• Ancient Civilizations of Northern Peru

Explore Less-Visited Archaeological Wonders of Peru

Days: 7 | From: $3,750/per person

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides

See magnificent pre-Incan cultures like the Royal Tombs of Sipan, massive ruins of the Kuelap fortress, remote Revash, Karajia and rarely visited sites of the Chachapoya.

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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Lambayeque
    1 night: visit the remarkable Tombs of the Lord of Sipan
  • Chachapoyas
    2 nights: stay in the dense cloud forest, exploring impressive ruins and tombs
  • Leimebamba
    2 nights: discover the ancient ruins of Kuelap and colorful cliffside Revash
  • Cajamarca
    1 night: a charming colonial town known for its hot springs

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Chiclayo and the Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan

Fly to Chiclayo, where your local guide will welcome you and accompany you on your visit to Sipan. Visit the site where the Tombs of the Lord of Sipan were first discovered in 1987. Enjoy a privately-guided tour of the site, where you can observe the ongoing excavations being conducted by archaeologists.

After lunch, visit the Museo de los Tumbes Reales, which houses an extraordinary collection of artifacts from the Sipan site and from the influential Moche culture in general. In the evening you will be transferred back to your hotel in the small town of Lambayeque.

Accommodations: Hosteria San Roque

*Includes: Lunch

Day 2:


Journey to Chachapoyas, home to the fortress of Kuelap and other ruins of the “People of the Clouds.” This is a 10 hour scenic drive, with various stops, taking you up and over the Andes into the Upper Amazon basin on the eastern slopes of the range. Along the way you will see the transition from the bright green rice paddies of the lower elevations to the steep terraced fields of produce, and finally to the dense vegetation of the cloud forests.

Accommodations: Casa Vieja

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3:

Sarcophagi of Karajia

Visit Karajia, a unique site with striking 10 foot high funerary towers that house mummies from the Chachapoya people. These tombs are set into the side of the cliffs, overlooking the Jucusbamba River below. Your private local guide will show you around the site.

Accommodations: Casa Vieja

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4:

The Towering Ruins at Kuelap

Discover the ancient ruins of Kuelap on a full day visit. Formally discovered in 1843, these ruins are among the most magnificent in all of Peru. Towering walls stretch nearly 2,300 feet around the site, which holds a commanding view over the surrounding valleys. Archaeologists estimate that the complex was once home to a population of 3,500 people, with many times that number living outside its walls. After exploring the site and learning about its hundreds of years of history, you will transfer to Leimebamba for the night.

Accommodations: Casona de Leymebamba

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5:

Mausoleums of Revash

Pay a visit to Revash, a series of colorful mausoleums dramatically set into the side of a steep cliff. The mausoleums were painted in shades of red and cream, and adorned with unique gabled roofs. This is a remarkable and seldom-visited site. Afterward, travel along the Rio Utcubamba to the Leimebamba Museum, which chronicles the history and society of the Chachapoya culture that dominated this region for centuries.

Accommodations: Casona de Leymebamba

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6:

Transfer to Cajamarca

Transfer back over the Andes and down into the charming colonial town of Cajamarca, well known for its hot springs. Once a major city along the Incan highway system through the Andes, Cajamarca is of significant historical interest for being the site where the Inca ruler Atahualpa was captured by the Spanish conquistadors, ransomed for a room full of gold, and then executed, marking the end of the Inca Empire.

Accommodations: Laguna Seca

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7:

Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Today you can either return to Lima for your flight home, or continue your exploration of this area: from Cajamarca, we can easily arrange an extension to Trujillo, where you can view the monumental ruins of the Temples of the Sun and Moon (also of the Moche culture), and the adobe pyramids at Chan Chan (of the Chimu culture).

Any itinerary to this area of Peru can also be combined with a trip to the Cusco/Machu Picchu region.

*Includes: Breakfast

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1 (510) 548-8487

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Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

We’ve not only traveled there, we’ve lived there. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former expatriates with years of experience in the region.

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From the first phone call to after you get back, we're here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

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Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.