TOUR 12: FROM THE ORIGINS OF CIVILIZATION TOWARDS THE SOPHISTICATED CULTURES OF NORTH PERU
9 days / 8 nights

LIMA / BANDURRIA / ASPERO / CARAL / BARRANCA
DAY 1: LIMA / BANDURRIA / ASPERO / CARAL / BARRANCA

We leave Lima early in the morning with our private vehicle, driving first to Bandurria, one of the oldest rural fisher settlements on the north coast ( aprox. 3000 B.C. ), where Peruvian archaeologist Alejandro Chu has excavated 2 truncated pyramids and ceremonial plazas since 2005. Onward to the north we come to Aspero, the most important coastal settlement and ceremonial center of the same period and considered the main port of the Caral civilization. In the afternoon we visit Caral, considered the oldest city on the American continent ( 2900 – 1800 B.C. ). Only since 1996 this huge impressive complex ( 66 hectares ) with 8 truncated pyramids and sunken ceremonial plazas has been excavated and investigated by Peruvian archaeologist Ruth Shady and in 2009 was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards we drive to Barranca to stay overnight.

   
BARRANCA / WILLKAWAIN / ICHIC WILLKAWAIN /HUARAZ
DAY 2: BARRANCA / WILLKAWAIN / ICHIC WILLKAWAIN /HUARAZ

After a 4 hour drive from the coastal desert, passing through fertile, semitropical valleys and ascending up to 4100 m.a.s.l. to the Conococha lagoon, we reach our today´s destination Huaraz in front of the white cordillera with more than 20 peaks over 6000 m and the evergreen landscape all around. That´s why this region is also called the Peruvian Switzerland. After lunch we will visit the nearby mausoleums of Willkawain und Ichic Willkawain ( 3400 m ), built first by Recuay culture ( 100 – 700 A.D. ) and later by the Wari civilization ( 600 – 1100 A.D. ) which constructed corridors and chambers inside the mortuary houses in order to worship their gods and bury important dignitaries. In the late afternoon we still have time to visit the archaeological museum of Huaraz with finds of different pre-Hispanic cultures and particularly interesting there is the lithic park with around 120 lithic statues and steles of the Recuay civilization. Overnight in Huaraz

   
CHAVIN DE HUANTAR
DAY 3: CHAVIN DE HUANTAR

Today we depart from Huaraz to Chavín de Huantar, the famous former magical-religious center of the Chavin empire ( 1200 – 200 B.C. ), considered the cultural matrix of Andean civilization. The archaeological complex, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and built with heavy granitic stones, gained fame through the finds of a dagger-shaped stone monolith called "Lanzón" inside a mysterious labyrinth of tunnels and the Raimondi Stele as well as the Tello Obelisk, major pieces of art of the Chavin culture. Afterwards we visit the National Museum of Chavin nearby, where beautiful finds of the Chavin civilization are exposed. Overnight in Huaraz

   
HUARAZ / SECHIN ALTO / CERRO SECHIN / CHANKILLO
DAY 4: HUARAZ / SECHIN ALTO / CERRO SECHIN / CHANKILLO

Early departure from Huaraz towards the coastal town of Casma. First we drive up to Punta Callán ( 4200 m ) enjoying a last phantastic view to the white cordillera and then go down to sea level to visit the archaeological sites of Sechin Alto with various artificial mounds, squares, semi-sunken circle wells, platforms etc. ( aprox. 1600 – 1400 B.C. ) and afterwards Cerro Sechin ( 1800 – 1400 B.C. ), discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Julio C. Tello, where you can see the famous walls with carved figures in bas-relief, which graphically dramatize human sacrifices. The nearby Max Uhle Museum offers information and finds – mainly ceramics - about the main pre-Hispanic cultures that settled in the region. In the afternoon we drive to Chankillo ( 350 – 80 B.C. ) in middle of the desert, a monumental arquitecture ( fort ) with three concentric walls and nearby the 13 towers constructed atop the ridge of a hill, which has been interpreted as the oldest astronomical observatory in America. Overnight in Casma

   
PUNKURI / PAÑAMARCA / LA GALGADA
DAY 5: PUNKURI / PAÑAMARCA / LA GALGADA

In the morning we take off to Punkurí, situated in the Nepeña valley between Casma and Chimbote. In this archaeological complex ( 2000 – 1200 B.C. ) we will see a stepped pyramid with 2 platforms which are connected by stairways. The buildings have been edified with mud bricks and shingle stones ( at least 3 constructive periods ) and the most important figure is a feline being ( puma or jaguar ), originally painted with different colours. Afterwards we visit Pañamarca which lies close to Punkuri. Pañamarca ( 400 – 600 A.D. ) was the most important Moche temple in the south and you will have the chance to walk around alone through this relatively unknown site. In the early afternoon we are arriving in Trujillo and you will have the rest of the day at your free disposal. Overnight in Trujillo

