Chiclayo Tours, Travel and Adventures
Tourism in Peru


“Visit Chiclayo and relive ancient legends of powerful lords who ruled kingdoms between the desert and the sea.”

Chiclayo travel guide, Chiclayo hotels, Chiclayo vacation packages, Lord of Sipan, Lord of Sican, Peru

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top



On the desert sands and in the midst of valleys, ancient civilizations built sacred pyramids. But it was not until 1987, the year of the discovery of the Lord of Sipán (the most grandiose tomb in the Americas), that the world took notice of the importance of these temple mounds, fallen from grace on the outside but hiding splendor in the inside: Sicán, Túcume and Chotuna, to name a few. As a result of the recovery, world class museums like the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum, were built.

Not as visible as the temple mounds but equally important is the cuisine of Lambayeque and its use of foodstuffs that have been passed down through generations, like butternut squash and chicha de jora (a sort of corn beer). And we can certainly trace its people’s warmth back for centuries.

Living history is there too, in fishermen’s coves like Pimentel and Santa Rosa, where tiny crafts known as caballitos de totora (little reed horses), return to the beaches under the setting afternoon sun just as they have been doing so for 3,000 years.

Another site that combines history and nature is the Chaparrí Forest, 1.5 hours from Chiclayo, where you can see among carob tree branches, spectacled bears, deer and pumas as well as ancient religious sanctuaries displaying sophisticated rock paintings.

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top

Places to visit in Chiclayo

• The Cathedral. This Neoclassic building is site of the veneration of two beautiful wood carved statues: Cristo Pobre (Christ, the Poor) and Our Lady of Peace.

• Modelo Market. One section is set aside particularly for the sale of medicinal herbs that area shamans employ in their rituals.

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top

Excursions Chiclayo:

• Pimentel. A port and a very popular beach resort in northern Peru. Its warm beach is the stage of amazing sunsets and is highly recommended for surfing and family fun in the sun.
The Pimentel fishermen still fish as their ancestors did thousands of years ago, mounted on the caballitos de totora. The port also has fine restaurants and quality hostels.

• City of Lambayeque. Highlighted by lovely Colonial mansions as well as by churches sporting interesting architecture. Also in this city are two important museums: the Royal Tombs of Sipán and the Brünning.

• Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum. On exhibit here is a collection of gold, silver and copper pieces that were unearthed from the tomb of the Lord of Sipán. The finest examples are earrings, ceremonial scepters, medallions, a solid gold, circular ingot, nose rings, gold necklaces, whose links are shaped
like peanuts, a headdress, eye coverings, a helmet, a gold chin piece, and many others.

• Brünning Museum. It depicts a summary of the pre-Hispanic cultures that lived in northern Peru, seen through the research gathered by the researcher Heinrich Brünning. Exhibited are ceramic pieces, textiles, works in stone, wood, etc.

• Huaca Rajada – Sipán. It is located on the boundaries of what was formerly the Pomalca plantation, and, in 1987, archeologists uncovered an untouched tomb at the site, exquisitely decorated in gold artifacts, for an important Mochica sovereign, who they named the Lord of Sipán.

• Batán Grande. Impressive grouping of adobe pyramids from the Sican or Lambayeque culture.
Researchers on their digs in the 1930’s discovered a series of gold artifacts, among them the famous gold Tumi, (a ceremonial blade) and the slant-eyed mask. Then again, in 1991, other researchers found the tomb of the Lord of Sicán.

• Pómac Forest Historic Sanctuary. This dry forest is likewise a shelter for carob trees, birds and archeological vestiges from the Sicán culture. It contains an impressive amount of biodiversity.
The once-thought extinct White-winged guan has been reintroduced into this habitat. As for archeological findings, these
have astounded the world given the sheer quantity of gold relics found there.

• Túcume. Legend has it that the area was founded in 700 A.D. by Calac, a descendent of Naymlap, the mythical god who came over the sea to found the Lambayeque Kingdom (750 A.D. – 1150 A.D.).
Túcume is also known as the Valley of the Pyramids since 26 of those constructions are spread throughout; it is believed that it took around 500 years to complete their construction.

