The North Coast and Northern Highlands Travel Guide

The North Coast and Northern Highlands Sights

Huaca Arco Iris

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

Published 02/07/2017

Fodor's Review

Filled with intriguing 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. You can climb the ramps up to the top of the platform and see the storage bins within.

Sight Information


La Esperanza, Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru

Map It

Sight Details:

  • S/20, includes admission to Chan Chan, Huaca Esmeralda, and Museo del Sitio; ticket valid for 48 hrs

Published 02/07/2017


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