El Brujo: Mysteries of the Mochican Culture

  • Port

    Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru

  • Activity Level


  • Excursion Type

    12, All

  • Wheelchair Accessible


  • Starting at


  • Minimum Age

    Information is not currently available.

  • Duration

    Approximately 4½ Hours

  • Meals Included


Drive along the Pan-American Highway to reach the archaeological complex of El Brujo, which translates as 'the Sorcerer'. This site was developed and inhabited by the Mochica culture. It is located just 20 miles north of Trujillo in the Valley of Chicama. The National University of Trujillo and the National Institute of Culture began a joint "dig" here in 1990. Huaca Cao highlights include pyramids reaching up to 150 feet in height with walls decorated with friezes and colored reliefs that depict complex scenes, characters, and geometric designs. These are the only such examples known to relate to the Mochican culture and, with every question that is answered here, another arises as archaeologists attempt to plumb the depths of an elusive and intelligent civilization. Interestingly, the site is located very close to the seashore, and it is believed that ancient maritime rituals were carried out at El Brujo. Excavation is ongoing and may reveal additional uses for the complex.

Make the most of an inside visit to the Señora Cao Museum at El Brujo, honoring the first female ruler of Peru and offering some insights into the nature of the Moche people. The Lady of Cao tomb stands out from the other tombs because of her pottery, jewelry and representations of tattooed arms and legs.

Please note: Travel time is approximately 1½ hours each way. Your guide will do his/her best to speak English, but please keep in mind that the limited tourism infrastructure of Trujillo is part of the city's charm, and bear with any language difficulties he/she may encounter. Buses and other forms of transportation in Trujillo may be somewhat basic in comparison with those offered in some other ports of call.