The city of Trujillo is the capital of the department of La Libertad, one of the most important cities of the Northern coast of Peru. The settlers in this area go back to 12000 years ago and it is shown by the abundant archaeological vestiges of the Cupisnique, Salinar, Virú, Mochica and Chimú cultures. Founded in 1534 by the conqueror Diego de Almagro, it became the administrative capital of the north of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The Spaniards constructed spectacular churches with gold leaf altars and filled the city with convents and schools, as well as of residences with artistic grilles, bright patios, halls with finely carved furniture and large embossed leather chests; a gorgeous colonial architecture that characterizes the city today.
Trujillo is the land where the Creole dances are cultivated, like the “Marinera Nortena” and where the Peruvian Paso Horses are raised, unique in the world for their exquisite walk. It is also famous for the friendly an open spirit of its people, as well as by its varied and delicious food. Among this region’s innumerable attractions we can mention impressive pre-Inca ceremonial centers built in adobe, resorts and extensive beaches in which waves the millenarian “caballitos de totora” are still sailing.
Washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean and an average elevation of 34 meters, the coastal department of La Libertad is favored by warm weather and sunny for much of the year. Although the average annual temperature is 18°C in summer can exceed 28°C. It also presents a brief time Garu that between June and August moisten the countryside.
In the heart of the city is the Plaza de Armas of Trujillo, surrounded by the Cathedral, several palaces, viceroyalty and republican large houses. In the center of the same is the monument dedicated to the freedom, since it was here where the Independence of Peru was proclaimed for the first time in 1820. Towards one of its sides we find the Cathedral, built on a polychrome terrace which conserves altars in its interior of baroque and Rococo styles, paintings and sculptures of the famous Cuzqueña and Quito schools. Other monuments that stand out in the city are the Churches of El Carmen, San Francisco, San Agustín and La Merced, as well as the elegant colonial mansions: House of the Emancipation, Bracamonte House, House of Marshal Orbegoso, Urquiaga House and the Iturregui Palace.
Citadel of Chan Chan
At 4 km to the northwest of Trujillo is the Archaeological Complex of Chan Chan (Sun Sun), religious and administrative capital of the Chimú Empire and the greatest citadel of adobe of pre-Hispanic America. Its extension reached 20 km2 and it is esteemed that near 100,000 people of different social layers lived in it. It has streets, squares, houses, palaces, water tanks, pyramids, walls, pathways and all the works of a great urban center. Its enormous and strong walls were profusely decorated with reliefs of geometric figures, zoomorphic stylizations and mythological beings.
Huacas of the Sun and the Moon
These ceremonial centers are located at 5 km to the south of the city of Trujillo. The Huaca of the Sun is a staggered pyramid of approximately 43 m. height that according to the tradition was built in only three days by 250,000 men using near 70 million adobes. It acted as a ceremonial and possibly administrative center as well as of house for the elite. The Pyramid of the Moon, located to 500 m. from the previous one, is composed by superposed temples built in different periods.
Huaca of the Dragon or Rainbow
This adobe pyramid is located in the district of La Esperanza at 8 kilometers from Trujillo. The frisos of its walls are decorated in relief with anthropomorphous polychrome figures and streamlined representations of the rainbow. Provided of different floors which were accessed through ramps, this Chimú ceremonial center was associated to religious activities.
El Brujo – The Wizard
It is located in front of the sea at 34 km to the north of Trujillo in the Valley of Chicama. It is one is one of the most important archaeological complexes of the North coast of Peru, where investigations still continue. It consists of three great buildings: the ancient Huaca Prieta, the Huaca El brujo, pertaining to the Mochica culture and the Huaca de Cao Viejo which offers figures in relief and murals.
A 13 Km. al noroeste de Trujillo, cerca del complejo arqueológico de Chan Chan, encontramos este balneario, famoso por los típicos caballitos de totora y tablas hawaianas que se mecen en el mar, además de los pintorescos hoteles y restaurantes siempre provistos de pescado fresco. En Huanchaco destacan el muelle y centro artesanal, así como la Iglesia de la Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro.