Upcoming Events

April 23, 2019

Origin of “Anasazi” Ceramics: A View from the Southern Chuska Valley
OAS Brown Bag talk by C. Dean Wilson ( former director of the OAS' Ceramics Analysis Laboratory and current OAS Research Associate) at the CNMA, 12:00 noon, free!

May 18, 2019

Explore the Vista Verde Comanche Petroglyphs
Saturday, May 18, 2019, all day; $90 for FOA members and $100 for non-members

Secrets of Northern Peru

May 10, 2018

May 10th - May 24th, 2018
Per person, double occupancy including international air: $5,560.00, single occupancy: $6,175.00

The Friends of Archaeology invites you to join Dr. Tim Maxwell, Director Emeritus of the Office of Archaeological Studies, to explore the fascinating areas of Northern Peru. This tour is a fundraising effort by the The Friends of Archaeology to fund research and education programs.

This tour starts in Lima with a city tour and visits to the excellent Larco Herrera Museum and the temple of Pachacamac. We will fly north to the land of the Moche/Mochica culture where we will visit Trujillo and the sites of Pyramid of the Sun and Moon, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chan Chan, El Brujo, Huaca Rajada, Huaca Cao, and Sipán. Since the astonishing discovery of the tomb of the Lord of Sipán in northern Peru and after 20 years of excavations and study, we can begin to understand the sophistication and complex social structures of the Moche Culture. The tour continues to Zaña, Chiclayo and Túcume before crossing the Andes to the region of Chachapoyas where we will explore the Chachapoyan culture. We will visit Karajia with its fascinating clay figures covering the entrance of burial sites and continue on to the incredible fortress of Kuélap, the largest stone structure in the Western Hemisphere. We end in the town of Cajamarca, the site of the terrible encounter between Francisco Pizarro and the Inca Atahualpa, that precipitated the fall of the Inca Empire.

For more information, or to reserve your space, contact Rosa Ramirez Carlson by phone at (505) 310-1863 or by e-mail at info@journeys-international.com. A detailed itinerary can also be found on the Journeys International website.

Day 1 – Thursday, May 10


Overnight Hotel Jose Antonio Deluxe or similar. (B, L)

We will depart Albuquerque via United Airlines flight #6017 leaving at 12:15PM and arriving in Houston at 3:30PM. There we will board United Airlines flight #854 leaving Houston at 4:40PM and arriving in Lima at 11:15PM local time. After clearing customs and immigrations we will be met and taken to our hotel.

Day 2 – Friday, May 11

Colonial Lima

Overnight Hotel Jose Antonio Deluxe or similar. (B, L)

Our full day tour will start at the heart of Colonial Lima. Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535 it became the most important city of the period. We will visit Lima’s most imposing colonial churches and mansions including the Government Palace, the Plaza de Armas, the City Hall, the Cathedral and the 17th century San Francisco Monastery. After lunch, we will continue to the Larco Herrera Museum. Founded in 1926, it is located in a unique 18th-century, vice-royal mansion built atop a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, and surrounded by beautiful gardens. The museum showcases a remarkable series of galleries that chronicle 3,000 years of Peru's pre-Columbian history. On our return to the hotel we will cross the modern suburbs of this city.

Day 3 – Saturday, May 12


Overnight Hotel Los Conquistadores or similar. (B, L)

After breakfast and check out we will travel outside Lima to visit the archaeological site of Pachacamac, one of the most important pilgrimage centers on the Pre-Hispanic coast. Chroniclers describe the site in 1533 as a very old site with many building in ruins and the four walls that surround the site and that control access to the interior. The site consists of over 50 monumental building including plazas, streets, cemeteries and temples. After lunch we will be taken to the airport for our flight to the city of Trujillo. We will depart on LATAM Peru flight #2206 at 4.55pm arriving in Trujillo at 7.05pm. Upon arrival we will be met and taken to our hotel.

Day 4 – Sunday, May 13


Overnight Hotel Los Conquistadores or similar. (B, L)

Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1536 and named after his native town in Spain, Trujillo retains many old churches, graceful colonial balconies and homes built during the reigns of the Viceroys. Our full day tour starts at the Pyramid of the Moon, a masterpiece of human creative genius. Its almost 3 acres of polychrome murals are an outstanding example of the construction technology that the Moche mastered. We continue to the Pyramid of the Sun, easily visible from a distance due to its spectacular size, being one of the largest adobe structures of pre-Hispanic America. Its possible dimensions were 1100 feet long by 525 meters wide and 100 feet high. Unfortunately, it was greatly damaged by treasure hunters in the 17th century, leaving only one third of its original structure intact.

