The City of Friendship is how Chiclayo Peru wishes to define itself. Not a bad moniker to have if you wish to attract curious visitors to your neck of the woods. Chiclayo is Peru’s fourth largest city, and as such, can be quite busy. While there are some nice attractions to be found around town, most people who engage in Chiclayo travel come to visit the historic ruins at the nearby towns of Sipan and Tucume. Chiclayo Peru is located in the northwest Peruvian region of Lambayeque, of which it serves as the capital. It is a coastal region defined mostly by desert terrain, with plenty of tropical sunshine and pleasant ocean breezes. Chiclayo Peru is approximately 480 miles north of Lima, and while there are some very affordable bus rates for trips between the two cities, it is wise to look into flights from Lima if you wish to maximize your time. Rates for flights within Peru tend to be relatively low, meaning air travel is a good way to go. Other Peruvian cities with flights to Chiclayo include Trujillo and Piura, and charter flights from nearby Cajamarca are also available. There are also buses from Trujillo and Cajamarca, should you prefer to observe the countryside as you go.
The region of Lambayeque was a land that was highly coveted by ancient cultures, and it is where the Mochica (Moche) culture rose to prominence between 0 and 600 AD. The Lambayeque civilization was another of the more notable that once inhabited the area, and the ruins at Sipan Peru and Tucume Peru are where you can observe archaeological relics from these once-thriving peoples. While Lambayeque was originally founded in the 1500s by the Spanish, Chiclayo was founded in 1835 by Peruvian general Felipe Santiago Salaverry. For insight into past cultures that lived in the area, two museums in the nearby city of Lambayeque are of particular interest. They are the Brüning Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Royal Tombs of Sipan. The latter is a more modern museum, whose bold architecture helps to distinguish it as one of Northern Peru's best. Its prized exhibit is that of the tomb of the Lord of Sipan, which was discovered by archaeologists in 1987 at the Huaca Rajada in Sipan Peru. The former was where the tomb was originally showcased, and undoubtedly the loss of this exhibit has significantly impacted its popularity. Nonetheless, this museum is worthy of a visit, housing plenty of artefacts from such cultures as the Moche and Inca.
If you are tight on time in Chiclayo, then you will likely focus first on making the short trip to either Sipan Peru, or Tucume Peru. Sipan is where the aforementioned tomb of the Lord of Sipan was found at Huaca Rajada. Huaca Rajada was first examined by archaeologists in 1987, after police happened to find some pre-Columbian handicrafts of high quality in and around the then hidden site. As archaeologists began to uncover the Huaca Rajada ruins, they began to uncover stunning tombs and contents that were reserved for the most noble Moche citizens. These tombs were built over the course of roughly 300 years, beginning in the first century AD. Various remains were uncovered along with the numerous relics, the most important of which is the Lord of Sipan, who was about 5 feet 4 inches tall and between the ages of 35 and 45 when he died. In Tucume Peru, there are 26 pyramids that once were likely part of a major center of culture for the Lambayeque, Sican, Chimu and Inca peoples, all of which inhabited the region at different times. These pyramids are known as Purgatory, and the valley in which they are found is generally known as the Valley of the Pyramids. Tecume Peru is under 20 miles from Chiclayo, and Sipan Peru is hardly far away either. You can arrange tours to both sites, and of particular interest as well in the area are the ruins of Kuelap, which are near to the city of Cajamarca. The ruins of Kuelap predate the Inca, and are a nice alternative to visiting Machu Picchu, should you not be able to make it to southern Peru.
Of particular interest within Chiclayo Peru itself, is the exciting and oft-raucous Chiclayo market, which is know as the Mercado Modelo. Just five blocks from the Parque Principal (Plaza de Armas), it is open daily from sun-up to sun-down. While shopping here, you can find just about anything you can imagine, including the special products of local shamans and healers. There is hardly a great selection of Chiclayo hotels, that is if you are looking for luxury. The Gran Hotel Chiclayo is your best bet for “luxury” accommodations, and while its rooms lack character, they are relatively well-appointed. For a good hostel, you might consider the Hostal Royal. There is a casino at the Gran Hotel Chiclayo, which is popular with tourists and residents alike, and at the Las Musas Hotel and Casino, you can find some gaming excitement, as well as some prettty good deals. If you are traveling in northern Peru, you should certainly consider Chiclayo travel. The proximity of Chiclayo Peru to other nice northern cities and intriguing ruins makes for quite and interesting adventure.