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Huanchaco is a village on the northern coast of Peru famous for its surfing and the local fishermen's "caballitos".


Huanchaco is a place to relax after visiting Trujillo's colonial centre & archaeological sites. It´s got a nice mellow beach vibe, lots of places to sleep and eat and is just 20 minutes by bus from Trujillo's centre.

Huanchaco in January
Huanchaco beach

Get in[edit]

The long distance bus terminals are all in Trujillo. Frequent combis and taxis cost S/. 1.50 & S/. 12 respectively, from Trujillo or the airport. Look for the big red and yellow buses that say "Huanchaco" and wave them down anywhere. There are 4 routes that run between Trujillo and Huanchaco - A, B, C & H (although confusingly there are many combis to other destinations with the same letters - look for "Huanchaco" on the front).

There is a new modern Terrapuerto in Trujillo which opened in 2015, many of the bus lines depart/arrive here. It is located rather inconveniently in an industrial area to the south of Ovalo Grau. To get to Huanchaco using public transportation take a combi from the road outside the terminal to Ovalo Grau or Mayorista, and ask the attendant where to get off to catch a Huanchaco combi. A taxi costs S/. 20 (daytime) or S/. 22 (nighttime) as indicated on a sign in front of the terminal, although you can try to walk out to the road and negotiate a better fare or use the "Easy taxi" app.

Taxi drivers prefer to persuade tourists to come to Huanchaco, as there are more opportunities to overcharge from the Trujillo bus terminals, & obtain return trips. For surfers, buses leave Trujillo's Santa Cruz terminal for Puerto Malabrigo (Chicama) every 2 hours. 'Transportes Linea' [10] have the most frequent buses to Pacasmayo, & 'Ormeño' [11](& others near Ormeño) are the most frequent to Mancora.

The Airport is located between Trujillo and Huanchaco (closer to Huanchaco). Huanchaco is located outside of Trujillo, which is 560km north of Lima. Flying into Lima leaves one with two options on how to get to Trujillo. There is an hour flight to the Trujillo airport that costs about US$80 or you can take an eight hour bus ride which costs between US$7 to US$27.

When to come[edit]

Note that while Peru's northern beaches are supposedly marvellous during the coastal summer (December-March), the winter brings cloudy days. Wetsuits mean that you can surf even during coastal winters, but during the months of June-September, be prepared to wear long sleeves in the evenings, and don't expect sunny days.

Get around[edit]

A short taxi ride costs PES/2.50, or jump on the kombi as it goes around town & off to Trujillo. Kombis and Buses to Trujillo costs 1.50 soles, Colectivo Taxis cost 2 soles, and Taxis cost between 8 and 13 soles.

See[edit][add listing]

  • "El Muelle", or the pier, is a landmark of Huanchaco (Entry fee S/.0.5 between 08:00-22:00). This steel pier was construced in 1891, it is 108 meters long. It was purchased by Victor Larco in 1902. Due to an economic boom in Huanchaco in 1914, the pier finally became property of the state in 1923.
  • The second oldest church in Peru (1535-1540) overlooks the pier & bay.
  • Every day fishermen use their "Caballitos de totora", reedboats shown in ceramics that date from 500BC.
  • Colonial Trujillo which was built between four Chimú archaeological sites.
  • Go watch a local pickup game of soccer in Cancha Naranja, or other canchas around the village.
  • Experience a real Latin American market with fish flopping around, then being butchered right in front of you. This market place is known as "mercado".

Do[edit][add listing]

Learn Spanish- the town has several Spanish teachers. Most of them have adverts placed around the town ( often on lamp posts, or in local businesses - e.g the Otra Cosa restaurant ( a vegetarian place ) has a guy who teaches there most days ). You should "shop around" as the teachers generally have differing styles, methods and costs. Most charge between 15-25 soles ( about $5-$9 ) per hour.

Learn to surf, or just watch others. Swimming can be difficult, however, as the waters are very rocky.

