Trujillo Main Tourist Attractions

Trujillo’s Main Square

Under Diego de Almagro’s orders, Martín de Astete designed that square, as the center of the city. In the central part of the Main Square, stands the Monument to La Libertad (Liberty), a baroque marble sculpture, work of the German Edmundo Muller.

The Cathedral

It is situated on the Main Square (Plaza de Armas), and was built in 1666. It shelters valuable works of art, and especially canvases from Cusco’s School of Art and sculptures. Its museum exhibits objects related to liturgy, carved wood objects and paintings from the Colonial Period, among which two canvases stand out: “Saint Peter’s Negation” and the portrait of Saint John Baptist. This building’s features are the ceiling, decorated with polychrome beams and the crypt, adorned with mural paintings of the apostles.

The Carmel’s Convent

Built in 1759, it is one of the city’s best architectural ensembles composed of a church and a convent with two cloisters. Its painting gallery shelters an important collection of about 150 canvases, in their majority, from the 17th and 18th centuries, among which especially stand out canvases of Quito’s School of Art and of the Flemish School of Art.

Trujillo’s National University’s Archaeology, Anthropology and History Museum

This museum presents archaeological remains related to the different pre-Hispanic cultures that developed in the Region of La Libertad. It is located in the Casa Risco (Risco House), famous for its patios decorated with murals. There, ceramic, goldsmith work, textile and feather art objects stand out.

Huanchaco’s Seaside Resort

This seaside resort is located about 13 km. from the city of Trujillo or about 15 minutes by car. The legend tells that, about 800 years ago, Prince Tacaynamo landed in Huanchaco, with his suite, to found the first Chimú dynasty. In its waters, the “caballitos de totora” (Little totora horses) still navigate, as they are traditional rafts used by fishermen, on Peru’s Northern coast.

The Archaeological Complex of Chan Chan

It is located 5 km. North-west of Trujillo, in the Moche Valley (10 minutes by car). This urban center is pre-Hispanic America’s largest sun-dried mud brick city, and it was declared as Humanity’s Cultural Patrimony, by the UNESCO, in 1986. Chan Chan might have been the Chimú Kingdom’s capital city, originally covering over 20 km², from the vicinity of the Port of Huanchaco, all the way to Mount Campana. The archaeologists estimate that the city sheltered more than 100,000 inhabitants.

In its structure, there are squares, living quarters, deposits, workshops, fortified walls and pyramidal temples. Its huge walls are profusely decorated, with relieves of geometrical figures, stylized zoomorphic designs, as well as that of mythological beings. The tour of the archaeological complex is complemented by the visit of its Site Museum.

The Huaca (Sacred place) of the Sun and the Huaca of the Moon

They are located 8 km. south of the city of Trujillo (15 minutes by car). The Huaca of the Sun served as a political and administrative center and the Huaca of the Moon, as a ceremonial center. Between both of these, lies the Urban Area composed of houses, large avenues, passages, corridors and squares. These components confirm the Moches´ high level of political, religious, economic and social organization.

The Huaca of the Moon is composed of superposed temples, in accordance with different stages of the Mochica domination. On some walls, one can observe beautiful polychrome murals, the clearly defined designs of which represent the god Ai-apaec. In the temple, the archaeologists discovered a tomb, with more than 40 sacrificed warriors.

The Dragon or Rainbow Huaca

4 km. from the city of Trujillo (10 minutes by car), stands the sun-dried mud brick pyramid, the construction of which might have been performed at the beginning of the Chimú culture’s time period, and at the end of the Tiahuanaco – Wari culture, between the 10th and 11th centuries a.D. The building has a quadrangular base and walls decorated with high-relief, representing zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures. The name of Dragon is due to one of these figures, which represents a two-headed being, with uncountable legs, similar to a dragon. Researchers consider that one of the functions of that place was ceremonial, as it would be linked to rituals in honor of the Rainbow and other natural phenomena related to fertility.

The Emerald Huaca

It is located 3 km. from the city of Trujillo, in the El Cortijo production cooperative (8 minutes by car). This archaeological site is associated to the Chimú culture and was built, in relation with Chan Chan. The construction has a rectangular base (65 meters long and 41 meters wide) and two platforms, with central ramps. Its sun-dried mud brick walls are decorated with high-relief designs, with zoomorphic and geometrical motives.

The Wizard’s Archaeological Complex

It is located 60 km. from Trujillo, in the Chicama Valley, and belongs to the Province of Ascope (1 hour and 25 minutes by car). It is composed of three constructions which are: The Huaca Prieta (Black Huaca), Huaca Cao and Huaca Cortada (Cut Huaca). There, researchers found evidence of occupation dating back to the pre-ceramic period (5,000 years of antiquity). A great sun-dried mud brick pyramid stands out (Sacrifice wall), of 30 meters high, on the walls of which the Mochicas engraved a very rich iconography. The best known image is that of the “Head Cutter”; one of the most important polychrome frescos, with the figure of the head cutter, in the ritual scenes represented on the ceramics.

The Reserve and Calipuy National Sanctuary

They are situated 164 km. East of Trujillo (2 hours by car), to get to the city of Santiago de Chuco. It is a bio-geographic space localized between 840 and 3,600 m.a.s.l., with an extension of 4,500 hectares, which shelters and protects one of largest Puyas de Raymondi forests in existence, along with Andean animal species, such as the guanaco. Its climate is characterized by abundant rainfalls, between the months of December and April, and they are located in the suni region or humid wide barren plains.

Pacasmayo’s Seaside Resort

It is situated 150 km. from Trujillo (2 hours by bus). In 1775, the Spanish conquerors founded the port of Pacasmayo, building a pier, afterwards, to serve economic purposes. Buildings stand out, like the Casa Grace, dating from 1850. From its beaches, one can practice surfing and scuba diving.

The Lady of Cao’s Museum

It is located in the El Brujo (The Sorcerer) Archaeological Complex, 70 km. from the city of Trujillo, in the District of Magdalena de Cao and the Province of Ascope. This museum is the permanent dwelling place of the female ruler who governed Northern Peru’s territories, about 1,800 years ago, whose mummy was discovered in perfect state of conservation, in 2005. The museum reconstituted a large sequence of cultural developments that took place throughout more than 5,000 years, in what is today the El Brujo Archaeological Complex. In spite of proceeding from different time periods, the objects which compose that exhibition, all come from there.

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