Though not nearly as expansive as the Chan Chan complex or as famous as Huaca de la Luna, Huaca el Dragon (also referred to as “Huaca Arco Iris”, or “Rainbow Temple”), is a well preserved Chimu temple in the Trujillo suburb of La Esperanza. Constructed of adobe and in somewhat of a pyramid shape, the temple is festooned in well-restored friezes of rainbows, people, and dragons.
Due to the presence of the rainbow carvings, scholars believe the temple was a tribute to fertility, as the rains represented by the arced bows are a life-giving resource here in the coastal desert. There is also evidence that the walls were once painted such as those found at Huaca de la Luna, although erosion from rains and centuries of looting have left the walls with only a hint of yellow glow. More of a prelude to the larger temple complexes, the Huaca el Dragon is still a worthwhile stop on a temple tour of Trujillo.
Huaca el Dragon is located 2.5 miles outside of Trujillo in the La Esperanza suburb. Entrance to Huaca el Dragon is included with the $4 entrance fee to Chan Chan, and you can reach the temple via public bus (there is a drop off in front of the temple) or by private tour group or taxi.