- The Peruvian North coast is a large desert like region
- The area has two larger cities; Trujillo and Chiclayo
- Warm, dry and mild climate
- The region is best known for its archaeological sites and gastronomy
- Biggest attractions are; Chan Chan, Huaca del Sol, the Pyramids of Tucume and the Museum Lord of Sipàn
The very interesting Peruvian north coast is one of the lesser known travel regions in Peru. This is fortunate for those willing to come here as you will find impressive archaeological sites with hardly anyone else, beautiful authentic cities, deserted beaches and some of the best gastronomy of the country. So if you would like to see a different and lesser traveled part of Peru the North Coast may just be up your ally.
THINGS TO DO
North Coast History
The Peruvian North Coast is probably the region of Peru with most “proven” history. The finds that have discovered in this part of Peru are only surpassed in importance perhaps by the great finds in Egypt or Mesopotamia. Caral, located north of Lima has been estimated to date from around 3,000 and 1,800BC and therefore is contemporary with the first primitive civilizations of the world and by far the oldest archeological site found in the Americas. Further north we find the impressive remains of two other cultures; the Moche and Sican Cultures. The Moche lived around what is nowadays Trujillo and the Sican around nowadays Chiclayo. Between these two cities one can easily find hundreds of archeological sites going back from 500AD till about 1500AD. Places such as Chan Chan, the Pyramids of Tucume, the Sun and Moon Temples, the Lady of Cao, and the Señor de Sipan are all amazing sites and ruins that allow you to grasp the importance of this area for the development and evolution of South America and its culture.
North Coast Geography
The North Coast is similar to the South Coast with large desert plains next to the coast but the inland is somewhat larger and greener with the Andes Mountains pushed somewhat further back to the East. The rise of the Andes is also less sudden making space for larger meanders creating fertile agricultural areas. This is probably also one of the reasons the North Coast has such an astounding amount of ancient cultures that roamed these lands. People have been living here for thousands of years but mostly close or next to the fertile riverbeds coming from the Andes and flowing the Pacific Ocean.
North Coast Weather
- Two seasons; winter and summer + transition months
- Places close to the ocean can have a colder climate than the places more inland
- Little or no rain all year round (early morning drizzle may occur on the coast)
- Humidity levels can often reach 70-85%
- Foggy mornings in wintertime due to Humboldt Current
- Chiclayo – Average Min / Max Winter 16ºC/60ºF – 26ºC/79ºF
North Coast Attractions
The attractions of the Peruvian north coast are legion but most visitors will come to the region to visit the impressive archaeological sites from ancient cultures that once roamed these lands. The Moche with their impressive site of Chan Chan and the Temple of the Sun and Moon; the Chimu who left behind a staggering 22 pyramids around Chiclayo or the recently discovered site of the Lady of Cao where the actual mummy is still present. City wise it are Trujillo and Chiclayo that take the limelight. Two very agreeable and friendly cities. Trujillo especially has a colonial city center that impresses with its lively colors and beautiful mansions. As you are at the coast obviously it is nice spending time in the sometimes sleepy coastal towns such as Huanchanco or further north Colan and Cabo Blanco where Hemmingway supposedly wrote the Old man and the Sea. With the sea present it should not be a surprise that culinary the region also has a lot to offer; amazing seafood or some typical criolla dishes such as Arroz con Pato really stand out in this region.