Built of mud and adobe, Chan Chan—the nine-square-mile former capital of the Chimú empire (850–1470)—was the most expansive city of its time. Wander along pathways with a guide to see wall reliefs that depict creatures from the nearby Pacific. You’ll learn where various community activities, including human sacrifices, took place.
Off Avenida Mansiche, near Trujillo, 51/(0) 44-22-7705. This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Chan Chan: Ancient Chimu City
Chan Chan is a huge UNESCO World Heritage site on the edge of the colonial city of Trujillo. The ruins of the ancient Chimu adobe city are really well preserved, with life-size sculpture, and friezes of birds, geometric shapes, sea otters and fish. A criss-cross fishing net motif decorates many walls of the site. Wandering through the maze of adobe walls reveals a lovely pool filled with reeds and lily pads. A large opening in the thick walls of the main plaza frames a view of the ocean.
The friezes and sculpture are so sharp looking that I wonder if the motifs on the wall are recreated. Regardless, the visuals are stunning.