There are surf shops nearby where one can easily rent a surfboard.

Taking a ride in the Caballito de Tortora is another fun activity. Since Huanchaco has plenty of fisherman, there are plenty of Caballitos (traditional peruvian fishing boats made of reed). When riding on these boats one experience the feeling of riding a little horse made of reeds. Ask someone to take you out, or demonstrate for maybe US$2 or 3.

Photography is something many do while visiting Huanchaco. There are many things to photograph such as the sea, the old wharf, the fisherman in their caballitos, and the old urban zone that is full of history. e road from Huanchaco past Chan Chan continues to Colonial Trujillo. Another essential thing to do would be to see the Moche Pyramids of El Brujo, Huaca del Sol & Huaca de La Luna.

  • Visit Trujillo's colonial centre
  • Moche Pyramids [12] The best conservation project in Latin America in 2006.
  • El Brujo [13],
  • Chan Chan World Heritage site [14]

Note that organized day tours to these destinations all originate from nearby the Trujillo Plaza de Armas. Travel agencies are not available in Huanchaco and those wishing to take tours most ride to Trujillo to start the tours. These tours typically stop in Huanchaco immediately before returning to the Trujillo Plaza de Armas.

Make sure you go with an accredited guide, as there are French, Dutch and German people posing as guides etc., paying commission to bricheros, who are professional tourist parasites. Legitimate businesses and professionals displaying required accreditations and qualifications are normal in Trujillo businesses offices.


Many local volunteer opportunities are available. Street Kids in Peru (in trujillo) helps the homeless to finish their primary & secondary education. The Otra Cosa Network and Espaanglisch do projects from English teaching to helping at an orphanage. OR if you are willing to stay for six months to one year, LaCasaCorazon is a laid-back,long term, relationship building community whose two five year plan projects include building an alternative school.[15] Created in 2003, SKIP (Supporting Kids in Peru) is a British non-profit organisation helping economically-disadvantaged children and their families to realise their right to an education, in El Porvenir, Trujillo. [16]

Huanchaco Al Rescate is a street dog rescue shelter always looking for volunteers.

Football fans can also volunteer with the Peruanos Juniors (also known as Huanchaco Football Club) in Huanchaco. The football academy is run by the manager of Hostal Sudamerica and is a 6 year development project with the purpose of developing talented youth from the area and providing them opportunities to train towards placement on the U15 Peru National Team. See!volunteer-in-huanchaco/c22th for more information.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The artisans/vendors sitting by and around the pier sell many trinkets that are native to Peru. The exchange rate as of 8/12/2008 is US$1 = 2.85 Peruvian Nuevos Soles. One can usually buy a keychain for the price of about 30 cents. The workers in these artisan stands are bargainers. They are usually willing to negotiate lower prices, so practice your bartering skills! These locals of Huanchaco primarily shop for food at the local Mercado. It's a marketplace full of different stands, each vendor offers a little something different to sell and have their own prices. To buy clothing, one would most likely travel to Trujillo. There are not many clothing stores in Huanchaco. The little shops are mostly targetted for tourists. Also cool to buy are the fair trade postcards of Fairmail. These photo cards are made by local underpriveliged teenagers who get half of the earnings to finance their education. Check [17] for selling points. Note: if you want to mail postcards without going all the way into Trujillo, there is a tiny Serpost post office on the north side of the (currently dirt) alleyway called Manco Capac a half block from the beach, between Union and Atahualpa.

  • LaCasaCorazon (volunteer community), [1]. alternative laid back relationship building volunteer community. The two projects underway include a five year plan for a school.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

There is much delicious food to taste in Huanchaco and other parts of Northern Peru. The dishes are mainly fish or seafood and are more expensive than Trujillo, from where it is supplied. A tourist will most likely find himself enjoying the local culture while becoming quite familiar with restaurants located in front of the ocean and in the ancient zone. Like most latin cultures, the Peruvians find eating to be an important part of the day. The best time to go to eat would be around 1:00 PM for "almuerzo", the dinner/lunch.

