Chiclayo, located 500 miles north of Lima, is a pleasant destination to include on your Peru vacation itinerary. This capital of the Lambayeque region, Peru’s fourth largest city, has plenty to offer visitors, including impressive archaeology, amazing nature, and beautiful weather. Here are some of the best things to do in Chiclayo and its environs.
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1 Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum
We understand: this isn’t in Chiclayo, but it’s pretty close. The Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum (Museo Tumbas Reales De Sipán), located 6 miles north of Chiclayo city limits, has attracted 3 million visitors since its opening in 2002. Its allure stems from visitors’ ability to see the first intact tomb discovered by a high-ranking ruler: that of Lord of Sipán. The museum also houses artefacts discovered in his tomb (such as jewellery) during the 1987 excavation, as well as the remains of other pre-Inca monarchs, the Moche.
2 The Sicán National Museum
If you still want more history, go to the national museum in Ferrenafe, which is about 13 miles north of Chiclayo. The museum displays treasures from various tombs as well as more detailed replicas. There are daily presentations to help you learn about the extensive history of the treasures housed in this structure. Ferrenafe is an interesting place to visit because it has “the city of double faith” due to its residents’ devotion to both Catholicism and Shamanism. The route from Chiclayo to Ferrenafe also passes through the Bosque de Pómac Historical Sanctuary.
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3 The Valley of the Pyramids
Túcume, a nearby site, is a sight to behold. The Valley of the Pyramids, which houses a cornucopia of rich history, is one of the complex’s features. There are 26 pyramids, though many will not resemble the formed pyramids often depicted in pictures due to their age of about 1000 years.
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Consider visiting Pimental, a beach resort near Chiclayo, for a more relaxing vacation. It can get a little chilly, but the view of the ocean is breathtaking. The beach is always crowded with families enjoying picnics or playing games. If you’re feeling more daring, you can rent a surfboard and ride the waves yourself. Peru is well-known for its world-class surfing spots. Finally, go to a nearby market and get some fresh seafood.
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5 Mercado Modelo
If there is one market in Chiclayo that you must visit, it is Mercado Modelo. This market, which spans several blocks, is one of the most well-known in Peru due to the odd and unique items for sale. If you want to buy some souvenirs before you leave, the witches’ market area is even more interesting. In this field, there are witch doctors, faith healers, and herbalists. You can find and buy a wide range of spices, plants, herbs, and even animal parts (though we can’t guarantee it won’t be upsetting to some).
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6 Zaña: A Ghostly Town?
What was once a great city is now referred to as a ghost town, which is a misunderstanding. Zaa was founded in 1563 and grew in size and power. It appeared at one point that it would become Peru’s capital. But, pirate attacks in the 17th century drove residents to nearby cities (some to Chiclayo) and forced those who remained to become slaves. A massive flood in the early 18th century washed away the town’s enslavers, but it also left behind shells of what were once cloisters and convents. Few tourists visit Zaa, despite the fact that it tells of a unique Afro-Peruvian past preserved by the hundreds of residents who still live there.
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