Welcome to North Coast

This savage shore has some of the best surfing in the world and plenty of tanned travelers to keep you company. It's also home to a jaw-dropping array of archaeological sites, colonial cities and evocative desertscapes straight out of Mad Max. In this land of rock and desert sand you will also find a few verdant valleys, while up north, Peru's only mangrove forests cling for their lives. There's a lot of hyperbole... Read More

Top experiences in North Coast

Travel guides

Starting at $24.99

Image for Image for

North Coast activities

$103 Cultural & Theme Tours

Archeological Tour from Trujillo: Chan Chan, Huanchaco, Sun and Moon Temples, and Dragon Temple

Your day trip from Trujillo starts with hotel pickup for the 15-minute drive south of town to the Temple of the Sun (Huaca del Sol) and Temple of the Moon (Huaca de la Luna), collectively known as the Temples of Moche (Huacas de Moche). When you arrive, you'll learn about the Moche people, the civilization that inhabited northern Peru from the 1st to 8th centuries and built the two temples you have come to see. Explore the site with your guide, enjoying close-up views of both temples and learning about their history and significance. Built out of adobe brick, both the Sun and Moon temples played important roles in the life of the Moche; archeologists think that the stepped Temple of the Sun was used for administrative and military purposes, while the terraced Temple of the Moon provided religious and ceremonial functions. Admire the impressive frescoes that adorn the walls of the Temple of the Moon, and marvel at the size of the Temple of the Sun, which is the bigger of the two.Next, continue your day trip to Huaco el Dragon, the Temple of the Dragon, also known as Huaco del Arco Iris, or Temple of the Rainbow. As you enter the site, you’ll be transitioning from the Moche to the Chimú, a civilization that developed in northern Peru around 900 AD, after the Moche died out, and inhabited the region until the Incas came in the 1400s. With your guide, admire the adobe pyramid’s intricate frieze detailing before leaving for your next destination, Huanchaco, about a 20-minute drive west.Located on the coast, Huanchaco is a fishing village and beach town known for its caballitos de totora (little reed horses), small boats made out of reed that have been used by fishermen in Peru for 3,000 years. Learn about their interesting history from your guide (there is some debate that these tiny watercraft — ridden like a horse — constituted the first form of riding waves, aka surfing), and then have lunch at a local seafood restaurant. After lunch, head to your last stop of the day, the former Chimú capital of Chan Chan. This World Heritage-listed ancient city is South America’s largest pre-Columbian city and was the center of Chimú politics and culture from approximately 900 to 1470, when it was conquered by the Incan Empire. Tour the 7-square-mile (18-sq-km) archeological site with your guide, checking out its shrines, cemeteries, barns, reservoirs and ceremonial plazas. Learn about its structure of adobe brick and mud; marvel at its expansive, walled design; and visit the Nik-An Palace, a complex that features ceremonial courtyards and walls adorned with friezes. Your day trip ends with hotel drop-off in Trujillo.

$74.50 Day Trips & Excursions

Batan Grande Archeological Site and Sicán National Museum Tour from Chiclayo

After hotel pickup, head with your guide about 22 miles (35 km) north of Chiclayo to the Pómac Forest Historical Sanctuary (Santuario Histórico Bosque de Pómac), an area of protected algarrobo trees that cover the grounds of Batan Grande, an old sugar cane farm where the Sicán archeological ruins are located. You have about 1.5 hours here to explore with your guide. Admire the dozens of ancient pyramids built by the Sicán people, who inhabited this region from around 750 to 1300 AD, after the Moche people. Learn about the amazing discovery in 1992 of an ancient tomb that held an important member of Sicán society. Inside the tomb, archeologists found an enormous amount of masks, crowns, bracelets, weapons, armor and other precious metals and jewelry, most of which now resides at the National Museum of Sicán, your next stop.When you arrive at the museum in the town of Ferreñafe, take a 1.5-hour tour with your guide. Learn about Sicán life and culture as you examine artifacts like feathered funeral masks, textiles, pottery, gold and silver items, and other valuable objects found in the Batan Grande tomb. Plus, admire a replica of the tomb, and learn about the excavation process through the museum’s detailed displays. Your tour ends with hotel drop-off back in Chiclayo.

