Trujillo, Peru

New winds are blowing in Peru these days, with the inauguration if the new government leaded by Alejandro Toledo the issues of people with disabilities have taken an important place in our country’s public life. Regarding tourism the goal is to have three and a half million tourists visiting Peru each year by the year 2006. We are lobbying the new authorities in order to try to set the goal that 10% of those be people with disabilities. Undoubtedly a very big challenge for our country, but also a very exciting one.

Picture of ranch and horses.Let’s put politics aside and "get to the beef", in this third article about Peru we will tour two totally different Peruvian cities: Trujillo and Iquitos. The first one is the home of the Moche Culture, the "Marinera" (a beautiful and very sensual dance), and the largest area in the north of Peru where the Peruvian Paso Horse is bred. Iquitos is the most important city of Peru’s section of the Amazon Rainforest, where you will find a very unusual mixture of cultures: from witch doctors to Fitzcarraldo to a tin house designed by Eiffel that stands proudly on the main square of the city.

The city of Trujillo is located in the Province of La Libertad on theNorth coast of the country, at an altitude of 11.52 feet (34 m) above sea level. The annual average temperature is 66.02ºF/18.9ºC (maximum of 86ºF/30ºC and a minimum of 61ºF/16ºC). The rainy season is from June to August. You can get there by land (350.6 miles/561 Km) using the North Pan-American highway, which takes about 8 hours by car.  There are several daily flights from Lima to Trujillo (about 45 min.).

The Cap. FAP Carlos Martinez de Pinillos Airport located at Carretera Huanchaco s/n Distrito de Huanchaco, Trujillo and is the airport that serves the city of Trujillo. The parking lot is at the same level as the building. Entrance and exit doors are wide enough and at street level. There is a visual information system for people with hearing impairments and the audio information is very clear. Public phones are too high for people in wheelchairs, but they do have volume control. Restrooms located in the boarding room are accessible, with a door width of 33.15 inches (0.85 m) and a toilet stall specially adapted for people in wheelchairs. The route from the counters to the boarding rooms and the Police, Migrations and Customs areas is accessible. There are wheelchairs available for passengers. The airport does not have jetways or platform elevators. One can ask the airline about boarding chairs and, if they do not have them, these can be borrowed from another company. The areas between the arrival gate and the exit from the luggage claim and the exit of the airport are accessible.

The Incas, after encountering great resistance, conquered this kingdom in the 15th century. In 1534 with the arrival of the Spanish to this valley, Trujillo was founded, and it became one of the most important cities of the viceroyalty. Trujillo was the first city of northern Peru that proclaimed its independence on December 29th, 1820. Nowadays, it is one of the important economical and cultural centers of northern Peru. It is the capital of typical dances, such as the Marinera and the Resbalosa, land of the Peruvian Paso horse and beautiful beaches where traditional reed boats, caballitos de totora (little totora horses) still sail.

The most important archeological sites located in the outskirts of the city are:

Chan Chan (In Mochica dialect: Janj-Janj, Sun-Sun). Located in the Moche valley, at 3.1 miles (5 Km) and about 10 minutes by car from the city. It is the biggest Clay City in pre-Hispanic America. It was the capital of the kingdom of the Gran Chimú and its extends from the Huanchaco port to the Campana Mountain (12.5 sq. Miles/20 Km2), and it is estimated that it had more than 100,000 habitants. The citadel is formed by squares, houses, deposits, workshops, labyrinths, and city walls, excellent roads and pyramid shaped temples. Its enormous walls have been generously decorated with raised geometric figures, animal stylization and mythological creatures. UNESCO has declared the archaeological complex Cultural Mankind Heritage Monument. It has a local museum. . The area of Chan Chan, which is opened to the public, is accessible with help. There are no steps but the sand trails makes movement difficult for people in wheelchairs. The visitor center is also accessible with help. There is only one step to the exhibition area, the ticket counter and the souvenir shop (door of 31.2 inches /0.80 m wide). There are no accessible public restrooms. The museum located inside the Chan Chan complex is very accessible. It has an entrance ramp and wide doors. The exhibited objects are at a good height having been designed with children in mind. The new auditorium presents models of Chan Chan that have light and audio systems. People using wheelchairs and persons with limited physical mobility can enter through the exit and use the ramp to reach the exhibition. In the auditorium there are no seats. It is a unique exhibition. Public restrooms are not accessible.

Archaeological Complex El Brujo - Located in the Chicama valley, at 21.3 miles (34 Km) of Trujillo and about 1.25 hours by car. It is one of the most priceless archaeological monuments in the northern Peruvian coast, because many cultures developed here since the pre-ceramic period (5,000 years ago) until the viceroyalty period. We will be visiting this site on mid September and we will give you more details about accessibility there.

Huaca del Sol.- Located in the Campiña de Moche at 5 miles (8 Km) and about 15 minutes by car from Trujillo. It is a dazzling pyramid that is more than 65.6 ft (20 m) high. According to the tradition, it was built in three days, employing 250,000 men and using approximately 70 million bricks adobes. It has an amazing beautiful harmony and dazzling platforms. It was used for funerary, ceremonial and probably administrative and elite housing purposes. This Huaca has not yet been excavated, therefore you will be able to see the pyramid but visitors are not allowed to visit it yet.

