Welcome to Chiclayo

La Ciudad de la Amistad (the City of Friendship) holds a friendly, outstretched hand to the wayward venturer. While it’s shaking hands hello, it will probably slip in a bold mix of unique regional dishes to tickle your taste buds. Known for its brujos (witch doctors), the fascinating market here is a Wal-Mart of shamanistic herbs, elixirs and other sagely curiosities. While the town itself is pretty light on tourist attractions, the dozens of tombs with Moche and Chimú archaeological booty surrounding the area should not be missed.

A strong alternative for ruins-goers is staying in the nearby beachtown of Pimentel.

Top experiences in Chiclayo

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Chiclayo activities

$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.

$35 Private & Custom Tours

Private Tour: Brüning National Archeological Museum

After hotel pickup, head with your private guide about 15 minutes northwest of Chiclayo to the Brüning National Archeological Museum (Museo Arqueológico Nacional Brüning) in Lambayeque.When you get inside, your guide will lead you around, explaining the museum’s 1,500-plus pieces. Named after German researcher and antiques collector, Hans Heinrich Brüning, who moved to Peru in 1875, the museum houses the extensive collection of artifacts that Brüning gathered during his time there, as well as additional items that have since been donated and acquired. The museum covers several of northern Peru’s ancient cultures, including the Moche, Chimu and Chavin. See pottery, ceremonial objects, wood items, extravagant jewelry, precious stones, metals, textiles and more, including items from the famous Lord of Sipán tomb. Don’t miss one of the museum’s highlights, the Sala de Oro (Gold Room), where many gold objects like masks and vases are kept safe. After your tour, your guide will return you to your hotel in Chiclayo.

$796.99 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Day Northern Peru Archeological Tour from Chiclayo to Trujillo

Your 3-day tour starts at the Chiclayo airport (Capitán FAP José A Quiñones Gonzáles International Airport), where you’ll be met by your local guide. Please note that airport pickup is only included for flights that land before 8:30am; if you land after this time, you will miss the morning excursion and must make your own way to your hotel in Chiclayo. If you are planning to fly out of Trujillo at the end of Day 3, you must schedule your flight for 8:30pm or later, as your activities on Day 3 will not end in time for you to make an earlier flight. Please also note that if you stay in Trujillo on your own past Day 3, you will not be able to use the provided airport transfer on any other day. You have your choice of four levels of hotel accommodation in Chiclayo and Trujillo: Comfort Class (Casa de la Luna and La Posada del Rey), Tourist Class (Los Portales Chiclayo and Costa del Sol Trujillo), First Class (Costa del Sol Chiclayo and Costa del Sol Trujillo) or Deluxe Class (Casa Andina Select Chiclayo and Libertador Trujillo). Breakfast is included at all hotels. Lunch is included on Days 1 and 3; all other meals are at your own expense, and your guide can provide recommendations for local restaurants.

$13 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Arrival Transfer: Chiclayo Airport to Hotel

When you arrive at Chiclayo’s Capitán FAP José A. Quiñones Gonzáles International Airport (CIX), your private driver will take you to your Chiclayo hotel in air-conditioned comfort. The airport is an approximate 15-minute drive from central Chiclayo. When making a booking, please provide all flight arrival details and full address of your accommodation. Your transfer will be confirmed instantly, and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.Price is per person, based on 4 or more adults per car/vehicle.

$25 Private & Custom Tours

Private Tour: Chiclayo City Sightseeing and Witch Market

After hotel pickup by your private guide, your 1-hour Chiclayo city tour starts at the Paseo de las Musas (the Walk of the Muses), a pleasant park in the city center. Stroll through the park with your guide to the Greek-style pavilion that features the elegant statues of the nine Greek muses, who were the daughters of Zeus. As you admire the detailed sculptures of Calliope, Clio and the rest, your guide will tell you about the artist, Peruvian Miguel A Diaz, and explain the motto written on the pavillion — Heroica Ciudad de Chiclayo (Heroic City of Chiclayo). Next, head to Chiclayo’s nearby main square, Plaza Principal (also known as Parque Principal), and learn from your guide why the main square is not called Plaza de Armas like most other main squares in Peru. Admire the square’s colonial architecture and neoclassical cathedral, which was built in 1869 and designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame). Then visit the Municipal Palace across the street for a quick tour. Originally built in 1919 during Chiclayo’s Republican period, it was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in 2006 as a museum.Your city tour ends at the Witch Market, where you have about 1.5 hours to spend with your guide, who can help translate and explain the purpose of the market. Part of the larger city market, Mercado Modelo, the Witch Market (Mercado de Brujos) is a section of shops and stalls where local curanderos (native healers, or shamans) sell the herbs and other ingredients used in their traditional healing remedies. You’ll see all kinds of things, from herbal tonics and powders to shark jaws, snake skins and turtle shells. Talk to the vendors, with the help of your guide, to find out what ailments go with which remedies, and purchase anything that looks interesting. After the Witch Market, you’ll be driven back to your hotel.