Known as the City of Eternal Spring for its year round sunny weather, Trujillo is a popular coastal destination in northwestern Peru on many travelers’ must-visit lists. With its great weather, eye-catching architecture, rich culture, and of course its beautiful beaches, Trujillo is a one-stop shop for travelers looking for both a relaxing beach getaway and the opportunity to explore some of Peru’s impressive cultural attractions. In this article, we introduce you to Trujillo and its many draws for luxury travelers to Peru.
History: Before the Spanish founded Trujillo in the 16th century, it was the site of two great pre-Inca cultures, the Moche and the Chimu. These two highly-developed cultures used Trujillo as their base between 200 B.C. and A.D. 700. Today, Trujillo hangs on to its colonial-era appearance with baroque churches and colorful houses.
*Fun Fact: Trujillo is known as the place of origin of Peru’s judiciary branch and thus has been termed the “Cradle of Liberty” of Peru.
Archaeological Sites: There are two major archaeological sites close to Trujillo: Chan Chan, known as the largest adobe city of ancient times, and the Temples of the Sun and Moon, the largest adobe pyramid in Peru.
Chan Chan was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986. Active around the year 850 AD, it was the home of the Chimu culture, and is called the largest Pre- Columbian adobe city in South America! At one time, it was home to 30,000 people. It consisted of ten walled citadels that contained many types of buildings: homes, burial chambers, temples, ceremonial rooms, and reservoirs. The adobe walls were covered with a smooth finish, which was inlaid with intricate designs depicting fish, birds, sea monsters, crabs, turtles, and other sea-themed representations.
The Huacas del Sol y Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon) are also found near Trujillo, at the volcanic peak of Cerro Blanco. The Huaca del Sol is built of more than 130 million adobe bricks and was the largest pre-Columbian adobe structure in the Americas! The Huaca de la Luna (Temple of the Moon) is a better-preserved, smaller structure located at the same site.
Festivals: Trujillo is the “Capital of the Marinera,” Peru’s famous national dance, and also the site of the largest Marinera competition in Peru, which takes place annually in January. It is known, too, for being the birthplace of the Peruvian Paso Horse, a breed of horse known for its elegant high-stepping gait. With its vibrant artists’ community, it is a center of national and international annual cultural events, including The International Book Festival in March, the Marinera Festival in January and the Trujillo Spring Festival that begins at the end of September.
Nearby Attractions: Yet another attraction located a short car or bus ride away from Trujillo is the beachside town of Huanchaco. Huanchaco is a popular Peru vacation spot, known for its surfing opportunities, its ceviche, and the caballitos de totora, ancient reed boats whose design dates back to pre-Inca times. They are still used today, ridden astride like horses, hence the name, “little reed horses.” Huanchaco’s seaside charm and friendly atmosphere make it an ideal destination for the sea-loving tourist.