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July 1, 2011 16:53:23

Travel to Chan Chan, Peru's ancient adobe kingdom

The city of Chan Chan had an estimated population of 35,000 between 1100 and 1300 AD.

By Andrew Kolasinski

Ten minutes outside Peru’s northern city of Trujillo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose scale staggers the imagination. Chan Chan, the ancient adobe city of the Chimu culture is simply immense, covering almost 5,000 acres.

The site, the capital of Peru’s biggest pre-Inca empire is the world’s largest adobe structure.

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March 23, 2011 13:10:56

Peru travel: Ten things to do in Trujillo

A moche painting at Huaca de la Luna.

By Daniel Baylis

Trujillo has been coined “The land of eternal spring.” That’s because the general climate of the region is delightful – warm and sunny nearly every day of the year.

Home to great food, friendly people, world-recognized archeological sites and a dance style all of its own, Trujillo is oftenoverlooked as travelers’ are hypnotized by Peru’s glamorous mainattraction. The Inca ruins of Machu Piccu are unarguably a “must do” while in Peru, but if you’re ready to jump off the worn-out travelers’ circuit, a good place to start is Trujillo.

Here are ten things to doon your first visit to Trujillo.

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August 10, 2010 15:26:06

How to visit Peru's mummy queen, the Lady of Cao

In 2006, archaeologists in Peru found the 1,600-year-old remains of a warrior woman and leader in northern Peru. They call her la Señora de Cao, and she is now housed at El Brujo Archaeological Complex, where visitors can see the tattoos on her well preserved arms.

In this interview, Régulo Franco, head of the project at El Brujo, talks about the significance of the Lady of Cao's discovery and how tourists can enjoy a visit to the ruins and museum.

El Brujo Archaeological Complex is the site of ruins, a museum and the mummy of a 1,600-year-old female leader.

By Milagros Vera Colens,
El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

Why should we visit the El Brujo complex?

Régulo Franco: Because you will find a cultural sequence of 5,000 years, from preceramic times to the European occupation in the 16th century. We also have one of the main sanctuaries of the Moches, with reliefs of magical and religious images. And also because we have a museum — the Cao museum — which contains jewelry and relics found in these 20 years of management [of the El Brujo archaeological complex] and which has the mummy of a female ruler in an extraordinary state of preservation, along with her personal jewelry and clothing.

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January 28, 2010 13:56:22

Huanchaco: Find the joys of tranquilo

By Jessie Kwak
Photos by Robert Kittilson

Huanchaco: Find the joys of tranquilo
Huanchaco’s sunsets in the early spring months are not the Technicolor radiance of tropical postcards; they are pastel confections of slate gray and pale pink, the sun a bloody disk swallowed up by a sea that boils like mercury, reflecting the rose and bronze of the sky. I could sit on the beach and watch those sunsets forever.

Sunsets on the beach are a novelty for a desert-born girl like me.  They were half the reason I wanted to stay in Huanchaco in the first place, but when we told people where our new apartment was, they looked at us like we’d been had. “That’s so far from the beach,” we were told over and over again. “But it’s only five blocks,” we replied. They just shook their heads.

Welcome to Huanchaco. It’s mellow, tranquilo. The locals use the word to describe why they live there, the foreign surfers use it to describe why they’ve stayed so much longer than they intended. For some travelers, though, it’s pejorative. Recently arrived from partying in Máncora, they shrug: Huanchaco is too tranquilo.

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January 15, 2010 10:33:02

An eating tour through Trujillo

By Renzo Guerrero de Luna 
El Comercio

An eating tour through Trujillo, PeruDoña Panchita is visited even by the President for her famous deep fried pork. For over 30 years, this fine lady, mother of 10 children, prepares what for many is the best breakfast in Trujillo: a portion of pork cooked in a pot served with yucca, salad, coffee and two loaves of bread. On a good day she sells about 150 kilos, say one of her daughters and one of her daughters-in-law. “We are one big happy family united in this business thanks to these wonderful hands (Doña Panchita’s),” they say as they proudly show pictures of the authorities who visit them regularly. Most of them belong to the APRA party, they admit without hiding their sympathy with the party of the red star, although they make it clear that all are treated equally. With the same love.

Just like this place, located in block 5 of Spain Avenue, others have become a reference point for those who know good food. One of them is undoubtedly the Salon de Te Buenos Aires. Dozens of people enter and exit this place on block 3 of Jiron Pizarro (half a block from the Plaza de Armas in Trujillo) with a smile that says it all. Their sandwiches are delicious, especially the turkey sandwich. Unbeatable. Doña Carmen Maeshiro runs this place that has existed for 67 years. It is almost an institution. When asked about the secret sauce that accompanies the turkey, this lady gracefully changes the subject. Her workers do not know. At first glance, it contains Chinese onion. Other than that, we can say very little but enjoy very much.