• Sicán National Museum (Ferreñafe). This museum displays artifacts as well as replicas of objects uncovered from excavations conducted at the Batán Grande archeological complex, which belonged to the Sicán (or House of the Moon) culture. You can also see tombs and mummies of important personages from that pre-Hispanic civilization.

• Monsefú. This charming village is famous for its straw weaving and knitting as well as for its embroidery work done in both gold and silver thread.

• Zaña. This city is looked upon as having been the most opulent during Colonial times until it was ransacked by pirates in 1686. Also known as the “ghost town”, it has generated stories which the visitors can hear from the inhabitants now living there.

• Chaparrí Community Ecological Reserve. It is the first private conservation area in Peru and its main objective is the preservation of the dry forests in the area and the abundant biodiversity they shelter. Deer, spectacled bears, llamas, ocelots and many other species call this wonderful habitat hom.

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top

Chiclayo celebration dates

Lord of Justice, in Ferreñafe. April 25th. A huge celebration, lasting 8 days. It includes a procession of the sacred image and fireworks displays – in the form of handmade wooden structures called castillos (castles) – every night during the festivity.
People put on a lively craft fair (particularly fabrics from the area) and a gastronomic fair, both of which take place on Muro Avenue.

The Etén Child of the Miracle. June 22nd. It is a commemoration of the appearance of the Baby Jesus in the church of Etén during the celebration of Corpus Christi on June 22nd, 1649. Tradition has it that the image reappeared one month later. Because of this, the town of Etén holds the title of the third Eucharistic city in the world, after Jerusalem and Padua. Festivities include an exposition of products and handicrafts from the town.

Cross of Chalpón. August 5th. It is the largest religious festival in Lambayeque. Thousands of pilgrims depart from Motupe and walk for an entire day to the top of Chalpón Hill, where there is a cross inside a cave. Afterwards, the entire crowd returns to Motupe.
Besides masses, processions and novenas (nine consecutive days of prayer), there are cock fights, horse races, circuses and band performances.

The Captive Lord of Monsefú. September 14th. Celebrations begin on August 31st and end on September 23rd. The central day is on September 14th.
Examples of knitting and straw weaving are exhibited, and there are also competitions of floral arrangements, dance and music.

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top


Many different historical accounts tell of the naming of Chiclayo. Some attribute it to an indigenous man known as “chiclayoc” or “chiclayep” who transported plaster between the ancient cities of Zaña, Lambayeque and Morrope.

Another version claims that around the time that the city was founded, the area was home to a green-colored fruit called chiclayep or chiclayop which in the Mochican language means “green that hangs”. In some towns in the highlands of Cajamarca, squashes are known as chiclayos, evidence that this fruit is the origin of the city’s name.

Another source indicates that the word is a translation from the extinct Moche language and is derived from the word Cheqta which means “half” and yoc which means “property of”.

Others say the Mochican language had words similar to the name, such as Chiclayap or Chekliayok, which means “place where there are green branches”

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top

Pre-Columbian cultures:

Mochica Culture.
The ‘Moche civilization existed from the years A.D. 100 to A.D. 800 occuping the territory which is now the northern coast of Peru in the Ancash, Lambayeque, and La Libertad regions of Peru. The area of current-day Chiclayo was part of this civilization.

This culture had a high understanding of hydraulic engineering as manifested by their canal system which allowed them to use rivers to irrigate their land. This allowed them to have a surplus of crops and a solid economy allowing their society to develop. The Mochicans also used copper in the fabrication of weapons, tools, and ornamental objects.

The Mochicans are considered the producers of the best ceramic artifacts because of the elaborate designs of the pottery. These designs represent religious themes, humans, animals, and scenes of ceremonies and myths reflecting their perception of the world. They are noted for their expressiveness, perfection, and realism.

