Location: North of Peru
Area: 25,962 km2
Minimum: 3 m.a.s.l. (Salaverry)
Maximum: 4,008 m.a.s.l. (Quiruvilca)
In the Department of La Libertad the coast and highlands are equilibrated. Its large plains, where the sugar cane is cultivated, give a shape of maritime littoral. Its near-by highlands give it a first class mining category, mainly because of coal richess. Immediately adjacent to the mining area there is a High Jungle zone rich in gold and with a tropical climate. It has a mild climate and its valleys are highly productive. It has lands yet to be irrigated in valleys such as Virú. The coast offers natural ports such as the Chicama port, whereas the Huanchaco port served during centuries as a main landing port in that zone.
Currently, the modern port facilities of Salaverry, to the south of Moche are a first class stimulus for the development of this important department.
In the valleys of Trujillo and its surroundigs the old history of the region is being reconstructed from the Times of the Paiján period of hunters and harpoon fishermen (10,000 B.C.), on to the incipient farmers of Huaca Prieta of Chicama, to the point at which the farmers and seafood gatherers learned to build temples and irrigations systems, such as that are to be found at Alto Salaverry.
The Cupisnique Culture is a result of a process initiated in the pre-ceramic period and it evidently represents the time of the highest development of the formative Trujillo culture period. This can be seen in the beautiful ceramic in its temples such as the Huaca de los Reyes and Valle de Moche. From this rew the Moche Culture, whose most developed urban center is in Moche itself. Here are to be found the Huaca del Sol and Huaca de La Luna. Moche was interrupted by the Wari conquest, so after the XI century developed a new culture, the Chimú with its impressive capital "Chan Chan". It is to Inca Pachacútec and his son Túpac Yupanqui, that the invasion of this kingdom is attributed. The Chimús surrendered but were respected by the invaders who became allies. It is known that Chimús were skilled goldsmiths and they influenced the art of the Incas. The Inca domination did not go beyond 100 years. At the end of it came the spanish conquest.
Trujillo, the capital of La Libertad, was founded in 1534 by Diego de Almagro very close to the Pre-Columbian city of Chan-Chan. During the Colonial period it became a resting place for the nobility and hacienda owners. During the War of Independence Trujillo took the site of the patriots and in 1820, when the news of the landing of San Martín, spread it proclaimed independence.
In the Republican time during the War with Chile, the last battle took place at Huamachuco. In 1932, under the Presidency of General Luis Sánchez Cerro, a revolutionary uprise took place conducted by civilians from the Haciendas and the valleys surrounding Trujillo.