Spanish missionaries founded a small rural community on this site in the 16th century. Either by chance or through help from above, Chiclayo has prospered ever since. In one of the first sharp moves in Peruvian real estate, the missionaries chose a spot that sits at the hub of vital trade routes connecting the coast, the highlands and the deep jungle. Chiclayo’s role as the commercial heart of the district has allowed it to overtake other once-vital organs of the region, such as the nearby city of Lambayeque, and this bustling metropolis shows few signs of slowing down.
Although it’s Peru’s fourth-largest city, with a population of just under a half-million, Chiclayo would be just another busy commercial town, generating little notice among travelers, were it not for the city’s strong associations with Peru’s ancient cultures. The primary draw is Chiclayo’s proximity to the archaeological sites Sipán and Túcume, two of the most important related to the Moche and Lambayeque cultures, and the spectacular Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán, which houses one of the country’s most remarkable finds of the past several decades: the tomb of the Lord of Sipán.
Chiclayo is a modern and relatively new city. Although it was founded in the mid-16th century, most of its real development dates to the late 1800s and early 1900s. (The Parque Principal, or main square, didn’t come into existence until 1916).
|Area (km2)||14 213,30 km²|