Lost city Kuelap
Lost city Kuelap
NEW FOR 2020 $1 deposit on 2020 departures

Northern Peru: Land of the Cloud Warriors

The evocative southern ruins of Machu Picchu are, of course, what will draw most travelers to the fascinating destination of Peru. However, this can mean that the country’s north is often overlooked. A journey to Northern Peru will be filled with vast archaeological sites, diverse landscapes, and incredible UNESCO-listed ruins. Along the way, we will encounter decorated friezes that tell historic tales, follow in the footsteps of the ancient Mochica, and get to explore parts of sites that tourists never reach with our expert scholar, who has personally excavated there.

We will also go in search of the Sicán, an ancient civilization that developed in northern Peru between 800 and 1300 CE. To experience this part of South America is to see a side of Peru that most explorers will miss. Pyramids dot the horizon, amazingly preserved pre-Inca cities await discovery, and gravity-defying cliff tombs simply beg for skyward glances.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  A/C coach
  •  Flights (excluding airfare from the US)
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Four lectures from your expert scholar
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag

Led by...

Professor John Rick

Professor John Rick Expert Scholar

Professor John Rick is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropological Sciences at Stanford University, Curator of Anthropological Collections, and past Director of Stanford’s Archaeology Center. His teaching concentrates on South American archaeology including the lost city of the Incas.

Today's Price

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of $1, was $1,250.

Single supplement: $900

Tour highlights:

  • Visit the UNESCO-listed site of Chavín de Huántar with the site director, our expert scholar John Rick, and explore underground spaces no tourists can get access to
  • Explore Chan Chan, the biggest city ever built in adobe bricks
  • Experience the Citadel of the Cloud Warriors – Kuelap, known as the “Machu Picchu of the North”
  • Learn about the important political and religious headquarters of the Moche at the Sun and Moon temples
  • Visit lesser-visited sites like the Tucume pyramids and Huanchaco Pampa, the largely intact northeast capital of the Inca Empire

Tour details

Dates November 2 2020 - November 15 2020
Duration 14 days
Today's Price

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of $1, was $1,250.
Single supplement: $900 Balance due by August 10 2020
Activity Level
Tour code B20PER

Call for availability

November 2 2020: Itinerary

We arrive in Lima and transfer to our hotel. The remainder of our day will be spent at leisure, so why not use this time to rest before our tour begins early tomorrow morning.

Meals include: Breakfast

Hotel: Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport

This morning, we fly to Jaen and onto Chacapoyas. Upon arrival, we visit Karajía. This funerary site hosts six sarcophagi perched high upon a sheer cliff face. Each long-faced tomb is constructed from wood, clay, and straw, and is shaped like a stylized forlorn individual. Today, however, we can see stone ruins scattered among the fields.

All meals included

Hotel: Hotel Casa Hacienda Achamaqui

After breakfast, we visit the Kuélap, the architectural wonder of the Chachapoyas. Kuelap is surrounded by a colossal wall almost 2,000 feet (600m) long and 65 feet (20m) tall. Inside, we find public and private buildings, the majority of which have circular designs and decorative friezes. We finish the day with a tour of Chachapoyas.

All meals included

Hotel: Hotel Casa Hacienda Achamaqui

We drive to Yerbabuena and walk for two hours to get a close-up view of a colorful cliff tomb. This site is perched on a yellow cliff and the tombs are like mini houses with red pictographs that date back to 1200 CE. Later, in Leymebamba, we visit the community museum that houses 219 mummies and other artifacts recovered in 1997 from cliff tombs that overlook the Lake of the Condors.

All meals included

Hotel: Hotel Casa Hacienda Achamaqui

Today we travel from Chachapoyas to Chiclayo. During our lengthy journey, we see the Utcubamba river and after Bagua Grande, we cross the Marañón River and the Andes by the lowest pass in Peru – Porculla (2145m above sea level). This route will help us to appreciate how the greenery of the forest changes to the deserts.

