Known as the City of the Endless Spring because of the sunny weather all year, Trujillo is located north-west of Peru, close to the coast. The beautiful colonial buildings found in the historic centre are well conserved, making it seem like the city has barely changed. Very close to the city you will find marvellous archaeological sites: over 12,000 years of history of the Cupisnique, Salinar, Viru, Moche and Chimu pre-Inca cultures, including the citadel of Chan Chan.
Trujillo is also known as the Capital of Marinera, this is a beautiful traditional dance between a man and a woman where the man tries to make the woman fall in love with him. In January, there is a National Competition where the best of the best compete for the championship title.
Trujillo is a land of “Caballo de Paso”, unique horses of the world, and the elegant “Chalanes”, the horse rider with a linen poncho and a straw hat. Together they walk in a special way, appearing as if they are dancing.
One of the best places to eat in Peru, Trujillo has a wide variety of dishes, from seafood to the famous Ceviche to Peruvian-style Rice with Duck. Below is our Trujillo travel guide with information on all the best things to do, places to go and what not to miss.
VISIT CHAN CHAN CITADEL – Considered the Largest Mud City of America, it was the capital of the Chimu Culture. It has houses, pyramids, and halls, and spectacular wall-drawings, illustrating the activities that the people used to do to survive. In fact, it was once home to over 100,000 people, and the site spreads over 20km-squared. This citadel is protected, and it is amazing how close it is to the sea, yet built using mud - as well as other materials including stones, straw, and wood. You can go around by yourself, or with a guide.
MUSEUM OF CHAN CHAN – Here you will see real historic pieces of this citadel and an explanation about the way that they live, as well as ceramics and artifacts. Go to the museum before the citadel to understand what you will see there.
HUACA DEL SOL Y DE LA LUNA – This is an archaeological complex used for funerals, ceremonies and administrative purposes - the archaeological carvings are very well preserved. Guides are available.
HUACA DRAGÓN OR HUACA ARCOIRIS – This adobe pyramid is considered the first settlement of the Chimu culture, it was built at the beginning of this culture and at the end of the Tiahuanaco and Huari cultures. Its age is estimated at 1100 years. It is a religious building, and has wall carvings of dragons.
RELAX IN HUANCHACO – A place famous for the food and the traditional little boards made with bamboo, called Caballito de Totora. These are used by fishermen, and are also considered as the pre-Inca’s surfboard. It’s a popular beach for surfers due to the great waves.
SURF AT CHICAMA – Located at 1 hour and a half from Trujillo, this is a paradise for surfers: here you can find the Longest Left Wave of the World. Be careful, as the current is strong. You’ll find boards to hire, as well as the opportunity to take a surfing lesson.
*** WHAT NOT TO MISS ***
Visit Huaca del Sol.
Eat and surf in Huanchaco.
Eat, eat, EAT!
Trujillo is a great city for food, whether it be freshly caught seafood, a goat straight from the farm, or a duck recently plucked from, well, wherever ducks hang out in Trujillo. A good option is “Mar Picante” (if you come to Trujillo without sampling this bamboo-lined seafood palace’s ceviche mixto ordered with a side of something spicy, you haven’t lived life on the edge). Other places include Mama Mia (Mariano Cornejo 115) for pizza, or Mococho (Jr. Francisco Bolognesi 535) for those with a higher budget.
The parties start on Thursdays. If you like to dance salsa you can go to Valentin Segovia (Av America Norte 910), there is live music and they play Colombian salsa. Another option is Ama (2do piso - patio de comidas - LC 202 - CC. Real Plaza) where they play every type of music. Parties start late at night and finish early the next day!
The city is a land of mild climate and low rainfall, with moderate temperatures ranging between 14 ° and 30 ° C due to the Humboldt Current. Trujillo has a warm climate in summer days, and is pleasantly cool at night due to the sea breeze. It has an average annual temperature of 18 ° C, and the minimum and maximum extreme temperatures fluctuate around 17 ° C and 28 ° C in summer, respectively. In other months, average temperatures are between 20 ° C and 17 ° C. Between June and September the countryside is dampened by slight drizzle, and minimum temperatures are around 7 ° C.
If you’re coming from Lima, by bus it’s 10 hours. By plane it takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you’re coming from Mancora, it’s 8 hours.
Trujillo is a small city - stay around the historic centre to have easy access everywhere. If you fancy camping, go to Naylamp (Avenue Victor Larco 3) – they also have dorms and private rooms, and for great value. Backpacker friendly, Hostal Colonial (Jiron Independencia 618) is centrally located and reasonably priced. Another option is by Huanchaco beach which is just 15 minutes from the city, popular with holiday-makers. This is a better option if you’re looking for somewhere peaceful.
If you’re traveling by bus, use a reputable company. The cheaper and less trustworthy companies make stops along the road to pick up passengers, but sometimes this can result in robberies on the bus.