extension and population
| Brief historic
Main attractions of the capital city |
Other attractions of the department of La Libertad
Typical dishes and beverages |
EXTENSION AND POPULATION
The department of La Libertad is located in the north of the
country, extending from the Coast up to the High Jungle or
Mountain Rim. It limits to the north with Cajamarca, to the
south with Huánuco and Ancash, to the East with San
Martín, and to the West with the Pacific Ocean. On
the Coast, the climate is warm and spring like, with an annual
average temperature of 19.9ºC (66ºF). In the Sierra,
the weather is dry, mild during the day and cold at night;
in the Jungle, it is tropical and rainy, with temperatures
that surpass 24ºC (75ºF).
La Libertad has an extension
of 24,241 km² (9,350 sq ml) and a population of over
The capital is Trujillo,
known as the City of Eternal Spring, due to its pleasant
climate. Other important cities are Pacasmayo, Santiago de
Chuco, Otuzco, and Huamachuco.
In this department, vestiges of
the first most significant pre-Hispanic groups of the northern
region have been found. Great civilizations, as the Mochica
culture, flourished in the valleys of Moche, Chicama, and
Virú from the third to the eighth century AD. The so
called 'realistic ceramics,' including the famous huacos-retratos
or portrait-huacos, belong to this period. Also to
this period belong the huacas or 'pyramidal tombs,'
which exhibit a great knowledge of architecture.
the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, the region witnessed
the great evolution of the Chimú culture. Chan Chan
(Sun Sun), the capital, was the largest adobe metropolis
of pre-Hispanic America and the second in the world. This
civilization also stood out for its excellent work in metal,
mainly gold, and its advanced farming techniques, displayed
in a large system of aqueducts. After finding great resistance,
the Incas finally managed to conquest this reign in the fourteenth
Trujillo was founded at the arrival
of the Spanish to the valley, late in the year 1534, receiving
in 1537 the title of 'city.' It stood among the most important
cities of the Viceroyship when it developed into one of the
richest regions in the north, as the beautiful and rich mansions
Trujillo was the first city in
the north of Perú to proclaim its independence on December
29, 1820. During the Chilean invasion, the Battle of Huamachuco
took place as a corollary to the Breña Campaign,
where Leoncio Prado was captured and executed.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE CAPITAL CITY
is the capital of the reign of Gran Chimú and
is known as the greatest mud city of pre-Hispanic America.
It has an extension of 20 km² (7.7 sq ml) and an estimated
population of 60,000 people. The ruins include plazas, housing,
warehouses, workshops, labyrinths, walls, excellent roads,
and pyramidal tombs or huacas.
Plaza Mayor or Main Square.
It is considered the largest in the country, with a granite
and marble monument in honor of the heroes of the independence
standing in the center. The Cathedral or Basílica
Mayor, first built in 1666 and destroyed by an earthquake
in 1759, was restored between 1768 and 1781. It houses a valuable
collection of paintings of the Cusco style.
Monsaterio del Carmen.
Built in 1724, this fine architectural complex is one of the
richest in the northern part of the country. It contains around
150 paintings, for the most part belonging to the twelfth
and thirteenth centuries.
Iglesia de Santa Clara and
Iglesia de San Agustín, built in 1548 and 1558
respectively. They house fine carved wood altars, paintings,
and examples of baroque architecture.
Iglesia de la Compañía.
It dates from the seventeenth century and was part of the
Jesuit convent. In the inside beautiful arcades can be seen.
Casonas or Mansions. Having
been a city of great Spanish influence, the casonas
built in Trujillo during the first years of the Republic preserve
traits of Colonial architecture in their large patios, ample
parlors, sober façades, and beautiful window gratings.
Most outstanding among these Republican mansions are Palacio
Iturregui, Casa de Mayorazgo, Casa Urquiaga, Casa Bracamonte
and Casa Ganoza.
Among the museums, the
most important are the Museo Arquelógico de la Universidad
de Trujillo, Museo de Zoología, and the Collection
of José Cassinelli.
