Salaverry and Trujillo, Peru 

The community of Salaverry, the port city for Trujillo, is named for Felipe Santiago Salaverry. The soldier, a native of Lima, briefly served as president of the country in the 1830s.

Salaverry’s history is most closely linked with that of adjacent Trujillo, which was founded as “Villa Trujillo” in 1534 by Spanish conquistador Diego de Almagro and named for the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro, the area has a far older history, however. Today Trujillo ranks as one of Peru’s largest cities.

Some of the first inhabitants of this area were the Huaca Priesta, Stone Age people who lived here as far back as 3500 BC, drawn to the area’s coastal location for its fishing. About 850 BC, the Chavin lived here; these feline worshippers often drew jaguar motifs on their pottery; their work has been preserved in area museums.

Video Resource


This excellent video from JohnErtler features an original soundtrack and a look at the pre-Columbian city of Chan Chan.

Nearly 600 years later, the Moche tribe moved into this area. This culture left behind a detailed record of their civilization on ceramic pots. Their Temple of the Sun, a pyramid constructed of 50 million adobe bricks, ranks as the tallest adobe building in the Americas. With the nearby Temple of the Moon, once used for human sacrifices,  these sites continue to draw many visitors in the area.

After the Moche, the Chimu people inhabited the area from about 850AD to 1470, building what became the largest pre-Columbian city in Americas and the world’s largest adobe city, a community called Chan Chan that was once home to over 60,000 residents. Today the ruins of this city which was later taken over by the Incas remains a top attraction. The Inca civilization made this region their home until conquered by the Spanish.

The numerous civilizations that made this area their home were attracted by its excellent geographic location tucked between the Andes and the Pacific. Fringed by the Andean foothills, the area is also carved by many rivers including the Moche and Virú rivers in the south and Chicama River to the north.

The rich land and excellent climate (so good that Trujillo is nicknamed “The City of Eternal Spring”) result in many crops that are exported throughout the Americas and beyond. The port ships out more white asparagus than any other location in the world; other top exports are sugarcane, rice, and other products including shoes.

Tourism is also a top industry. Along with the many surrounding archaeological sites, many travelers enjoy walks through the historic city. Old Town, ringed by the circular España street, is roughly the same area that was once encircled by a stone wall during colonial days; today a few ruins of the old wall remain.  At the heart of Old Town is the Plaza de Armas, home to the 17th century Catedral de Trujillo. The area also boasts many historic homes or Casonas including many open to display exhibits of colonial times such as the Casa del Mariscol de Obregoso and the Casa Calogne. Many of the historic buildings here sport pastel colors and wrought-iron grillwork, distinctive touches captured in many local postcards.