We arrived in the morning after taking a overnight bus from Tarapoto. Bit of advice, don’t ever book the very back seats as they don’t recline as much as the other seats, even though the ticket lady says they do. Also ignore the taxi drivers at bus stations, they always over charge. Either walk the couple of kms into town (hey you have been on a bus for 14 hours the exercise will do you good!) or at least go around the corner and grab one from there. So we walked into town and found a hotel for 70s which was a bit more then we wanted to spend, but we were tired and dirty and needed a shower and breakfast – stat!
After sorting out all the above issues we took a Collectivo (1-2s, 15 mins) to the Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán (10s) which is located north of Chiclayo in Lambayeque.
This place is actually amazeballs! The best museum experience we have had in South America by far. It holds all the artifacts – mostly GOLD – that was found at Sipán, a burial site of some awesome guy, who is known as Señor de Sipán, a guy so awesome he was buried with all his cool gold jewels, ceramics and other stuff AS well as his head of military, a guard, three ladies, a boy, a guy to keep watch, his pet dog and a couple llamas. So awesome! This place was discovered in 1987 by huaqueros (grave robbers) and when a lot of cool shit was being sold on the black market, legit archeologists and the police got involved and found this amazing place. They were able to recover most of the stolen stuff and then painstakingly did what archeologists do and put it all in this fancy museum for people like you and me to visit. All for 10s or $4. Cray.
Unfortunately you can’t take photos and have to put all your belongings (including phone with camera) into the lockers. Definitely worth a visit if you come to Peru to see for yourself.
After the museum you can also visit the the another museum here, Museo Arquelológico Nacional Brüning, but we didn’t bother as nothing could top what we had just experienced. Lambayeque also has a couple of nice plazas and some cheap and tasty menu restaurants for lunch.
You can also go visit the ruin site of Sipán but after seeing the impressive museum we felt no need. From the pictures it is just a dirt mound in the hot desert. But defs go if you are really intrigued and aren’t “ruined out”.
Instead we headed to the Mercado Modelo a huge market in central Chiclayo. The drawcard for travellers is in bottom right corner where you can find the brujos (witch doctors) where you can buy herbal concoctions for all sorts ailments as well as ‘other herbs’ and being a tourist they will also offer you ayahuasca and San Pedro.
The other awesome place we enjoyed in Chiclayo was a little coffee stall – Coffee Art (Calle Juan Cuglievan 1329). The coffee here was the best we have had in Peru. And it came out of a real espresso machine! It is so ironic that Peru produces and exports some of the worlds best coffee, but everyone (including us) is drinking Nescafé. Come and see Fernando and enjoy a double shot!