Halfway between Trujillo and Chan Chan, this Chimú temple is south of the main road, four blocks behind the Mansiche Church. Huaca Esmeralda was buried by sand and discovered by a local landowner in 1923. He attempted to uncover the ruins, but the 1925 El Niño began the process of erosion, which was exacerbated by floods. Although little restoration work has been done, it's still possible to make out characteristic Chimú designs of fish, seabirds, waves and fishing nets.
Green-signed B combis to Huaca Esmeralda leave Trujillo every few minutes; they pass the corners of España and Ejército, and España and Independencia. The area is not always the safest, so consider going in a group or taking a taxi to the door. Esmeralda is the only temple in the combined ticket where you cannot pay admission, so don't visit it first.