Sunrise at ChankilloSunrise at Chankillo

(Meal Plan: Boxed Lunch, Dinner)

The break of dawn in Lima announces the early beginning of your journey. Depart North from Lima for a 3-hour drive with destination Vegueta. Enjoy the views of crop fields, dunes and coastal valleys marking the beginning of a rather unknown side of Lima until we reach our first stop: Vichama, the Son of the Sun Archaeological Site. This precinct is part of the Caral Civilization economic network and dates to 5,000 years ago. It encompasses 49 acres and has 12 distinct mounds. As you walk through these, you will notice both residential and ceremonial buildings; yet the most outstanding features are the several high-relief murals that will take you through time as they express their way of living thousands of years ago. From anthropomorphic frogs announcing the always welcoming rains to dancing skeleton-like figures reminiscing of the underworld and the feature of a priestess conducting a ceremony elevating the role of women in the ancient Peru, Vichama inhabitants found a way to leave an imprint of themselves for you to discover.

To complement your visit to Vichama, we will head onto a short 20-minute ride to Vegueta Communitary Museum where the archaeological site findings are displayed. This is quite a young project with only a little over 10 years old but put together with the care and enthusiasm of the local community who have learnt to appreciate their culture and share it with visitors. This museum shows -amongst other artifacts and objects- small clay statues that reinforce the importance of the women role in their society, large ‘shicras’ (a word you will hear a lot during the next few days) that were used as a construction resource and replicas of the actual site providing a more thorough view of your last location.

Afterwards, stretch your legs in Vegueta’s Main Square, a lovely quaint district where artisans are well-known for their rush basket work. Indulge yourself into one of these to keep a fond beautiful memoire of your journey.

Up next, the road awaits for a 3-hour drive to our next destination: Casma, the city of the Eternal Sun, located in the Region of Ancash, already outside of Lima which means you will have the chance of watching clouds fade away into the Andes and enjoy a clearer view. A hearty and delicious boxed lunch will be provided to ensure a comfortable journey. Right before arriving into Casma, we will take a short detour to visit a site that raises more questions than answers, appealing to our most intricate pioneering expectations: Sechin, the ritual warriors mud complex.

This mysterious place is extended through 12 acres and was discovered in 1937, yet its almost yearly discoveries continue to mesmerize us. It has two very distinct structures that you can notice as you walk about: The inner structure, which is older, is made of mud and the outer structure that surrounds this mud construction is made of stone and was built later. As you explore the place, your sight will be captured by the monoliths with reliefs everywhere! Sechin has 324 reliefs in their walls depicting all kinds of things including human sacrifices, felines, dismembered human parts, fishes, etc. 

Right after this insightful tour, we get back on track to Casma where our accommodation for the night awaits with a comforting dinner before calling it a day. Remember to set your alarm and get a good-night sleep!

(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks)

An early wake up in Casma has never been more exciting! Today, you will meet today one of the most unique and impressive archaeological sites in Peru that remains a working process towards becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Chankillo, The Oldest Solar Observatory in America.

We leave Casma for a 20-minute ride only before reaching the entrance of San Rafael Community, where we are welcomed to a short off-road journey before reaching the main observation esplanade of the site. Chankillo is approximately 2,400 years old, as you reach the desertic landscape, two of the most well-preserved outstanding constructions will caught your eye from the beginning: The 13 Towers and the Fortified Temple.

During your first walk through a long corridor in a separate building that winds, you discover 13 towers atop a hill aligned to the trajectory of the sun across the sky throughout the year. These ancient people worshipped the sun, and those 13 towers represent different solstices, equinoxes and other dates which are unknown to us and have been lost to time. This morning you will get a chance to experience one of nature’s most incredible performances just as ancient Peruvians did thousands of years ago and witness the sun rise in the natural horizon marked by these towers, filling up your new born day with most needed energy.

Learn about how pilgrims traveled there for special occasions and ceremonies to worship the sun. Many of these ceremonies were associated with harvest and combat. Walking up an imponent dune is the Fortified Temple, composed by plazas and a ceremonial structure which was also believed to have defensive capabilities. The main structure has various rings of fortified walls and corridors with false hallways and dead ends giving you the feeling of being inside a maze. 

