The North Coast and Northern Highlands Sights

Huaca Arco Iris

  • La Esperanza Map It
  • Trujillo
  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Published 02/02/2016

Fodor's Review

Filled with intriguing and unusual symbolic carvings, and with an urban backdrop, is the restored Huaca Arco Iris or Rainbow Pyramid. Named for the unusual rainbow carving (the area rarely sees rain), it's also known as the Huaca El Dragón, or Pyramid of the Dragon, because of the central role dragons play in the friezes. This structure, built by the early Chimú, also has a repeating figure of a mythical creature that looks like a giant serpent. On the walls, mostly reconstructions, you will see what many archaeologists believe are priests wielding the knives used in human sacrifices. Half-moon shapes at the bottom of most of the friezes indicate that the Chimú probably worshipped the moon at this temple.

Sight Information


La Esperanza, Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru

Map It


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Sight Details:

  • S/20, includes admission to Chán Chán, Huaca Esmeralda, and Museo del Sitio; ticket valid for 48 hours
  • Daily 9–4

Published 02/02/2016


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