Archaeological Complex Huacas de Moche

It is located at 8 Km. To the south of Trujillo, in the countryside of Moche. This complex was the capital city of the Moche culture, between 400-600 A.D. Its actual area is 120 hectares. It is composed by the temples Sol and Luna, and the urban sector.

Its located in front to Huaca del Sol, next to cerro Blanco. The hill was considered like a sacred site, for its pyramid shape and its clear color.

Huaca de la Luna is composed by 3 platforms and 4 ceremonial squares. Its extension is 290 m. by 210 m.

The excavation have been concentrated in the main platform which has an area of 90 m. on each side and 20 m. height five superposed temples have been discovered, they were built in about 600 years. Each temple was used for about 100 years, after that, the temple was covered with blocks of adobe to build a new one above it. Probably, this custom was associated with a ceremonial calendar. Inside the temples the Moche opened funerary chambers for the burials of priests.

The original entrance is orientated to the north, where the main ceremonial square is located .It has an extension of 180 m. long by 90 m. of wide. The square is still in the process of excavation. From here is possible to see the stepped façade which was beautifully decorated with colorful relieves painted with ocher mixed with cactus juice. On the first step warriors taken their weapons are depicted, they carried nude prisoners with ropes in their necks. The others steps represented: dancers or priests wearing red tunics; big spiders that take the ceremonial knife; soldiers carryng fish; felines with reptile bodies who carry human heads on their paws, and finally there is a big serpent (boa constrictor).

The God Ai-Apaec or Decapitator is depicted on the older façade, taking a knife in his left hand and his right hand. He wears a serpent belt that ends with a condor head.

In the interior of the temple there were ceremonial patios. One of them has an small room for the main Lord in the corner, he could see the main square from here.

In another patio (60m. by 40m.) the God Ai-Apaec is represented surrounded by a diamond shape in black with 16 stylized serpents inside. The archaeologists have discovered several skeletons of male warriors that were sacrificed around a big rock. They present cut traces in different parts of their bodies.

It is located near the Moche river, that is why some scholars have assigned it an administrative function, associated to the control of the valley.

It was also known as Capuxaida or Pachacamac.It is calculated that 140 millions of adobes (sun dried mud brick) were used in this building. Nowadays, it is 40 m. high and 340 m. by 160 m. in its base.

In 1604,a group of tombs looters deviated the Moche river with the intention of opening up the temple to discover its hidden treasures. The biggest part of the platform was destroyed by this incident.


It is located in the plain that separates the temples. This sector has not yet been excavated, therefore it is not possible to visit it. From the top of Huaca de La Luna you can get a panoramic view of its extension.

The structures are built in adobe, the Moche elite, the craftspeople and the state workers lived here. The buildings have evidence of administrative, residential, religious and handicraft functions; and also for the production of chicha (corn licor). Its plan presents: corridors, squares,l arge avenues, water canals and a cemetery.

General Information 

General Information



Chan Chan

Huaca de La Luna

Complejo El Brujo

Huaca Arco Iris

Huaca Esmeralda

City Tour

Main Square

Historic Mansions



Huacas de Moche Museum

Chan Chan Site Museum

Cao Site Museum


Peruvian Paso Horses

The Marinera Dance



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