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Huaca Arco Iris - Ruin Trujillo - Peru

Huaca Arco Iris has garnered several names throughout modern times, as archaeologists and guides have tried to decide exactly what its feature decorations mean. The wave-crested, multibanded arcs that end with heads were first interpreted to be dragons, thus its former name, Huaca Dragón. Now it is believed they are rainbows and used in accordance with ceremonies dedicated to the assurance of precipitation. In many ancient cultures, the rainbow was associated with rain and, therefore, fertility.

Beneath the arches are two strange beings, a cross perhaps between a dolphin and crocodile, who seem to be having a jolly time. Side niches seen from the pyramid’s platform held human bones (including those of children), who presumably were sacrifices. Other mysterious double-headed creatures appear on the Huaca’s sides, then along the top edge are what seem to be monkeys dancing with a harpoon or flared lance.

This adobe temple was begun by the Chimú and finished during the Tihuanaco-Wari reign (10th-11th century AD). It is estimated to be 1,100 years old.


Av. Nicolás de Piérola via Chocope, 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) from Trujillo

Trujillo, Peru

Ruin Types:

Getting There

You can organize a tour here. If you would like to go independently, take any bus marked "La Esperanza" from either the corner of Avenida España and Manuel Vera or from the corner of Huayna Capac and Avenida Los Incas and asked to be dropped of at Huaca Arco Iris. Otherwise, take a taxi from Trujillo, which costs $5.50-7.

Travel Tips:

Price Description:

Admission included in Chan Chan ticket.

Relative price: Budget

Open Hours from:Daily 9 a.m.

Open Hours to:Daily 4:30 p.m.

Days Closed:Closed Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Bring along water and snacks, camera. Leave valuables at your hotel.

The many other archaeological sites around Trujillo, plus the city’s museums.

Currencies accepted
Peruvian nuevo sol

Here are other activities in and around Trujillo that may be of interest: Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna , Chan Chan, Huaca Esmeraldas and El Brujo.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

02 May 2012

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