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Trujillo (Peru)

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South America : Peru : Northern Coast : Trujillo
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Trujillo is a moderately large city in Northwestern Peru, very close to the Pacific Coast. Trujillo del Peru was founded in 1534 among 4 (of 3,500 archaeological sites in the valley) Chimu (& earlier remarkable cultures) settlements to enable the Spanish to ally with them against the Incas. Due to its geographic location it is also known for its seafood and the beaches of its famous surf and beach resort Huanchaco.

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Photomontage of Trujillo, the city is considered the capital of culture of Peru because inthis place were formed many great peruvian men as Cesar Vallejo and Victor Raul Haya de La Torre, and also because the important traditions of the city as marinera dance
Pizarro street in historic centre of Trujillo
Trujillo is considered the cradle of the typical Peruvian paso horses
Ceviche is a typical dish in Trujillo, it was originated in Moche culture about 2000 years ago

Understand

iPeru, Pizarro 402, 0-44-29-4561, [1]. Mon-Sat 8AM-7PM, Sun 8AM-2PM. iPeru is the government Tourism Information office in Trujillo.

Get in

There is just one airport, one seaport, but many bus terminals a short taxi ride from the city centre.

By plane

The airport is on the Huanchaco/Trujillo road, 5/10 km from them. There is a fairly universal ATM in the departure check-in area.

By train

There is no train service in the area. The nearest trains are to the north in museums in Chiclín(30 km) & Pacasmayo(100 km).

By car

If you must hire a car it is best also to hire an experienced local driver familiar with local driving habits who values his vehicle, human life and health.

By bus

Trujillo is on the Pan-American Highway with numerous connections south to Chimbote, Lima and north to Chiclayo, Piura, Mancora, and Tumbes on the border with Ecuador. Also to Otuzco & Huamachuco to the east, Cajamarca , Chachapoyas, Tarapoto and Yurimaguas to the north east, & Caraz & Huaraz to the South East.

  • Transportes Linea [4] is a good value bus company to most destinations in north Peru. There is a fairly universal ATM in their departure lounge on Avenida America Sur.
  • Ormeño [5] has buses to Lima, Santiago de Chile & Buenos Aires in Argentina, & north to Mancora, Tumbes, & Guayaquil (Ecuador) daily ($60) & Cuenca & Quito (both Ecuador) weekly. Both companies have 3 or 4 quality classes.
  • Movil Tours [6] comes from Lima, leaves Trujillo at 3/4PM via Chiclayo (3 hours) for Tarapoto/Chachapoyas. They & Transportes Linea have good night buses to Huaraz. You can catch a 6AM Transportes Linea bus to Chimbote to catch the 8AM bus up the spectacular Cañon del Pato to Huaraz in the day with Turismo Huaraz.
  • Cruz del Sur is the most expensive, & has the most abusive taxi drivers. (Not true, similar prices to other companies. Also, easy to book online with credit cards and cheap if you book a few days ahead.) However, they have one of the best transport records in Peru, with few accidents, and always provide two drivers for their routes. They also have upgraded new buses for certain routes including the Trans-oceanic to Brazil, which are roomier and more comfortable than some of the other bus companies.
  • ITTSA [7] have luxury buses to Piura (6 hours, 25/35 soles in semi-cama, sofa-cama), Chiclayo and Lima (8 hours, 55/70/100 Soles in semi-cama, sofa-cama or super-cama).
  • EMTRAFESA [8] operates good quality buses via Chiclayo to Mancora (8,5 hours, 40 soles in a cama-bus), and buses every 15 minutes from Trujillo to Chiclayo.
  • OLTURSA [9] operates buses "cama" (160°) from Trujillo to Mancora (8 hours), Tumbes (10 hours) and Lima (9 hours).
  • TRANSPORTES VIA [10] offers buses 160° and 180°, provides wifi and meals, for buses from Trujillo to Lima and Chiclayo to Lima.

By boat

15 Cruise ships arrive in Salaverry, 17km South East of Trujillo, during the summer months each year. As many as 3 have arrived in one day.

Get around

Official taxis are yellow with post card sized municipal stickers of the city's coat of arms on the windscreen. They may have a surprising array of tactics to take you to more distant, expensive, isolated hotels & destinations to monopolize your future custom. The taxis from the airport (blue) & more expensive bus companies (who privilege some drivers) may be the most ambitious. If they see you are frugal they may drop you off near to the terminal to return to find more lucrative passengers. A taxi should not cost more than US$1 to US$1.50 from any bus terminal to Trujillo, or US$4 to Huanchaco. Taxi drivers prefer to go to Huanchaco as there are more opportunities for overcharging, & obtaining a return trip. A taxi should not cost more than US$5 from the airport to Trujillo or Huanchaco. Taxis may charge US$5 per hour around the urban part of the Province of Trujillo, & more reliable & expensive taxis & drivers are required for greater distances than 15km from Trujillo centre. Buses and combis to Huanchaco cost 1.50 nuevos soles from Trujillo downtown, and they can be taken around España Avenue. Cruise ships may carry 1,000, 2000 or 3,000 people, who might expect to pay US$10 per hour for a taxi. To enter the port gates taxis require a permit (days ahead) from the Captain of the Port, so drivers usually wait outside the port gates, less than 1 kilometre from the jetties. Cruise companies keep quiet about arrivals, use cumbersome 50 passenger bus groups, sell their own tours for US$140 (compared to US$50 with local travel agencies), so between 0 - 100 taxi drivers may be waiting at the port gates. There are no more than 13,000 taxis formally registered in the Province of Trujillo.