Huaca de la Luna. - Located at 5 miles (8 Km) and about 15 min by car from the city of Trujillo. This "Huaca" is in front of the Huaca del Sol, in the Valle de Moche. It is smaller, but in its high adobe walls there are some murals with very well defined borders, where one can find the face of god AI-APAEK. It is a monument with different temples, a box of great surprises. Its height reaches 68.8-ft. (21 m). Archeologists have discovered a tomb with more than 40 sacrificed warriors. This archaeological site can be visited by people using wheelchairs, with the help of at least three persons per wheelchair. It is a must for people who visit northern Peru. The experience of seeing the figure of the "Degollador" (Be header) is extraordinary. The view of the Huaca del Sol from the top of the Huaca de la Luna is another must. There are several ramps in the areas that have been rebuilt, all of them with steep slope, and also a series of stairs, especially on the way to the exit of the complex. The complex does not have accessible public restrooms.

Huaca La Esmeralda. - Located in the Cooperativa de Producción El Cortijo at 1.9 miles (3 Km) and about 8 min by car away from the city of Trujillo. It is formed by several terraces, which one can access via ramps.


The most important festivities that take place in the Trujillo area are:

National Competition of Marinera (January)

Surfboard Championship (March)

International Spring Festival (September/ October)

Festivity of the Virgen de la Puerta of Otuzco (December)



Exterior of hotel with ramp. The most important hotels in the city of Trujillo are not totally accessible, none of them have adapted rooms, but some are usable by people using wheelchairs. As of February 2001 all Hotels are required to refurbish one of every 25 rooms in order to turn it into a wheelchair accessible room. We suppose that these works will start later this year and completed by mid 2002.

  You can also choose to stay in the Huanchaco area, which is 5 minutes away from Trujillo’s airport and it is a very nice and cozy beach resort. The Haunchaco Tourist Chamber is strongly promoting this resort area and they are very interested in receiving people with disabilities.

Trujillo’s most important restaurants are: El Mochia, Restaurante Heladeria Demarco and El Rincón del Mariscal. The best restaurants in the Huanchaco area are: Huanchaco Beach and Club Colonial. Please go to the Access-Able database and select Access Guide/Tours for specific information about dining access and cuisine. Or click HERE.


While in the city of Trujillo the most interesting and important tourist sites are:

Archaeology, Anthropology and History Museum Universidad Nacional de Trujillo  The museum shows the development of the historical process of the northern coast from the arrival of the first inhabitants 12,000 years ago until the arrival of the Spaniards in 1532. The house that hosts the museum was built in the 17th century. There is no parking lot. The entrance is accessible with help (there is one step between the street and the main courtyard and four steps between the latter and the entrance to the museum). The museum has only one floor that has connected rooms that are all on the same level. The service counter is 3.9-ft (1.20 m) high. There are no accessible public restrooms. There are no exhibitions that have been designed taking the needs of deaf or blind people into consideration. The information panels are located at an adequate height so people using wheelchairs can read them. The souvenir shop is accessible without help. It is an interesting museum that we recommend before visiting the "Huacas" del Sol and de la Luna, in order to know more about these archaeological complexes.

Palacio Iturregui  Built in the 19th century, it is the best example of neoclassical civil architecture. It is the headquarters of the "Club Central", first social center of Trujillo and for the exclusive use of its members. However people who are interested can visit it at certain hours. Its columns, window grilles and Italian marble statues are special features. The main entrance is level as far as the main courtyard. There are five steps to access the interior of the palace. There is an antique elevator to go to the second floor. It is a museum piece and in perfect working condition. It has a hand rail and enough space for a person using a wheelchair, but the help of a second person is necessary because of its folding grilles, which can be difficult to operate. The museum is on the second floor and the entrance is easier through the offices, because the regular route has two steps. Here you can view a ceramic vessel collection of the Moche culture. The objects are at a convenient height to be seen from a wheelchair, but the information panels are not, and the print size makes them very difficult to read. You can access the dining area without help once you are inside the building. There are no accessible public restrooms. The public restrooms are very big, with exception of the toilet stalls. If you want to have lunch or dinner there you must make arrangements in advance with the administration. In this case it is required that one dress formally.

Church of El Carmen  Built in 1759, it is one of the most beautiful buildings of the city. It consists of a temple and a monastery with two cloisters. It contains 150 paintings, mostly of the 17th and 18th centuries, and also paintings of the Quito Art School. The main entrance to the courtyard is accessible, but the entrance to the church and the art gallery has 6 and 5 steps, respectively. Objects are exhibited at less than 3.9-ft (1.20 m) high. The exhibition is well arranged and illuminated. There are no signals or explanation texts in large print. The language used is only Spanish. Blind people can touch some objects. The restroom of the art gallery is not accessible. The entrance to the church, once you are upstairs, is easier through the left wing, because the main door has a lintel and a second set of narrow doors. One should arrange in advance to use this secondary access. The sacristy’s restroom is accessible, with a door of 34.71 inches (0.89 m) wide and enough interior space to maneuver a wheelchair. This church is worth visiting in order to appreciate the central altar and museum pictures, most of which, however, are in a reserved area of the cloister.


To make travel arrangements we suggest you contact:

Inkanatura Travel  This company provides a personal and specialized service to people with disabilities. Two tourist guides -Mercedes Castillo and Ingeborg Zielinski - went with our consultants group during the whole tour in Trujillo in order to learn the requirements of tourists with special needs. Ingeborg is a very skilled multilingual person and she really has the knowledge, patience and dedication to take proper care of people with disabilities. We strongly suggest you contact her if you’re planning on visiting Trujillo. They offer very comfortable transportation with vans that can transport wheelchairs, an excellent guide service in several languages and all kinds of tourist services.

Trujillo Tours  The company has a lot of guidance experience around the city. Offering a professional and personalized treatment, they have the best contacts to make your visit to Trujillo a unique experience.