All meals included

Hotel: Casa Andina Select, Chiclayo

Upon our arrival in Chiclayo, we will be welcomed and taken to our hotel, enjoying a lecture on the local area as we go. Later, we begin our tour of the region by visiting the remaining traces of the ancient Mochica, an important culture that achieved unmatched levels of sophistication in the Americas. The first destination is the Complejo Arqueológico Huaca Rajada (Cracked Pyramid Archeological Complex), a funerary complex located 22 miles (35 km) from the city of Chiclayo, where the tomb of one of the Moche ruling elite, the Señor de Sipán (Lord of Sipán), was found. Next, we visit the Museo Tumbas Reales (Royal Tombs Museum), which was built specifically to house the greatest archaeological discovery of recent times – the tomb of the Lord of Sipán.

After lunch, we continue our visits at the Pirámides de Túcume (Túcume Pyramids), a magnificent complex
of 26 adobe pyramids that once formed part of an extensive urban center, perhaps once the capital of the realm of Sicán.

All meals included

Hotel: Casa Andina Select, Chiclayo

The Bosque de Pomac, located 22 miles north of Chiclayo, is our first visit of the day. This vast forest of algarrobo trees on the old grounds of the Batan Grande sugar cane hacienda is dotted with dozens of ancient pyramids belonging to the Sican culture, descendants of the Moche. The Sicán were an ancient civilization that developed in northern Peru between 800 and 1300 CE. This site was first excavated in 1978 by the Japanese archaeologist and anthropologist Izumi Shimada, but it wasn’t until 1992 that his team discovered a tomb of an elite member of Sicán society. From this grave, 1.2 tons of precious metals in the form of jewelry and religious artifacts were removed, which are now stored in the National Sicán Museum – our next port of call. Located in Ferreñafe, this museum showcases the different aspects of daily life of the Sicán culture. In addition, the National Sicán Museum houses a display of Sicán nobility tombs.

All meals included

Hotel: Casa Andina Select, Chiclayo

Today, we travel to the city of Trujillo. On the way, we make a detour near the Magdalena de Cao District to visit the El Brujo pyramid complex, rising about 98 feet above the surrounding desert and covering an area of roughly 100 by 100 metres. The Huaca Cao pyramid is known as such due to the discovery of the tomb of the
Señora de Cao (Lady of Cao), a member of the Moche Royalty who was around 25 when she died. In the on-site museum, you will be able to see her mummy, with its skin covered in snake and spider tattoos.

All meals included

Hotel: Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo

This morning we begin our discovery of this charming city, which is also known as the Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera (City of Eternal Spring) due to its exceptional climate. We admire the magnificent Plaza de Armas (Main Square), considered one of the largest and most beautiful squares in the country, the Monumento a La Libertad (Freedom Monument), and La Casa de la Emancipación (House of the Emancipation), a Republican Neoclassical architectural treasure.

We also visit the Archaeological Museum of “Universidad Nacional de Trujillo”. Next, we travel to the Temple of the Dragon. Built for religious and ceremonial purposes by the Chimú people, who lived in northern Peru from about 900 CE to the 1400s, the adobe pyramid is known for its intricate frieze murals. After lunch, we continue
our journey and drive to the seaside town of Huanchaco, where we watch the local fishermen on their traditional “Caballitos de Totora”. We then delve deeper into northern Peru’s pre-Colombian history as we visit Chan Chan (meaning Sun-Sun), the social and administrative center of the Chimú civilization.

All meals included

Hotel: Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo

Our day begins at the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Sun and Moon Pyramids), considered the most important Mochica ceremonial center in the region. Explore the interior of the Moon Pyramid and admire its amazing reliefs of the many Mochica anthropomorphic deities, expertly carved into the walls by the pyramid’s builders.
Upon visiting the site’s museum, we bear witness to the Moche people’s great artistic sensibility, which is expertly reflected in their textile, ceramic, metal, and wooden creations.

All meals included

Hotel: Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo

Today we drive from Trujillo to Huaraz. After checking into our hotel, we have the rest of the day to relax or explore before settling in for the final fascinating lecture of our trip.

All meals included

Hotel: Andino Club Hotel, Huarez

Today we head out on an excursion to Chavin de Huantar, the ceremonial center that best represents high Peruvian culture. John Rick, our expert scholar, excavates here so we will have the privileged chance to explore parts of the complex that no tourists ever get to see. In our ascent to the Cordillera Blanca, we’ll visit Lake
Querococha. After crossing the Cahuish tunnel, we’ll go down to the Mosna River Valley to reach the Chavin archaeological complex, which we spend time discovering. We have lunch in Chavin, and in the afternoon we’ll visit the Chavin National Museum, home to a collection of significant archaeological artifacts from Chavin culture.