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January 12, 2010 13:27:30

Volunteer at the ancient ruins of Chan Chan

...en Perú

Volunteer at the ancient ruins of Chan Chan, PeruDoes toiling under the hot desert sun heaving bricks up a ladder to rebuild collapsing walls interest you? What if the walls were many hundreds and hundreds of years old and part of the world’s largest adobe city, one of the largest cities of any kind in the ancient world? A city home to the rulers of the Peruvian desert coast, the Chimú imperial heart of Chan Chan. Does a couple of days of hands-on archaeology at one of the world’s most important archaeological sites interest YOU?

After the vicious attack on the Huaca Arco Iris by a group of vandals, authorities in Trujillo are seeking the immediate restarting of a program that existed that allowed volunteers to take part in the restoration of ancient Chan Chan.

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December 9, 2009 12:15:37

Discovering Casonas Antiguas in Trujillo

By Jessie Kwak
Photos by Robert Kittilson

In 1942 the seventeenth-century wall that once protected Trujillo was torn down and replaced by Avenida España. For the tourist on foot, the traffic on Avenida España is nearly as secure a defense: it encircles the historic core, a moat of choking fumes and blaring horns, and it should be crossed with care to a soundtrack of screeching brakes. Only then can the core of Trujillo be breached.

Discovering Casonas Antiguas in Trujillo, PeruGuidebooks call Trujillo one of the most colonial cities in Peru. Founded in 1534, Trujillo has managed to preserve many of its Colonial- and Republican-era homes, the Casonas Antiguas. Some of these stately homes have been preserved as museums, some restored and now home to banks, some gutted and reborn as supermarkets, and some are quietly decaying behind locked doors. The best-preserved have been singled out in tourism literature, but the city's history is not contained in these monuments only.

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December 3, 2009 9:56:03

Lady of Cao’s Temple

By María Helena Tord
El Comercio

Lady of Caoâ��s TempleIn 2006, the archaeological complex El Brujo was in the news for the discovery of a richly dressed, mysterious sovereign Moche woman’s tomb. Now after several years, a stupendous museum has opened. It holds the remains of this woman and lets visitors know a bit more about the Moche culture which used the Chicama valley as one of its ceremonial centers. 

The archaeological complex is called El Brujo by the local people due to the great affluence of shamans. It is over 5,000 years old and started with the Huaca Prieta which was a key site of study for Junius Bird.

There evidence was found of the domestication of plants from 2,300 BC, that is, 1,500 years before Chavín. This was the first time that Carbon-14 tests had been used in our country.

Back to the Past
The Mochicas arrived here at the beginning of our era. From approximately 100 to 650 AD, this place served as a ceremonial center. During this period, the architecture went through lots of expansions and renovations that produced four superimposed buildings.

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July 15, 2009 10:06:10

Huacas de Moche: A Moche Capital and Religious Site

By Rodney L. Dodig

Huacas de Moche: A Moche Capital and Religious Site - PeruOutside of the city of Trujillo stands another of Peru’s vast collection of monumental archaeological sites. The Huacas de Moche and the city between them stands here on a dry sandy plain at the foot of a mountain in testament to the ingenuity of the Moche, another of the many ancient cultures of Peru. On the day that I toured this site one of the many things that I marveled at was the number of Peruvian persons visiting versus the number on non Peruvians. Of the 100 or so people visiting at the same time as me, the vast majority were from Peru. I was very impressed by this fact. It gave me a good feeling about Peruvians and their desire to learn about and respect their wonderful heritage. As with the other sites I have visited to date, you can either hire one of many tour companies in the city or drive out on your own and hire a guide at the site. The cost either way of visiting this particular site is extremely reasonable.

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June 2, 2009 7:42:05

Chan Chan, the Melting City of the Chimu

By Rodney L. Dodig
Chan Chan, the Melting City of the Chimu - PeruOn a recent trip to Trujillo I had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Chan Chan, the capital city of the Chimu Civilization. Taking the taxi into Trujillo from the airport the road passes through what looks to be about the center of this vast city made of mud bricks. You are immediately struck by two things, one is the immense size of the place and the other is the vast destruction done by looters, earthquakes and the weather. UNESCO has declared this a world heritage site and work is being done to preserve as much as possible but as we all know there is only so much money to go around to all the sites in the world that need help. I had heard from friends and read that this site was a must visit for anyone coming to Peru and they were certainly correct.

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