The largest Pre-Columbian city in South America, Chan Chan is an archaeological site located in the Peruvian region of
Chan Chan was added as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1986. The city is severely threatened by tornados from El Niño, which causes heavy rains and flooding on the Peruvian coast. It is in a fertile, well-watered section of the coastal plain. The city's ruins are additionally threatened by earthquakes and looters. Present-day visitors to Chan Chan can enter the Tschudi Complex, believed to be one of the later citadels built in the city. There are also several other Chimú and Moche ruins in the area around Trujillo. This site was discovered by the Conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
The city is composed of ten walled citadels which housed ceremonial rooms, burial chambers, temples, reservoirs and some residences. Chan Chan is a triangular city surrounded by walls 50-
The walls themselves were constructed of adobe brick and were then covered with a smooth surface into which intricate designs were carved. There are two styles of design present in these carvings: one is a ‘realistic’ representation of subjects such as birds, fish, and small mammals; and the other is a more graphic, stylized representation of the same subjects. The carvings at Chan Chan depict crabs, turtles, and nets for catching various sea monsters. Chan Chan, unlike most other coastal ruins in Peru, is located extremely close to the Pacific Ocean. In 1998, The "Master Plan for Conservation and Management of the Chan Chan Archeological Complex" is drawn up by the Freedom National Culture Institute of Peru with contributions from the World Heritage Foundation - WHR, ICCROM and GCI. The Plan is approved by the Peruvian Government, with involvement at the highest levels up until today.