Peru Traces Travel & Tours

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LAMBAYEQUE CITY

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The Department of Lambayeque is located in the northwestern region of Peru. With an extension of 13,736 km²/5,303 sq ml, it borders to the north with Piura, to the south with La Libertad, to the east with Cajamarca, and to the west with the Pacific Ocean. Since only a small extension of its territory is in the Sierra, it is considered the most typically coastal department in the country and has a population of almost 1’000,000 people. The capital is Chiclayo, which has a pleasant climate with an annual average temperature of 22.3ºC/72.1ºF, rising up to 32ºC/89.6ºF during the summer. Other important cities are Lambayeque, Ferreñafe, Motupe and Zaña.

A Brief History

Legend tells that in ancient times, a great float of strange rafts arrived to the beaches of the existing San José cove. Formed by a brilliant cortege of foreign warriors, this float was led by a man of great talent and courage, named Naylamp, who founded a civilization. The descendants are the builders of the great Chimu civilization, forged in Lambayeque before the Inca Empire. The Chimu grew to acquire a notable state parallel to the Inca. Yet, unlike the Incas, the Chimu moved their capital to more propitious and strategic zones, establishing great urban centers there. They were great farmers and textile experts but, above all, wonderful goldsmiths, with extraordinary works in gold. The Inca conquest of what today is Lambayeque, lasted almost four decades. Pachacutec, Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Capac, successively, ruled during the process. During Colonial times, a rivalry started between the people of Lambayeque and Santiago de Miraflores de Zaña. The reason for the conflict was the opulence in which the latter lived, even provoking the greed of pirates. A flodd in 1720, however, destroyed Zaña and ended with a flourishing city.

Main Attractions in Lambayeque

The Museum Royal Tombs of Sipan In april 1987 the sumptuous Royal Tomb of the Lord of Sipan was discovered in the northern province of Lambayeque. An archeological investigation of the site was promptly issued, commanded by Doctor Walter Alva and crewed with a team of Peruvian experts on pre-columbine cultures. It has been dubbed “The Golden Wonder” by Times magazine, and National Geographic has published an article named “Discovering the Richest Tomb in the New World”. It represents, without a doubt, the most important archeological finding of recent times, and the collection has traveled throughout the world in a series of impressive expos in Europe, the USA and Japan. The Royal Tombs of Sipan funeral complex houses within its walls illustrious rulers of the Mochica culture. The most notorious of these include the Lord of Sipan, the Old Lord of Sipan, and the Priest. With them dwell their many companions and guards. It is a mystical treasure that manifests the artistic and cultural wonders of Ancient Peru. The Museum Royal Tombs of Sipan is located on the outskirts of the city of Chiclayo, in the northern coastal province of Lambayeque, on a 7 hectare plot. It resembles a truncated pyramid composed of five prisms which are laid diagonally and bare replicas of the royal standards of the Tomb of the Lord of Sipan. The red and yellow colors which decorate the building are similar to the ochre colors the Mochicas used in their decoration. The purpose of the museum’s architectural design is to recreate the spirit of the Mochica temples, and to serve as a fully functional museum as well as a mausoleum for the Lord of Sipan and his companions. It was inaugurated in 2002, and is one of the most sophisticated museums in the region. This museum sharpens all senses: Visitors feel that they are taken back to ancient times to visit the Royal Court and discover the Moche society. To achieve this effect, modern animation techniques have been used to depict the life and customs of this village. This is complemented with samples of the magnificent Moche pottery, its crops and activities such as metallurgy, works of precious metals, and religious practices. But this museum goes beyond the past. Currently, it lodges a craft workshop, where modern Moche villagers keep up their textile, craft and metalwork traditions to show the visitors interested in knowing the ancient and contemporaneous Peruvian culture.

Main Square
Built during Colonial times, it is surrounded by the Cathedral, Town Hall, and the former Santa Maria Monastery.

Lambayeque
Beautiful city located at 11 km from Chiclayo, where the first outcry for independence was heard. It preserves beautiful Colonial mansions with big balconies.

San Pedro Church
Constructed in the 16th century, this church is considered a National Monument.

Bruning Museum
This museum exhibits more than 1,400 archaeological pieces from Lambayeque, Mochica, Chavin, Vicus, Inca and other civilizations. The most important pieces are 10,000 years old. Here can also be seen, as well, the original Lord of Sipan. The gold room exhibits 500 masterpieces.

Other Attractions in Lambayeque

Tucume
At 33 km from the capital, this vast site, known as The Valley of Pyramids, can be seen from a spectacular cliff-top about 30 km north of Lambayeque. The complex has 26 adobe buildings that served many functions from rituals to housing. Its construction began in the 10 th century. Tucume was the last capital of the Lambayeque Kingdom; initially the first capital was in the Pomac forest, known as Sican.

Sipan
At 35 km (22 ml) from Chiclayo, it is worldly known for the excavations in Huaca Rajada where the Lord of Sipan was found. The tomb holds golden, silver and copper ornaments, clothing, vases and personal objects of great value. It has a site museum.

Zaña
The “ghost town”, is located southeast from Chiclayo. Built in 1563, it was called the “Small Potosi” due to its richness. Visitors can see remains of churches and Colonial houses. Pirates attacked the town in 1686 and in 1720 by floods, after which the town was abandoned. As witnesses of its grandiosity are the ruins of the convents of San Francisco, San Juan de Dios, Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes and the best preserved, San Agustin.