Trujillo Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
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Trujillo Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Peru’s northern coastline is blessed with
a year-round mild climate and perfect sets of rolling waves. It’s also home to the picturesque colonial
city of Trujillo. Yet, there is another, much more fascinating
reason why you should visit… Almost two thousand years ago, the first settlers of the Moche Valley achieved the seemingly impossible with their
bare hands. They created Farmland in the desert… fishermen’s rafts that could surf the waves… fine jewelry crafted from crude metals… and entire cities out of mud. From the treasure trove of ruins in these
sand-swept desert plains, it’s clear that the Peruvians developed
impressive agricultural, architectural and artistic insights long before
the Europeans arrived. When the Spanish did come, they swiftly created one of Peru’s finest
and largest cities: Trujillo. Exploring its compact city center is like
browsing an open-air museum of Spanish colonial architecture. Everywhere you go, you’ll pass colorful
mansions, adorned with tall window grilles and enclosed
wooden balconies. For more than 400 years, the exterior of the Cathedral on the northern end of the Plaza de Armas has remained largely
unchanged. Step inside to see precious religious paintings and admire the cathedral’s central altarpiece
with its twisting columns. From the Historic Centre, it’s only a short taxi ride to the seventeenth-century
mansion of Trujillo’s Archaeological Museum. Its exhibits paint a picture of the pre-Columbian
peoples of northern Peru. The fascinating pieces they left behind help us piece together their story. Start your tour of the region’s famous ruins
at the Temples of the Sun and the Moon. Made from millions of sun-dried bricks, these were once the largest adobe pyramids
in the world. While the language of the Moche people has
been lost, we can interpret their habits and beliefs
through their elaborate murals and brilliantly expressive
artworks. They were warriors who sacrificed their rivals
to appease the gods. Yet, their pottery shows there was also harmony
in their fierce existence. Like the Egyptians, the Moche buried their
elite in pyramids. See one of the world’s most mysterious mummies
at the coastal site of El Brujo where, as recent as 2005, the Lady of Cao was discovered. The tomb of this tattooed Moche woman also
held copper darts and jewelry, suggesting that she was a priestess or warrior
leader. It’s believed that relentless El Niño rains
caused the demise of the Moche culture. By the time the Chimú people arrived, around 900 A.D, the landscape had returned
to arid coast. Like the Moche, the Chimú cultivated reed
to make fishing rafts and used the clay and minerals from the river
valley for for their building bricks and decorations. Visit their capital, Chan Chan, to explore what was once the largest adobe
city in the Americas. Follow the city’s maze of corridors to central
courtyards, which were decorated with fishnet patterns
and animal reliefs. In the late fifteenth century, the Incas came and assimilated the Chimú
culture into their own. Less than 60 years later, the Spanish followed,
determined to conquer the New World. These “Conquistadors” stripped the temples
and tombs of gold and artifacts and created a new city, which they named Trujillo. They also introduced the pure-bred Paso Horse
to the region. World-famous for its gait, it has what the
locals call “brio”: a mixture of nobility, pride and fire. These characteristics proved a perfect match
for the spirited Peruvians from the northern desert and together they
perform the Marinera, a show of elegant seduction and fierce resistance. With its long history of resilient people, Trujillo was the first Peruvian city to proclaim
independence from Spain in 1820, an event that is commemorated by the Freedom
Monument on the central Plaza de Armas. One of South America’s revolutionary heroes,
the liberator Simón Bolívar, stayed at Casa Urquiaga, which is open to
visitors. Colonial architecture, ancient art and pyramid
temples, combined with proud Latino traditions, have made Trujillo “the Peruvian Capital
of Culture.” Like an oasis in the desert, discovering Trujillo is replenishing for both
the body and soul. It’s refreshing to see that from these barren
grounds, such creativity can sprout.


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