Trujillo in Peru: Where the Beach Meets History

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Located in the north of the country, Trujillo in Peru is one of the biggest cities in the country. This small city is a great place to visit for a day or two. Combining a chill beach town, and ancient ruins, you'll be sure to enjoy the mix of things to do here. Here is how you can best enjoy your stay in Trujillo.

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Where is Trujillo in Peru?

Trujillo is in the north west of the the country of Peru. The city itself isn't located on the water, but is just a few kilometers inland from the Pacific coast.

where is Trujillo Peru

Trujillo is located in the north west of Peru.


How to Get to Trujillo in Peru

There are quite a few different options for visiting Trujillo in Peru. Here are all of the ones to chose from:


Flying to Trujillo in Peru

Trujillo has a small airport, serving flights from Santiago, Arequipa, and most frequently, Lima.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for traveling to Trujillo.

Search for a flight to Trujillo:

Taking a Bus to Trujillo in Peru

When it comes to traveling to or from the city of Trujillo by bus, there is just one main bus terminal. Tickets can be purchased in advance, but we found them to be slightly cheaper when buying them right inside the terminal.


If you'd like a piece of mind and do want to book in advance, here are a couple of popular routes:

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Renting a Car to Visit Trujillo in Peru

If you'd like to visit Trujillo, but don't want to waste time or run on a schedule, you can also rent a car in Lima, and do a road trip up to Trujillo. If you drive straight it would take around 9 hours, but of course the perk of this is being able to stop along the way.


If you do want to rent a car, we suggest booking in advance for the best rates and availability. Here is a site that we often use to book our rentals:


Entry Requirements for Peru

Before planning a trip anywhere new, you'll need to keep in mind the different requirements for entering the country. Here's everything you need to know for traveling to the country of Peru.


Visa Requirements for Peru

The majority of nationalities from the Americas and Western Europe can visit Peru visa-free for a period of up to 183 total days. The only thing you'll need to enter is your passport, with a validity of at least 6 months from the date of departure. Those from ArgentinaBoliviaBrazilChileColombia, Paraguay, and Uruguay may visit Peru with just their national identity document. If you'd like to know if you need a visa, make sure to double check with the local embassy.


We also suggest getting your yellow fever vaccine as well, since it can be a risk in parts of the country, and is required in many countries throughout South America.


Covid Requirements for Peru

Peru is currently requiring travelers to either be fully vaccinated, or to have a negative Covid-19 test result within 48 hours of flying. Make sure to keep your vaccination card on your all times, as certain places will require it in order to enter their establishments. In addition, make sure to carry a mask on you, as it is still required on public transportation throughout Peru (updated December 2022).


Peru is now open for all travelers, without any restrictions.

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Local Adjustments for Trujillo in Peru

Whenever visiting somewhere new, there are things that you may not remember that could be different from where you are coming from. These are what we like to call local adjustments. Here are the local adjustments for Trujillo in Peru.


Language Spoken in Trujillo

The official language in Trujillo is Spanish. Peruvians speak very clearly, so they are actually much easier to understand than some of the people from some of the surrounding countries (such as Chile for example). Trujillo isn't a super touristic town, so it definitely helps to speak Spanish to get by.


What Currency is Used in Peru?

The currency used in Peru is the Peruvian Sol. Each 1 USD is equivalent to about 3.83 Sol at the moment (March 2023). There aren't a ton of places that accept credit card in Trujillo, so we definitely suggest going to an ATM and taking out plenty of cash.


Electrical Outlets Used in Peru

The electrical outlets in Peru are set up for plug types A & C. Type A is the one with two flat pins (used in the US), and type C is the one with two round pins (which are used in Europe). The standard voltage in Peru is 220V, with a frequency of 60 Hz. We suggest bringing an electrical adapter, as the outlets vary depending on where you are.


Is the Water Safe to Drink in Trujillo, Peru?

The water is generally not safe to drink the water in Trujillo, so we suggest sticking to bottled water. We suggest buying giant jugs of water, and refilling a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated while exploring.


Tipping Culture in Peru

The tipping culture in Peru is an average of 10%, and tips are always expected in cash.

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What to Do in Trujillo in Peru

Although there aren't many things to do inside the city itself, there are plenty of places to check out in the area, and things to do to enjoy your time exploring Trujillo. Here are some things you can do during your stay.


