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Túcume (Valley of the Pyramids)
Túcume (Valley of the Pyramids)

Túcume (Valley of the Pyramids)

Chiclayo, Peru

The Basics

As the ancient people of the Lambayeque Valley constructed these towering pyramids, they would abandon them when they felt it would please the gods. The area is still largely abandoned, as thexa0 local villagers are wary of the spiritual past. Only traditional healers and shamans will visit by night, and there is a palpable sense of power and history here.

When touring the valley’s 540 acres (219 hectares), trek up to Cerro Purgatorio for the most striking views of the ruins. Enjoy Túcume as part of a larger exploration of the ancient cultures of the area. Most day tours include guided excursions to Huaca Rajada, where archeologists discovered the Lord of Sipán’s tomb in 1987; and the Royal Tombs Museum of Sipán, which displays the artifacts and riches of the “King Tut of Peru,” including dazzling gold and silver and jeweled headdresses and armored plates.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Túcume is an ideal spot for history and archaeology buffs.
  • There is a small entrance fee.
  • Bring sun protection and water for hydration
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How to Get There

Túcume (Valley of the Pyramids) is located about 20 miles (35 kilometers) from Chiclayo, conveniently sited near Batán Grande or the Royal Tombs Museum of Sipán. Accessible by car or taxi from the city, expect about 30 minutes on the road.

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When to Get There

The site is open daily year-round from the morning until the afternoon. Come early to avoid the crowds and the hot afternoon sun. In June, honor San Pedro and San Pablo, patron saints of fishermen and farmers, and in August join the locals on a highlands hike to mark Cruz de Chalpon with dancing, fireworks, and music.

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Wildcard

The History of the Long Temple At the Huaca Larga pyramid—which runs 2,000 feet (210 meters) in length—119 bodies were discovered buried underneath the massive structure. Evidence suggests that the bodies were part of a mass human sacrifice to the gods. Other findings are less grotesque, such as the murals and carvings of the Lambayeque god Naymlap, a revered deity who emerged from the sea and gave rise to the powerful city.

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