Difference between revisions of "Piura"
Revision as of 21:46, 18 February 2010
Piura  is the capital city of the region of Piura in northern Peru. It´s a bit bustly and not overly beautiful, yet still has an attractive air, and is a great place to gobble down some tasty Peruvian cuisine.
The airport (IATA: PIU) has flights to Chiclayo and Lima. Airlines come and go frequently, LAN  seems to have the strongest hold, and is currently the only option. Flights leave around 6:30am, 2:00pm, and another later in the evening.
National buses run along the Panamerican Highway from Lima to Tumbes & some to the frontier with Ecuador. Ormeño  (Lima to Guayaquil daily & Quito weekly), & Transportes Loja (Piura to Loja 3 times daily, US$8, 8-9 hours), have international buses to Ecuador. CIFA has buses to Guayaquil with connections to Cuenca via Machala. The "Especial" service is a double decker bus with sleeper seats on the lower floor. (Cuenca 12-15$, 10 hours).
Bus lines that run to the north include El Dorado, EPPO, and El Sol. There are frequent combis north to Mancora.
If you enjoy beaches, you have to visit Mancora, Colán, Yacila, Punta Sal,Organos and Nunura (for surfers).
In the city of Piura there is wonderful colonial architecture, gorgeous plazas and parks, a large market, and a museum.
The city of Piura is among the best places to eat in Perú. Try ceviche; fish and other types of seafood are always fresh. Another options are leche de tigre (tiger´s milk, obviously is not made of a tiger), seco de chabelo, jalea, etc. Food is not particularly spicy in the Mexican sense, though there is a good deal of hot onion and citrus juice in ceviche. In Piura city you can visit El Caracol azul restaurant, La Santitos, Cafe Capuchino or Manos Morenas restaurant.
If you want to eat traditional food, you can visit Catacaos city or Sullana city (have a care in Sullana); both have great restaurants, particularly those of Don Carlos in Sullana. In the mountains around Ayabaca it is possible to find restaurants where they serve cuy (Guinea Pig), as well as food with more chili (aji).
In Piura, there is Suite Plaza Hostal (S/25-S/50), Hostal San Jose (bookable online, around S/25) http://www.hostalsanjose.com.pe/ , Hostal America (expensive @ S/55 a night, free 1 Mbps Wifi). Other hotels and hostels exist, including ritzier places where you can pay American prices if you want. For example:
The Rio Verde  is quite nice, located in a residential neighborhood, at about US$85 per night.
Costa del Sol  has a location in town at about US$65 per night.
The city of Colán hosts the oldest church in South America, but has no priest and therefore is only used on Sundays for mass. The beach by this quiet town is much more relaxed than in Mancora. There are bungalows maintained by a retired Belgian man who also runs a restaurant for his guests. Rooms are very cheap at S/20 per night, but food is about the same price. To access Colán, one must get off at where the main highway intersects the road into the city and catch a moto or colectivo into town.
In Ayabaca is the famous statue of Sr. Cautivo, one of the most powerful saints in Peru. Every October thousands of pilgrims walk from as far as Lima and Ecuador to adore this miraculously created image of Jesus, which allegedly was carved by artisans who disappeared from a sealed room after completing the figure, accepting no payment. Ayabaca is also close to Bosque de Cuyas, one of the most accessible remnants of cloud forest on the western slopes of the Andes. To see the forest, which hosts over 140 species of birds in a mere 600 hectares, it is best to employ a guide for S/12 per day from the village of Yacupampa, about 5 minutes from Ayabaca in mototaxi. Lodging can be had in several hotels (S/15 - S/30 per night) around the main plaza in Ayabaca.