  • La Barca Seafood is a specialty - they have nice ceviche! They also serve an exclusive, specialty ( and impressive! ) dish called "Pescado a La Barca" which is a whole fish stuffed with king prawns, calamari and other shellfish, served with a special house sauce. The restaurant itself is built with a gallery-style layout using lots of wood, creating a maritime atmosphere. They have a good selection of wines, drinks and beers, with both promotional ( less expensive ) and "carta especial" ( more expensive ) menus. Located just next to the Los Esteros hotel, about five minutes' walk from the Pier, at Calle Antonio Raymondi 111, El Boqueron for those of you who like to look at Google Earth!
  • Big Ben , this is a white table cloth, upper class restaurant. It is located right in Huanchaco just a street back from the beach. This restaurant is visited frequently by the president of Peru. He claims it is his favorite place to eat. There are many traditional dishes served here such as, Chicharrones, Ceviche, and Tiratido.
  • Huanchaco Beach - ask for the excellent ceviche a la crema. It is a little expensive, but quite worth having a look.
  • Club Colonial, moved from the Plaza de Armas to la Avenida La Rivera in front of the beach, Phone: 044-461015, E-mail:[email protected] This is a rather elegant cafe-restaurant with a terrasse, one can spend a nice evening here or drop in for a short cup of cafe. It also serves meals that are a mix of European and Peruvian cuisine.
  • Estrella Marina Long established and best-value recommended restaurant has cebiche & other typical sea food on the balcony with the best view over the bay & its reed boats.
  • Otra Cosa, - a vegetarian place. Their falafel is the best. Only 12 soles for the small and 19.50 for the large. They have pancakes, shakes, museli with fruit and yogurt, yummy. Organic, fair-trade products, they donate their tips to local charities, fresh baked pies, DVDs to watch (free), book exchange, internet, right on the beach, English-speaking employees and owner AND you can take Spanish lessons there- just ask for Sam, who usually teaches Spanish there and gives his classes in the restaurant itself, so you can order a coffee while you're studying. It's towards the north end of the Huanchaco strip ( i.e. about 10-15 minutes walk from the pier, and sits about a minute away from the Naylamp Hostel/ Hospedaje Naylamp ). The Otra Cosa restaurant is linked to the volunteer organisation of the same name and can provide information about the program. There are also rooms to let with breakfast included- ask inside the restaurant for prices.
  • My Friend, restaurant in the hostel of the same name. Said to have the biggest burgers in the world! Or at least in Huanchaco. They also have a constant spaghetti special for 10 soles. It comes with garlic bread and a soda. Toppings and different sauces available for the spaghetti.They also have smoothies, omelettes, and waffles with fruit. They ask for tips here, since it's mostly all gringos that eat here. The service is way better at night.
  • The Tramboyo Restaurant, one of the sea food restaurant and very nice service you can as for the nice cebiche and special PAELLA and joing the peruvian cuisine .
  • La Casa Suiza, About 3 blocks up from the beach on Los Pinos. Best Pizza in town! with home-made dough and tomato sauce. The crust is actually like pizza crust! Reasonable price (starting at PES 16 for 35 cm in diameter). They also make their own european-style crusty dark bread, although they are generally reluctant to sell it to carry.
  • Menuland, great burgers in town! Located about 1.5 blocks North of My Friend Hostel on Los Pinos. Fantastic burger place with outdoor seating, also serves Western and Peruvian dishes. Burgers range from ~2.50-6.50 soles. Ask for all of the salsas, they have approx. 10-12 different flavoured sauces to add to your burger.
  • Polleria La Barra, 2 blocks to the north of the 'fruit bar' or 'my friends'. It's a yellow building with outdoor eating. 9 soles for a quarter chicken, fries, and some salad, which can be split between 2 hungry people. 2 soles for a half liter or Chicha de morada maiz - kind of like koolaid with a kick.
  • Casa Tere, in the plaza de armas of the town, close to the biblioteca. It has decent pizza, but it's expensive for Huanchaco (26-34 soles for a grande).
  • El Generoso* A block or two south of the plaza de armas, on the corner. They have something called a burrito. It's not really a burrito, but a nice change when you're sick of rice and fish. It has cheese/ham/mushrooms inside a tortilla. Also their Jugo Surtido is cold and yummy. They have burgers and sandwiches that are pretty good as well. Their chimichurry topping going great with the burgers. Moved onto the beach near the football ground.

