In Pictures: Trujillo, Chan Chan & Huaca de la Luna

Barbecues on my Couchsurfing host’s roof.

I blazed my way further north from Lima to Trujillo in a place between time and space. Alas, my hallucinatory overnight bus ride wasn’t the result of some tribal awakening powder administered by a Peruvian shaman, rather the combination of a few days sun and not enough fluids. Well, not enough of the right fluids anyway.

A night of cold sweats and interrupted sleep left me feeling pretty ordinary as my bus pulled into a chaotic Trujillo morning rush hour. Casting death stares at taxi drivers who dared stand in my way, I held steady my resolve to take the local bus to nearby Huanchaco rather than part with a precious 12 Soles. The challenge gave me a renewed energy and I made it to my hostel an hour later, feeling a bit better.

I had two reasons to visit Trujillo. One, to visit a good friend Yannis whom I met in Bolivia, and secondly, to head out to the several pre-Incan ruins in and around the city. I was staying in Huanchaco for the first night to take advantage of the calm quality of the fishing and surfing village and planned to Couchsurf the following day.

That afternoon I got in touch with Yannis, an accomplished cello and glockenspiel player, who has been teaching in Trujillo for the last six months. He kindly invited me to one of his students’ performances at the school that evening, an offer that I gladly accepted. That night, watching the students play their instruments and the smiles on theirs and their parents’ faces, I was reminded of the parts of my job I miss so much. One thing I really miss when I’m travelling, and this comes strangely to some, is my amazing job.

For pre-Incan ruins, Trujillo is the place to be. I was simply blown away by the restoration efforts and preservation of the Chan Chan sites and, later, the Huaca De La Luna. Without wanting to weigh down the post too much, I’ll attach some brief information to the photo sets featured below.I visited the Chan Chan ruins on my first day in Trujillo. The next day my Couchsurfing host, Enrique, arranged for his friend to accompany me to Huaca De La Luna. Max and I marvelled at the gigantic Moche structures that have been unearthed that – wait for it – still have the original colours painted on the walls! The depth of the excavations is truly incredible to behold.

Finally, a huge thank you to my hospitable Couchsurfing host, my last evening in Trujillo was spent on a townhouse rooftop, barbecuing and sampling cold Trujillos, the local brew.Enjoy the photo set and information about the ruins, below.

Nos vemos,


Chan Chan

The Chimu Kingdom reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. Its capital Chan Chan, located in the once fertile river valley of Moche or Santa Catalina, was the largest earthen architecture city in pre-Columbian America. The remains of this vast city reflect in their layout a strict political and social strategy, emphasized by their division into nine ‘citadels’ or ‘palaces’ forming independent units.

The Outstanding Universal Value of Chan Chan resides in the extensive, hierarchically planned remains of this huge city, including remnants of the industrial, agricultural and water management systems that sustained it. Via UNESCO. More information can be found here.

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Huaca de la Luna

Huaca de la Luna, or Temple of the Moon, was part of the ancient Moche capital built of millions of adobe blocks between the first and eighth centuries AD in northern Peru. The Moche civilization developed great religious complexes, or huacas, formed by structures that grew over time as the result of successive entombments; by filling in and covering the older structures with mud bricks or adobe, Moche architects created fresh surfaces or platforms on which they situated their new constructions, often decorated with polychrome friezes. Huaca de la Luna underwent at least six construction phases spanning almost 600 years. Its enormous platforms are connected to four plazas located at various levels, and had covered-in patios and enclosures connected by corridors and ramps. Some of the enclosures were roofed and embellished with murals or friezes painted in striking colors. After the fall of the Moche civilization, the huacas were partially occupied by Chimu settlements until the 15th century when the region fell under the control of the Inca. In the 16th century, as a result of the Spanish conquest, these ceremonial sites were abandoned. Via WMF. More information can be found here.

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