15 days

Travel to Peru and discover the North

If you are interested in rough nature, culture and ancient history then this complete tour through the north of Peru is a great choice!
Most of the human history as we know in Peru can be rediscovered during this tour through the north. The early advanced cultures in Peru started with the Chavin Culture in Huaraz and ‘ended’ more or less with the capture of the Inca ruler Atahualpa in Cajamarca…
This tour in the north of Peru has a full program, but is a good combination to discover for yourself the natural and historical beauty in the North, including the archeological site of Kuelap and the third highest waterfall in the world, named Gocta Waterfall!
Especially for historians this tour full archeology is a must, as some of the archeological sites in the north of Peru are even now just literary being discovered, by as well archaeologists as tourists!
This tour of two weeks through the north of Peru can be done on its own, or as an addition to one of our other tours in the south of Peru.
Kuelap in Chachapoyas North Peru

Short itinerary of Travel to Peru and discover the North:

Day 1, Friday: Arrive in Lima
Day 2
: Lima – City Tour – Chiclayo
Day 3: Chiclayo -> Huaca Rajada – Museo Tumbas Reales – Tucume – Chachapoyas
Day 4: Chachapoyas –> Gocta
Day 5: Chachapoyas –>  Sarcofagos de Karijia – Chachapoyas
Day 6: Chachapoyas  –> Kuelap – Chachapyos – Chiclayo
Day 7: Chiclayo – Cajamarca -> Baños del Inca
Day 8: Cajamarca –> Cumbemayo – City Tour
Day 9: Cajamarca  – Trujillo
Day 10: Trujillo -> Huaca de Luna – Huanchaco – Chan Chan – Trujillo – Huaraz
Day 11: Huaraz – Laguna Llanganuco – Yungay at Campo Santo – Huaraz
Day 12: Huaraz – Querococha lake – Chavin de Huantar – Huaraz
Day 13: Huaraz – Lima
Day 14: Lima and end of this tour.

Note: It is optional to both combine this tour with a ‘classic tour’ through the south of Peru and/ or to extend this tour with a trekking of 1,2,3,4,5 or even more days, through the very beautiful mountain area of Huaraz: Amazing trekking options!

Long itinerary of Discover the North of Peru


Day 1: Arrive in Lima

Colonial Lima PeruLima is the capital of Peru and has more than 10 million inhabitants. Despite this huge amount of citizens and the busy traffic, it is still highly recommendable to visit the very impressive colonial city center, whit its huge cathedral and to have a coffee with sea view in La Costa Verde.

Day 2: Chiclayo + tour to Museo Sican – Museo Tumbas Reales - Tucume

San Francisco church in Lima PeruYour half day city tour through Lima includes visting Parque del Amor, Plaza de Armas, a visit to the Cathedral and a visit to the iconic San Francisco monastery, with its century old colonial catacombs!
Overnight you will travel for 14 hours in the VIP seats of a comfortable bus to Chiclayo.

Day 3: Arrive in Chiclaoy - Huaca Rajada – Museo Tumbas Reales - Tucume - Chachapoyas

Tucume Moche RuinsAfter arriving in Chiclayo you will be transferred to your hotel (full day use).
Around 10:00 am starts your archeological group tour, in shared international services.
You start with a visit to Huaca Rajada, the original tomb from the Lord of Sipan. At the end of the eighties grave robbers found this tomb in Sipan. It was still almost intact and luckily the authorities soon heard about this discovery so they could stop the looting and start excavating this unique tomb in a professional way.
Most of the object they found in the tomb of Huaca Rajada, you can see later in the very beautiful museum Tumbas Reales. This museum is build in the shape of the old tomb from the Lord of Sipan and shows a great collection with many (golden) objects that were found in the original tomb. This combination makes that Tumbas Reales belongs to one of the best museums of Peru.
Later in the afternoon, in the Golden Hour, when the light gets softer, your will visit the archeological site Tucume. These pyramids/ ruins and ceremonial plateaus were ones build with adobe by the Lambayeque culture and the Chimu.
While walking over the site the sun goes down and the shadows of the tombs grow bigger and bigger, giving the site a more mystical appearance, before we go back to Chiclayo.
In the evening (around 20:45h) you will take again a very comfortable direct public overnight bus to Chachapoyas (10 hours).

