Cradle of the great pre-Inca civilizations – Self Drive tour

  • 16 Days 15 Nights
  • Max People : -
  • Jan 21’ - Dec 21'
  • Min Age : 12+
  • Pickup: Lima
Caral, Moche, Chimú & Chachapoyas From the ancestors of the Inkas to Machu Picchu

With a rental car, you can explore each city at your own pace.

Traveling in the North of Peru will allow you to visit places still little known, cradle of ancient civilizations such as the Chachapoyas, the men of the clouds, or the cultures of the coast, the Chimú, Mochica, Chavín and you will have the privilege of being in the center of modern archeology, but also in the current urban and agro-industrial activity of the towns and peoples that are found throughout the 900 km of the Panamerican North.

You will visit very diverse archaeological regions, including a large number of pyramidal structures called «Huacas» of impressive dimensions and extensions.

ITINERARY

Day 1LIMA

After your arrival at the airport – transfer to the hotel

Night in Lima hotel

Day 2LIMA

City tour through the historic city center (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Free afternoon.

Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 3LIMA / CASMA (approx. 380 km, approx. 6 h)

Pick up the rental car at the hotel and drive to Casma.

Recommended visit on the way:

  • The archaeological site of Caral, located in the middle of the desert and is about as old as the Egyptian pyramids.
  • Sacred city dating between 3000 and 1500 BC located on the valley of the Supe river with an extension of 50 hectares and 32 archaeological complexes.

Caral developed along with the civilizations of Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, China and Mesoamerica.

The importance that researchers attribute to Caral is the role that the site played in the formation of the state, the origins of the city, the role of agriculture, commerce and ultimately natural resources, in relation to to the Incas who will reign there, 2500 to 3000 years after the inhabitants of Caral.

Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 4CASMA / TRUJILLO (approx. 170 km, approx. 3 hours)

Departure towards Trujillo

Recommended visit:

  • The Sechin archaeological complex in the Casma valley, which is known for its megalithic architecture.

Famous for its stone monoliths with 35,000 years of antiquity and the first site of Chavin culture on the coast.

That close located museum shows the most important archaeological excavation pieces and gives you a detailed overview of the history of the city of Casma

Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 5TRUJILLO and its surroundings

Recommended visits:

  • Visit of Trujillo

 Visit the Sun and Moon Temples and Chan Chan

These temples played an important role in the Moche culture. Chan Chan website. The capital of the 500-year-old Chimu Empire, the city of Chan Chan is simply monumental, spanning over 25 square kilometers, its walls of adobes rising to 10m in height. We will walk through this labyrinth, in the heart of the remains of a city that could accommodate up to 50,000 people. We visit the Tshudi Palace (the only one restored to date of the 28kms2 which made up the largest earthen city in the world whose economy and religion were turned towards the sea and the moon). We will discover the places of worship, the meeting places, the houses of the elite, the homes of the people, the refuges of the artists …

  • Advice for lunch,

We recommend a trip to the idyllic fishing village of Huanchaco, where locals fish with traditional reed boats.

Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 6TRUJILLO / CAJAMARCA (approx. 300 km, approx. 6 h)

Drive to Cajamarca.

  • The place is steeped in history and is located in a fertile valley north of the Andes.

The last Inca ruler Atahualpa was captured and executed here by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro.

  • This event sealed the fall of the Inka Empire. Explore the resulting magnificent Colonial Era Architecture and let the breathtaking scenery work its magic on you.

Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 7CAJAMARCA and its surroundings

The morningü  Take one of the unpaved roads through isolated villages towards Cumbemayo. Here there is a fascinating aqueduct made of volcanic rock and in the caves of the region there are enigmatic rock carvings from the Cajamarca culture approx.In the afternoon you can visit nearby Otuzco.

A cemetery from the pre-Inca period and its dozens of cavities dug into the rock. Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 8CAJAMARCA / LEIMEBAMBA (approx. 300 km, approx. 7 hours)

Drive from Cajamarca to Leimebamba.ü  You will cross two Andes Cordilleras and discover different landscapes while passing through the Marañon canyon. It is one of the most spectacular roads in Peru. Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 9LEIMEBAMBA / CHACHAPOYAS (approx. 120 km, approx. 2.5 hours)

Recommended visits:A few kilometers from Leimebamba:ü  The Centro Malqui Museum to admire a discovery as recent as it is exceptional on the sides of a mountain surrounding the high lake of Laguna de los Condores, more than 200 mummies from the Inca period were discovered, curled up, surprisingly preserved for some by the tissues that cover them. From Chachapoyas, you can walk to the impressive pre-Inca fortress of Kuelap.

