Chan Chan and Sun & Moon

Trujillo Travel Blog

 › entry 47 of 72 › view all entries
Murals at the temple of the moon

Time for a bit of culture for us again today. All day on 2 guided tours of the temples of Chan Chan, Dragon and Sun and Moon.


We started in the morning by going south (which was useful as it gave us on idea of how the hell to get out of town) into some random road (thinking – good thing we did not try find this ourselves). First stop was the obligatory stop at the tourist trap for a lecture in Spanish about how they made pottery in an attempt to get us to buy something. You can see I am getting a bit jaded by tours here – some of the stuff was actually quite nice, but impossible to transport back with us.


Then off to the temples (Las Huacas del Sol y de la Luna).

Inside the excavation
Another thing they don’t tell you when you sign up is that you cant go to the temple of the sun as it is closed to visitors, so you only drive past it.


Anyway, the Temple of the Moon is more than impressive enough to make up for it. The entire site is still being excavated – which started in 1991.  The site includes the temples of sun and moon and the Moche village which existed in between the 2 temples.


The temple of the moon was built in layers over hundreds of years. Each of the 5 layers is built on top of the previous temple. The result is large and impressive. The amazing thing is that hey found awesome original murals on the walls is vibrant colours. Some of these were actually buried under other layers of the other temples and they are still busy excavating.


For lunch we got dragged to “El Sombrero – Restaurant Turistico”.

They even had clowns back then. This was the sign left on one of the 11 million bricks used by the person who made it.
To be fair, we actually did get asked. There is a subtle difference in approach in Latin America – or maybe a difference in the language, but there are so many places labelled as “Tourist” in big letters. If this was in England, South Africa etc, we would run a mile to avoid them, but here it seems normal.


The food turned out to be quite good, but the menu was a good laugh. The translations were quite imaginative.


The afternoon started off with a visit to the Dragon temple which has been renovated – a pity, as it looks as if it has just been built. Still, some impressive pictures carved in the stone. One of the pictures in the Insight guide to Peru incorrectly is incorrectly attributed to Chan Chan when it is actually here.


From there to Chan Chan.

Moche city being excavated between the temples of Sun (in the distance) and Moon
This is seriously impressive due to sheer size. Each of 9 successive kings built temples following on near the previous one and result in a 20 square km. One of the temples is open to the public and is large. There are some intricate carvings. The best thing about the visit though was the strange Peruvian dogs that are native to the area. They are hairless and rather ugly, as well as having no pre-molars, so their tongues stick out the sides of their mouths. In addition, their toes are more webbed than most dogs and they are keen swimmers – here is the link to the tour. One of these dogs, called Mullet (pronounced Moo-yet, I am guessing on my spelling but I quite like the idea of a hairless mullet), was brought along for the walk. He proceeded to take a dump in the centre of the square, attempt some amateur archaeological digs and then became the centrepiece for a swim in the dam, chasing stones which we were through in, and barking hysterically (him, not us).


The last stop was the nearby beach resort town of Huanchaco, which is a surfing village, It has good waves, lots of pubs, restaurants and hotels – looks like somewhere nice to spend some relaxing time.

Rainbow / Dragon temple - looks like it is throwing up
They also have strange canoe/boat things made out of reeds which the fisherman use and then serf back into the beach on.


Overall, the temple of the moon was our favourite spot.


For dinner we went to a little spot that we saw on the drive back from the beach – also about 2 blocks from our hotel, called Amaretto Café. Very nice, simple and tasty.


Another very cool thing in Peru is the freshly squeezed fruit juices (jugo). All sorts of varieties: pineapple, papaya, orange, peach etc. All freshly done and extremely tasty – has become a regular of Kat’s along the way.


Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Murals at the temple of the moon
Murals at the temple of the moon
Inside the excavation
Inside the excavation
They even had clowns back then. Th…
They even had clowns back then. T…
Moche city being excavated between…
Moche city being excavated betwee…
Rainbow / Dragon temple - looks li…
Rainbow / Dragon temple - looks l…
Scenic view from temple with washi…
Scenic view from temple with wash…
Chan Chan inner plaza
Chan Chan inner plaza
Facade of the Temple of the Moon -…
Facade of the Temple of the Moon …
Amateur archaeologist - Mullet the…
Amateur archaeologist - Mullet th…
I was having a bad hair day, but l…
I was having a bad hair day, but …
The sphinx at Chan Chan
The sphinx at Chan Chan
Nothing to see here
Nothing to see here
Huanchaco beach boats
Huanchaco beach boats
Chan Chan dark alleys
Chan Chan dark alleys
Surfer girl
Surfer girl
They had problems with people maki…
They had problems with people mak…
photo by: Paulovic