Day 4: Chachapoyas – Gocta Waterfall

Gocta Waterfall ChachapoyasAround 6:00 am you arrive in the area of the Chachapoyas, the people of the clouds. They ones build beautiful cities on the surrounding mountain tops and buried their death in sarcophagus, placed on the mountain hills.
You will have a transfer to your hotel and some time to relax.
The excursion for today includes a short walk to the Cocachimbo community, from where a local guide will take you on a beautiful hike of around 2h30 min. to the impressive Gocta Waterfall of 771 m high!
Walking through the cloud forest towards and away from the waterfall you have a change to see toucans, humming birds and the iconic red Cock of the Rock.
Late in the afternoon you will be transferred back to Chachapoyas, often combined with a visit to the orchid garden. May is the best month to see many different species of orchids.

Day 5: Chachapoyas – Sarcofagos de Karajia

Sarcófagos de KarajíaIt takes a scenic ride of about 2 hours towards a small village named Cruz Pata. From this village it is only a 20 min. walk to the well preserved and impressive looking Sarcofagos de Karajia high on a cliff.
Note: the hike back is a pretty steep uphil, but the surroundings are beautiful! It is also possible to rent a horse.
For the afternoon you can choose to visit the mystic Caverna de Quiocta with many beautiful stalagtite and stalagmite!

Day 6: Chachapoyas - Kuelap - Chiclayo

Kuelap ChachapoyasToday you will bring a visit to a relative recently discovered, but soon famous, archeological site named Kuelap. To attract more tourism to Kuelap, the municipality of Chachapoyas build a so called Teleferico (cable car) from the village Nuevo Tingo (at 38 km from the town of Chachapoyas), towards the archaeological site.
The citadel of Kuelap was built on top of a mountain (3000 m) and used to be the capital of the Chachapoyas culture. Some people call the archaeological site of Kuelap already The Machu Picchu of North Peru. While walking over the site and admiring the ancient architecture, you will also be surrounded by the nature of the highlands. Most of the rustic walls and buildings are even still covered with lush vegetation.
Around 20:00 h you will travel again with a very comfortable overnight bus back to Chiclayo.

Day 7: Chiclayo - Cajamarca

Cajamarca culture PeruAfter arrival in Chiclayo, depending on the current arrival and departure time, you will be transferred from one to the other bus terminal to take a comfortable public bus towards Cajamarca (6h). Arrive in Cajamarca and transfer to hotel.
For the afternoon we’ve included a visit to the “Baños del Inca”, to relax in the hot springs where ones also the Inca’s rested after their long journeys.

Day 8: Cajamarca – Cumbemayo - City tour

Cumbemayo CajamarcaAfter a good night of sleep we have included a tour to the archaeological site and beautiful rock formations of Cumbemayo. It is said that the a pre-Inca civilization(Caxamarca) already 1000 A.C. constructed a channel from this location to the town of Cajamarca. Some historian say that it had an hydraulic and religious function. During an easy walk of about two hours you will be able to see part of this ancient channel.
After lunch you have a city tour through the beautiful centre of Cajamarca. A town with streets of concrete and houses of adobe and also the town where the official defeat of the Inca’s by the Spanish begun with the capture of the Inca ruler Atahualpa…
During your tour you will pass: Plaza de Armas, Iglesia San Francisco, Cuarto de Rescate, Complejo Belen, with museo etnografico and the Mirador (look-out) of Santa Apolonia.

Day 9: Cajamarca – Trujillo - Huanchaco

Sunset HuanchacoToday we drive in about 6 hours back from the country side of Cajamarca to the coast of Trujillo and Huanchaco.
You will arrive halfway the afternoon in Trujillo, from where a private transfer will bring you to the coastal village of Huanchaco. This is a great place to relax, eat fresh seafood, practice surfing, practice Yoga, lay on the beach, or to use as starting point for several cultural tours in the surroundings of Trujillo.
Huanchaco is also known for the use of Caballitos de Totora, traditional fishing boats made of reed. Images of these boats already show up in the paintings of the ceramics from the Moche culture.
It is an idyllic view to stand on the beach of Huanchaco and watch the Caballitos de Totora riding over the waves.

Day 10: Huanchaco - Trujillo – Huaca de Luna – Huanchaco – Chan Chan - Huaraz

Huaca del Solo y la LunaThis morning starts another very complete archeological tour in shared service towards the gigantic archeological (Moche) tombs of Huaca del Sol and Huaca de Luna, with its new museum.
Part of the tombs are still decorated  with well conserved paintings on the walls. These painting can tell us a lot about the history of the Moche culture.
Even now they still frequently report new discoveries made down from the tombs of Huaca del Sol y la Luna!
Optional: is to have lunch while watching a danching show from Caballos de paso.
In the afternoon you will visit the famous Chan Chan adobe ruins (Chimu culture) , Huaca Arco Iris and Palacio Nik-AN  with different nature, bird and fish motives.
Tonight you will travel by very comfortable overnight bus to Huaraz (7h)

