Travel Guide to the Valley of the Pyramids in Tucume
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Travel Guide to the Valley of the Pyramids in Tucume

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Travel Guide to the Valley of the Pyramids in Tucume

This spectacular archaeological complex constitutes a very important point due to the great concentration of pyramids structured in mud that correspond to the last development of the Lambayeque culture, whose beginnings date back to seven hundred years after Christ.


It has an extension of 220 hectares which is surrounded by fertile fields of cultivation. In the center is the Sacred Mountain known as Cerro La Raya or Purgatorio, which has a viewpoint that has a beautiful view of the valley. In addition, it is made up of twenty-six adobe buildings, which fulfilled various functions, from rituals and housing to large warehouses. The construction of these pyramids or huacas began in the 7th century, being in the year 700 AD. the first "Callac" buildings were founded, a descendant of Naylamp. In its surroundings, other huacas stand out, such as: Las Estacas, La Raya, Del Pueblo, Las Balsas, Huaca I; the Gavilanes and the Great ones, etc. Huaca Del Pueblo: it is located near the current town of Túcume, south of Cerro Prieto.


It is a 30 m high trapezoidal building with its respective access and a zigzag ramp. Huaca I: it is located to the west of Huaca Las Estacas. It is the highest of the pyramids, it is 30 m high. Built with flat adobe and oriented from east to west, it is accessed by a long and elevated adobe ramp leading to the different levels. Huaca Larga: it is one of the largest structures in the complex and is embedded in the hill, measuring 700 m long, 280 m wide and 30 m high. It has platforms, rectangular enclosures, temples and storage areas and is accessed by a ramp.


It was of local importance for the Chimús and later for the Incas, who used it as a center of political power, building successive superimposed temples such as the Temple of the Mythical Bird and the Inca Temple. Inca Temple: it is located in the upper and central part, superimposed on the Temple of the Mythical Bird in Huaca Larga. It presents a corridor where the burial of an Inca administrator was discovered with 2 male companions and 16 women, among other attractions we find the purgatory hill or La Raya named after the ray of a marine animal, the temple of the stone, the temple of the mythical bird , the Inca building and other work carried out by the site museum.


The Túcume pyramids are one of the most outstanding archaeological complexes in Peru and the most important concentration of mud on the north coast of Peru.


The Valley of the Pyramids

The Valley of the Pyramids, also called the Túcume Archaeological Complex, extends over 220 hectares. In the area you can find 26 pyramid-shaped buildings made of adobe (clay and sand). The buildings, many of them temples, are around 40 meters high and were built from the years 700 to 1,000 AD. approximately, by the Lambayeque Culture. However, it is known that the Chimú and Inca cultures also made some changes to them.



  • Admission to the Túcume Archaeological Complex costs 8 soles for adults, 3 soles for students and 1 sol for children. The payment includes the entrance to the Valley and also to the site museum.
  • A local tour guide can be hired to provide information and guidance on every historical and cultural aspect of the Valley of the Pyramids.
  • To hire a guide service, the approximate cost is 30 soles for groups of 15 people maximum for route A and 50 soles for route B. We will explain both later.

Main attractions of the Túcume Archaeological Complex:

The Temple of the Sacred Stone

It was used and respected by the Inca Empire. It is an enclosure with a very small access through which only one person can enter. Inside, figures of feathers bathed in gold and silver have been found. Although the Incas only made offerings to the temples they considered most important, such as Coricancha in Cusco, the Temple of the Sacred Stone would also have been highly revered by them.


Huaca Larga

With an extension of 700 meters long, 280 meters wide and 30 meters high, Huaca Larga is one of the most majestic attractions of the complex. It not only functioned as a place of religious worship, evidence of craft and administrative activities have been found there.


Huaca Larga was built with 130 million adobitos and reaching its peak in ancient times, according to historians, meant achieving the maximum purification of the human soul. It was a place where innumerable human sacrifices occurred.


Temple of the Mythical Bird

This temple is just inside Huaca Larga and dates from the time of the Chimú Culture. It is so called because it is decorated with figures and designs of birds of all colors. It is recognized for being the place where an elite character was buried: the Lord of Túcume, along with 19 weaver women and two men, probably as part of a sacrifice at the time of his burial.


Huaca Las Rafts

It is so named because it is filled with decorations with images of rafts and seabirds, nets, and other ocean-related designs.


Route A and Route B to the Valley of the Pyramids

There are two routes to explore this impressive archaeological complex. Route A takes 45 minutes and begins at Huaca Las Balsas, from where you can walk and visit the other attractions of the Valley of the Pyramids.


Route B is marked by the desert plain. It is a path that leads to Cerro Purgatorio, a place where there are several viewpoints to take the best panoramic photographs of all the pyramids.


From the point of Purgatory you can see all the temples of the complex, the main angles of the pyramids and the Huaca Larga in all its splendor. On the way to the hill there are other trails that do not lead anywhere exactly, but have beautiful landscapes and an incomparable state of tranquility, full of forests and carob trees.



