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Chan Chan

The largest adobe city

Chan Chan, Trujillo, Peru

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, was built in 900CE and is the best archeological site left to us by the Chimú culture. They dominated the area from about 850CE to 1470CE, when they were conquered by the Inca.

The most unique feature of Chan Chan is that it is built out of adobe, and yet is still mostly intact. When the Inca conquered the area, they absorbed the city and its people without damaging the structures. However, the Spanish looted the place and we lost a lot of important archeological evidence to their destruction.


From Trujillo, it’s only about 20 minute drive. Guides are readily available on site. The official government Chan Chan website had tons of information, but only in Spanish.

>1200: Pre-Inca Times


Northern Coast

Text © Heather Jasper

Image by Dave Brown