Forgotten Peru

10 Days
from AUD$ 7,780

Highlights

  • Visit the Chan Chan Archaeological complex, the largest mud city of the Americas and the most important city of the Chimu culture
  • Explore an ancestral fisherman’s cove, where it is possible to watch old reed boats known as ‘Caballitos de Totora’, with which the local population maintains its thousand-year-old tradition of artisan fishing
  • Enjoy a surfing lesson at Huanchaco
  • Explore El Brujo, home to the mystery of the ornately tattooed 1,600-year-old mummy
  • Embrace a unique Shaman experience in a remote village
  • Discover Kuelap, a majestic architectural site built by the Chachapoyas

 

Often forgotten and far from the hype and predictability of what is commonly known as the ‘The Gringo Trail’ (the sites comprising of Cusco, Puno and Machu Picchu), are the isolated and lesser discovered verdant Northern Highlands of Peru.

Home to many Inca and pre Inca ruins, an Andean adventure awaits those travellers who are looking for something a little off beat.

Exploring the Temple of Pachacamac in Lima, the largest Mud City of the Americas, Chan, built by the Chimu tribes, the lush rainforest and the Fortress of Kuelap in Chachapoyas (the country’s second-most thrilling archaeological site after Machu Picchu) as well as a rare mystical cleansing Shaman experience are just a handful of the many outstanding experiences you will have in the Kingdom of the Sun with us.

Journey map

Fitness level

Easy
Moderate
Challenging
Tough

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival Lima

Airport Transfers

Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation.

At leisure

Today is free for you to explore this buzzing city. The Peruvian capital was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizzaro. Here, you will encounter colonial richness and the vibrating vitality of an oriental bazaar. The city has melancholic winters where the fog ‘garua’ rules and also hot and humid summers. There are huge districts where poor people live but also rich quarters with comfortable, old houses and the smell of jasmine in the evening. (B)

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Casa Republica Barranco Boutique Hotel or similar

Services

Airport transfers

Day 2 - Lima, Huaca Pucllana tour and Flight to Trujillo

Lima City Tour

After having breakfast at the hotel, we will be transferred to the historical centre of Lima, the ‘City of the Kings’, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stop off at the Main Square, to explore the square on foot and admire the exteriors of the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and the City Hall. Then visit the Cathedral of Lima; walking through its numerous chapels, you will be transported to the past and discover various architectural styles and learn about the religious history of Peru.

You will visit San Francisco Church, built in 1674, this attractive yellow church is considered the best sample of the ‘Lima Baroque’ style. It was built over a network of tunnels and catacombs.

The next stop is Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Centre; it was active between the 5th- 8th century AD. In this archaeological temple, you will learn more about the life and rituals of its former inhabitants. The ‘flattened pyramids’ are a unique characteristic of the pre-Hispanic sites in the coastal region of Peru.

From here, return to your hotel to collect your luggage and you will be met and transferred to the airport for your flight to Trujillo.

Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (B, L)

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Hotel Costa del Sol Trujillo Centro or similar

Services

Private vehicle and English-speaking guide
Half-day Lima City Tour
Airport Transfers

Day 3 - Chan Chan & Dragon Temple Complex, Huanchaco

Sun & Moon Huacas

Following breakfast this morning, visit the Sun & Moon Huacas (Temple of the Sun and Moon). This excursion will take you to the south of Trujillo to visit a religious centre of the Mochica culture, builtin the 5th century. Admire the temples of the Sun and the Moon that constituted the centre of the ancient Moche culture, which developed between 100AD and 900AD. Both Huacas are separated by 500 m, where the urban centre that houses the Moche elite is still preserved underground. The archaeological complex includes two large pyramids, the Huaca Las Estrellas, Huaca del Cerro Blanco, the Spider geoglyph, and other buildings.

