Among the fascinating ruins of the department of La Libertad, in the city of Trujillo is one of the most impressive archaeological remains in the entire region: the Temple of the Sun and the temple of Moon in Perú. These constructions, legacy of the Moche culture, were two centers of great importance that today have their doors open to show the greatness of this culture. Prepare your visit to this archaeological complex with the data that we tell you here and do not miss it, because the temple of the Sun and Moon in Perú will leave you speechless.
Legend has it that the temple of the Sun was built by 250 thousand men in 3 days and that it took more than 140 million adobes to finish it. And that in the temple of Moon human sacrifices were made… up to 40 warriors were found inside!
These two imposing adobe constructions look at each other in the middle of houses, large avenues, alleys and squares of what was the great urban nucleus of the Moche culture.
Today, we have the privilege of being able to visit the Huaca de la Luna and admire the colorful murals that tell the story of the god Aiapaec.
Located 8 km south of the city of Trujillo (15 minutes by car approx.). Visits: Mon-Sun 9: 00-16: 00. The temple of the Sun functioned as the political – administrative center and the temple of the Moon in Trujillo, as a ceremonial center. Between them, the Urban Zone is located, composed of houses, large avenues, alleys, corridors and squares.
What are the temple of the Sun and Moon in Perú?
The temple of the Sun and the temple of Moon in Perú are two ancient constructions belonging to the Moche culture, also known as Mochica. Both are pyramidal in shape and are part of a single urban complex, being separated by other buildings by half a kilometer. The complex is thought to have been the capital city of the Moche manor.
The temple of the Sun is the larger of the two constructions, with a size similar to that of the Egyptian pyramids (. It is made entirely of adobe bricks, and has the shape of a stepped pyramid. It has not been fully explored, and therefore many of its details are shrouded in mystery.
The temple of the Moon in Trujillo has been explored more deeply than that of the Sun. Its most outstanding feature is the high reliefs that are engraved on its walls, representing deities -among which Aiapaec stands out, the Cutthroat God, represented in all his fierceness -, warriors, objects, prisoners, etc. related to the activities of the huaca. The murals are well preserved and with prominent and vivid colors.
Furthermore, its three platforms have been found to represent three stages in the history of the Moche culture, spanning nearly six hundred years.
Although scholars have not agreed, it is assumed that the temple of the Sun was built for administrative purposes, and the temple of the Moon in Trujillo, for religious purposes. Even in the latter, remains of altars and ritual sacrifices have been found.
History of the temple of the Sun and Moon in Perú
We cannot talk about the temple of the Sun and the temple of Moon in Perú without first reviewing the history of the Moche or Mochica culture. The Moches were a culture that lived from the 1st to the 9th century on the central coast of Peru, between the Lambayeque and Huarmey valleys.
It is one of the most important cultures in the entire history of Peru and stands out mainly for its impressive adobe architecture and its metallurgy and pottery works, one of the most innovative of the time.
In addition, the Moches were great hydraulic engineers. In this way they were able to solve the water shortage in the most desert areas of their territory, such as the valley where the Huacas del Sol and the Moon are located.
The temple of the Sun and the temple of Moon in Perú are the most important construction in all Moche history, since the Moche valley, the place where they are located, was considered the capital of this culture.
Between these two impressive huacas was the urban nucleus of the moches, where there were squares, houses and streets in which a great hierarchical society lived and dedicated to different professions.
For example, the upper class, made up of priests, had their houses at the foot of the Huaca de la Luna, in the center were the artisans or textile workers, belonging to the upper middle class and the farmers and fishermen lived in the surroundings. , since they were part of the lower class.
Temple of the Sun
The temple of the Sun, an impressive 43-meter high pyramidal construction, was conceived as a center of political administration and housing for the upper class of the Moche culture. Built in a now desert sector, it has 5 steps or terraces, the longest being 80 meters in length. To build it, 140 million adobes were used, many of which were destroyed by the Spanish when they diverted the course of the Moche River.
Temple of the Moon in Trujillo
The temple of the Moon in Trujillo is composed of superimposed temples according to different stages of the Mochica power. On some walls you can see beautiful polychrome murals whose clearly defined figures represent the god Ai-apaec. In the temple, archaeologists have discovered a tomb with more than 40 sacrificed warriors. The tourist visit includes the
One of the most surprising things about the temple of the Moon in Trujillo is its colorful reliefs. The Moches used oxide from different minerals to color the walls of their buildings and thus managed to ensure that, despite the passing of the years, the images they created continue with a practically intact color.
Another of the curiosities of the temple of the Moon in Trujillo is that there are five superimposed levels. This is due to the fact that every time a new president arrived he ordered the burial and seal of the previous temple to start a new construction from scratch under his instructions.
How to get?
The temple of the Sun and the temple of Moon in Perú are located just 6 kilometers southeast of Trujillo and are part of what is known as the Moche Route. The temple of the Sun and Moon in Perú are on the hillside of Cerro Blanco, half an hour from the center of the city of Trujillo. Getting from there is very simple and there are several means of transport.
You can easily reach this place from the city center by taking a taxi or a bus at the Grau oval. If you go on your own to the temple of the Sun and Moon in Perú, we recommend that you stop to eat at the restaurants you find on the road just before arriving at the complex. Their dishes have what a tourist always looks for: they are good, beautiful and cheap (as well as strong).
For those who want a more complete experience, you can take a tour to the temple of the Sun and Moon in Perú, in which you will have a historical tour of these two pyramids.
How to enter?
Hours: The temple of the Sun and the temple of Moon in Perú open from Monday to Sunday from 9 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon.
Prices: The ticket price is S / 10 (around 3 dollars), with a discount for Peruvian university students and seniors, as well as for children.
Museum: In addition, in this place you will find a museum that we recommend you visit after your visit to the archaeological complex. The entrance price to the museum is S / 5 (1.5 dollars).
What should I consider?
Remember that the temple of the Sun and the temple of Moon in Perú are archaeological sites under exploration. It respects the established route and contributes to the conservation of the archaeological heritage.
Visiting the wonders of the beautiful country of Peru is always a real adventure whose protagonist will be your mum, a memorable experience worthy of being told and it has so many wonderful wonders. We recommend you to visit another impressive destinations in Cusco like the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Perú, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.