Trujillo: A few days in the north of Peru

After visiting the mountains around Huaraz, we arrived at the third most important city of Peru: Trujillo. It is called the City of Eternal Spring thanks to its pleasant climate throughout the year (we practically melted in this city!).

Trujillo is a lovely city that we found much more typical than Lima. The historic center is lovely and wandering the colorful streets of Trujillo is very nice. In addition, the center of the city retains many colonial buildings that are really very beautiful.

How to get to Trujillo?

As often happens in Peru to move the only viable option is the bus. So we took a bus from Huaraz to Trujillo with the company Línea. The trip was horrible at first, as we left Huaraz in the morning and, since we were 3000 meters above sea level, it was necessary to descend the mountain to reach the coast…

If you get sick by bus, we advise you to ask for a seat in the front! There is an endless number of turns, always on the slope, and believe us, the driver thinks he is in a rally. It took us 2h to descend the mountain at full speed, and a lot of stress… Fortunately, the final part of the road becomes an endless straight line! The price of the trip is 30 soles / pers (about 8.50 €), 8 hours of travel (with a break in Chimbote for an hour and a half!).

Where to sleep in Trujillo?

As we had had great AirBnb experiences in Australia, we wanted to reiterate the experience of living closer to the Peruvians. So we rented a room in the center of the city at Luis’s house. Everything went very well, he was always available and very friendly to us, but we would have liked to have more contact with him.

We stayed 4 days in Trujillo because we wanted to rest a bit before getting back on track, but it is totally possible to visit Trujillo (as well as the ruins in the vicinity) in 2 days.

Things to do in Trujillo

Plaza de armas de Trujillo

It is one of the most beautiful squares in South America, surrounded by magnificent and colorful monuments.

Cathedral of Santa Maria

It is almost impossible not to see it, with its yellow and white façade that gives it all its charm. It has suffered many earthquakes and has been rebuilt several times.

Center

We went for a walk through the historical center of Trujillo, which is colourful and lively. There are a good number of restaurants and a long pedestrian street where you could stroll for hours. The best is to get a little lost in the city center and you’ll find beautiful spots!

Museum of archeology (free)

We stumbled upon this free museum which is in a beautiful house from the seventeenth century. The museum has 7 rooms that chronologically follow the pre-Columbian cultures of northern Peru. There are models, pottery of the time, tools etc …

Huaca Arco Iris

It is an old ceremonial building from the pre-Inca period (Chimú culture). We visited the interior with our guide. The great inner pyramid is surrounded by large deposits where food offerings were probably made.

Chan Chan Palace

We went to the well-known archaeological site of Chan Chan, from the Chimu period. It is the second oldest adobe city in the world, since it was built between 850 and 1470 AD. The fort complex consists of 3 defined spaces that are visitable, as well as the tombs. It is best to do this tour with a guide to access all the information. Attention, the site closes at 4 pm and can be very hot!

Huanchaco

It is the coastal town of northern Peru par excellence, a few kilometers away from Trujillo, so we passed by to have a look. It is famous for its cane boats called totora horses. We are not going to lie to you, after having seen the beaches of Bali and the beaches of Australia, Huanchaco beach was a great disappointment … Although there are actually many surfers, and the visitors are mainly local people, the sand is black and there are a lot of waves, plus it’s not very clean (there are huge piles of garbage on the beach) and there is absolutely nothing to do.

We walked for a while on the streets and saw some nice houses but nothing more…

For these last three points we turned to an agency. We preferred to have a guide because we could do it by ourselves, but it is always useful to have a guide explaining what you’re seeing in Chan Chan (20 soles per person + 10 soles for Chan Chan entrance, which is around 9 € / pers).

Where to eat in Trujillo

  • Casona Deza Café: a charming cafe located in an old colonial house. The place is very nice, we tried a hot chocolate (made with organic cocoa) and a delicious chocolate cake!

  • Restaurante Vegetariano Suprema Sazon: In Peru you’ll find a lot of meat, so if you want to eat something a little different, this restaurant is for you! The food was delicious and for very little money (menu with dish, drink and organic dish for 7 soles / pers, less than 2 euros). The place itself is not very nice but the food was very good and the owner very friendly!

  • Restaurante La Plazuela: We had the menu of the day at this restaurant in a small square! The menu is varied and good (14 soles / pers or 4 €) .
  • Dulci Nelly: for a good coffee or tea (luisa), as well as desserts and cakes.

  • El Patio RojoA fashionable place, all the products they sell are organic, it is very good but it is a bit more expensive. The decor is nice!

We really liked Trujillo. The town center is really very beautiful, and the ruins that you can visit around are breathtaking. The only negative point is that it was extremely hot (and also we just came from Huaraz, where it was cool). In Peru there are almost no air-conditioned places, so it took us a little time to get used to it. If you happen to be in northern Peru, we advise you to plan a few days in Trujillo!

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