Most taxis are yellow, tiny Ticos, better suited to inner cities than highways, or superseded Asian models. Note the registration number to find them again. Most drivers do not work in tourism, speak English, know journey distances, times, opening hours of attractions nor colonial city centre streets. See taxis & warnings below.

See

  • Chan Chan ruins. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The capital of Peru’s largest pre-Inca empire, now reduced to 20 square kilometers (4,940 acres) of eroded adobe. The city was abandoned in the 1470s, when Chan Chan was overrun by the army of Inca general Túpac Yupanqui. To get there, you can hire a taxi who will make the round-trip from Trujillo and wait while you are in the ruins. Or, for more budget/adventurous travelers, take a combi/colectivo headed to "Huanchaco" from Ave. España or from the main stop at Óvalo Grau where the Museo Cassinelli is. Ask the driver to let you off at the Cruce de Chan Chan (7 km) and walk a few hundred meters down a dirt road that leads to the ruins.
  • Huaca de la Luna y Sol (and Site Museum), (To get there from the Trujillo center, jump on one of the Combis/colectivos between Huayna Capac & Suárez on Los Incas near the Mercado Mayorista that say Campiña de Moche. It will drop you off at the Museum's entrance; after you visit the museum, you walk a short 10-minute walk to the ruins. A combi will be waiting for you at the ruins to take you back to Trujillo.). 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Don't leave Trujillo without a visit to this site. These were built during the Moche empire (A.D. 100–800). The farthest, Huaca del Sol (Temple of the Sun), was an administrative center, and the other, Huaca de la Luna, was a religious complex. Houses the most dazzling and best-preserved murals in all of Peru. Very affordable souvenirs available at the site. Your entrance ticket to the ruins (s/10) includes a free guided tour in English or Spanish; tips appreciated. 10PEN (Huaca) / 3PEN (museum).

Do

  • Walk Trujillo's colonial centre.
  • Visit Moche Pyramids [11] Huaca del Sol y de la Luna. One hour Combi ride from between Huayna Capac to Ovalo Grau on America Sur. Very well conserved.
  • Visit El Brujo [12] archaeological complex (60km) has an equally good site, museum and views from coast to Andes.
  • See Museo Cassinelli Located in the basement of a gas station not far from the centre, this is private collection of Moche ceramics Tel: 282222 Nicolas de Pierola 607.
  • Visit Chan Chan Archaeological site. Located 5km west of the city proper, Chan Chan [13] is an impressive set of ruins of an ancient Chimor mud city, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. S/.10 Entrance fee is valid for four sites, Chan Chan, on-site museum, Huaca de Esmeralda and Huaca Arco Iris, altough they are all quite apart. The main site is on the frequent bus route to Huanchaquito and 15 minute walk.
  • Attend events during the Marinera Festival in late January around Trujillo and neighbouring towns. [14]
  • Attend events during the Spring Festival in late September.

[15] Both include horses, dancers and numerous cultural events. Programmes are approved late, but those of the previous years are a helpful guide.

Learn

Spanish, Quechua or other languages at the universities, pan flutes, marinera & other folklore at the National Institute of Culture.

If you prefer to learn Spanish in a setting slightly quieter than the hustle-and-bustle of Trujillo, try Huanchaco (about 20 minutes from Trujillo, should cost 1.50 Sol by combi ) which has several good Spanish teachers who teach volunteers and tourists.

Beware of anonymous links with no names, addresses nor evidence of qualifications for languages, tourism nor accommodation.

Work

Trujillo is a city with an increasing economy, modern financial centers can be found near the city center.

WindAid is a social entrepreneurship group. They design, build, and install wind turbines for communities in Peru who are in need of electricity and light. They offer various volunteer opportunities. Website: http://www.windaid.org/home.html

Buy

Trujillo has a large local shoe making industry. Venture down to the shopping district, in and around Pizarro road and Ayacucho Road and pick up some hand made beautiful leather shoes.

  • Other leather goods, woodcarvings & replicas of Precolombian ceramics in the beautiful old colonial centre and at archaeological sites.

