Chiclayo, capital of the Department of Lambayeque, is one of the largest cities of Peru and a gathering point for the people from the Coast, the Highlands and the Northern Jungle. It is located a few kilometers from the sea and its dynamism is remarkable thanks to its intense commercial activity and its diversified tourist offer that attracts many visitors each year, longing to explore or practice sports on its beaches, or to delve into its past.
Also known as the Ciudad de la Amistad (The City of Friendship) because of the kindness and warmth of its people, Chiclayo is located in a region that was the home to important pre-Hispanic cultures, such as the Mochica (1st to 7th centuries A.C.) and the Lambayeque (7th to 10th centuries A.C.) which ruins, found in different times and circumstances continue to amaze the world.
Chiclayo was born in the second half of the 16th century as an Indian town, a place where the merchants in the area would stop for a rest. At present, Chiclayo is a bustling city. Its rich past is complemented by the life of a vigorous population in constant activity, thanks to the trade and the touristic offers.
Located on the north coast of Peru to 46 meters, Chiclayo has a warm and sunny weather almost all year round with temperatures ranging between 17°C and 25°C, except in summer, where temperatures can reach 34°C. In Chiclayo little rain, but runs through the city to a permanent breeze that at times can be transformed into strong winds.
In the city of Chiclayo stand out the Cathedral, an imposing building of neoclassic style that is elevated next to the Plaza de Armas, which in the center keeps a gorgeous wooden statue of the Poor Christ. In addition, it is interesting to visit the monuments: the Municipal Palace, of republican style and expensive construction for the time; the Chapel of the La Veronica, the Elías Aguirre Square and the Mercado Modelo which is very attractive by the great variety of herbs and objects offered and used in the traditional medicine or “quack medicine”, a very ingrained and spread activity in the zone.
Located at 12 kilometers of Chiclayo, Lambayeque is a population known also as “Cradle of the Freedom in Peru”, because there the first uprising for the independence of the country occurred here. It is characterized by its beautiful large colonial houses, of ample patios, large forged iron balconies and windows; which among them stand out: The Cúneo House, the Descazi House and the House of the Logia, with a colored wooden balcony of 67 m. length the longest of Peru.
Archaeological complex of Sipán
The archaeological complex of Sipán is located at 35 kilometers from Chiclayo, pertaining to the Mochica culture (400 – 600 A.C.) in the site of Huaca Rajada. This monumental set consists of two adobe pyramids and one platform. In 1987 the archaeological intact remainders of a Mochica hierarchy dignitary was found; accompanied by the remainders of a soldier, a priest, two women, a boy, a flame and a guardian with amputated feet along with numerous gold and silver jewels. The important discovery is only compared to the finding of the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen, in 1922.
At the moment the tomb of the Senor de Sipán, recovered in 1988, can be visited in the Brüning Museum, where hundreds of pieces of diverse cultures that developed in the region more than 4000 years ago are exhibited.
Valley of Pyramids
At 33 km from Chiclayo is the Archaeological Complex of Túcume, also known as the Valley of Pyramids. It has an extension of 220 hectares and is surrounded by fertile farm fields. In center of the place there is a sacred mountain known as the Cerro La Raya or Purgatory Hill. In addition it displays 26 adobe pyramids that by their dimensions and quality constitute one of the most important monumental centers of the region. The Huaca Del Pueblo, El Sol and Las Estacas stand out.
Located at 14 kilometers from Chiclayo, Pimentel is the most attractive seaside resort of the zone, ideal to practice water sports like surfing. Its great pier divides the beach in two areas: the old one, located to the south, where the artisan fishing with the “Caballitos de Totora” (pre-Incas boats) typical of the North of Peruvian still is practiced; and a modern residential zone towards the north with summer buildings and houses.
At 14 km from Chiclayo we find Monsefú or “the City of the Flowers”, because in its rich countryside is the flower pantry of Lambayeque. Their settlers are capable craftsmen who stand out for their works of high quality carried out in weave of straw, reed and thread of cotton, as hats of wide wing, baskets, saddlebags and ponchos.