Restaurants to ask about are listed below.

  • Brisas del Mar
  • Mardi Beach
  • El Muelle
  • Don Pepe
  • Lucho del Mar
  • Los Esteros
  • The Tramboyo Restaurant
  • Chocolate café, av. La Rivera No 752, Huanchaco (between pier and atm, across the road), 044-462420. European fusion. Excellent coffee/tea, breakfasts, lunches (mostly sandwiches) and desserts. Organic products are used where available, high quality food. Run by a family who are involved in improving the community. Prices are reasonable for the area (breakfast S/8-15, lunch S/6-15, dessert S/5-10, drinks S/3-8)  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are plenty of little bars along the main road leading into Huanchaco.

  • El Boqueron, serves cervezas among other drinks.
  • El Malecon, another bar found on the main road leading into Huanchaco.
  • Club Colonial, also a restaurant, has one of the best terrasses in Huanchaco, in front of the beach on Avenida la Rivera.
  • Sabes Bar Bar, music, pizza, pool table on balcony over-looking the sea, fresh coffee, open every night 8PM. Sabes? (large green neon question mark outside) is located on the main strip of Huanchaco. Owned by a friendly Peruvian - English couple. Popular spot for tourists.
  • Jungle Bar Bily (Jungle Bar). Location: 100 meters north of the Pier, on the street facing the beach. Always a nice crowd of international and local people. Happy hour 2 for 1 drinks. Big choice of beers. Place owned and run by Bily and his wife Deysi, great people. About the only place on the beach open late. Inside and outside seating, great view of the beach.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

The hotel prices are generally much more economical than a similar room in a similar hotel in nearby Trujillo. This makes Huanchaco a good place to stay, particularly if you plan to stay a few days to explore the zone.

