Of all the archeological sites to visit in Peru, you can spend one wonderful day visiting the Lord of Sipan, Peru. The Lord of Sipan’s museum is located in Lambayeque, Peru, 11 kilometers north of Chiclayo.
The Lord of Sipan or “Señor de Sipan” was discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva. Without a doubt, one of the greatest South American finds of the last few decades, this royal mummy of the Moche culture was found intact in his tomb with all his finery and court around him. Many burials and other archaeological sites have been looted since colonial times, making the find of El Señor de Sipan even more valuable. He was so wealthy and powerful that he’s considered the King Tut of Peru!
El Señor de Sipan and his treasures were moved to a special museum, the Royal Tombs Museum of Sipan (“Museo Real del Señor de Sipan”), which was built to resemble the mound in which he was found. All of his retinue, including his wife, ladies, warriors, dogs and llamas made the move with him and are now on display for visitors to enjoy. Many pieces of pottery were also found, along with jewelry and other priceless regalia.
Archeologists arrived in the nick of time to save this lord of the Moche culture, which pre-dated the Incans and rule the area between 1AD and 700AD, one of the oldest known cultures in South America. Looting had already begun, but fortunately the treasures were recovered.
Tours covering the pyramids, the museums and other nearby archaeological sites are available in both Spanish and English. These are a good way to see things in an organized fashion and come with tour buses to take you from one location to the next. If you prefer to travel on your own, there are taxis and other transportation options available. However you go, make sure you visit the Huaca Rajada pyramids. There is even a display where replicas of the Lord of Sipan, his court and treasures are shown as they were found when they were first uncovered. Other area archaeological attractions include the temples of the Sun and Moon, and the Tomb of El Brujo, which was featured in National Geographic magazine.
Lambayeque is about 11 hours up the coast from Lima, so overnight accommodations are advisable, though you can fly in to nearby Chiclayo. Stay at a rural lodge near the pyramids where the Lord of Sipan was found, or at any number of enjoyable hotels and hostels in Chiclayo. Chiclayo has restaurants and two outdoor markets to enjoy along with its archeological museums. It’s a great location to stay while visiting the Lord of Sipan and other area treasures.
When you’ve visited long enough with El Señor de Sipan, take a side trip to Huanchaco, a famed beach resort not far from the colonial village of Trujillo. Huanchaco is a visitor’s beach paradise with plenty of seafood and lovely places to stay. 12 kilometers gets you into Trujillo, where you can enjoy colonial splendor and take a side trip to the ruins of Chan Chan, once the largest adobe city in the world.
Another destination to consider while visiting the land of the Lord of Sipan is the Pomac Algarrobo Forest, a stunning eco-preserve that’s considered the seat of the Sican culture.