Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum
The striking pyramid-shaped structure of this modern museum mimics the ancient Moche tomb of the Lord of Sipán, as it was found in Huaca Rajada. Buried beneath the desert sands, his wooden sarcophagus lay undisturbed for over 1,700 years. When it was discovered, archeologists found the remains of a warrior, three concubines, two dogs, a llama, a priest, and a guard with no feet—and lots of gold and jewels.
Enjoy the museum as part of a larger exploration of the ancient cultures of the area. Most day tours include guided excursions to Huaca Rajada and the Valley of the Pyramids of Túcume, the 8th-century site encompassing dozens of mounds and pyramids once belonging to the Sicán culture.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Royal Tombs Museum of Sipán is an ideal spot for history and archaeology buffs.
- Most displays are written in Spanish. English information is limited.
- Photography is not allowed.
- The museum is wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
The Royal Tombs Museum of Sipán is located on Av Juan Pablo Vizcardo Y Guzman in Lambayeque, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Chiclayo. From Av Pedro Ruiz, take a colectivo/combi (bus or van) that will stop close to the entrance.
When to Get There
The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from morning until afternoon. Chiclayo’s dry season runs from May to September, while the rainy season runs from December to March. Come to the area in June for a festival honoring San Pedro and San Pablo, the patron saints of fishermen and farmers; and in August when locals dance, throw fireworks, and hike to a highland village to mark Cruz de Chalpon.
Huaca Rajada Forgotten in the desert for over 1,700 years, Huaca Rajada was a sacred burial site for Moche nobility and royalty. In 1987, when looters were found with lavish gold artifacts, police understood a large discovery must be nearby. When archaeologist Walter Alva was called to see if there were other tombs, he unearthed the “Lord of Sipan” and his pristine tomb of jewels and gold—heralded as the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century.
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