Peru: Trujillo- City of Eternal Spring
Most travellers come to Peru to visit Lima and stay for sightseeing in southern part. However, there is so much to see in North as well. Trujillo is definitely one of the places where you should spend a few days. The most tempting reasons to visit Trujillo are traditional festivals, Colonial Architecture in Main square, Archeological sites and a fun beach where you can try surfing or ride on caballitos de totora.
AREA OF TRUJILLO:
Trujillo is known as a city of eternal spring. I have to confirm that there is a blue sky everyday and if locals tell you that there are four seasons, don’t believe them, because winter time actually means for them 18-23 degrees. Speaking about weather, there is also not much rain. Specifically none since February, so don’t bother with rain jackets but don’t forget your sunglasses.
People in Trujillo are very nice and always smiling, supposingly because of the weather. Peruvians in general call their customers: muneca, gordita or flaquita – which means baby, beautiful, dear. What do you think? Isn’t your day right away brighter if your driver calls you beautiful? No complaints! On the other hand, no matter what age Peruvians are, they are very confident, so you might also get some unwanted whistling or invitations.
Trujillo is generally very cheap. Public transport: 1 sol, Lunch menu: 6-10 soles, dinner: 8-40 soles. Coffee: 6-10 soles. Accommodation: prices rages from 20 soles/person/night, 100soles/2ppl/night in a nice hotel in the center, up to Hotel Libertator which is around 130 $/night.
Regarding the prices for tourists, if you are not in strictly touristy restaurant prices are the same for both – tourists and locals. In general, Peruvians are probably not gonna rip you off, but bear in mind that even locals are bargaining the prices of taxi drivers so you should always agree on price with a taxi driver before you get in- to avoid misunderstandings or unexpectedly high prices.
Trujillo is famous for street food called Papa rellena which is fried mash potato filled with meat, egg, onions with salad on the side. You should also try Picarones (fried dough with sweet sauce). For Monday’s breakfast, don’t forget to get traditional soup of Trujillo called shambar. Any other day, get breakfast in the oldest jugueria of Trujilo – “San Augustin”in Jiron Bolivar street, Block: 5, and order typical breakfast: sandwich and jugo (juice).
WHAT TO SEE IN TRUJILLO?
Plaza de Armas:
The best part of Trujillo is definitely the center – Plaza de Armas with colourful colonial architecture. Walk around the square and take Pizarro street that is usually full of artists, traditional street food and café places where you can enjoy typical Peruvian desserts. My favourites are pie de limon or torta de tres leches. The Pizarro will lead you to the Plazuela El Recreo, small cute square with a fountain and souvenirs.
Art and Museums:
Get a coffee in Museum of Toys in the centre and walk around National University. This walk can take you a while because you will be able to see the longest artistic mural in South America full of stories from Peruvian and Trujillan history and culture.
If you wanna experience real local spirit, go to one of the local markets, for example El Mercado Central where you can get literally anything, from fresh meat and fish, fruits, flowers to custom made shoes. When you are there, definitely try one of jugos (juices) or batidos (shakes) from typical Peruvian fruit lucuma.
Marinera Show and Caballos de Paso
Every region of Peru has its typical dance. For Trujillo, it’s romantic Marinera. You can enjoy Marinera performances in some restaurants in centre at lunchtime, there is Marinera show in restaurant called Sombrero every Friday from 8pm. Besides typical Marinera, there is a show called Caballos de Paso with horses trained to march in rhythm of Marinera music. You can enjoy the show everyday in Palo Marino at 1:15pm and 2:45pm (price varies depending on if you get there alone – 30 soles or with a tour – 10 soles)
WHEN TO COME TO TRUJILLO ? FESTIVAL TIME!
When is good time to visit Trujillo? Anytime! But if you wanna experience something special, you should come to enjoy one of the festivals. Trujillo host these world famous festivals:
Marinera festival is international festival of marinera and paso that takes place tha last week of January. Marinera dancers from all around the world come to present themselves and compete to this traditional cultural event in Trujillo. In the end of Festival, there is a big party for participants and the public called Fiesta del Perol.
San Jose Fair that features Torro Match in Delicias
If you thought that you can run with bulls only in Spain you were mistaken. Following Spanish influence, Las Delicias beach located only 30 mins from Trujillo, organizes Torro match and Torro Run. It taked place annualy between 19-22 of March. Come in the morning and don’t forget to bring comfy shoes and something red. You can take part in the run with bulls and after that join locals with festive beer drinking mood. If you want to see a real torro match, you have to get tickets for evening performance in Arena.
International Spring Festival
Spring Festival takes place between the end of September and beginning of October. The main attraction of the festival is a traditional colourful spring parade. All the companies in Trujillo and beauty queens of Lions clubs from different countries present their allegoric cars in the parade. The best allegoric car wins the Golden Lion Award.
TRIPS AROUND TRUJILLO (all up to 40 mins)
Huanchaco – Fun Beach
DAY TIME: Do you want to chill a bit on the beach and enjoy the sun? Take bus “H” at Ovalo Larco or Blue combi “H” at OR. Both of them charge 1,50 soles to get to Huanchaco. Taxi will charge you around 12 soles. Huanchaco is full of gringas/gringos (foreigners), that’s why the prices are also a bit higher. Nevertheless, the beach is very relaxing and full of small bars and shops with souvenirs. During the day, apart from chilling, you can take a ride on typical caballitos de totora. (Caballitos de totora are boats made in Huanchaco, fishermen have been using them for past 3000 years. They are called caballitos – for the way they are ridden, and totora- for the plant they are made of). If you are fan of sports, you can also sign up for a surf lessons. It’s around 40 soles for class with equipment. Must try for dessert lovers is the best Cremolada in Trujillo (Cremolada is something between an ice cream and a flavorful fruit drink with crashed ice and exotic fruits)– get one in Oceano with big chunks of coconut or mango.
NIGHT TIME :During the night, taste some street food and get a Pisco sour or Pilsen Trujillo beer in bars that play latin music. I am sure there will be some locals willing to teach you some salsa moves. Moreover, every Thursday there is a free salsa lesson in bar called Jumpix.
Chan Chan and Huaca del Sol y de La Luna – Discover Pre-Inca cultures
If you are a fan of history, you should definitely see Huacas built by Moche culture (Huaca means Temple in quechua) and the city of Chan Chan built by Chimu culture. I recommend you to get a tour, because there is no public transportation going directly to those places and taxi drivers charge crazy amounts of money when you want to get back to center from there. Tours are around 25 soles for each site plus you 10 soles each entrance. So totally you will pay up to 70 soles for the full day tour with a guide and entrances. (can be a bit more for English speaking guide)
Oasis Conache – sandboarding Paradise
Do you like adventure? You should book a tour to Conache, which is a small oasis with a nice clean lake and dunes around. You can climb the dunes with the sandboard and enjoy beautiful view of surrounding mountains. Sandboarding is fun but I am sure you will have sand literally everywhere, that’s why oasis is a great place, you can take there a nice, refreshing swim. You can go individually by taxi and rent sandboards in Conache but you won’t get wax which is important for your boards to slide the dunes. That’s why I recommend you to get a tour for reasonable price -around 45 soles with transportation, equipment and instructor. Fun guaranteed!