The energy in this site is felt through thousands of years of worship and it will make you feel as if you were part of something bigger than yourself. After a marvelous re-charge and discovery experience in Chankillo, we follow our traces back to the main highway and bid farewell to cozy Casma. Our next destination, the Valley of Supe, awaits 3 hours away from our location.

Once reaching the necessary distance, we make a detour onto an off-road dirt and stone path that while rocky leads to a beautiful landscape filled with local farms, cropfields, livestock, fruit trees and more of nature’s own produce.

Finally, you arrive to the mesmerizing Empedrada Lodge Hotel, which seats overseeing the Supe valley where Caral is located. Here, you will rest tonight in spacious and comfortable rooms fully equipped with balconies overlooking the captivating the backdrop mountains framming their very own plantation fields where walks are conducted.

Upon arrival, a hearty lunch will be waiting for you to regain your pace and ease your eagerness before your next stop.

Once you have freshened up, comes our furthest step in time, a monumental site known to be one of the cradles of American Civilization. Caral is a preceramic city located north of Lima which is considered the oldest in the Americas dating back 5,000 years. It is the economic, religious and administrative capital of Caral civilization which lived in the beautiful Supe Valley with 163 acres to explore full of a great diversity of edifications for ceremonial and administrative purposes. It has public spaces and secluded temples, urban areas, circular structures for burning offerings, platforms and plazas. 

Your tour guide will walk you through this once highly hierarchical society which, at some point, was inhabited by up to 3,000 people! It was known as the birthplace of Andean Civilizations because Quechua originated from that area along with many other customs and systems. 

After wandering this unique spot, head back to your hotel and enjoy your surroundings with a cocktail and a few snacks selected for you before calling it a night.

(Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch)

After a fast-paced journey during the past couple of days, slow down for a while and kick back this morning at your lovely ranch-type hotel in Supe Valley before departing to our next destination. 

A couple of hours before noon we leave for Carquin district at only a one-hour ride away to learn and witness how customs from ancient times may remain all the way to our modern days, as it happens in many other Peruvian cities and towns. This picturesque town is well known for its dry anchovy or fish jerky which has being used by natives for thousands of years and is considered a national cultural patrimony.

This fish is also used to make fish flour, but you will try it out in a different way: Charquican! This is an ancient recipe which is a stew of veggies, spices and dry anchovies. With its strong flavor and delicious aroma, it will wake up your senses. 

We move a bit further now to Huacho district to enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Try their delicious seafood-based gastronomy before our final stop: Bandurria, one of the urban Central North Coast Settlements.

Bandurria is one of those places that you may considered unforgettable. This archaeological site near Huacho is approximately 5,000 years old and is part of the Caral civilization economic network. It was casually discovered in the 70’s when there was major flooding done by an agricultural water project which destroyed a large position of the site. Funerary remains and objects were found floating in the sea. The remains were recovered, and the authorities were alerted. There has been little research done until the 2,000’s and that’s when the true identifications of this site happened. It is a large town that has both am urban sector and well-preserved ceremonial sector. The ceremonial sector has been untouched and preserved very well with amazing pyramids and round stone plazas.

The site is named after a type of Ibis which is prominent in the area. This area is also a sanctuary for more than 125 bird species from Coastal beach and wetland habitats as well as migratory birds from the Northern Hemisphere. you may gaze from one of its imponent lookouts for any of these -depending on the season- while admiring the natural beauty of the coastline, the archaeological site and the large number of life bustling through the area.

This encounter with nature closes a 3-day journey for the senses while meeting ancient cultures, making your own discoveries at unexplored places and stepping closer to ancestral Peruvian customs. We safely drive back to Lima while reminiscing of our last few days travelling through time.


Adventure through the Peruvian North Central Coast meeting its ancestral customs, communities and more as you ease into the process of discovery by visiting archaeological sites that are currently conducting excavations and research. 

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