  • Hostal Sudamerica,Dorms (from S. 10), camping and singles and double rooms. Avenida Victor Larco Herrera 1520, Huanchaco (7 blocks from the pier as you head north with the ocean on your left). They also offer great family meals and breakfasts. The hostel also has volunteer opportunities.
  • Huankarute, right in front of the beach, this hostel main purpose is to make every visitor feel at home. Single, double and triple rooms with inside or ocean view are available, all of them grant you access to the swimming pool, game room and wi-fi connection. American breakfast is included and some guest rooms have Jacuzzi tubs. Take advantage of special prices during low seasons and discounts on more than two-days stays. Location: 233 La Ribera Ave. Website:
  • Naylamp, at the north end of the beach. Camping, dorm, singles, doubles, triples with bathrooms. Double bed with private bathroom for PES. 30 (bargaining possible) low season. Really nice garden, hammocks, two dogs, two tortoises, internet (PES. 2 per hour), kitchen use, friendly staff, restaurant, clean. Right on the beach.
  • Hostal Bracamonte, A couple blocks back from the shore. Private rooms from US$14.50/person.There is a swimming pool, Game room with ping pong table and football table. There is a play area for infants and toddlers, with swings, slide and jungle gym. An outdoor barbecue, gives the people staying in the hotel a time to get together, eat and talk. Secure hotel parking is available. A van is available for tours and transport to the airport or bus station. A great Restaurant and Bar inside.This 3 star hotel is run by the Bracamonte family, they make you feel right at home.
  • Hostal Los 3 Delfines, Location:Las Cucardas 129-133.Price Description:Single, $7.50,Double with bath,$12, Triple, $18, Quad, $21 ,extra bed, $4.50. This hostal is known for twenty-four hour hot water. It is located two blocks up from Los Pinos from the beach, take a left, continue 1.5 blocks. Contact Information Zip: Phone: 044-46-1599.
  • La Casa Suiza, Located right at the entrance of town. Gazebo on the beach, Los Pinos 308. Very clean. Friendly place. This is a good hostel to go to if you are on a budget. High speed internet included for free. Price: dorm from PES. 15, comfortable double with bath, from PES. 40. Breakfast not included, but very copious an moderately priced. Contact Information Zip: Phone: 044-46-1285
  • La Esquina, Also a budget hostel, prices as follows: Single, $7.50, Double, $10.50. This hostel is located right in town walking back from the pier, Union 299. Contact Information Zip: Phone: 044-46-1081
  • My Friend Hospedaje Location:Los Pinos 553. This is a hotel-restaurant like hostel that has low priced breakfast.
  • Las Palmeras, a three star hostal located on Avenue Larco 1150. This is a beautiful infrastructure with a swimming pool, hot water, great room service, with a restaurant and cafe. Telefax:044-461199
  • Swissostal, - the owners speak some english, which is quite rare. Located a block or two from the beach, on av. ricardo palma. They have the place always locked up, so you have to ring the door bell for them to open it up when you come back to the hotel. You have to keep your key at the front desk. They are quite awkward in general. You could probably get a double/matrimonial for 50 soles a night, it's only worth it if you really want a good shower and someone who speaks english. Otherwise, you can find places with better internet for cheaper.
  • Las Brisas, Big 3 or 4 story building located just a 1/2 block back from the beach on ricardo palma. Internet is decent - wifi. Hot water sometimes. The staff doesn't seem to speak english at all, but they're nice enough about dealing with non-Spanish speakers. You can pay with Visa. You can get a double or matrimonial room with private bath for 50 soles/night (17 USD) in the peak season.
  • Hostal McCallum, Los Ficus 305. Run by Patricia and Manuel McCallum, this is a great option for those looking for a balance between peace and quiet and a social atmosphere. 4 blocks from the beach. Rooms run from 15-40 soles/night for a private room with hot water and wifi, depending on when and how long you stay.
  • Un Lugar Surf School, Calle Athualpa 225, [2]. Run by a local surf legend, it is the perfect place to unwind. The enviroment is very casual and has a pirate/beach theme. Rooms go for 15 soles a night. You can get surf classes, including photos. Pickup/drop off service can also be arranged. Phone cell 949577170 or hostel:044461117 (nextel 832*9884)  edit
  • La Terraza de Huanchaco, 449 Las Palmeras (Right across from Bracamonte), (044) 501898, [3]. La Terraza de Huanchaco is a lovely lodging with an abundance of green space that offers comfortable and relaxing accomodations, from dormitory-style to private bed and bathroom lodgings. Nightly, weekly and monthly accomodations are available. 15 - 25 Soles per person.  edit