Lambayeque culture.
The Lambayeque culture or Sican existed between the years A.D. 700 to A.D. 1375 and occupied the territory of the current-day department of Lambayeque. The area near the current-day city of Chiclayo was part of the Lambayeque civilization.

This culture was formed towards the end of the Moche civilization assimilating much of their knowledge and cultural traditions.

The Lambayeque culture’s civilization was divided into three phases or stages:

– Early stage (700–900)
– Intermediate stage (900–1100)
– Late stage (1100–1350)

The Lambayeques excelled in architecture, goldsmithing, and navigating.

Colonial period.

In the early 16th century, Chiclayo was inhabited by two ethnic groups; the Cinto and Collique. The cheiftans of these ethnic groups donated part of their land for the construction of a Franciscan convent. This cesion of land was approved by the royal decree of 17 September 1585. Thus, with the advocation of Saint Maria of Chiclayo and under the direction of Father Fray Antonio of the Concepcion, a church and a Franciscan covenant were erected at Chiclayo. At the time of construction of these Spanish-built edifices, the city of Chiclayo was founded.

Chiclayo, unlike most other Peruvian colonial cities such as Lima, Trujillo, or Arequipa, was inhabited by a largely indigenous population rather than Spanish colonizers. On 15 April 1835, during the republican era, the urbanization of Chiclayo was elevated to the category of city by the then president Felipe Santiago Salaverry. That same day, Chiclayo received the title of “Heroic City”. The next day the Chiclayo Province is created of which Chiclayo becomes the capital.

Republican era.

During the Peruvian War of Independence Chiclayo was not indifferent to the patriot revolutionary cause, and supported it by suppling soldiers, weapons, horses, and other important resources to General Jose de San Martin’s liberating army. All of this came to be under the supervision of the most progressive creole, José Leonardo Ortiz.

Soon after independence Chiclayo was still a small village. Nevertheless, due to its strategic geographic location, in future decades it became a rail, communications, and automotive hub. In 1827, Chiclayo was elevated to the level of villa. The progress of Chiclayo is evident in the early republican era by the naming of Chiclayo as a “Heroic City” in recognition of the services rendered by the Chiclayan people in the Peruvian War of Independence.

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top

Recommended for Visit in Chiclayo

Archeology aficionados, who will be extremely pleased with the grand historical landmarks of Chan Chan and the Temple of the Sun and with the colorful friezes of the Temple of the Moon and El Brujo.

Nature lovers, who can enter the Cañoncillo Forest and visit its three lagoons.

Bird watchers, who should go to the village of Sinsicap, 2 hours from Trujillo, to see endemic species and a variety of lovely hummingbirds.

Surfers, who have great beaches to surf in Huanchaco and Chicama (Malabrigo).

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top

What to buy?

Varied and abundant are the handicrafts found in the department of Lambayeque. There, artisans work in palm fronds, straw and a vast range of other natural fibers. There are also delicately worked textiles, whether it’s embroidery, straw weaving or knitting (cotton or yarn and some works are even done in gold and silver threads). Other important crafts are pottery making – both utilitarian and artistic – goldsmithing and leather embossing. The Traditional Crafts Fair in Monsefú is well known across the region.

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top

What to eat?

Chiclayo and the entire department of Lambayeque are famous for their exquisite cuisine, and the chefs are guardians of secret family recipes that will impress the most demanding palate. Traditional dishes are rice with duck, a cilantro based dish, baby goat, cebiche, causa (type of potato cake), espesado (a hearty soup), and each of them go perfectly well with a glass of chicha de jora, a type of corn beer, whose origins can be traced back to pre-Hispanic times. And if it is desserts that you crave, then you must not stop yourself from trying a King Kong, some alfajores (butter cookies filled with milk jam) and machacado de membrillo (quince fruit nougat bar). You can find excellent restaurants in Chiclayo and the city of Lambayeque.

Chiclayo tours:Sicán Museum, Huaca Rajada – Sipán, Royal Tombs of Sipán, Brünning Museum.Back to top