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The Coast: Chiclayo and Trujillo

The Northern Coast's civilizations left us astonishing evidence of their achievements. Tucume, the “Valley of 26 Pyramids”, was a thriving city of temples and squares built by the Lambayeque in the 11th Century and conquered by the Chimu in the 14th. The exquisitely decorated Moche Temples of the Sun and the Moon stand a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, near the 500-acre complex of Chan Chan, capital of the Chimu Empire and one of the largest and most developed cities in the ancient Americas.

The Moche tomb of Sipan -the richest burial site discovered in the Western Hemisphere (October 1988 - National Geographic) is a few miles east of the modern city of Chiclayo. Finely crafted gold artifacts and ceramics recovered from these complexes are on display at the Museum of the Royal Tombs - one of the finest in South America as well as at the Museum of Sican.

The region's shamans, direct descendants of these lost civilizations, are famous throughout Peru for their healing skills and wisdom, and can be visited by travelers. Nature lovers may explore the unique dry forest of Chaparri and the Spectacled Bear reintroduction project. Birdwatchers enjoy spotting the region's 40 unique (endemic) bird species, including the emblematic Marvelous Spatuletail Hummingbird. Travelers may also visit Colonial House and traditional haciendas that breed and show Peru's world famous “Paso Fino” horses.

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Beachs in the North: Mancora and Punta Sal