Huacas. The huacas
del Sol, de la Luna, del Dragón, Esmeralda, Toledo,
El Obispo, Concha and Caballo Muerto are very close to the
city and help understand the ancient cultures of Perú.
It is said that to build the Huaca del Sol in only
three days, 250,000 men and 70,000 adobes were required.
Huanchaco. An ancient
port of the Colonial period, it is a very popular beach today,
where local fishermen still use the caballitos de totora
or totora boats that were ridden by the Mochica and Chimú
for fishing. Other beaches worth visiting are Las Delicias
and Buenos Aires.
Haciendas Casagrande, Cartavio
and Chiclín. These plantations were famous in the
times of vast sugar production in the country.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LA LIBERTAD
It is a typical town of the Coast, with a tranquil life,
a beautiful countryside, pleasant weather and fruits in abundance.
Otuzco. Located at 2,632
m.a.s.l. (8,600 ft), it is a city of very religious people.
The greatest manifestation of religious faith in all the north
of the country, the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Puerta,
takes place in Otuzco.
Andean region at the shores of the Chicama river. It has a
dry and healthy climate. Also, thermal waters and rather unexplored
Huamachuco. A Colonial
city over 3,310 m.a.s.l. (10,800 ft), it keeps Inca ruins
in the Viracocha Pampa.
Santiago de Chuco. At
148 km (91 ml) from Trujillo and located at 3,100 m.a.s.l.
(10,100 ft), this city is famous for its celebration of the
Fiesta del Apóstol Santiago, El Mayor, and also
for being the birthplace of the poet César Vallejo.
Cachicadan. This painteresque
place at 183 km (114 ml) from Trujillo is famous for its thermal
waters, considered the best in quality of the country. They
are rich in iron and the temperatures surpass 60°C (140°F).
where the wonderful ruins of Pacatnamú, Pitura, Tecapa,
Pacanga and Chérrepe are found, as well as the house
where the famous Italian explorer, Antonio Raimondi, died.
Chicama. A port located
in the province of Pacasmayo. Its beaches are famous for attracting
surfers from all over the world who come searching for the
El Brujo Archeological Complex.
Located in the province of Ascope, it was built during the
Mochica period on an area of 2 km² (0.77 ml). This complex
includes a site museum showing the evolution of the Peruvian
culture from 5,000 BC up to Colonial times.
DISHES AND BEVERAGES
La Libertad is known for the good
flavor of its cuisine. It is said that 'good taste' is found
in the north of the country, and that it is easy to prove.
Moreover, there is not a restaurant or picantería
that does not give a good serving of the dishes at reasonable
In this part of the Coast, the
different varieties of cebiches muy picantes (very
hot) are outstanding., as well as seco de cabrito and
sangrecita. Also, other typical food as shambard,
a soup of pealed wheat with beef and pork meat. Another dish
is la cesina, sun dried meat served fried with yucca,
chili and onions. Likewise, the causa en lapa and sangre
de pantera (the juice of the cebiche with sour orange)
must be tasted.
To drink, the local beer is recommended
or the corn chicha or jora chicha. As dessert,
king kong and machacado de membrillo.
Last Week in January. National
Marinera Dance Festival. Hundreds of couples come from
different parts of the country to participate in this traditional
contest organized by the Libertad Club. The finals take place
in the Gran Chimú Coliseum.
April 24. Beginning date
of the Fiesta de Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo, patron
of Tayabamba in Pataz. It lasts until May 1.
July 13. Anniversary
of Santiago de Chuco, celebrated in the province that
bears the same name, with regional fairs and great celebrations.
It lasts until August 2.
July 29. Fiesta del
Señor de la Caña, celebrated in Chiclín.
August 15. Fiesta de
la Virgen de la Altagracia, also celebrated in Chiclín.
September 20 through 30.
International Spring Festival. National and foreign
artists participate. There are cockfights, gait horse contests,
among other activities. It ends with a great parade with floats
riding throughout the city.
December 15. Fiesta
de la Virgen de la Puerta, celebrated in Otuzco. This
is the greatest manifestation of religious faith in all the
north of the country.