The name of the city comes from Chidayep and Chiclayoc, words in mochica language which mean “green that hangs”. It was the place where the culture mochica was born in the period of 0-600 B.C. Its foundation took place in 1560, during the colonial period, as a rural house; this lasted until the republic period, when the city started to grow due to its commercial importance and privileged location. Today we can appreciate on the outskirts and museums the legacy of a large culture moche, which dominated the valley centuries before. Declared the “capital of the friendship” for its hospitality, charm and good disposition of the residents, Chiclayo is the place where every traveller who likes history, good food and beaches with a good climate can’t miss.
Travel tips for Chiclayo
-Go to Monsefú, a district of the Chiclayo province, famous for its crocheting on cotton, thread and straw. At the Mercado Artesanal (Handmade market) of Monsefú you can buy delicate napkins, tablecloths, blouses, skirts, ponchos and embroidery capes, as well as sweets and typical food.-Even though in Chiclayo the days are mostly sunny the whole year and the heat is constant, the nights are very cold, with cold wind. Take summer clothes, but also warm clothes for the night.-Find out about the safe areas to visit and do not hesitate if you need to ask any help or orientation to the Police.-Don’t forget that at the Museo de Tumbas Reales del Señor de Sipán it is forbidden to take pictures, because of the preservation of the most vulnerable objects (the camera flashes could damage them) and the security; it’s accepted a maximum of 300 visitors per hour.In Chiclayo you can get around by combis (mini buses), taxis and mototaxis (vehicles of 3 wheels).
Best time to visit Chiclayo
The best period to visit Chiclayo goes from December to April, since there are the celebrations of Santísima Cruz de Chalpón in February and in April Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo en Zana.
Climate in Chiclayo
The climate in Chiclayo is sub-tropical, warm, of nice temperature and without rains. This is due to the winds called "ciclones" that blow in the region. The temperatures oscillate from 59 °F (15 °C) to 73,4 °F (23 °C).
Things to do in Chiclayo
Chiclayo is the capital of the Lambayeque Province, and it’s considered a key location of the commercial activity betweeen the coast, the mountain and the jungle of the North. The Chiclayo lands have been the crib of the Mochica culture, which was developped between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D. That’s why the Lambayeque department is one of the destinations of ample attraction for the archaeological tourism. The busiest places of the city are: the Plaza de Armas, the cathedral and the basilica of San Antonio. Chiclayo has also a diverse fauna and flora, that you can discover in your route in the ecological reserve of Chaparri. If you are looking for relax under the scorching sun and a refreshing marine breeze, you have the beach Pimentel, at 15 minutes by taxi, that welcomes the traveller with a beautiful landscape, the port and the crowded beach. Don’t you miss the chance of making archaeological, cultural and summer tourism in the city of Chiclayo and surroundings.
Nightlife in Chiclayo
Casa Andina Select Chiclayo
Location: 115, Federico Villareal The bar is very stocked and has a great quality service.
Los portales Hotel Chiclayo
Location: 396, Saenz Peña At the bar Muchik you will find the perfect environment to relax and socialize with all the visitors.
Tribal Lounge and bar
Location: 682 Alfredo Lapoint The center of the city is a quiet and enjoyable palce, where you will have fun with your friends, drinking beverages of its varied menu.
Night Disco Lounge
Location: 075, Av. Bolognesi It’s a pleasant atmosphere, modern music and has a dance floor. Just perfect for young people from 18 to 25 years old.
Where to eat in Chiclayo?
Location: José Balta Norte with Vicente de la Vega Hours: Everyday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Price: 15 soles and less An ideal spot for a midday meal, with a dining area outdoors, where youll eat well. The menu includes: rice, goat and seafood, all at great prices.
Location: 605, Avenida Balta Hours: from 7:30 a.m. to 00:00 a.m. Price: 35 soles and less Hebrón is located in a modern, two-story building, has a great international and Peruvian kitchen that serves typical Peruvian barbecue grills, and a varied menu of delicious desserts. We recommend going for dinner but if you go during the day, order the almuerzo (lunch).
