South America Living

Trujillo, Peru Travel Information

Plaza Independencia in Trujillo and Hotel Libertador

Trujillo is the third largest city in Peru – after Lima and Arequipa – but doesn’t take a backseat to anyone, especially when it comes to surfing. The tiny town of Chicama and its “world’s longest wave” (over 1.6 km) is just 1 1/2 hours from Trujillo, and surf hot spot Huanchaco only 45 minutes.

Trujillo is a traditional Peruvian city as well as a popular tourist destination. Many visit the city for a day or so on their way to Huanchanco for some time in the sun on the beach, or to the Chan Chan archeological site. Guided day trips for surfing enthusisasts to Chicama can be taken from Trujillo or Huanchaco.

Chan Chan ruins are just 5 km (3 miles) from Trujillo It is the archeological site of the ancient city built by the Chimú from AD 1100-1470 and one of the three pre-Columbian cultures featured in the area; Cupisnique, mochica and Chimú. A taxi shouldn’t cost you more than a dollar or you can hop on one of the many busses that pass by and pay 25 cents for transport.

Chan Chan is around 36 square km (14 square miles) and made out of adobe brick and mud – what makes it so unique. A lifesized replica of the Chimú king being carried in his chair by 4 servants and of the city in its entirety can be viewed in the Museo De Sitio Chan Chan (Chan Chan Site Museum in English).

A Part of the Enormous Chan Chan Ruins – the Tschudi Complex

You can take guided tours of the site or venture on your own. When visiting Chan Chan you may see scaffolding with workers ‘plastering’ more mud onto the walls to maintain the structure. The Trujillo area receives very little rainfall, why Chan Chan has been preserved all these years. In 1986 the ruins were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Trujillo has many festivals during the year, which are hard to miss if you happen to be there at the time. In October the International Spring Festival delights the eye with numerous young Peruvians dressed in vivid, elaborately-stiched garments vying for the “Queen of Spring” title.

The National Marinera Festival with Marinera (national dance of Peru) contests is held in January and the International Book Fair is held in the beginning of March. The book fair is held in El Recreo square with stands selling over 50,000 titles. International films are shown at the José Watanabe Varas auditorium.

In late February to early March, Carnival takes over the city as well as nearby beach resort Huanchaco with colorful parades, queen crowning and much partying on the streets.

The city of Trujillo was founded in 1534 by the order of Francisco Pizarro: he named it after his native city in Spain. There is also a street named after Pizarro, where most of the administrative institutions are situated such as the City Hall of Trujillo.

At the time Trujillo became a destination point for most of the Latin-American aristocracy. The historic importance of the city is also preconditioned by its status of the first one to proclaim Independence in 1820. To commemorate this notable date the statue of Simon Bolivar was erected on the central square – Plaza de Armas.

The area around Trujillo is prone to earthquakes. In 1619 and 1970 the city was destroyed and afterwards reconstructed. Therefore, much of the city’s history is preserved in local museums such as Museum of Moche Temples, Chan Chan Museum and Emancipation House Museum.

How to Get to Trujillo from Lima

You can travel to Trujillo from Lima by air or bus. It takes only an hour to fly from Lima to Trujillo and both LAN and Star Perú airlines make the route.

The airport in Trujillo is called Aeropuerto Carlos Martínez de Pinillos (Carlos Martinez Airport in English). The international airport in Lima is Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez (Jorge Chávez International Airport in English).

If traveling through Lima where to stay, eat and things to do can be found here: Travel Guide to Lima.

Traveling by bus from Lima will take 8 hours with many companies making the journey such as Cruz del Sur and Oltursa. You can book online with Cruz del Sur at:

Logo Header Menu