  • Very close to the Valley of the Pyramids there is a hotel called Los Horcones de Túcume, which has won many awards thanks to its good service and its traditional architecture. It is not cheap, but it is an excellent option to enjoy the partial view of the Archaeological Complex before the full tour.

The Tucume Museum


How to get to the Valley of the Pyramids in Túcume?

To start your journey to the Pyramids of Túcume we recommend you first travel to Chiclayo. The price of the ticket from Lima to Chiclayo varies from 30 to 125 soles depending on the transport company and the service chosen. The journey time is 13 hours on average. If you are already in the Department, it is also possible that you arrive from Ferreñafe or Lambayeque.



  • The climate in Chiclayo is hot and desert. The average annual temperature is a minimum of 20°C and a maximum of 26°C. You can travel at any time of the year, but it is best to wear light clothing and avoid synthetic clothing.
  • You can get to Túcume from Chiclayo for two soles. A bus, which costs 2 soles per person, departs from the city to the district every so often. Once in Túcume, you must take a motorcycle taxi, which charges between 3 to 5 soles, to reach the entrance to the Valley in 15 minutes.
  • It can also be reached via a taxi service from Chiclayo, whose price is around 10 soles. The journey takes 30 to 40 minutes maximum.
  • In 2014, the Túcume Museum was inaugurated, which works together with the Archaeological Complex of the same name and is part of most tourist packages. There, about 1,262 pieces found in the excavations of the pyramids and in the surroundings are exhibited.

The museum has an entertainment system that helps you learn about the place in a didactic way. Every year at the museum, at least 30 shamans meet in the fortnight of September with the aim of invoking their gods.


The Tucume Experience

The tour to the Valley of the Pyramids and the Túcume Museum is added to a short walk through the nearby desert passages. The guides give the option of taking a javelin throw test, just as the ancient inhabitants of Túcume did to hunt animals and get food. Tours include tours of reserve dyeing workshops, pottery and ceramics to appreciate and learn about the activities of the local artisan association.



  • The Túcume Museum was awarded as the Best World Tourism Project, by the British Association of Travel Writers. An important fact is that admission is free on the first Sunday of each month.
  • Some tips to enjoy your trip with peace of mind
  • Bring sunscreen and repellent. It is preferable to visit the pyramids in the afternoon, when the intensity of sunlight decreases (it is a desert climate). There are many mosquitoes so to avoid any problems it is ideal to go with light clothing but with pants and long sleeves.
  • The guide service for routes A and B have a cost, but you can travel both on your own. So, in order to save money, it is recommended to hire a guide for route A and then go to Cerro Purgatorio and the viewpoints without the need for a guide, since what is striking there is the panoramic view.
  • Photos are allowed at the Túcume Museum. A camera with a well-charged battery is the perfect companion.
  • The opening hours of the Archaeological Complex and the Museum are from 8 in the morning until 7 in the afternoon.
  • Although there are 26 pyramids, most are not open to the public. Many are still in the process of being investigated and excavated. The travel experience will improve by following the indications that they provide at the entrance of this historical site.

Chiclayo: Other nearby tourist attractions

The adventure does not end in Túcume. From Chiclayo you have several other destinations in the region waiting for your visit. Among the most important are:


Chaparri Ecological Reserve

It is located 72 km east of Chiclayo, an hour away by bus. The objective of the Chaparri ecological reserve is the conservation of the dry forests of the area. In the reserve you will be able to appreciate striking species (some in danger of extinction) such as the spectacled bear, the guanaco, the Andean condor, among others.


Archaeological Complex of Huaca Rajada and Sipán

It is located 35 km southeast of the city of Chiclayo (45 minutes by road). It was there that the tomb with the remains of the famous Lord of Sipán was discovered in 1987. It also has a Site Museum that houses archaeological pieces found in the place. The museum exhibits the bones, jewelry, ceramics and other vestiges found in its niche.


Pómac Forest Historical Sanctuary

It is a dry forest in which many species of birds and plants inhabit, in addition to gathering archaeological remains of the Sicán culture. It is located 31 km from the city of Chiclayo and preserves the most dense plantation of carob trees on the planet.


Monsefu Craft Market

Recommended to buy and bring souvenirs to family, friends or loved ones. This market is the best place to find all the souvenirs so sought after by tourists. In the Monsefú District Craft Market you can find straw fabrics, hats, baskets, handbags and cotton saddlebags. It is located 14 km south of the city of Chiclayo.


The Seasoning of the North: Gastronomy of Lambayeque

In the north, an exquisite dish awaits you in almost any huarique or restaurant. One of the best-known restaurants in Lambayeque is El Fiesta, considered even among the best in the country and located on Avenida Reducto, in Chiclayo.


La Romana is a classic for local residents, with a strong flavor. It is located on Avenida Balta (Chiclayo).


El Cántaro has been a complete success at the Mistura events in Lima: this Chiclayo restaurant, whose flagship dish is arroz con pato, is one of the jewels of the region. It is located on Avenida 2 de Mayo.


In all these restaurants they sell the typical dishes of the Peruvian north, such as the thickened, chinguirito, the tortilla de raya, rice with duck, kid with loche and the causa a la chiclayana.


Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.

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