copper, and others; Never before they found an ancient Peruvian woman´s mummy with its own outfit of the warrior aristocracy.

Site Museum Cao takes us through the daily and symbolic universe of the inhabitants of this part of Peru. Here we could see customs and beliefs of the past with present day and ends with the enigmatic discovery of recent times: the Lady Cao.

13h30 Arriving in the city of Chiclayo. Lunch in a local restaurant.

15h30 Arrival at Hotel.

Senora de Cao, El Brujo, Nord du Pérou

Day 6 – Chiclayo

08:00 Transfer to the archaeological site Ventarrón. This place represents the rise of the first civilization of northern Peru over 4,500 years ago. In this pre-Hispanic site, you can see all architectural forms like the case of circular walls, curved walls, curved rectangular structures, altars of worship to the fire, squares in a shape like a half cross chakana and others.

Ventarrón identifies an oldest American tradition, the fire worship, and It also constitutes one of the most sophisticated temples in Peru at that time, the origin of crops domestication, political organization, the symbolism of mural art. It also represents one of the oldest civilizations but also one of the most important and sustained throughout America.

10:00 We will visit Huaca rajada. In this archaeological complex they discovered found the tomb of Lord of Sipan, the Old Lord of Sipan and his entire elite. The Lord of Sipan was one of the most powerful rulers of his time, who had absolute power of life and death over his people. The tomb of the Lord of Sipan is the best still existing example of the splendor and power of the Moche ancestors. The archaeologist discovered lots of fine gold, silver and copper jewelry. In his archaeological site exists many different tombs of the Moche elite whose are shown in an interesting museum.

13h00 Lunch in a typical restaurant.

14:30 We visit Sipan’s  Museum Tumbas Reales, certainly one of the most impressive and modern archaeological museums in Southern America. The museum displays the wealth and ostentation in which the Lord of Sipan was buried: gold and silver,fine weaving, religious emblems and military power, and large amount of ceremonial utensils.

17h30 Arrival at Hotel.

Voyage archéologique nord du Pérou

Day 7 – Chiclayo

08:30 Transfer to Ferreñafe village. We will visit Sican National Museum, dedicated to the Sican culture. The museum shows in detail the historical process of Sican Culture,customs and activities of Sicán people.We´ll see burial garments, ornaments and patterns. Also we are able to see the famous mask with the winged eye, crowns,necklaces and ceramics and others.

10:15 Visit to Forest Historical Sanctuary Pomac, where you can visit Huaca Las Ventanas and observe Huaca Loro. At these sites, archaeologists are still investigating,discovering the secrets of the people Sicán. These two pyramids, together with other 15, are part of Sican Archaeological Complex – Forest Pómac (formerly known as Batan Grande Reserved Zone), which is one of the most important archeological sites in all of South America, composed of pyramids that in splendor they were an administrative and religious center of the powerful Sican culture.

12:00 Lunch in a local restaurant.

14:00 Finally in the afternoon we will visit the Valley of the Pyramids in Túcume. This archeological site was the last capital of the Lambayeque and Chimu kingdom that flourished before the arrival of the Incas in northern Peru. This complex is one of the most important pre-Hispanic monuments of the north coast of Peru. Its magnitude and extent is about 220 acres. It has twenty monumental architectural buildings associated with other buildings: beds, mounds, patios, canal systems, walls, and other structures that are a reflection of a system of planned growth and a complex social structure. Here Túcume lords resided with the luxuries of semi gods in huge palaces decorated with drawings of mythical and ritual content, furnished and exquisite jewelry,surrounded by priests, administrators, servants and skilled craftsmen.

Now it has been open to the public, Huaca Las Balsas, whose central theme is marine nature: birds and waves, birds and mythical bird men, deities ready to paddle on a boat surrounded with nets catching fish and seabirds.

17h00 Arrive to hotel.


Day 8 – Chiclayo – Chachapoyas

08:00 After breakfast we wil travel to Chachapoyas. During the tour we will cross deserts and we will reach Andes’s summit « Porculla pass. » The landscape changes when we descend along the deep Marañon´s valley and finally ascends via Utcubamba´s canyon, axis of Amazonas region. This trip takes about 9 hours.

