Trujillo is a friendly, colonial city and at the same time one of the main economic and cultural centers of northem Peru. What is more, it is the capital of the marinera dance and caballo de paso (a fine breed of horses). It was the center of the Chimú culture (1100-1400 AD), whose Chan Chan citadel is the largest pre-Hispanic mud-brick construction in the Americas.
Trujillo was founded in 1534 as one of the main cities in the vice-regency -The old quarter features many fine colonial buildings such as the Cathedral, the El Carmen monastery and churches and mansions which symbolize the beauty and architectural harmony of the city.
Visitors can take in an older style of architecture on the city`s outskirts, where the remains of a pre Hispanic civilization still rear above the green fields and desert sands. The Chan Chan citadel, the El Brujo complex and the temples of the Sun, the Moon and the Dragon, amongst others, are evidence of highly advanced northern civilizations.
Beaches near Trujillo are ideal for visitors, not just because of the superb local seafood, fresh caught, or the cool sea breeze, but also for the opportunities for adventure sports and contact with tradition. Huanchaco is a picturesque fishing cove where one can find the ancient craft that appeared on Mochica pottery and friezes at Chan Chan:
The caballitos de totora, rafts woven from the totora reed in an art that has been handed down over generations. Similar skill is shown by the surfing crowd, which year after year gather in the port of Malabrigo. A surfing championship is staged here every March and local beaches feature the world`s longest waves.
Above all, Trujillo is the land of the marinera, and the townspeople hold the National Marinera Contest every March In September the streets and houses are festooned with decorations to receive a procession of floats, competitions and parties. This is the International Spring Festival, which celebrates the arrival of spring in Peru.
:: CHAN CHAN: THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRE-HISPANIC MUD-BRICK CITADEL
The ancient Chimú kingdom (700-1400 AD) founded their capital by the banks of the Moche River in the department of La Libertad and called it Jang-Jang, which in the ancient Mochica language means sun-sun.
Chan Chan, which spans an area of 20 square km, is the largest mud-brick citadel dating back to the pre-Hispanic era. The Chimú architects used materials which enable the citadel to blend in with the sandy coasts such as mud, clay, pebbles,wood,reeds,straw and cane to built it.
The complex is made of many cities within a city. Each one has its own single entrance and leads down a corridor that opens into other passageways lining walls and buildings. Featuring some marvelous rectangular architecture: such as inner patios, residences, administrative buildings, temples, platforms and storehouses. The walls are decorated with haut-relief friezes done in geometric and animal figures. The T-shaped plaform that houses the king´s burial chamber is the most important construction in the complex. The citadel is surrounded by outlying quarters which houses the kingdom's producers and servants.
The separate cities today have been given the names of the archaeologists who studied them (Rivero, Tschudi, Bandelier, Uhle and Tello). The Rivero city was the seat of Minchancamán, the last of the Chimú rulers, who was captured by the Incas and taken to Cuzco, according to the Spanish chroniclers.
The city was the urban center of a vast regional state which covered half of the Peruvian coast, and stretched on from Tumbes to Lima.
• Seco de cabrito con frijoles. Tender kid goat stew and beans.
• Shambar. Thick wheat soup with pork and beans.
• Sopa teologa. Chicken broth with pieces of bread.
• Frejoles a la trujillana. Black beans with sesame seeds snd hot chilli pepper.
• Pepián de pava. Turkey stew with rice and corn.