The largest Pre-Columbian city in South America, Chan Chan is an archaeological site in the Peruvian region of La Libertad, five km west of Trujillo. Chan Chan covers 20 km² and had a dense urban center of 6 km². Chan Chan was constructed by the Chimor (the kingdom of the Chimú), a late intermediate period civilization which grew out of the remnants of the Moche civilization. The adobe city of Chan Chan, the largest in the world, was built around AD 850 and lasted until its conquest by the Inca Empire in AD 1470. It was the imperial capital where 30,000 people lived.
Chan Chan was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on November 28 of 1986. The city is severely threatened by storms from El Niño, which cause 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 threatened by earthquakes and looters. Visitors to Chan Chan can enter the Tschudi Complex, a later citadel. There are other Chimú and Moche ruins in the area around Trujillo. This site was discovered by conquistador Francisco Pizarro.