Blog Post

“Zona de Frontera,” Cultural Park and Buffer Zone at the Chan Chan Archeological Site

"Zona de Frontera” is a cultural park and buffer zone surrounding the perimeter of the Chan Chan archeological site in Peru. This area is under a constant threat from urban expansion and illegal occupation. “Zona de Frontera” is a multidisciplinary project that aims to:

  • protect the on-going destruction of the Chan Chan ruins
  • create an education and exploratory cultural environment
  • promote the growth of local and national tourism
  • develop public infrastructure and recreation zones
  • increase security and surveillance to dilapidated areas

To achieve these goals it will be necessary to implement a series of phases at various levels from urban infrastructure to social integration. This exercise will promote long-term collaborations and partnerships with governmental agencies as well as domestic and international public and private organizations.


In the first stage we will develop the master plan of the area surrounding Chan Chan that will define the boundaries for urban expansion, incorporating ancillary infrastructure such as ancient pathways, sightlines, monuments, and landmarks within the curtilage of the historic site. We will start with conservation efforts to reverse the damage caused by illegal dumping, invasive vegetation, vandalism, and lack of drainage. Walking trails will be marked out and properly maintained. Rights of way for tourist traffic will be enforced. We propose to make maps, diagrams, visualizations, and infographics that show the extent of the archaeological site in an interactive and compelling way to create a narrative that enhances the surveillance and awareness of the site.

The second stage will consist of the erection of information panels in key locations around the site that will outline the historical importance of the surrounding area and designate it as a national park. This, combined with discreet fencing solutions, will protect the ruins from livestock, natural erosion, and encroaching vegetation. We want to create a defined recreational area with appropriate landscaping that will help to protect the ruins from natural forces and also create awareness about the site by engaging people.

The third stage will see the construction of shelters where visitors can reflect on the surroundings, retreat from the weather, and take time to document their own research. These landmarks will relate specifically to the context and form part of a thoughtful new infrastructure that encourages academic groups to contribute to the research of Chan Chan. In the final stage we propose building larger structures such as walkways and bridges that will give access across the highways, rivers, and natural features. They will also act as lookout areas to give a new vantage point to observe and understand this important archaeological site.

Image: Picture taken from the top of a “Huaca El Obispo” shows the borders of Trujillo, walls of ChanChan, and the ilegal agricultural fields and construction debris