Trujillo (Peru)

Trujillo is a moderately large city in Northwestern Peru, very close to the Pacific Coast. Trujillo was founded in 1534 among 4 (of 3,500 archaeological sites in the valley) Chimu (& earlier remarkable cultures) settlements to enable the Spanish to ally with them against the Incas. Due to its geographic location it is also known for its seafood and the beaches of its famous surf and beach resort Huanchaco.


iPeru, Pizarro 402, 0-44-29-4561, . Mon-Sat 8AM-7PM, Sun 8AM-2PM. iPeru is the government Tourism Information office in Trujillo.

Get in

Freedom Monument and Plaza de Armas (the Cathedral is the yellow building; the blue building to its right is the Archiepiscopal Palace; the red building with the flags is the Libertador Hotel)

There is just one airport, one seaport, but many bus terminals a short taxi ride from the city centre.

By plane

The airport Carlos Martínez de Pinillos is on the Huanchaco/Trujillo road, 5/10 km from them. There is a fairly universal ATM in the departure check-in area, & a US$5 departure tax from Trujillo & US$35 from Lima.

By car

If you must hire a car it is best also to hire an experienced local driver familiar with local driving habits who values his vehicle, human life and health.

By bus

Trujillo is on the Pan-American Highway with numerous connections south to Chimbote (2h), Lima (9-10h) and north to Chiclayo (3h 30min), Piura (6-7h), Máncora (9-10h), and Tumbes (11-12h) on the border with Ecuador. Also to Otuzco (2h) & Huamachuco (5h) to the east, Cajamarca (7h) , Chachapoyas (15h), Tarapoto (25h) and Yurimaguas (30h) to the north east, & Caraz (7h) & Huaraz (8h) to the South East.

By boat

15 Cruise ships arrive in Salaverry, 17km South East of Trujillo, during the summer months each year. As many as 3 have arrived in one day.

Get around

Trujillo Town Hall

Official taxis are yellow with post card sized municipal stickers of the city's coat of arms on the windscreen, and also the majority have the telephone number of its enterprise. They may have a surprising array of tactics to take you to more distant, expensive, isolated hotels & destinations to monopolize your future custom. The taxis from the airport (blue) & more expensive bus companies (who privilege some drivers) may be the most ambitious. If they see you are frugal they may drop you off near to the terminal to return to find more lucrative passengers. A taxi should not cost more than US$1 to US$1.50 from any bus terminal to Trujillo, or US$4 to Huanchaco. Taxi drivers prefer to go to Huanchaco as there are more opportunities for overcharging, & obtaining a return trip. A taxi should not cost more than US$5 from the airport to Trujillo or Huanchaco. Taxis may charge US$5 per hour around the urban part of the Province of Trujillo, & more reliable & expensive taxis & drivers are required for greater distances than 15km from Trujillo centre. Buses and combis to Huanchaco cost 1.50 nuevos soles from Trujillo downtown, and they can be taken around España Avenue. Cruise ships may carry 1,000, 2000 or 3,000 people, who might expect to pay US$10 per hour for a taxi. To enter the port gates taxis require a permit (days ahead) from the Captain of the Port, so drivers usually wait outside the port gates, less than 1 kilometre from the jetties. Cruise companies keep quiet about arrivals, use cumbersome 50 passenger bus groups, sell their own tours for US$140 (compared to US$40 with local travel agencies), so between 0 - 100 taxi drivers may be waiting at the port gates. There are no more than 13,000 taxis formally registered in the Province of Trujillo.

Most taxis are yellow, tiny Ticos, better suited to inner cities than highways, or superseded Asian models. Note the registration number to find them again. Most drivers do not work in tourism, speak English, know journey distances, times, opening hours of attractions nor colonial city centre streets. See taxis & warnings below.



Wall carvings at Chan Chan

Chan Chan

Located 5km west of the city proper, Chan Chan is an impressive set of ruins of an ancient Chimor mud city, and a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Spanish, Quechua or other languages at the universities, pan flutes, marinera & other folklore at the National Institute of Culture.

If you prefer to learn Spanish in a setting slightly quieter than the hustle-and-bustle of Trujillo, try Huanchaco (about 20 minutes from Trujillo, should cost 1.50 Sol by bus) which has several good Spanish teachers who teach volunteers and tourists.

Beware of anonymous links with no names, addresses nor evidence of qualifications for languages, tourism nor accommodation.


Trujillo is a city with an increasing economy, modern financial centers can be found near the city center.

WindAid is a social entrepreneurship group. They design, build, and install wind turbines for communities in Peru who are in need of electricity and light. They offer various volunteer opportunities. Website:


Trujillo has a large local shoe making industry. Venture down to the shopping district, in and around Pizarro road and Ayacucho Road and pick up some hand made beautiful leather shoes.


El Rincón de Vallejo, Orbegoso 303, cross with San Martín, one block from the Main Square . Has good, cheap typical food & set meals for breakfast, lunch, evening meals, dessert & coffee. Larger branch for groups at España 734, near corner of 1st block of Orbegoso.

Restaurant Romano, Pizarro 767, between Junín and Colón, near the Main Square . Has good, cheap typical food & set meals for breakfast, lunch, evening meals, dessert & coffee.

Romano Criollo, Estados Unidos 162 Urb. El Recreo, 5 blocks from the Main Square . Has good and variated food for lunch.

Squalos: Lunch only upscale locals favorite. Known for great seafood. Díaz de Cienfuegos 250 - Urb. La Merced


Pilsen Trujillo, now Backus & Johnston supports the Huaca de la Luna project. Ron Cartavio, the rum distillery supports the El Brujo Archaeological project. Chicha de Jora, an alcohol based corn beer is available in the local countryside. The chicha of Magdalena de Cao, near El Brujo, has been rated the best in Peru.

Clubs and Bars

Trujillo's nightlife starts late. One can make it out Thursday night, but things reportedly don't start up until midnight, while Friday and Saturday are more popular. Locals recommend Mecano Bar one block from the main square. Beware of invitations to non-existent Salsa Festivals, parties & similar scams.




Hotel Gran Bolivar Tel. 044 222090 Jr. Bolivar 957

A bit further out than the main hotels surrounding the Plaza Armas, this place is well worth the walk. Huge double room with terrace will cost about S.160 ($50). Free Wifi in all rooms. Good buffet breakfast. Reception all speak English.

Stay safe


A cool breeze is deceptive: a sun hat and sun block are recommended for visits to the beach and ruins, especially in summer. During the coastal winter, expect cloudy days.

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