Location: 1820, Avenida Salaverry, about 2 miles (3 km) west of the city center Hours: Every afternoon and evening until 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Sundays Price: 35-50 soles Fiesta is a gourmet restaurant in Chiclayo, so youll get good-sized gourmet portions that are nicely presented, delicious, and with great service. Reserve a night to celebrate or a romantic dinner being in Peru at Fiesta!
The tourist places to see in Chiclayo are:
Plazuela Elías Aguirre
Location: 6 blocks from the main square, between the streets Elías Aguirre and San José Hours: During the day Built in 1924 in honour of Commander Elías Aguirre, Chiclayan hero in the Battle of Angamos during the Pacific War (1879). At this square you can spend a calm moment, feeding the birds that live on the trees around.
Cathedral of the city of Chiclayo
Hours: From 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Price: free entrance This cathedral is also known as Santa María Catedral, of Neoclassical style, and was built in 1869. Inside there is an image sculpted on wood of “Cristo Pobre” (the poor Christ). Its temple is considered Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
Municipal Palace of Chiclayo
Location: 823, San José street A republican building of 1929 with wide windows and forged steel doors. It’s open to the public with temporary art exhibitions.
La Verónica Chapel
Location: intersection of the streets Torres Paz and Alfonso Ugarte Hours: During mass The chapel was built end of 19th century, and it’s characterized for its twin towers of the bell tower and the carob tree beams that hold the arched ceiling.
Archaeological complex of Huaca Rajada
Location: 22 mi (35 km) from the city Hours: from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It’s the place where remains of the Señor de Sipán were found, a noted member of the mochica royalty. In the same area they found children, women and animal bodies and jewellery, and it’s believed that they were part of the entourage or family.
Balneario de Pimentel
Location: at 7 mi (11 km) from the city, at the Pimentel district The dock of Pimentel beach is considered the largest of the country. Fishing and maritime business are the main activities of the residents. Its beaches are the delight of summer visitors due to the nice weather. The sea challenges the experienced surfers on the waves, where they can practice surf, windsurf and all kind of water sports. Besides, you can appreciate the mythical large reed rocky horses, traditional rafts used for handicraft fishing from the pre-Columbian period.
The things to do in Chiclayo
Visit the Archaeological Complex of Huaca Rajada and the Tumbas Reales del Señor de Sipán Museum, which harbour the mummy of this mochica royal member, with his more than 2000 ornaments on gold and jewels.
The beach-city of Pimentel and Puerto Eten have beautiful beaches where you can practice surf, jet ski and windsurf, besides the docks, where you will take amazing pictures and taste the exquisite sea-food. In the Santa Rosa small inlet, a place for handicraft fishermen, you will discover a beach for surfers called El Farol.
You can go over the city and the main monuments, as the Plazuela Elías Aguirre, the Cathedral of the City, the Verónica Chapel and the Cemetery of Ferrocarriles in Etén, that tells the story of ancient railways that sometime would connect northern towns.
The Ecological Reserve of Chaparrí harbors endangered species as the binocular bear, the guanaco, turkey hen Aliblanca and the Andean condor. It’s ideal for making ecological trekkings, where you will find an ecolodge to spend the night. Don’t you miss the breeding center of ostriches.
During the Cruz de Chalpón in Motupe and the Señor Cautivo in Monsefú the devoted people go on a pilgrimage and celebrate it with exhibition of the Peruvian “caballo de paso” (dancing horses which dance step by step), band competitions, handicraft fairs and food tasting.
Typical dishes in Chiclayo
The northern food, specially the one of Chiclayo, stands out for the plates based on fish and shellfish. The ceviche is the emblematic plate, prepared with fish pieces, cooked on natural lemon, seasoned with onion and ají limo (chilli pepper). It wouldn't be a trip to Peru without trying it. You should also taste the chirimpico, the chiringuito and the succulent seco de cabrito con frijoles. And we recommend you to end the meal with the desert king kong to share with your friends.