Along the way we will have a box lunch. In the afternoon we will spend the night in a hotel.

17h00 Arrive in Chachapoyas.

Night and dinner at hotel.


Day 9 –  Karajía – Quiocta’s cave

07:30 After breakfast we will go toSarcophagi of Karajia. Its measure is approximately 2.50 m high and has human forms. It is characterized by its unique form of burial in the world and decorated with skulls on the sarcophagi, figures and colors. In these tombs important people of Chachapoyas culture were buried.

13h00 Lunch at Lamud at ther restaurant of Tambo Sapalanchan hotel. Time to rest.

15:00 Departure to hotel in Chachapoyas.


Day 10 – Kuélap – Leymebamba – Mummy Museum

08:00 After breakfast we will go to Kuelap archaeological site, which belongs to the Chachapoyas culture. This building is on the edge of a deep cliff and it is estimated that its construction was carried out by the year 1000 a.C. The defense is surrounded by an impressive wall of almost 600 meters long and 20 high and other constructions around. These features make this city a mysterious and surprising place. According to recent archaeological excavations may have been an important religious center dedicated to different gods, including the god of thunder and rain.

13:00 Lunch at Tingo Nuevo.

14:00 Departure to Leymebamba.

15:00 Arrival in Leymebamba and visit of the Mummy Museum. It has more than 200 mummies and their burial offerings found in the Lake of the Condors in a wonderfully preserved environment. Furthermore, this museum has the largest collection of Peruvian KIPUS.


Day 11 – Transfer to Cajamarca

08:00 After breakfast we will travel to Cajamarca by the Marañon River Canyon, one of the most spectacular routes in Peru. The Marañón River is one of the deepest canyons in the world. We´ll descend to the canyon from an altitude of over 3,400 feet to the town of Balsas located just about 700 meters. In this tour we will see the different ecosystems. After the descending, we will ascend to the mountains to almost 3 100 meters high. The ride takes about 9 hours traveling. We will enjoy a box lunch in the route.

17:30 Arrival at Hotel in Cajamarca.


Day 12 – Cajamarca

08:00 Pick up from hotel and departure to Cumbemayo.

9:00 Cumbemayo archaeological site is located 14 km from Cajamarca city and 3500 meters above the sea. The site is framed by a unique landscape that includes a beautiful rocks forest. The archaeological site is considered as one of the most remarkable of Andean waterworks, whose main characteristic is to divert the waters of the Pacific coast to the Atlantic .It is divided into three sections 850, 2600, and 5660 meters long respectively. Here we could see the carving on the rock, which has a perfect original finish and made of right angles in order to slow speed water. It is estimated over 3500 years ago.

12:30 Return to Cajamarca.

13:30 Lunch at Cajamarca.

15:00 City tour in Cajamarca. The first place to visit is the Ransom Room. This is the only Inca´s place with vestige that preserves the city, it is perhaps the most important archeological site in northern Peru. This room not only served store in 1952 gold pieces and silver offered in exchange for the freedom of Inca Atahualpa. It also represents the end of one of the most important cultures of humanity, and the start of mestizaje in Peru.

Then we will visit churches of different religious orders that were built during the colonial era between seventeenth century and the mid-eighteenth century.

17:00 Return to the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel in Cajamarca.


Day 13 – Cajamarca

Pick up from hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima.

End of our service.


We provide our tour plans as an example for you to get inspired and an idea of how your travel in northern Peru could look like.

Once you have your trip in mind, we are happy to create with you your dream trip according to the length of your stay. We suggest you interesting sites to visit, nice places to stay, how to get there and if you should choose a guide to travel with you in order to discover a more confidential side of Peru.

Contact us today at info@phimavoyages.com or through our contact form. We will get back to you within 24 hours.


The program includes

  • Private transfers for tours and transfers
  • English-speaking Tour guide
  • Entrance fees to the archaeological sites and nature reserves
  • Overnight in 2 and 3 star hotels
  • Meals indicated in the program

Not included

  • Regional flights
  • Alcoholic drinks


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