Temple of the Dragon (Huaco el Dragon) Tours

Temple of the Dragon (Huaco el Dragon)
Temple of the Dragon (Huaco el Dragon) is an immaculately preserved Chimú temple just outside Trujillo. The pyramid-shaped adobe structure features intricate frieze murals depicting rainbows, dragons, and figures that have valiantly stood the test of time. Less known than other Chimú sites, this anti-seismic temple is an engineering marvel.
 
The Basics
With a local guide, learn the history and various theories surrounding the mysterious pre-Inca site, also known as Huaca Arco Iris (Rainbow Temple), built by the Chimú people, who lived in northern Peru from about AD 900 to the 1400s. Inside the temple, the namesake figure carved on the walls takes the form of a two-headed creature like a dragon, but with countless legs like a centipede. Scholars believe the temple’s rainbow carvings, which represent rain—a precious life-giving resource here in the dry coastal desert—are a tribute to fertility. There is also evidence that the walls were once painted, although erosion from rains and centuries of looting have left the walls with only a hint of yellow glow. 

Travelers often visit this religious administrative and ceremonial center as part of an archaeological tour out of Trujillo that also includes larger temple complexes such as Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Temple of the Dragon is a must-see for archaeology and culture aficionados.
  • The entrance fee to see this site is included within the entrance fee to Chan Chan.
 
How to Get There
Temple of the Dragon is located about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) outside of Trujillo in the La Esperanza suburb. You can reach the temple via public bus from Trujillo (there is a drop off in front of the temple), or by taxi or private tour. Inquire at your hotel about the best way to arrive.

When to Get There
The temple is open daily from 9am to 4pm.

Chan Chan, Ancient Capital of the Chimú
Gain a greater understanding of the Chimú civilization by venturing from Temple of the Dragon to the nearby Chan Chan site. As the largest pre-Columbian city in South America, the adobe-walled archeological complex was the center of Chimú culture and politics until 1470, when the Incas arrived and promptly conquered the city. Led by a guide, explore the vast array of shrines, burial grounds, rain reservoirs, and ceremonial plazas flanked by walls adorned with friezes. 
Address: Trujillo, Peru
Admission: Varies
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Archeological Tour from Trujillo: Chan Chan, Huanchaco, Sun and Moon Temples, and Dragon Temple

Visit Trujillo’s most significant archeological site on a cultural full-day tour of the area’s most atmospheric and astounding ruins. Explore the sacred structures of the Temples of Moche; feast upon local specialties in the coastal town of Huanchaco; and discover South America’s biggest ancient city at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Chan Chan. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, enrich your historical knowledge of the region on this exciting archeological excursion.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
US$ 108.15
From  
US$ 108.15
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Trujillo Combo Tour: Temple of the Dragon, Chan Chan and Huanchaco

Set out from Trujillo on a few-hour tour combining incredible archaeological sites with a trip to a popular beachside village. Your adventure begins with a visit to the Temple of the Dragon, known for its amazingly detailed friezes. Then spend some time exploring Chan Chan, the one-time capital of Peru's Chimú civilization. An expert guide provides details on the history and significance of this intriguing site along the way. Your final stop is Huanchaco, a coastal town known for its caballitos de totora, or fishing boats.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
US$ 40.00
From  
US$ 40.00
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Private Combo Tour: Trujillo Sightseeing, Archeology Museum, Temples of the Sun and Moon, Huanchaco and Chan Chan

Explore Trujillo and its nearby archeological sites on a day-long tour. First, set out on a private sightseeing tour of Trujillo—stopping at attractions like the beloved Central Market. Then set out for a guided tour the National University of Archeology, Anthropology and History and a visit to the Temples of Moche (which includes the Temples of the Sun and Moon) and Huanchaco, a picturesque beachside town. Cap off your day wandering among the ancient ruins of Chan Chan, the former capital of Peru's Chimú people.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
US$ 121.27
From  
US$ 121.27
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