$122 Day Trips & Excursions

Chiclayo Private Archeological Tour: Huaca Rajada, Tucume and Sipan Royal Tombs

After hotel pickup in Chiclayo, your tour starts with the 45-minute drive east to Huaca Rajada, the archeological site where the remains of the Moche mummy known as the Lord of Sipán were found in 1987. When you arrive, walk around with your private guide to see the adobe pyramid built by the Moche people, the civilization that inhabited this region from the 1st to 8th centuries. While you explore, learn about the important excavation that unearthed the Lord of Sipán, who was entombed with jewels and other treasures. Then travel about an hour north, on the other side of Chiclayo, to Túcume, also known as the Valley of the Pyramids (Valle de las Pirámides). Made up of 26 pyramids, this archeological site was once the regional center for the Sican culture, who succeeded the Moche people and lived in this region until approximately 1375. Next, head to an area restaurant with your guide to enjoy a lunch of traditional regional cuisine, and then travel back toward Chiclayo to your final stop, the Lord of Sipán Royal Tombs Museum (Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán). Housed in this museum, which opened in 2002, are some of the rarest artifacts from the Moche civilization, including the treasures found buried with the Lord of Sipán. Before entering, take a few minutes to admire the museum’s striking exterior — a replica of a Moche tomb. Then head inside to see gold and silver artifacts, precious stones, jewelry, headdresses and more, and learn about the Moche culture and what position the Lord of Sipán held in the ancient community. After the museum, you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

$210 Water Sports

2-Hour Jet Ski Tour at Boqueron Beach

You’ll start your adventure with a 15-minute safety course as well as a lesson on the “rules of the water course” where we will go over proper operation of the Seadoo GTI 130SE's and proper driving etiquette before you depart on this adventure. The first hour of the tour you will head North through the incredibly calm waters of the bay of Boquerón, and head out to the open waters past Punta Melones en route to Combate. Next, you'll go past an impressive rock and reef coastline and continue into the Bahia Salinas where you’ll experience the extraordinary shades of the blue sea as well as the rock and reef formations! You will be cruising over these formations on the jet skis as you continue to the Cabo Rojo's famous light house! The tour continues beyond Cabo Rojo’s lighthouse cruising past and around the 200 foot cliffs and entering into the immaculate waters of Playa Sucia. Be sure bring your camera to get some great pictures of the cliffs, lighthouse and the land bridge, because not many get this view from the water that Cabo Rojo boasts! From Playa Sucia you will head north passing all of the favorite beaches of the locals en route to Isla Ratones. At Isla Ratones you will have a chance to take a swim in the crystal clear waters or take a walk on the tiny island off the coast of Cabo Rojo. There will be a stop along the way at one of the coastal towns to get refreshments and a quick bite to eat if you’d like! Snorkel time is also possible and GoPros can be rented so that you don't miss a memory!

$76 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Tour: El Brujo Archeological Complex

After you are picked up at your Trujillo hotel by your private guide, your El Brujo experience begins with the 1-hour drive northwest to the archeological complex. When you arrive, take a 2-hour tour of the site with your guide, who will give you all kinds of information about the history and current state of the ruins and tell you about the Moche people, who built El Brujo between the years 1 and 600 AD. Learn about the three huacas (temples) that make up the site — Huaca Cao Viejo, Huaca Partida and Huaca Prieta — and hear the theory behind the site’s name, El Brujo (The Witch). Admire the detailed drawings and carvings that can be seen on the sides of the structures, and hear about the religious ceremonies that took place in the temples. Then visit the on-site museum dedicated to the Lady of Cao, a female mummy just discovered in 2006. Excavated in a highly preserved state, the Lady of Cao is thought to have been an important woman, as she was found surrounded by extravagant jewelry and weapons. See the mummy and her treasures inside the museum before heading back to Trujillo with your guide.

$41 Cultural & Theme Tours

Trujillo Combo Tour: Temple of the Dragon, Chan Chan and Huanchaco

After hotel pickup in Trujillo, your tour starts at Huaco el Dragon, the Temple of the Dragon — also known as Huaco del Arco Iris, or Temple of the Rainbow — just a 10-minute drive from central Trujillo. Built for religious and ceremonial purposes by the Chimú people, who lived in northern Peru from about 900 AD to the 1400s, the adobe pyramid is known for its intricate frieze murals. With your guide, walk around the temple and learn a bit about the history of and theories behind the site — the temple features carvings of a dragon (hence its name), and it’s believed that the temple was used during rituals to honor the rainbow (hence its other name). Continue your tour to your next site, the former Chimú capital of Chan Chan. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest pre-Columbian city in South America and was the center of Chimú culture and politics from approximately 900 to 1470, when the Incan Empire arrived and conquered the city. Explore the 7-square-mile (18-sq-km) archeological site with your guide, touring its array of shrines, cemeteries, reservoirs and ceremonial plazas. Learn about its structure — made from adobe brick and mud — and marvel at its expansive, walled design. You’ll visit one of the main features, Nik-An Palace, a complex that features ceremonial courtyards and walls adorned with friezes. Next, head about 15 minutes to Huanchaco, a fishing village and beach town known for its caballitos de totora (little reed horses), small boats made out of reed that have been used by Peruvian fisherman for 3,000 years. While you admire their interesting design, hear about their history and modern-day use from your guide.Your tour ends with hotel drop-off in Trujillo.