   
CITY TOUR / TEMPLE OF THE MOON  / CHAN CHAN / HUACA ARCO IRIS
DAY 6: CITY TOUR / TEMPLE OF THE MOON / CHAN CHAN / HUACA ARCO IRIS

Trujillo, today the 3rd largest city of Peru and called the “City of Eternal Spring”, was founded in 1534 by order of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro and still maintains a colonial atmosphere. After a short city tour we drive to the Temple of the Moon – one of the most important religious centres of the Moche Culture ( 50 – 750 A.D. ) where archaeologists have excavated beautiful friezes and wall paintings. Before we start the circuit through the temple, we visit the nearby Moche Museum with excellent ceramics and other finds from the moon temple. In the afternoon we continue on to Chan Chan, UNESCO World Heritage since 1986, the largest adobe citadel in the world and former capital of the Chimu Empire ( 850 – 1470 A.D. ). Finally we stop at Huaca Arco Iris, Chimu´s best preserved ceremonial center with friezes depicting marine animals and anthropomorphic beings. Overnight in Trujillo

   
EL BRUJO ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX / MUSEUM BRUNING / CHICLAYO
DAY 7: EL BRUJO ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX / MUSEUM BRUNING / CHICLAYO

After breakfast we take off to the archaeological complex El Brujo. In 2006 there was discovered the mummy of a femal Moche governor, the so-called Lady of Cao with precious burial gold, silver and other offerings which we can observe in the Cao Museum, the resting place of the Lady of Cao. In the Cao Viejo pyramid we will also admire well conserved friezes and wall paintings. Then we drive to Lambayeque in order to visit the archaeological Museum Brüning where you can see important finds especially of ceramics and gold works, collected by the German engineer and explorer Hans Heinrich Brüning between 1880 and 1925. There you will get a good overview of the most significant pre-Hispanic cultures of Northern Peru. Overnight in Chiclayo

   
VENTARRON / HUACA RAJADA / MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL TOMBS
DAY 8: VENTARRON / HUACA RAJADA / MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL TOMBS

In the morning we we drive to Ventarrón, an important pre-ceramic temple complex ( aprox. 2500 – 1200 B.C. ) with platforms, ceremonial chambers, steps and mural paintings depicting deers trapped in a net, considered the oldest murals in America. Afterwards we visit the archaeological site of Huaca Rajada, where the amazing treasures of the Lord of Sipan were found in 1987 by the Peruvian archaeologist Dr. Walter Alva. In the afternoon you can admire the excellent Museum of the Royal Tombs - a real highlight of this tour. Hundreds of gold, silver and ceramic treasures of the Lord of Sipan and other important Moche dignitaries, discovered in the intact tombs in Huaca Rajada, are exhibited in what is considered the most impressive archaeological museum of Peru. Overnight in Chiclayo

   
SICAN-MUSEUM / BOSQUE DE POMAC / TUCUME / HUACA CHOTUNA
DAY 9: SICAN-MUSEUM / BOSQUE DE POMAC / TUCUME / HUACA CHOTUNA

We begin the last day of this varied archaeological tour with the visit of the National Sican Museum and Bosque de Pomac and admire the treasures of the Lord of Sicán ( especially marvellous gold, silber and bronce exhibits ) discovered and excavated by Japanese archaeologist Izumi Shimada in 2 tombs of Huaca Oro between 1991 and 1994, a temple of the Sican culture ( also called Lambayeque civililization, 750 – 1375 A.D. ) in Bosque de Pomac Historic Santuary, which was the first administrative and religious center of Sican ( with more than 20 truncated pyramids in the midst of a huge carob trees forest). Then we continue on to the Tucume Pyramids ( the second center of Sican civilization ) with the impressive temple Huaca Larga, the largest adobe building in the world ( approx. 2300 ft long ). The Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl of Kon-Tiki fame, explored these pyramids which revealed burial sites with ceramics, textiles, figurines and friezes. The local museum, managed by the inhabitants of the area, exhibits the magnificence of every aspect related to the Sican people. Finally we make a stop at Huaca Chotuna, the mythical place where Naylamp, the legendary founder of the Sican culture, disembarked with numerous followers on the nearby coast and built the first temple called Chot. Overnight in Chiclayo

   

Price in US $ per person  ( double room )

Pax Hotel Price
2 US $ 2200.00  
4 US $ 1950.00  
6 US $ 1750.00  
2 US $ 2500.00  
4 US $ 2250.00  
6 US $ 2000.00  

 

Services Included

9 overnight stays in 3* or 4*hotels with breakfast , all visits with knowledgeable English speaking guides, entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites, private transportation with experienced driver, transfers on arrival and departure.

Services Not Included

Airline tickets and airport taxes, meals, beverages, tips, insurance.




     + See list of Tours +         + See Maps +



WH TOURS
Address: Av. Mariscal Castilla 560, Dpto. 102, Chorrillos, Lima - Peru
Phone: 0051-1-2510368 Mobile phone: 0051-959940854

info@whtours.com   whelmbrecht@yahoo.com
www.whtours.com

Visits 104743

WH TOURS  All rights reserved