Day 11: Huaraz – Laguna Llanganuco - Yungay at Campo Santo - Huaraz

Laguna Llanganuco Huaraz tourFor today we planned a very interesting and touching full day tour in shared service with the focus on natural beauty and tragedy…
The tour starts with visiting Carhuaz, known for its great ice-cream. Then you continue to Laguna Llanganuco. This brightly colored lake is surrounded by snow capped mountains and trees from a fairytale story.
You will have time to make a short walk around the lake before the tour continues to Caraz. This town is known for its tasty manjar (kind of caramel cream).
The last stop of the day is in Yungay at Campo Santo. On the 31th of May 1970 a heavy earthquake and the following massive avalanche buried this whole town and most of its citizen under meters of ice, mud and rocks.
The only silient witnesses are the tops of 4 palm trees from the former main plaza….
There might not be much left to see, but if you walk around there and here the stories about the survivors, the death and their families. It is almost as if the stories come back to live…

Day 12: Huaraz - Querococha lake - Chavin de Huantar - Huaraz

Chavin tour HuarazThe program for today is a full day tour in shared service with a Spanish guide towards the impressive archeological site of Chavin de Huantar.
It is a scenic route of about 4 hours and on the way you will make a few (photo) stops. One of these stops is at the beautiful Querococha lake. After that the ride continues over the highest point and through the tunnel of Kawish (at 4500 m altitude).
The site itself was once build by the Chavin, one of the oldest cultures of Peru (900 till 200 BC).
Some of the highlights from this site include: ‘cabezas claves’ (key heads), ‘Lanzon de Chavin’ (the lance of Chavin), the water draining system of the plaza and the impressive main temple.
For those who had enough culture already during this tour, you can also replace the excursion to Chavin for a day-trekking to the beautiful Laguna 69.

Day 14: Huaraz - Lima

Santa Cruz TrekkingIn the morning you can sleep in a bit and around noon you will travel by comfortable bus to Lima (8.5h). It is a very scenic winding road to travel out of the Andean mountain ranges with its snow capped mountains, back to the coast and back to the capital of Peru.
On your last night in Lima you can enjoy your last original Pisco Sour!

Day 15: Lima and end of this tour.

Note 1: It is optional to both combine this tour with a ‘classic tour’ through the south of Peru and/ or to extend this tour with a trekking of 1,2,3,4,5 or even more days, through the very beautiful mountain area of Huaraz: Amazing trekking options in Huaraz!

Note 2: The itinerary’s of the tour and excursions as described above are subjected to changes.

Inclusive and recommended to bring on this tour:

The tour includes:
–   9 Nights in hotels incl. Breakfast, based on 2 persons in a room
–    4 nights in very comfortable overnight busses (optional flights)
–    Transport from city to city during the tour in comfortable, mostly direct, public busses
–    Private transfers
–    Tours in shared service as mentioned above, to interesting archeological sites with local Spanish/English speaking guides + entrance fees in Chiclayo and Trujillo
–    24h emergency contact during the tour

Not included:

–    The entrance fees of archeological sites and tourist attractions in Lima, Chachapoyas, Cajamarca and Huaraz
–    Lunch, dinner, drinks and other personal expenses
–    Tips
–    Travel insurance
–    International banking fees
–    Additional price for a single room supplement (ask for the options)

Optional: Include all the excusions mentioned in the tour in private services.

Note: The itinerary’s of the tour and excursions as described above are subjected to changes.

We recommend you to bring at least with:
–    Valid identification and travel documents and when needed a valid visa
–    The information of your travel insurance
–    Valid vaccinations, ask you countries health centre for more information
–    A good backpack, or big sport-bag, preferable no hard suitcase
–    A small day (back)pack
–    Good shoes
–    Sandals
–    A warm jacket/ fleece
–    A rain jacket/ poncho
–    A warm sweater
–    Two light trousers
–    One pair of shorts
–    3 T-shirts
–    A flashlight
–    Something to be able to back-up your photos
–    Protection against the sun and mosquito’s (you can also buy in Peru)

Be aware that Peru is not a Third World Country anymore, so most things are available. If you do have any doubts about what to bring, please feel free to ask us.

Visit Laguna Llanganuco
Cumbe Mayo Tour
Streets of Cajamarca
Tucume site in Lambayeque
Surfing in Huanchaco
Huaca de la Luna, Moche temple
Sarcófagos de Karajía
Laguna 69
Mercado de las brujas
Plaza de Armas in Cajamarca
Ventanas de Otuzco

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