Chan Chan Citadel, Huaca Dragon & the Reed Boats

  • Port

    Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru

  • Activity Level


  • Excursion Type

    Local Sightseeing, All

  • Wheelchair Accessible


  • Cost


    Price between $51-$100
  • Minimum Age

    Information not currently available.

  • Duration

    Approximately 4 Hours

  • Meals Included


Depart from the pier in Salaverry and drive to the La Esperanza district, 40 minutes away, to visit the site of the Huaca Dragon (Dragon Temple).

Then proceed to the Chan Chan complex -- the capital of the ancient Chimu Empire. This large ancient metropolis lies just three miles from Trujillo and is close to the ocean. Historians estimate that Chan-Chan had a population of 50-60,000 people. This adobe city also contains nine enormous and quite distinguishable enclosures, each constituting a smaller city within the larger urban center. Chan Chan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers nearly eight square miles. It is almost a thousand years old and is an amazingly well-preserved testament to the sophistication of South American society long before the Incas or Spaniards came on the scene. Irrigation canals, amphitheaters, storerooms and wells are still intact.

After a tour of the citadel, continue to Huanchaco Beach to see the famous caballitos de totora. These are reed boats, but the name translates into English as ‘little reed horses’ because the strangely shaped little watercraft are essentially ridden like horses over the crest of each wave. They have been used by Peruvian fishermen for millennia and offer you, the visitor, an extraordinary glimpse of everyday life in this part of Peru.


Wear comfortable shoes; bring a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Your guide will do his/her best to speak English, but please keep in mind that the limited tourism infrastructure of Trujillo is part of the city’s charm, and bear with any language difficulties he/she may encounter. Buses and other forms of transportation in Trujillo may be somewhat basic in comparison with those offered in some other ports of call.