All meals included

Hotel: Andino Club Hotel, Huarez

Today we return to Lima and upon arrival, we sit down to enjoy our final dinner together.

All meals included

Hotel: Innside Lima Miraflores

We depart Lima for our flights home or onward travel. For those of us taking the Essence of the Andes extension, the local guide will arrive to get this southern adventure going.

Meals include: Breakfast

November 2 2020: Additional Info

November 2 2020: Accommodation

Stellar Hospitality, Steps from the Airport

Lima’s premier airport hotel, with free WiFi, free breakfast, and a connecting walkway to LIM Linked directly to Jorge Chavéz International Airport and offering upscale amenities for discerning travelers, our non-smoking hotel offers the ultimate in convenience and comfort, whether you’re exploring Peru’s capital or just passing through.

Experience legendary Peruvian hospitality as soon as you arrive, with a handy walkway that leads from the terminal to our front door, and a free welcome drink upon check in. Savor our free breakfast buffet daily and an onsite restaurant and lounge. Rooms are available either nightly or hourly, if needed, to recharge during a long layover for your convenience.

We’re connected to the airport, but quiet enough that you’ll forget. Enjoy the serenity of your guest room, or relax in our spa and 24-hour fitness facilities, with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, and massage.

Featuring a restaurant and a garden with a swimming pool, Casa Hacienda Achamaqui offers rooms with cable TV in Chachapoyas. Breakfast and free parking are provided. The Main Square is 12.4 miles away. WiFi internet service is available.

Arranged in a charming colonial-style building, rooms at Casa Hacienda Achamaqui have large windows overlooking the mountains. All of them have parquet floors and private bathrooms.

A buffet breakfast with pastries and fresh juices is served daily. Traditional Peruvian specialties and international dishes can be enjoyed at the property’s restaurant. Pisco Sour and several other cocktails can be enjoyed at the bar.

Casa Andina Select Chiclayo is situated in the capital city of Lambayeque, Chiclayo. It offers a spa and an outdoor swimming pool with decorative tropical palm trees. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.

Guests at Casa Andina Select Chiclayo can enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa.

Rooms at Casa Andina Select Chiclayo are equipped with air conditioning, cable TV and a minibar. Some have a hot tub and LCD TV.

Guests can dine regional cuisine at La Plaza Restaurant, or enjoy a tropical cocktail at the outdoor bar.

Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo

Featuring a swimming pool and a restaurant, Hotel Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and plasma TV. Breakfast and free parking are provided. Huanchaco Beach is a 12-minute drive away. The Costa del Sol chain features hotels in the 7 most important cities in Perú.

Rooms at Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo are very bright. All of them have air conditioning and private bathroom.

A buffet breakfast is served daily. International dishes can be ordered at Paprika Trujillo Restaurant, whereas drinks from the Walak Bar can be enjoyed by the pool.

Chan Chan city and "Huaca del Sol y la Luna" are 15 minutes away by car.

Hotel Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo is 10 minutes from Carlos Martinez de Pinillos International Airport by car.

Featuring both indoor and outdoor gardens, Andino Club Hotel is located in the Pedregal district of Huaraz. Guests can enjoy panoramic views of the Blanca Mountain range. Free WiFi access is available at this hotel.

Rooms here will provide you with a flat-screen TV and cable channels. The private bathrooms come with free toiletries and towels. Some rooms have a mountain view and a garden view.

At Andino Club Hotel you will find a shared lounge, a games room, and a bar. A tour desk, a massage centre, and laundry services are also available. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including billiards. The property offers free parking.

The Main Square of Huaraz is just 1,000 yards from the hotel, where you will find the Cultural Centre of Huaraz and the Huaraz National Museum. The bus station is 0.6 miles away. Andino Club Hotel is 15.5 miles from Anta Airport.

Located in Lima, 0.7 miles from Larcomar, Innside Lima Miraflores features an outdoor swimming pool. 3.1 miles from Museum of the Nation, the hotel offers a fitness center and a bar. The property provides a 24-hour front desk.

All guest rooms comes with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a coffee machine, a shower, free toiletries and a desk. Each room has a private bathroom with a hair dryer. The rooms include a wardrobe.

A breakfast is available daily at the hotel.

November 2 2020: Enquiries

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