Depart from the pier in Salaverry, Peru, and drive to La Esperanza District, 30 minutes away, to visit the site of the Huaca Dragon (Dragon Temple). Then proceed to the Chan Chan complex, the capital of the ancient Chimu Empire. This large ancient metropolis lies just three miles from Trujillo and is close to the ocean.
Historians estimate that Chan-Chan had a population of 50,000 to 60,000 people. This adobe city also contains nine enormous and quite distinguishable enclosures, each constituting a smaller city within the larger urban center. Chan Chan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers nearly eight square miles. It is almost a thousand years old and is an amazingly well preserved testimony to the sophistication of South American society long before the Incas or Spaniards started interfering.
After a tour of the citadel, continue to Huanchaco Beach to see the famous caballitos de totora. These are reed boats, but the name translates into English as "little reed horses" because these strangely shaped little watercraft are essentially ridden like horses over the crest of each wave. They have been used by Peruvian fishermen for millennia and offer you, the visitor, an extraordinary glimpse of everyday life in this part of Peru.