We end the day at the ruins of Chan Chan which cover nearly 14 square miles and are in fairly good condition because the area is usually rainless. The building material used was adobe brick, and the buildings were finished with mud frequently adorned with patterned relief arabesques. The center of the city consists of several walled citadels, or quadrangles. Each of these contains pyramidal temples, cemeteries, gardens, reservoirs, and symmetrically arranged rooms. The quadrangles presumably were the living quarters, burial places, and storehouses of the aristocracy. Most of the city’s population—artisans and farmers—lived outside the quadrangles in modest quarters of less-durable construction.

Day 5 – Monday, May 14


Overnight Hotel Los Conquistadores or similar. (B, L)

We continue our explorations of the region by heading to El Brujo Archaeological Complex. It is a truncated pyramid with a terraced profile built with adobe bricks during the Moche era (100 – 800 A.D.). It is 340 feet long by 320 feet wide and 75 feet tall occupying an approximate area of 33,000 square feet. It carries the name Huaca Cortada because there is a long, wide and deep cut (148 feet long by 17 feet wide) on the center of its southern outer face that almost divides it into two parts. This cut was made at some undetermined time after the Spanish conquest of Peru by looters allegedly hunting for treasure inside. Before leaving we will visit the Museo de Cao, which houses the perfectly preserved remains of a Moche female ruler. She was found in 2005 in the Huaca Cao and it is estimated that she was 20 years old. Either at the site or back in Trujillo we will have a lecture by a local archaeologist.

Day 6 – Tuesday, May 15


Overnight Hotel Casa Andina Chiclayo or similar. (B, L)

After breakfast and check out we depart Trujillo to travel to Chiclayo. Our journey will take us to the Zaña Valley, an archaeological area that contains the earliest known canals in South America. Although excavated and studied by Tom Dillehay and his team from Vanderbilt University in 1989, they cannot be visited. The small town of Zaña might seem like it’s a deserted ghost town but it actually comes from a time of rich history. During the 16th and 17th century and due to its location, it was a flourishing community full of Spanish elites. Slaves were brought in to maintain the canals and work in agriculture and mining. This once rich community suffered pirate attacks and devastating floods which left the surviving slave population to fend for themselves. We will meander through skeletal remains of the lavish churches and convents.

We continue on to El Ventarrón, found in 2007 by the archeologist Walter Alva and his team, it is a 4,000-year-old temple with painted murals. The temple contained ceremonial offerings gained from exchange with Peruvian jungle societies, as well as those from the Ecuadoran coast. Such finds show sophisticated, monumental construction requiring large-scale organization of labor, suggesting that hierarchical, complex cultures arose in South America much earlier than scholars had thought.

Day 7 – Wednesday, May 16


Overnight Hotel Casa Andina Chiclayo or similar (B, L)

Our program today begins with a visit to the Royal Tombs Museum located in the nearby town of Lambayeque. The museum is important because it contains most of the important artifacts found at Huaca Rajada. Scientific analysis of the skeleton of the Lord of Sipán show that he was approximately 5 1⁄2 feet tall and was about 35–45 years old at the time of his death. His jewelry and ornaments, which included headdresses, a face mask, a pectoral, (the pectoral was gold and had the head of a man and the body of an octopus) necklaces, nose rings, ear rings and other items, indicate he was of the highest rank. Most of the ornaments were made of gold, silver, copper and semi-precious stones. Buried with the Lord of Sipán were six other people: three young women (possibly wives or concubines who had apparently died some time earlier), two males (probably warriors), and a child of about nine or ten years of age. The remains of a third male (possibly also a warrior) was found on the roof of the burial chamber sitting in a niche overlooking the chamber. There was also a dog which was probably the Lord of Sipan's favorite pet.

Later we will visit Túcume, a site that stretches across 500 acres and an ancient settlement built entirely of mud-brick by the Lambayeque (also known as Sican) culture in the beginning of the tenth century. The site was conquered by the Chimú in the 14th century and became part of the Inca Empire in the 15th century. The area prospered under the Inca Empire until the arrival of the Spanish.

Day 8 – Thursday, May 17


Overnight at Hotel Xalca or similar (B, L)

After breakfast and check out, our real adventure begins as we leave the coastal plains for our 260 mile ride (10 hours) and head to the mountains of Chachapoyas. This beautiful journey crosses the desert strip via the old Panamerican Highway and climb the Andes to the continental divide at Abra Porcuya (7,000 FASL). Descending to the Amazon basin we enter a dry valley that takes us down to the Marañon River, a major tributary of the Amazon River. Crossing an arid area to Bagua Grande we enter the Utucbamba Valley, a lush area of rice paddies and as we climb to the town of Chachapoyas (7,700 FASL), the valley becomes a fabulous canyon. After such a long ride we deserve a good rest!

