Huanchaco is a fun surfer, beach town just outside of Trujillo. Unfortunately we travelled here during a cold period in the offseason, so we didn’t get to experience it at it’s best, but we could definitely see it’s charms. The often photographed fisherman’s (caballitos de totoras) boats dotted the shoreline, and the seafood was plentiful and tasty. It is sometimes even quoted as the birthplace of the famous Peruvian dish, ceviché! Another tourist draw is the nearby ancient ruins of the city Chan Chan. It is definitely worth a stop if you decide to bus up the coast to Ecuador from Lima! Just make sure to visit between December to April/May to enjoy some warmer weather.
How to Get There
We bussed from Lima to Trujillo, which took about 10 hours on Movil Bus. The trip cost us 60 soles. There were USB chargers for each seat, but the wifi didn’t work and the movies were in Spanish. From Trujillo you have to take a taxi or bus to Huanchaco. The bus costs 1.5 soles from Trujillo Avicenna del Ejercito to Huanchaco, and you want to take Bus B.
We also bussed from Trujillo to Mancora. First get back to Trujillo from Huanchaco by hopping on Bus B to Trujillo Avicenna del Ejercito for 1.5 soles. This will get you in the area of most of the bus stations, as all of the companies are located in different buildings (Oltursa, Flores, Cruz del Sur and Civa are all close together). We took Oltursa, which we booked online for 70 soles. The trip took 10.5 hours overnight. You can check out our reviews on Peru bus companies here.
Where to Stay
- Naylamp Hostel – We stayed at a funky place called Naylamp Hostel. Our double room with a private bathroom cost 55 soles. The rooms surrounded an inner courtyard with hammocks and benches to chill on. You could also get a pretty good breakfast (crepes and omelettes) for for 6-14 soles. You can book a room online here.
What to Do
- Chan Chan – These were some awesome ruins, and made Huanchaco more than just a beach town to visit. Entry is 10 soles, and there are guides available for an extra price. We opted for no guide and used the free pamphlets instead! Take any of the bright yellow or red busses leaving town for 1.5 soles and tell them you’re going to Chan Chan. They’ll help you get off at the right stop. From the bus stop to the ruins, there is about a ten minute walk. A taxi driver tried to convince us it was longer and we needed a ride, but we just kept walking! The carvings and unique maze-like architecture are worth the visit!
- Pier – It does cost 0.5 soles, but it’s worth the unique view of the town, and to hang out with the pelicans that chill there!
- Surfing – Unfortunately the cold weather deterred us from hitting the surf, but Huanchaco is known as one of the best surfing spots in the world. It has very consistent surf, and nearby you can find the longest left break in the world. There are tons of surf hostels dotting the shoreline, so take a walk and maybe find a stay and surf deal!
What to Eat
- El Anzuel – We had some great affordable seafood here, and the owner was very helpful helping us figure out what to eat. Dev got the massive seafood mariscos (rice) and it was delicious!