  • Hospedaje Oceano (Oceano Hostel), Los Cerezos, 105 (Los Cerezos is the street on the left of Los Pinos, which is the main street), + 51 044 46 1653, [4]. Small hostel with friendly owners, decent rooms (with bathrooms), good price (15 Soles/person for all rooms (today is November 04, 2012), free wifi, kitchen facilities and good location. Great budget choice ...  edit
  • Casa compartir, 322 los pinos (400 m del malecon), [5]. Hospedaje perfectly run by Luis, an artist, dreamer, surfer... free wi-fi, kitchen, laundry and an alternative spirit ! Great budget choice, good place to meet travellers and share knowledge with the charismatic owner. 10 soles/pers for a private room, shared bathroom (2014).  edit
  • Aparta-Hotel “Los Geranios” (Aparta-Hotel Los Geranios), Av Victor Larco, [6]. Aparta-Hotel “Los Geranios” A quiet and peaceful place to stay in Huanchaco. Available for days weeks or months. Two self-contained beach-side apartments. Fully furnished. Fully equipped kitchen. En suite bathrooms (hot water 24/7). Cable TV DVD player. WiFi Internet. Cleaning service twice weekly. Laundry facilities. Secure parking. On-site staff 24/7. Owned by a friendly Peruvian - English couple  edit
  • Los Esteros Hostal & Restaurant, AV. Larco 870 (on the corner of Larco and Antonio Raymondi), 51044461300, [7]. checkin: when you arrive; checkout: when you want to leave. for the traveler seeking quiet, clean, comfortable and private accomadations, visit Los Esteros Hostal and Restaurant. This establishment is immaculately maintained, its staff eager to please and its ocean view rooms have no equal in Huanchaco. They specialize in guided cultural tours.options are diverse as its area is rich in history. 100-160 Sol.  edit
  • Casa Fresh, Av. La rivera nº 322 (20 minute taxi ride from Trujillo bus terminal). Hostel Casa Fresh, one of Huanchaco's top rated hostels, is located toward the South end of the strip, and is a fun and friendly beach-facing hostel. Casa Fresh offers 4 and 6 bed dorms and matrimonial rooms, with shared and private bathrooms. The facilities include a great roof-terrace Irish bar and common area, table tennis, WiFi, a guest kitchen, TV tuned to most of the sports channels, and friendly and welcoming staff who can help you booking tours, surf lessons or Spanish classes. Prices range from 20 to 60 soles. contact [email protected] or check it out on for reservations  edit
  • Frogs Chillhouse hostel, Calle el Pescador 308 (Frogs is a little more north than most hostels. You can get there walking by the beach and mounting the stairs or go via the street. From Trujillo, Tell the driver to drop you in the corner of Circunvalación Avenue and El Pescador Street in El Boquerón area), (044) 462223. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. One of the best surfhostels in Huanchaco. It is really big but it has a great vibe and peole get really social. dorm: S/23, private room: S/82.  edit
  • Tatos House, Avenida Los Pinos, 177, Huanchaco, Peru. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. $7-$14.  edit
  • Olas Norte, Los Ficus 258, Huanchaco. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. S/40-S/60.  edit
  • Wachaque Surf Hostal, Calle Los Helechos 640, 987058118, [8]. New hostal with all new rooms, beds, facilities etc. Short walk to the beach and restaurants along Los Pinos and the waterfront. Roof top terrace and communal kitchen available on the top floor. Wifi and breakfast included. The helpful staff can arrange surfboards, tours and transport back to Trujillo. Dorms from PEN25, Doubles from PEN40.  edit
  • Punta Huanchaco Hostel, Calle Los Ficus 156 Huanchaco, 944024530, [9]. checkin: 12 m; checkout: 11 am. Only 50 meters from the beach just in front of the best surfing spot, strong free WiFi signal, brand new confortable rooms with private bathrooms and hot/cold water 24 hs, big living room with books & board games, outdoor terrace fot relaxing and having tan, racks for boards, hangers for weatsuits and an outdoor shower. Besides FREE drinking water, coffee/tea and transportation from the airport double $20 bed in dorms $10.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Huanchaco is a quiet coastal town and is reasonably safe. When coming into Huanchaco however, you have to pass though Trujillo. This city is more dangerous, especially pay attention at night. If travelling with a car, make sure to park it in a paid parking to avoid it getting stolen.

Get out[edit]

Taxis run at all times of the day. Usually one will take a Taxi out of the Huanchaco when returning home because luggage takes up too much room in a combi. A taxi driver will usually charge one 8 to 13 soles to take you to the bus station in Trujillo, depending on the time of the day. The airport is closer so it may cost 6 or 7 soles.

From Trujillo one would travel to Lima, then to whatever destination she or he wishes.

The bus ride to Lima is between US$7 & US$27, the flight, about US$80.

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This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!