Trujillo is a beautiful town with well preserved colonial architecture, a good climate, and friendly locals. It is known to Peruvians for its entertaining folk festivals and traditional healing techniques.
Although the town was named after the conquistador Pizarro's home town in Spain, the area boasts thousands of years of pre-Colombian culture and some of the most interesting archaeological sites in Peru, such as the Chan Chan citadel, the Valley of Pyramids, the Gran Pajaten temple and the Kuelap Fortress.
The Chan Chan complex is a vast ruined walled citadel just outside of Trujillo on the coast. It was built about 900 years ago and was the most important urban centre in northern Peru until it was annexed by the Incas. The inhabitants of Chan Chan, the Chimu, were expert artisans, decorating their city with intricate, and once colourful, reliefs. It is a must for anyone interested in the ancient cultures of Peru.
The Kuelap Fortress is one of the most impressive ruins in Peru. Built by the Chachapoya civilization in 600AD in a sub-tropical region near the town of Chachapoya at 3000m above sea level, it is an incredible feat of engineering. The external walls, comprising giant stone blocks, tower 20m high and enclose hundreds of ruined dwellings and civic buildings and it is estimated that it contains three times more stone than the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
The remoteness of Kuelap means that very few tourists visit the area, making it not only a fascinating site, but an off-the-beaten-track adventure too.