Chiclayo (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃiˈklaʝo]) is the principal city of the Lambayeque region in northern Peru. It is located 13 kilometers inland from the Pacific coast and 770 kilometers from the nation's capital, Lima.
Founded by Spanish explorers as "Santa María de los Valles de Chiclayo" in the 16th century, it was declared a city on 15 April 1835 by president Felipe Santiago Salaverry. He named Chiclayo "the Heroic City" to recognize the courage of its citizens in the fight for independence, a title it still holds. Other nicknames for Chiclayo include "The Capital of Friendship" and the "Pearl of the North".
Chiclayo is Peru's fourth-largest city, after Lima, Arequipa, and Trujillo, with a population of 738,000 as of 2011. The Lambayeque region is the fourth most populous metropolitan area of Peru, with a population of 972,713 in 2009.
The city was founded near an important prehistoric archaeological site, the Northern Wari ruins, which constitute the remains of a city from the 7th- to 12th-century Wari Empire.