Visit Moche family and Huacas de Moche Museum

You will also spend time visiting the workshop of a traditional artisan Moche family and the Huacas de Moche Museum, which compliments the visit of the Huacas with its representation of aspects of life, city, and environment of the Moche culture. It also holds an amazing collection of ceramics of great beauty.

Huaca Dragon

You will then visit the Huaca Dragon (Dragon Temple), also known as the Rainbow Temple, located on the outskirts of northern Trujillo. This building was erected by the Chimu culture, a lordship contemporary of the Incas. It is an impressive religious monument and ceremonial centre which was also used for administrative purposes. Built of adobe, the walls of the premises are decorated with beautiful mural reliefs showing anthropomorphic figures and representing the rainbow.

Huanchaco

You will then visit Huanchaco, an ancestral fisherman’s cove, where it is possible to watch old reed boats known as ‘Caballitos de Totora’, with which the local population maintains its thousand-year-old tradition of artisan fishing.

Chan Chan Archaeological Complex

Following lunch in Huanchaco, you will head to Chan Chan Archaeological Complex, the largest mud city in the Americas and the most important city of the Chimu culture, which has an area of approximately 20 square kilometres. Its central area is formed by a group of 10 walled premises called ‘citadels’ and other independent pyramids. The rest of the complex is composed of several small structures, sidewalks, canals, walls, and cemeteries.

In the afternoon return to your hotel for an evening at leisure. (B, L).

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Hotel Costa del Sol Trujillo Centro or similar

Services

Private vehicle and English-speaking guide
Full day touring

Walking information

Walking distance: Approximately 8 km

Walking time: Approximately 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy. Most of the route is flat and there are certain sections that must be walked on elevated ramps

Day 4 - El Brujo Complex, La Dama De Cao Mummy

El Brujo

You then depart for the Valley of Chicama, located 50km north of Trujillo, to visit the archaeological complex of El Brujo which dates back to the Mochica culture. The capital National University of Trujillo and the National Institute of Culture began a joint dig here in 1990. They have discovered the ‘Huaca
Cao highlights’, pyramids reaching up to 50m in height with decorated walls decorated and coloured reliefs that depict complex scenes, characters, and geometric designs. These are the only examples known to relate to the Mochican culture. Interestingly, the site is located very close to the seashore, and it is believed that ancient maritime rituals were carried out here, although excavation is ongoing and may reveal additional uses for the El Brujo area.

Discover the mystery of the ornately tattooed 1,600-year-old mummy unearthed in the archaeological complex. Preserved for centuries thanks to a meticulous treatment and ancient ritual that included the application of cinnabar, a red mineral that inhibits decomposition of the skin and tissues.

From here, you continue to Chiclayo where you will be transferred to your hotel. (B, L, D)

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation

3 nights Casa Andina Select Chiclayo or similar.

Services

Private vehicle and English-speaking guide

Walking information

Walking distance: Approximately 4 km

Walking time: Approximately 1 hour

Difficulty: Easy. Most of the route is flat and there are certain sections that must be walked on elevated ramps

 

Day 5 – Huaca Rajada, Bruning Museum, Royal Tombs Museum

Huaca Rajada Archaeological Complex

Begin your day with a visit to Huaca Rajada Archaeological Complex and its museum, a set of huge mud pyramids. Partially destroyed by centuries of extreme weather conditions, the complex gained special notoriety in 1987 when Dr Walter Alva, then director of the Bruning Museum of Lambayeque, became aware of the illegal excavations that had been made. What had begun as a protection plan ended with the magnificent discovery of the tomb of the Lord of Sipan, one of the most impressive, pre-Colombian burials in Peru.

Royal Tombs Museum

Head towards Lambayeque where you will visit the Royal Tombs Museum. Due to the Lord of Sipan discovery, whose importance was shown in the complexity of its burial and apparent semi-divine status, the creation of a new museum was necessary to be in accordance with the discovery. Thus, after rescuing, investigating, and restoring all registered pieces, the museum was built, a unique place in South America.