What to Do in Trujillo Activity #1: Enjoy the Vibrance of Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas is the main square of the historical center of Trujillo. Lined with colorful colonial buildings, greenery, and a large statue, this is the best place to visit in the city center.


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What to Do in Trujillo Activity #2: Visit the Ruins of Huaca de La Luna & Huaca del Sol

Huaca del sol & Huaca de la luna are both located right beside one another, right next to the Cerro Blanco volcano. These adobe brick temples were built by the Moche civilization back in 600 AD. Huaca de la luna was believed to be the religious and ceremonial center, while Huaca del sol was the administrative center.


Both of these ruins can be seen within an hour, and the tickets sold include an obligatory tour guide. The tickets are 10 soles, but you are expected to tip the guide.


The hours that the ruins are open are from 9 am-4 pm, and the tours run hourly. They are offered in Spanish and English However, if you want it in English, you may have to wait for one, as those tours aren't as frequent. You can arrive here by local bus from the center of Trujillo for just a few soles.


Book your tour in advance:

What to Do in Trujillo Activity #3: Explore the Chan Chan Ruins

The Chan Chan ruins are the remains of what used to be the biggest city in the Americas, up until Columbus showed up. This vast adobe complex will make you feel as if you were in the middle of the desert hundreds of years ago.


Just about an hour is needed to wander around and enjoy the entire place. If you would like to get here from Trujillo, just hop on a local bus towards Huanchaco. The driver will advise you when to get out, and from there it is a 15-20 minute walk straight to the ruins.

Cha Chan Ruins, Trujillo, Peru

Want to set up a tour to see the Chan Chan ruins? We've found a few different options:

What to Do in Trujillo Activity #4: Go Shopping in One of the Markets

Throughout Trujillo there are a few different markets to choose from. Here is your bargaining paradise! Mercado Central, Mercado Mayorista, and Bodega Layza are just a few. A lot of the stuff may not be of the highest quality, but it is definitely fun to at least check out the atmosphere. Just make sure you are always watching your belongings!


What to Do in Trujillo Activity #5: Go Surfing in Huanchaco

Huanchaco is a must visit place in Trujillo, with its laid back atmosphere and beachy vibes. This is where everyone comes to surf, and there are plenty of places on the beach that will have surf lessons for a reasonable price.

Huanchaco, Trujillo, Peru

Huanchaco is our favorite place in Trujillo, Peru.

What to Do in Trujillo Activity #6: Ride in a "Caballito de Totoro"

Caballitos de totora are boats made out of reed, that have been used by fishermen in Peru for the past 3000 years.  Fishermen use them to transport their nets and collect fish in their inner cavity, but they are also available in Huanchaco to take a ride out, which is a truly unique experience.

totoro boat Huanchaco, things to do in Trujillo, Peru

Totoro is used by fisherman, and to make boats.

What to Do in Trujillo Activity #7: Stroll though Paseo Pizarro

Paseo Pizarro is pedestrian walk located on the main street of Trujillo in Peru. Pizarro street joins Plaza de Armas with Plazuela el Recreo, and it has the most beautiful architecture in the city. With plenty of shops and cafes, it makes a great place to walk around.


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What to Do in Trujillo Activity #8: Hike Cerro Blanco

Cerro Blanco is the one of the highest sand dunes, and has a trail in which you can climb, giving you some pretty great views. Tours are available online, but it is totally doable on your own. Grab a colectivo or taxi to the bottom of the trail It will then take about 2 1/2 hours to the top, and about an hour to make it back down.


What to Do in Trujillo Activity #9: Watch a Marinera Show

Marinera is the typical dance that originated in this part of Peru. It is a graceful and romantic couple's dance that uses handkerchiefs as props. It represents a reenactment of a courtship, and it shows a blend of the different cultures of Peru.


The best times to view the Marinera in Trujillo are in January and October. Every January there is a huge national Marinera Concurso, or contest, and on October 7th, Marinera Day is celebrated with dances and parades throughout the city.


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What to Eat in Trujillo, Peru

Throughout Peru there are many different types of typical food. Here are some that are particular to the coast of Peru, and the city of Trujillo.


Seafood

Since Trujillo is right near the sea, the number one thing that you should eat is seafood. Lined up all along the beach of Huanchaco, are endless restaurants, with the freshest seafood.


