Chan Chan © Yandi
History lovers should make a point of visiting Chan Chan while they're in Peru. Once the Chimu Kingdom's capital, it was home to around 60 000 inhabitants, and was wealthy in gold, silver and ceramics. Most of its treasures disappeared with Spanish looters generations ago, though it remains the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas, and the largest adobe city in the world. Today, it is considered an endangered UNESCO site, given that its adobe buildings are sensitive to time and the elements. Indeed, only one of the site's nine palaces has been properly excavated and opened to the public. Visitors will still see more than enough to paint a picture of what the city must have looked like. Highlights include the intricate depictions of birds, fish and otters on the walls, which add mesmerizing details to the massive site. Travellers will have the best experience if they visit with a guide.
Address: Moche Valley, outside Trujillo.