 Although Kuelap was discovered 60 years before Machu Picchu, it is little known in the world. (There is no cable car on Mondays.)Like Machu Picchu, the ruins of Kuelap constitute a magnificent site in Peru. Pre-Inca city, impregnable fortress, its oval shape surrounded by a wall wall 600 meters long, rises from 6 to 10 meters high. Three narrow entrances pierce the wall of the fortress and tighten strategically. Inside the city we will discover some of the 400 buildings that were counted, most of them circular, formerly covered with conical straw roofs. Kuelap is also a fortress within a fortress, reserved for warriors and the ruling classes, there is also a mysterious well in the shape of an inkwell, a narrow neck overlooking a large cavity, and the Chachapoya agricultural calendar. The highest point of the site also offers a unique panorama over the entire Rio Utcubamba valley. Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 10CHACHAPOYAS and its surroundings - Recommended visits:

The Karajiia site:Departure from Chachapoyas (30mn drive) bordered by lush vegetation, to reach the Karajia site – 50-minute hike, between fields of potatoes and various products to reach the observation site of sarcophagi.

The Gocta waterfall, a natural wonder in northern Peru. With a height of 783 m, the Gocta is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 11CHACHAPOYAS / CHICLAYO (approx. 420 km, approx. 8.5 hours)

Day’s drive through superb landscapes – Crossing authentic villages … Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 12CHICLAYO and its surroundings -Recommended visits:

The area offers many sites of interest such as the excavations of Ventarron and Huaca Rajada as well as the Tumbas Reales museum (closed on Mondays) Morning in Lambayeque (20mn transfer)ü  Discovery of the magnificent “Tombes Royales de Sipan” museum and discovery of the village of Lambayeque, allowing in particular to appreciate the longest colonial balcony in Latin America. In the afternoon, visit the pyramid complex of Túcume.

Túcume is located on the coastal plain of northern Peru, deprived of rain by the enormous Andes mountain range, except in the years when the «Niño» blows, whose abundance and brutality of rainfall can destroy an entire village like this was the case with the current «Ancient Túcume», abandoned by its inhabitants in the 16th century following the destructive phenomenon of the «Niño».

The pyramids of Túcume are remarkable for their extraordinary size: according to some estimates, more than 130 million sun-dried adobes were needed to build the largest, 450 m long. Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Day 13CHICLAYO / LIMA

Drive to the airport in Chiclayo and return the rental car.

Flight to Lima. Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

OPTION A - 2 days / 1 night PARC DE CHAPARRI

THE CHAPARRI RESERVE – Observation of the last Spectacled Bears This ecological reserve was created in 2001 for the conservation of South American fauna (bears, condors, camelids …) – It is the first preservation park in Peru and the first area devoted to conservation in the world managed by farming communities.

The 34,412 ha are managed by the Muchik community with the aim of preserving the dry forests and the rich biodiversity that are home to the spectacle bear, the Andean condor, the guanaco … important endangered species Lodge accommodation

OPTION B: - 3 days / 2 nights “BEACH” AFTER-PROGRAM - ZORRITOS

OPTION B: Day 13 CHICLAYO / ZORRITOS (around 470 km, around 6.5 hrs)

Drive from Chiclayo to Zorritos.ü  Visit the colorful Mercado Modelo street market in the morning and on the way. Visit of the important historic center of Tucume, whose archaeological sites give an overview of the different cultures that follow one another.

Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

OPTION B: Day 14 & 15ZORRITOS

Free stay at the beach with bed and breakfast

OPTION B: Day 16ZORRITOS / TUMBES / LIMA (about 30 km, about 1 hour)

Drive to Chiclayo airport and return the rental car.
Flight to Lima.
Night at the hotel (based on accommodation and breakfast)

Our Promise

Personalized

Your personal travel advisor will build a tailored itinerary.

Private Tours

Experience all tours in private, unless otherwise indicated.

Local Knowledge

Knowledgeable, professional and passionate staff and guides.

In trip support

24/7 emergency assistance from English speaking staff.

Map

Photos

Included services:

 – All Peruvian domestic flights listed / in economy classü  Accommodation in a double room in mid-range hotels (single accommodation in Leimebamba) (bed and breakfast basis).

 – Airport transfer on the day of arrival.

 – The city tour of Lima on 2.

 – The Nissan X-Trail 4×4 or similar rental car from day 3 to day 13. (Main program)(or until day 16 if extension B) incl.Unlimited mileage.

 – All-risk insurance without excess.

 – Liability insurance up to 2 million euros.

 – Assistance at the reception of the vehicle.

 – Smartphone as navigation device.

 – One-way rental Lima- Chiclayo (main program) or Lima- Tumbes (if extension B).

 – The Green Climate Environmental Contribution.

 – A tourist guide on the North of Peru and itinerary (maps).

Services not included:

 – The long-haul flight to Lima.

 – Gasoline costs, tolls on the motorway and parking, fines, tips.

 – The additional insurance for a second driver.

 – Visits, entrance fees and tourist guides.