If you ignore culture and cannot live without modern brands:

  • Mall Aventura Plaza: On the way from Trujillo to Huanchaco. A supermarket "Tottus", 2 department stores (Saga Falabella and Ripley), a Food Court (MacDonalds, KFC, etc.), Cinemark, banks, atms, and many other stores can be found here.
  • Real Plaza Trujillo: Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Hut, etc. Supermarket: Plaza Vea, Cineplanet, etc.

Eat

Budget

Rincon de Vallejo', Orbegoso 303, cross with San Martín, one block from the Plaza de Armas [16]. Has good, cheap typical food & set meals for breakfast, lunch, evening meals, dessert & coffee. Larger branch for groups at España 734, near corner of 1st block of Orbegoso.

Mid-range

Cafe Oviedo, 737 Pizarro (the pedestrian street). You can gorge an amazing American breakfast for these parts, 11 soles for: juice, a real coffee, bacon, eggs, toast, jam and the waiter is reassuringly fat! Kinda pricey for the backpacker but worth it for a treat.

Demarco Restaurant, 725 Pizarro. Great big breakfasts. Good wifi. Everyone on my night bus ended up here independently. S/15-18 (June 2013)

Splurge

Squalos: Lunch only upscale locals favorite. Known for great seafood. Cien Fuegos 250 La Merced Trujillo, La Libertad +514295134

Drink

Pilsen Trujillo, now Backus & Johnston supports the Huaca de la Luna project. Ron Cartavio, the rum distillery supports the El Brujo Archaeological project. Chicha de Jora, an alcohol based corn beer is available in the local countryside. The chicha of Magdalena de Cao, near El Brujo, has been rated the best in Peru.

Clubs and Bars

Trujillo's nightlife starts late. One can make it out Thursday night, but things reportedly don't start up until midnight, while Friday and Saturday are more popular. Locals recommend Mecano Bar one block from the main square. Beware of invitations to non-existent Salsa Festivals, parties & similar scams.

Sleep

Budget

  • Casa de Clara Cahuide 495, Santa María, Trujillo, Peru Tel 044 299997 / 243347 / 949662710 [17] Informative guest house in quiet part of town (across the street from a park) about 10 minutes on foot from center. They offer dorm beds, no bath, for 15PEN per person (as of May 2013), but you must show up with 2+ people in your group, or else the price is 20PEN for solo travellers. For nicer private rooms and maybe even TVs, opt for the "with bath" option for 25/35PEN. They offer guides for tours, city information & home-cooked meals. Free Wifi. Economic laundry. 600 metres from the Plaza de Armas. Very secure. Convenient for the new Swimming Pool and Sports Centre, buses to archaeological, sites, beaches and malls.
  • B&B Orrego, K22 avenida Antenor Orrego, Covicorti, Trujillo, Peru Tel 0051 997781816 - info@bborrego.com

From 10.00 Euros per person in a double room, including breakfast. Recommended as they offer transfers and excursions from the hotel directly. Good value for money, great atmosphere. English / French and Spanish speaking. Free internet in the rooms + TV cable.

Mid-range

Hotel Gran Bolivar Tel. 044 222090 Jr. Bolivar 957

A bit further out than the main hotels surrounding the Plaza Armas, this place is well worth the walk. Huge double room with terrace will cost about S.160 ($50). Free Wifi in all rooms. Good buffet breakfast. Reception all speak English.

Splurge

  • Huanchaco.

Stay safe

  • Beware of unsolicited approaches from people purporting to be from hotels, travel agents, surf & salsa teachers & invitations to parties. Surprisingly attractive young people have learned phrases in numerous languages to convince you they coincidentally have a similar profession, interest in your language or country; or their family & friends in your country. They may 'happen' to bump into you several times during your stay. The more backpacks, daypacks, cameras, moneybelts, sunglasses & jewellery you display, the more you look like a Christmas tree. Recently they have been finding excuses to change false Peruvian and US dollar bills. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-19240999
  • Be careful at ATMs & on leaving banks, displaying cash in shops etc. Do not carry around belongings any more than is necessary & try not to put them down unobserved/unattended during transfers, in restaurants, internet cafes, buses etc.
  • Official taxis have post card sized municipal stickers with the city's coat of arms on it. They may have a surprising array of lies & other tactics to take you to more distant, expensive, isolated hotels & destinations to monopolize your future. The taxis from the airport, port & more expensive bus companies are the most ambitious.
  • Although they have one of the largest taxi fleets in Trujillo, be wary of "Americas" taxis. They have an awful reputation with regards to crime.
  • Beware of touts offering tours or hotels, it is much cheaper and convenient to book tours and hotels yourself, to avoid paying their commission.
  • Beware of fake reviews, with undue praise or criticism by such touts.

Contact

Cope

A cool breeze is deceptive: a sun hat and sun block are recommended for visits to the beach and ruins, especially in summer. During the coastal winter, expect cloudy days. Also look out for the llamas... they are indigenous to the area and are commonly cofused between their own kind and the local people. With such confusion they tend to try to mate with the locals and tourists. So just watch your back!

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