Peruvian Cities
Location, extension and population | Brief historic overview | Main attractions in the capital | Main attractions of the department of Lambayeque | Typical dishes and beverages | Tourist calendar

The department of Lambayeque is located in the north western region in Perú. With an extension of 13, 736 km² (5,303 sq ml), it limits to the north with Piura, to the south with La Libertad, to the east with Cajamarca, and to the west with the Pacific Ocean. Since only a small extension of its territory is in the Sierra, it is considered the most typically coastal department in the country.

It has a population of almost 1'000,000 people.

The capital is Chiclayo, which has a pleasant climate with an annual average temperature of 22.3ºC (72.1ºF), rising up to 32ºC (89.6ºF) during the summer. Other important cities are Ferreñafe, Lambayeque, Motupe and Zaña.


Legend tells that in ancient times, a great float of strange rafts arrived to the beaches of the existing San José cove. Formed by a brilliant cortege of foreign warriors, this float was led by a man of great talent and courage, named Naylamp, who founded a civilization.

The descendants are the builders of the great Chimú civilization, forged in Lambayeque before the Inca empire. The Chimú grew to acquire a notable state parallel to the Inca. Yet, unlike the Incas, the Chimú moved their capital to more propitious and strategic zones, establishing great urban centers there. They were great farmers, textile experts but, above all, wonderful goldsmiths, with extraordinary works in gold.

The Inca conquest of what today is Lambayeque, lasted almost four decades. Pachacutec, Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Cápac, successively, ruled during the process.

Francisco Pizarro crossed the region in his way to Cajamarca to conclude the defeat of the Inca empire. He was amazed by the gold exposed in vases and utensils.

During Colonial times, a rivalry started between the people of Lambayeque and Santiago de Miraflores de Saña. The reason of the conflict was the opulence in which the latter lived, even provoking the greed of pirates. An overflow in 1720, however, destroyed Saña and ended with a flourishing city.

The people of Lambayeque followed Juan Manuel Iturregui as their leader in the struggles for emancipation and independence from Spain. The patriot spread the libertarian ideas and helped enter arms for the cause.

During the War of The Pacific, Elías Aguirre and Diego Ferré, two courageous sons of Lambayeque, left their lives on board of the Huáscar monitor in the Battle of Angamos against the Chileans.


Main Square or Plaza de Armas
. Built during Colonial times, it is surrounded by the Cathedral, Town Hall, and the former Santa María Monastery.

Lambayeque. Beautiful city located at 11 km (6.8 ml) from Chiclayo, where the first outcry for independence was heard. It preserves beautiful Colonial mansions with big balconies.

Iglesia de San Pedro. Constructed in the sixteenth century, this church is considered a National Monument.

Bruning Museum. Founded by pre-Inca collector Enrique Bruning, it houses a great assortment of pre-Columbian works in gold and silver.

Eten and Pimentel, ports with beautiful and refreshing beaches.

Señor de Sipán. Lambayeque. Fotografía: Aníbal Solimano / PromPerú.Santa Rosa. Fishing cove were, according to the legend, the god Naylamp emerged.

Ferreñafe. A region of vast rice plantations with Colonial style mansions and a nice and hospitable population.

Sipán. At 35 km (22 ml) from Chiclayo, it is worldly known for the excavations in Huaca Rajada where the Lord of Sipán was found. The tomb holds golden, silver and copper ornaments, Pirámides de Túcume. Lambayeque. Fotografía: Heinz Plenge / PromPerú.clothing, vases and personal objects of great value. It has a site museum.

Túcume. At 33 km (20.5 ml) from the capital, it is called the Valley of the Pyramids. The 26 pyramidal constructions of almost 100 mt (328 ft) wide and 33 mt (108 ft) high are distributed in an extension of 200 hectares.


located at 51 km (32 ml) from the capital, it was founded in 1563. It was known as the most opulent city in Colonial times, continuously sacked by pirates.

Motupe is a town of deep religious fervor, shown in its devotion to the Fiesta de la Cruz (Festivity of The Cross).

Monsefú. Town of artisans and good food. Most part of the people work weaving hats, wraps and ponchos.

Cerro Mulato en Chongayape has the most important petroglyphs of the department. These are drawings engraved in stone depicting scenes taken from nature. They were done by the first settlers, ancient Peruvians who dwelled in the area thousands of years ago.

Liches Petroglyphs. Located in Olmos, it is a complex formed by 50 vestiges with anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and ideographic drawings.

Tinajones Reservoir is a fixed attraction for tourists. The landscape and fauna hold all the appeal of the Coast.

Salas, Jayanca, and Pacora. Towns that, according to folklore tradition, distinguish themselves in witchcraft and sorcery.


Lambayeque, specially Chiclayo, is considered the land of good eating and drinking. Its cuisine goes back to ancestral times and its secrets have been passed from generation to generation. The local people say an attractive table has to have two kinds of dishes: piqueos (light snacks, strongly seasoned and hot) and nudos (the main courses).

Among the first are, chinguiriro, cebiches, chirimpisco, panquitas, cesinas, and humitas, all with boiled yucca and mote. Among the second, arroz con pato a la chiclayana, seco de cabrito, aguaditos, espesado, pepián de pavo and tortilla de raya.

To drink, the chicha de jora or kollonque (an aguardiente).


March 14.
Señor Cautivo de Monsefú. The people of Monsefú, excellent weavers and embroiderers, dress themselves with their best typical costumes to honor the Señor Cautivo.

March 19. Fiesta de San José. The people of the valley of Chiclayo coordinate liturgical acts, followed by folklore festivals and family reunions.

April 18. Anniversary of the founding of Chiclayo.

April 25. Señor de la Justicia. In Ferreñafe, people celebrate this date with great devotion. Farm, livestock and handicraft fairs, family parties, and fireworks are part of the celebrations.

Last Week in June. Lemon Festival. Takes place in the district of Olmos, with contests among lemon producers, dances and popular festivals.

July 22. Divino Niño de Milagro. A four-day celebration that takes place in Eten, with religious and cultural activities.

Last Week in July. Monsefú Fair. Organized by the local people, it is a beautiful exhibit of handicrafts on rush, spinning, and silver filigree.

First Week in August. Cruz de Chalpón. Thousands of devotees travel to Motupe to venerate the Lord in the Cross de Chalpón. It is a festivity in honor of the town patron with religious activities and grass-roots festivals.