The emblematic Peruvian dish is filleted fish cut into pieces, cooked in lemon, onion and chili pepper.
An offal stew of kid with onion, garlic, chili pepper and cilantro, all mixed with corn kernels and tender corn.
A dried meat of guitarra fish ceviche.
A dessert made with a large alfajor filled with caramel, and sweet pineapple and peanut cream.
Seco de cabrito con frijoles
A tender goat stew, marinated in chicha de jora (a corn liquor that dates back to pre-Incan times), served with beans seasoned with onion and garlic.
These stuffed dates mashed with quince are an excellent sweet desert; it’s excellent to counteract the effects of the intense flavour of the Chiclayo seasoning.
Peru's typical alcoholic beverage, that combines pisco and lime in an unbeatable combination.
A refreshing non-alcoholic drink made from purple corn, which can have a strange flavor at the beginning but after two sips you will be fascinated by its flavour.
How to reach Chiclayo
Chiclayo by train
There isnt nowadays a railway to Chiclayo. However, there was a state railway in 1873, that operated in Lambayeque-Chiclayo-Pimentel, which transported passengers and cargo and there were some other private train companies.
Chiclayo by flight
The airport that serves the city of Chiclayo is the Aeropuerto Internacional Capitán FAP José Abelardo Quiñones Gonzáles. From Lima to Chiclayo there are approximately 769 km of distance. The main Peruvian airports that cover this destination are Lima, Cusco, Arequipa, Iquitos, Piura, Juliaca and Tarapoto. And some of the arilines that operate frequently to the airport of Chiclayo are LC Peru, Latam, Lan and Star Peru.
Chiclayo by bus
There are many cities from where you can take a bus to Chiclayo city: Jaen, Moyobamba, Nuevo Cajamarca, Pedro Ruiz, Piura, Trujillo, Órganos, Pucará, Tumbes, San Ignacio, Tarapoto, Bagua Chica, Bagua Grande, Chachapoyas, Guayaquil, Huaura, Cajamarca, Máncora, Tumbes and Lima.From Lima to Chiclayo there is a distance of 476 mi (767 km) and the trip takes about 13 hours on the highway. The companies that cover this route are Oltursa, Excluciva, Tepsa, Linea, Movil Tours, Turismo Cautivo, Civa and Turismo Días. The tickets price varies from 47 to 125 soles, depending on the service and the transportation company chosen. The buses leave from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Accomodations in Chiclayo
Location: 338, Elías Aguirre Price: 40 soles for a double room In the Hotel Real youll get decent rooms with hot water and a pleasant atmosphere.
Location: 1046, Pedro Ruiz Price: 60 soles for a double room with bathroom The Hotel Paracas has nice rooms, but best not to pick a room facing the street as it will be noisy. The quality makes the price worthwhile.
Casa Andina Select Chiclayo
Location: 115, Federico Villareal Price: 224 soles for a double room with bathroom, breakfast and wifi included The Gran Hotel de Chiclayo is lovely and comfortable, and has a great pool. The restaurant and hotel dining room are well-known, and attract the upper crust of Chiclayo and visitors.
Important dates in Chiclayo
Cruz de Chalpón
(August 1st to 4th)
Location: Motupe (95 feet, 29 meters above sea-level). 60 miles (90 km) from Chiclayo.The pilgrimage center for thousands of believers who come to pay tribute to the blessings theyve received. During this festival the Peruvian Step Horses also present an exhibition, and there are musical groups and the sampling of traditional dishes.
Señor Cautivo de Monsefú
(September the 14th
The patron saint of the town of Monsefú in which the image of Christ that passes through the city streets is venerated. The celebrations include handicrafts and gastronomic fairs.