Day 9 – Friday, May 18


Overnight at Hotel La Xalca or similar (B, L)

After breakfast we drive down to the Utcubamba River, where we might sight herons or Andean ducks, and cross over to the neighboring Province of Luya. From the village of Lamud we drive on to the village of Cruz Pata, where a short walk (0.6 mi) takes us down to Karajia. These striking sarcophagi, sculptured like humans, have become an icon of the area. For 750 years they have looked towards the rising sun and undoubtedly are the resting place for some elite members of the Chachapoya warriors. After returning to Chachapoyas, the afternoon is available for walks, searching for the dazzling and highly endangered Marvellous Spatuletail hummingbird or relaxing. In the evening, we will have a talk by an archaeologist at our hotel.

Day 10 – Saturday, May 19


Overnight at Hotel La Xalca or similar (B, L)

Our early departure will take us to the impressive unique Chachapoya citadel of Kuélap. We drive to the village of Tingo where we board a bus that will take us up to the cable car station. The cable car glides us across the valley for 20 minutes up to the ticket office of Kuélap. After the entrance we will walk up half a mile to the largest ancient stone structure in South America. The prominent towering walls, temples and hundreds of roundhouses capped by the cloud forest (9,800 FASL) always amaze first-time visitors. After a guided tour, you will be able to explore on your own the many ceremonial buildings and the extraordinary layout of this archaeological complex. We will return by cable car to Tingo and our private transfer back to our hotel.

Day 11 - Sunday May 20


Overnight La Casona de Leymabamba or similar (B, L)

We drive back down to the Utcubamba Valley and follow it upstream to the village of Leymebamba. On the way, we will stop at the Sunday market at Yerbabuena, the largest in the area, selling everything from saucepans to machetes, food to socks and medicinal plants to cattle. We will have lunch at Kentitambo which has lovely gardens to attract hummingbirds (18 species to date) and just across the road is the Leymebamba Museum. The museum was built to house the 219 mummies and a thousand other artifacts recovered from nearby cliff tombs in 1997. Due to the location of the tombs the textiles, ceramics, wooden effigies and mummies were in excellent condition and are now looked after and studied in this lovely museum. We will have a guided tour by its curator, Ms. Adriana von Hagen and hopefully meet its director, Dr. Sonia Guillén.

Day 12 – Monday, May 21


Overnight Hotel Costa del Sol or similar (B, L)

Today we travel along the most spectacular road in Peru – 283 miles (10 hours), passing through many different ecosystems. We start at 4,600 FASL and climb up toward the Barro Negro pass (11,700 FASL) and then descend 9,100 feet in 37 miles to cross the Chacanto bridge on the Marañon river. On the western bank we ascend 7,900 feet to another pass and arrive at the market town of Celendin which is famous for its straw hats worn by both men and women. The road climbs once again via high rolling hills and agricultural fields before dropping down to the city of Cajamarca.

Day 13 – Tuesday, May 22


Overnight Hotel Costa del Sol or similar (B, L)

In the morning we drive west out of town to the Cumbe Mayo area (50mins), an area of high grassland and rocky outcrops. Close by is the fascinating Cumbe Mayo aqueduct that once took water across the continental divide down to Cajamarca. Built around 1500 BCE, it is an incredible engineering feat, cut through the bed rock and boulders with precision. We will follow the canal on a short hike and then drive back to Cajamarca. On the way we stop at Santa Apolonia Hill which affords a wonderful view of the city. After lunch we will visit the Rescue Room where Inca Atahualpa was believed to be held captive by the conquistadors and the Church of Belen.

Day 14 – Wednesday, May 23

Departure for Lima

We will have an early morning transfer from our hotel to the airport. We depart Cajamarca on LATAM Peru flight #2293 leaving at 7.20am and arriving in Lima at 8.30am. Upon arrival in Lima those who have confirmed their Cusco and Machu Picchu extension will depart in their scheduled program. For the rest of the group, there will be opportunities to visit museums, enjoy wonderful Peruvian food, shop in several markets or visit the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco. To relax and rest we have secured several day rooms until our airport transfer. Our transfer to the airport for our international departure will be at 8.00pm.

Day 15 – Thursday, May 24

International Departure

Our international departure will be on United Airlines flight #855 leaving Lima at 12.50am and arriving in Houston at 7.25am. There we will connect to United Airlines flight #368 leaving Houston at 9.45am and arriving in Albuquerque at 11.05am. Welcome home!