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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 24 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Alex Robinson

Horse-drawn carriages clopping past stately churches and mansions with Juliet balconies, towering pyramids faced with eerie painted masks, ancient labyrinthine ruined cities… Trujillo is an archaeological treasure house. The main attraction is the stunning Plaza de Armas, adorned with its colourful facades and a striking cathedral, but it’s a place to just wander and get lost in.

The city sits behind golden beaches 500 kilometres north of Lima – easily reachable on a short flight. It has a pleasant climate, a vibrant atmosphere, and friendly locals. It offers an authentic experience of the ‘real’ Peru.

If time allows, spend a day wandering the vast sculpture-covered ruins at nearby Chan Chan (the largest adobe city in the world), and the giant pyramids at Huacas del Sol.

While you’re there 

If you have time and interest, spend another day at El Brujo, 60 km north; this ruined capital city was home to ten ancient cultures, covered with Escheresque geometric murals and strange sculpted figures.

Chan Chan

Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru

Antique blue painted building with white fixtures in Trujillo

Once the capital of the ancient Chimu civilization, Chan Chan (built AD 850) is the largest adobe city in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spanning over 20 square kilometres, it features intricate walls, plazas, temples, and dwellings made entirely of adobe bricks, showcasing the remarkable craftsmanship of the Chimu people.

Best for ages 18+

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Huacas del Sol

Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru

Antique blue painted building with white fixtures in Trujillo

The impressive archaeological site, once a monumental adobe temple built by the Moche civilization, dates back over 1,500 years. Although it has suffered from erosion and looting over the centuries, it still manages to showcase the engineering prowess of the ancient civilization. 15 minutes from Trujillo.

Best for ages 18+

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Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Sky and Latam have several flights daily from LIma taking around 60 minutes. There are also many Lima-Trujillo buses daily. The journey takes around 10 hours. Book local guided tours to all the archaeological sites for fascinating insights. Book a cab for the day to reach El Brujo – it costs about £40.

When to do it

Trujillo is good to visit all year round. The archaeological sites are open daily.

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Full Day Tour Huacas, Chan Chan & Huanchaco - Trujillo


Full Day Tour Huacas, Chan Chan & Huanchaco - Trujillo
We provide the best Service as a Tour Operators with the benefit of a BACKPACKER budget. Because learning about other cultures shouldn't be expensive!!!

Price: $27

Min age: 0

Rating 4.5 / 5 [42 ratings]

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience




A land of spectacular deserts, high mountains and rainforests that teem with wildlife, Peru is also home to an array of dramatically situated pre-Colombian ruins, including Machu Picchu.


Lima Region, Peru

Pale yellow painted cathedral in Lima, viewed from below

Peru’s capital, while not the most appealing of cities, does offer stately colonial architecture, fascinating museums of Peru’s empirical; history and world-class dining.