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Trujillo is a coastal colonial city in northern Peru where the pre-Inca cultures, like Moche and Chimu, used to live. It was designated as a capital city twice and it’s the cradle of the judiciary in Peru, but it’s also famous for its Marinera festival.

If you are coming from Huaraz or Lima, most of the buses will arrive in Trujillo early in the morning, around 5 am or 6 am. If you plan to stay in your hostel or hotel and sleep a little bit, go ahead, but if you want to enjoy the city from early morning, keep reading. 

Enjoy the empty colonial plaza 

From a bus station, you can take a taxi and ask a driver to drop you off at the main square or Plaza de Armas. You won’t have such a unique opportunity to see the plaza empty like this at any time during the day. So take advantage of it and enjoy this colorful colonial square without crowds. 

Go for a cup of coffee and breakfast

There are some cafes around the plaza that are already open since 8 am. El Rincon de Vallejo is one of them. As soon as you enter, you will find yourself in a beautiful colonial building. They have really nice decorations but if the wi-fi is one of your priorities, you won’t find it here. In case you want to go for delicious homemade bread, try Panederia Alemania. They have different types of bread, sandwiches, or juices. The place is just across the street from El Rincon de Vallejo. 

Get to know Huacas de Moche 

After a delicious breakfast and fresh juice, you will be ready for some cultural experience. To get to  Huacas de Moche, there are taxis from the center for around 20 soles. But if you want to go for a more economic option, go to Av. Los Incas 804-850 and get a minivan from the street. The advantage is that they won’t overcharge you (the price is always 2 soles), but the district is not very nice, so make sure all your valuable things are hidden. 

Tell the driver you want to go to Museo Huacas de Moche and he will stop right in front of the entrance. After you pass the gate, you will see the ticket office where you can buy a separate ticket to the museum (5 sol) and to the Huacas (10 sol).

The price of the ruins is already included a tour guide since it’s not allowed to go around alone. The tours usually start at half-past the hour so make sure you give yourself enough time for the museum. If you don’t want to just pass by every ceramic, count with a bit more than 30 minutes.

To get to the tour’s starting point you need to get out from the gate and then follow the road to the parking lot where you find the entrance. There are two “Huacas”, one is La Huaca de la Sol and another one is La Huaca de la Luna. You will have a half-hour tour just around La Huaca de la Luna, but you will see some of the most spectacular and still well-preserved frescoes from Moche culture. 


Visit the biggest adobe city in America, Chan Chan

This is definitely one of the highlights of northern Peru. Chan Chan is considered to be the largest pre-Colombian city in South America. This city is spread over around 20km² and it belonged to the Chimor culture which was developed from a culture called Chimu. This place is huge and you can still see many well-preserved reliefs on the walls.

If you will be planning your trip there, keep in mind that due to the pandemic the site is open just from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm. The cheapest option is to take the bus that goes to Huanchaco and just tell the driver that you want to go to Chan Chan. The price within the city is 1,50 sol. When you want to get off just say “bajando” and pay. Another option is to take a private taxi where you will obviously pay more. 

Source: peruhop.com
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If you happen to be in Trujillo on the days when Chan Chan is not open, you can try to get to a Huaca del Dragón where you will find some adobe wall carvings. The entrance is voluntary.  If this small archeological site is closed, you can just head right to the beach.

See the traditional ancient boats

If you visited Chan Chan, you are already halfway to the beach. You can just stop by the same bus and go to Huanchaco. It’s a small ocean village with a nice promenade and typical boats made from reeds. Don’t miss delicious ceviche or Arroz con mariscos which are the best options to eat on any Peruvian coast. Apart from that, you can go surfing or ride a popular reed boat. Then, just wait for a magical sunset with a glass of Pisco sour.

Finish the day with Peruvian cocktails  

After the sunset, you will be probably heading back to Trujillo, so if you don’t plan to stay longer at one of the beach restaurants, you can take a bus from the main promenade and get off close to the main square. Just walk a few minutes or take a taxi to Bar Viejo de Viejos and get one of the Peruvian drinks made with pisco. After all, the best way how to end a long day is with a drink. 

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