Brunning Museum

Then visit the Brunning Museum which showcases the technological and artistic character of the region of the last 5,000 years. Afterward, visit the brand-new Tumbas Reales Museum and discover the historical richness there. (B, L)

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Casa Andina Select Chiclayo or similar.

Services

Private vehicle and English-speaking guide
Full-day tour: Sipan, Brunning Museum, and Royal Tombs

Walking information

Walking distance: Approximately 8 km

Walking time: Approximately 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy. Most of the route is flat and there are certain sections that must be walked on an elevated ramp

Day 6 – Sican, Bosque Pomac, Tucume Complex & Esoteric Night Tour

Bosque Pomac National Sanctuary

This morning following breakfast, depart for the Bosque Pomac National Sanctuary. This is one of the most important archaeological sites throughout South America. This site consists of numerous pyramids that were once the administrative and religious centre of the powerful pre-Incan Sican
culture. Depending on the archaeological work being undertaken, you can visit Huaca Las Ventanas or Huaca El Loro, where archaeologists are still uncovering the secrets of the Sican people.

Museum at Sican

After this visit, you will head to the city of Ferrenafe to visit the museum at Sican. This museum displays all the everyday aspects of Sican culture. You can also see the processes of making pottery and metal crafts besides a recreation of the tombs of the Sican nobles. Most of the objects are displayed in their context that is in the same way they were used and made. The famous Winged Eye Mask is displayed in the ‘Room of Funerary Offerings’, along with crowns, necklaces, ceramics, and other ornaments.

Tucume

Drive to Chiclayo and enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to Tucume, a vast Lambayeque archaeological complex that is over 1000 years old flanking an imposing hill, from where the extensive pre-Columbian urban site can be surveyed. With over 200 hectares, the complex has 26
buildings of monumental structures associated with lower-rank buildings: squares, walls, patios, and canals, reflecting a system of planned growth and the complicated social structure of Lambayeque. The remains of this site belong to successive cultures; the Mochica, Lambayeque, Chimu, and Inca.
Spend time exploring the museum here to better understand what life was like during that period and discover the viewpoint of Cerro Purgatorio.

From here you will be transferred back to your hotel fordinner.

Shaman at Tucume Viejo

Following dinner, drive to the village of Tucume Viejo, where you will meet one of the most renowned Shamans of the north of the region. You will meet in one of the rooms of his home, which is near the archaeological complex, appropriate for the mystical atmosphere required. At midnight, you will start to live a mystical experience with a session of quackery, where you will go through a bath of flourishing and cleansing, to expel all the negative energy through the use of natural herbs and hallucinogens.

This session will last all night until dawn. After the session, you will head back to the Chiclayo. (B, L)

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Casa Andina Select Chiclayo or similar.

Services

Full-day private touring Pomac Forest (Batan Grande), Sican Museum, and Tucume Pyramids with a
private vehicle and English-speaking guide
Shaman Night Session in Tucume

Walking information

Walking distance: Walking distance: Approximately 12 km

Walking time: Approximately 4 hours

Difficulty: Easy. Most of the route is flat and certain sections must be walked on elevated ramps.

 

Day 7 - Chiclayo to Chachapoyas

Transfer to Chachapoyas

Following breakfast, be ready for a big drive that night as we begin the 10-hour journey to Chachapoyas traversing the magnificent Andes with stops along the way to take in the scenery and
enjoy a packed lunch. The trip goes through one of the driest deserts on the planet, then climbs the Andes, descends to the Marañon River, and finally ascends via the great Utcumbamba canyon. (B, PL)

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch Box

Accommodation

3 nights Gocta Andes Lodge or similar

Services

Private vehicle and English-speaking guide

Distance and journey time

Approx 10hrs drive, on paved roads and trail

Day 8 – Gocta Waterfalls

Gocta Waterfalls

After breakfast, you will be headed to the picturesque town of Cocachimba; from there, you will begin your journey towards Gocta waterfall. There is the option to complete the first hour of the trek by horse (payable locally) and then complete the next hour on foot or walk the entire track. Along the way, enjoy the great diversity of flora and fauna, and a splendid view of the waterfall.