Ceviche

Ceviche is the most popular dish on the coast of Peru and a must have, if you are visiting Trujillo. Fresh raw fish with freshly squeezed citrus juices, onion, and spices make this dish refreshing, healthy, and tasty.


Cecina

These are very thin slices of meat, that are salted and dried, and fried with yucca, hot pepper, & onion. This is the perfect snack to pair with a nice glass of wine or beer.


Shambar

This wheat soup is a true Trujjilian delicacy, and a tradition to have on Mondays. It also includes fava beans, green peas, chick peas, and dry beans. Shambar has a few different kinds of meat, including a mix of chicken, ham, beef, or different types of pork.


King Kong

This traditional sweet is also called the "alfajor de Trujillo". It is made of cookies filled with Peruvian blancmange, some pineapple sweet and in some cases peanuts, with cookies within its layers.


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Getting Around Trujillo in Peru

While the center of Trujillo in Peru can be walked, you'll definitely need transportation getting from the center to the attractions around it. Here are the different options that you can choose from:


Taking the Local Bus in Trujillo

When it comes to moving around in the city, local buses are available all over Trujillo, and are extremely cheap and easy to take. There never seemed to be any kind of concrete timetable, but they ran every few minutes, making it very easy to get around.


Taking Tuk Tuks in Trujillo

Tuk Tuks are also extremely easy to catch, and are a cheaper option than taking a taxi (as they are smaller and slower). We like the option of the tuk tuk, as they really gave us a fun and local feel. Just make sure that you always agree on a price before jumping in!


Renting a Car in Trujillo

If you want the easiest option to explore the surroundings of Trujillo, renting a car can be a good option. We suggest doing so online in advance if this is the route you'd like to go. Check below for the different options:


Where to Stay in Trujillo, Peru

The city of Trujillo isn't somewhere that we would really recommend to stay, as it can be a little dangerous, and some parts aren't the prettiest. We recommend staying in Huanchaco, which is the cutest little beach town that you could visit. It is only located about 15 minutes away, and easily accessible by bus.


Huanchaco is colorful, vibrant, and fun. It's a great place to relax on the beach, have some delicious seafood, and meet young backpackers. It is also very affordable, with hostels around just 15 soles per night.


Take a look at the places to stay in Huanchaco:

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Safety in Trujillo, Peru

The City of Trujillo Iin Peru is known as one of the cities throughout the country with the highest crime rates. But don't let that discourage you from going. Like a lot of places in South America, you just need to be extra careful.


We suggest staying in Huanchaco, instead of in the city of Trujillo itself. Make sure you hold on tight to your belongings, and stay with a buddy, especially at night.


Other Things to Know About Visiting Trujillo in Peru

Now that you know almost everything there is to know about visiting Trujillo in Peru, we have just a few more details to share.


Weather in Trujillo, Peru

The weather in Trujillo doesn't vary too much. It never gets extremely hot or too cold. The warmest months are from January to April, which are hot enough to enjoy the beach, without being overbearingly hot. The coolest months are July and August, which are still not too cold at all.


The Best Time to Visit Trujillo in Peru

The best time to visit Trujillo in Peru is in October, so that you can experience the famous Marinera festival that is held each year.


Packing for a Trip to Trujillo, Peru

We suggest bringing a bathing suit for the beach at Huanchaco and sandals. Also make sure to keep your belongings safe by using a backpack, or a bag that zips properly. This will definitely be important if you happen to go to the bustling markets in the city center.


Here is a list we've made for you:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bathing suit for Huanchaco's beaches
  • Towel
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Flip Flops (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops, as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Zippered Bag or Backpack to secure your belongings - take a look at these backpacks for travelers!
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Action Camera for surfing (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)
  • Travel Adapter (we use Tessan travel adapters as they are affordable and reliable)


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Trujillo is a great place to stop by if you are in the North of Peru. We recommend spending a day or two to check out the city and the surrounding area, Check out the ancient ruins, grab some seafood at the beach, and try a surfing lesson in Huanchacho.


Want to see some other great places in this country? Check out our article "10 Places You Need to Visit in Peru"!


Ready to start planning your next trip? Well, now you can save both time and money during your travels! Take a look at the different Scratch Your Mapa Travel Planning Services or schedule your free consultation today!


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