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Huacas del Sol y La Luna

Photo credit: Antonio Velasco
Huacas del Sol y La Luna
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Two monuments depicting the culture and life of the Mochica culture

Valle de Moche, Moche, Peru

Huacas del Sol y de la Luna is an archaeological complex located south of the city of Trujillo in the Moche district. It is composed of monuments, one of which is believed to have been used for political and administrative purposes (Huaca del Sol) and the other one for religious purposes (Huaca de la Luna). This site is one of the most representatives of the Mochica culture and its nucleus, located between the two huacas, truly shows the advanced level of organization that they had.


The first, Huaca del Sol, is a pyramid-shaped building with a height of forty-three meters with five stories. It was used for political and administrative purposes but also as the home to those who were powerful in the Mochica culture. This huaca was partially destroyed by the Spanish and unfortunately, not much has been restored of it.


The second huaca, Huaca de la Luna, is located about 500 meters from Huaca del Sol, and its temples were built during different time periods. Its highest platform is decorated by human figures. To the Mochica people, it was a great honour to be sacrificed and many human remains, mainly belonging to sacrificed warriors, were found in the temples. On the façade, many figures of deities can be seen, most of which represents water and fertility and all of them have animal heads.


Huaca de la Luna holds many interesting murals depicting Ai apaec, the beheading god. These murals were painted with basic colours that were obtained from local minerals.