Gocta Waterfall, locally known as “La Chorrera”, is 771 meters high and it is considered among the highest waterfalls in the world. It is the perfect habitat for toucans, monkeys, mountain lions, and Andean cocks-of-the-rock. It is located in a large cloud-covered forest, around which there are about twenty waterfalls. It offers a beautiful combination of geography and history, making it a magical place. To get to the bottom of Gocta Falls you will walk along 5km of a footpath of uneven terrain, through dense rainforest alive with colour and sound. After 2 ½ hours, you arrive at the falls where you can take some time to soak in the awesome beauty of your surroundings.

Then, return to the hotel for the afternoon at leisure. (B, L)

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Gocta Andes Lodge or similar

Services

Full-day tour of Gocta Waterfalls with private vehicle and English-speaking guide

Walking information

Walking distance: Approximately 12 km

Walking time: Approximately 5 hours

 

Day 9 – Kuelap

Kuelap Fortress

Today’s visit is to Kuelap, a majestic architectural site built by the Chachapoyas. On the way, you will pass by the Macro Archaeological site, also known as “Macro Towers “, for its characteristic design. Macro is located on the side of a hill overlooking the Utcubamba River.

On arrival in Nuevo Tingo town, you will board the bus to the Cable Car station. Once on board the modern cable cars, a short and safe trip will take you to the starting point of the visit to Kuelap. From the cable car station, it is a climb on foot or on horseback to the “Fortress”, which is built on top of
the Cerro Barreta (3,000 m.a.s.l.). Although Kuelap was discovered 60 years before Machu Picchu, it is not recognized worldwide. However, recent discoveries in nearby areas have captured the attention of archaeologists, international magazines, and film companies.

Kuelap is a place surrounded by beautiful landscapes; at first, it seems inaccessible since it is protected by colossal walls and cliffs on three of its four sides. The fortress has three platforms, and inside they have circular buildings decorated with rhomboidal and zigzag friezes. Its complex interior architecture indicates it was a well-organized population group. The surrounding landscape and the natural scenarios make it unforgettable.

Returning to Nuevo Tingo town for lunch you will then return to Chachapoyas city. (B, L)

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Gocta Andes Lodge or similar

Services

Full-day tour of Kuelap Fortress with private vehicle and English-speaking guide
Cable car station and cable car ride

Walking information

Walking distance: Approximately 11 km

Walking time: Approximately 4 hours

Difficulty: Moderate. Route with slopes and steps.

Day 10 – Chachapoyas to Lima

Following breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima where you will continue your journey (B).

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

Services
Airport transfers
Domestic airfares (Chachapoyas – Lima)

Don’t have time now?

Download this tour’s PDF brochure and start your planning offline!

What’s included

  • Meet and greet service on arrival at Lima Airport
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 1 dinner
  • Domestic flights Lima/Trujillo/Chiclayo/Lima
  • Private transfers throughout
  • English speaking local guides
  • Entrance fees, park fees and trekking permits as per itinerary (Huaca Pucllana closed on Tues, Royal Tombs Museum closed on Mon)
Exclusions
  • International domestic flights
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance.
  • All services, and meals other than those indicated above.
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tip

**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures year round.

* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.

* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.

A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.

Gallery

Availability

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Availability
Price
Start Date
11th Oct 2024
End Date
20th Oct 2024
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$7,780 AUD
Start Date
09th May 2025
End Date
18th May 2025
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$8,169 AUD
Start Date
10th Oct 2025
End Date
19th Oct 2025
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$8,169 AUD
Start Date
08th May 2026
End Date
17th May 2026
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$8,740 AUD
Start Date
09th Oct 2026
End Date
18th Oct 2026
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$8,740 AUD