Piura was one of the first cities to be founded by Spanish in Latin America, in this case by Francisco Pizarro in 1532. The name of Piura comes from the word “Pirhua” that in quechua means barn or supply storehouse. In times Piura was a storehouse base to quechua inhabitants. It’s also known as “the carob tree city”, due to its leafy vegetation in the summer rainy season. Numerous ethnic groups have lived in Piura throughout History; among those settlers, the tallanes, vicus and yungas stand out.
Travel tips for Piura
-The route from Lima to Piura makes a distance of 610 mi (982 km) through the Panamericana Norte highway and the travel takes about 15 hours by bus.-The minimum altitude is 3 meters in Paita and Los Órganos and the maximum 2709 meters in Ayabaca.-We recommend to travel in summer to enjoy the magnificent beaches. It’s preferable in October, November at the end of the year.Once in Piura you can get around by foot, which is a great option to visit this beautiful town and its streets. In moto-taxi the cost for the route is at 2-4 soles. The taxi is a more expensive option, but also possible.Piura is a quiet city but we always recommend not to go by yourself at night nor by foot but you must pay attention to the thieves, specially at the Sánchez Cerro avenue.You should also watch out with the dengue illness, which is more incident in the Alto Piura and Sullana. We recommend you to protect against the mosquito bite and look for an effective vaccine of dengue of the area you are travelling to, because it’s being developped.
Best time to visit Piura
The best period to visit Piura is from September to November, a period when the temperature stays below 77 °F (25 °C) and there are several important dates that are celebrated.
Climate in Piura
-Many towns of the Piura department, and among them Paita, Talara, Sechura, Piura, Chulucanas, Morropón and Ayabaca, have an arid and warm weather, without rains throughout the year and a half atmospheric humidity.-The minimum temperature is 61 °F (16 °C) and the maximum 93 °F (34 °C).
Things to do in Piura
Piura is the capital of the Piura region. It is located in the center West of the region in the "Valle del río Piura" (river Piura's valley) at the north of the biggest peruvian desert, Sechura, very close to the Equator border. Piura is considered as one of the best places in Peru to eat a cevicheand the variety of fish and shellfish. Some says the secret of their food comes from the way they are seasonning...Piura is also known for its warm climate and is named the city of the "eternal summer". Besides, Piura counts with various museums of religious art and pre-Columbian pottery, as many galleries where you can appreciate the paintings of the most famous artists. In Piura stands the famous house museum of the admiral Miguel Grau, the hero of the Pacific war.
Nightlife in Piura
Location: 634, Arequipa street Hours: open from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. This bar is a place to listen and dance the best music, hits of all times. They have also food in case you want to take a snack.
Location: Jr. San Ramón with Av. Panamericana A3 Hours: from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. It’s a place that you can enjoy having drinks with friends.
Location: Avda. Sánchez Cerro Hours: Thursday to Sunday from 9:00 p.m. to the early morning It’s a nightclub with the best music and dancing atmosphere.
Where to eat in Piura?
Location: 579, Ayacucho street Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Price: about 30 soles per person At this restaurant they are specialists in creole food. We recommend the dish “arroz con pato” (rice with duck), if you go on Sunday to the restaurant.
Location: 786, Tacna street Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Price: 20-50 soles the dish, 5 to 12 soles the coffee Capuccino has a lovely dinning room where you can try traditional, classic dishes for lunch or dinner. Don't leave without trying the shrimp grilled in olive oil.
Picantería Los Santitos
Location: 1001, Libertad street Price: around 40 soles per person At this restaurant we recommend the classical ceviche and cabrito con frejoles (kid with a kind of beans). They offer an assorted menu of fish from the area, cooked on the most traditional way.
The tourist places to see in Piura are:
The Cathedral Basilica of San Miguel Arcángel de Piura
Location: 362, Huancavelica street, in front of the Plaza de Armas of Piura Hours: open everyday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Price: free entrance The cathedral of Piura was built in 1588. The largest altar was sculpted by the Spanish sculptor Julián Alagua, of plateresque style, and substitutes the ancient baroque altar, which was destroyed by the earthquake in 1912.
La Casa Museo Almirante Miguel Grau (The Museum House Admiral Miguel Grau)
Location: 662, Tacna street Hours: Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Price: free entrance. But you must sign on the visitors registration book The Grau House is where the admiral Miguel Grau was born in 1834 and he passed part of his childhood. He was a Peruvian hero on the war against Chile. The house harbour numerous objects that belonged to the admiral and are part of Peru’s history.
Museo de Oro Vicús (Gold Museum Vicus)
Location: 893, Huánuco, crossing with Jr. Sullana Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays and holidays from 9.00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Price: 2.5 soles for the public in general The Gold Museum Vicus exhibits gold objects, among the ones a gold belt with cat heads in real size stands out.
Ecological park Kurt Beer
Location: It’s located at 4 mi (7 km) to the south-west of Piura Hours: open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Price: there is no information This park is an educational and ecological tourism center. There you can enjoy observing its wealthy in flora and fauna (deers, glasses bears, wild cats, red headed parrots and boote eagles among others); besides that it offers the possibility of going on a boat ride and make excursions.
Location: 7 mi (12 km) at the south-west of Piura Hours: from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. How to get there: Take a bus at 1 sol and that takes 15 minutes Catacaos is characterized for its cotton and textile on straw production and for the gold filigree in gold and silver. Catacaos is also famous for its gastronomy: we recommend you to taste its specialties as the “seco de Chabelo”. Besides that, if you go in Easter, the Catacaos processions have a good name.
The things to do in Piura
The north of Peru has numerous beaches famous for their waves, that attract the surf lovers around the world. Beaches as Cangrejos, Máncora and Órganos are the favourite destination of surfers.They propose also horse rides through the beaches.
Eco-Lodge La Caprichosa
Location: Quebrada Fernández, at 10 minutes from MáncoraThere are many adventure activities that can be done: a canopy circuit (you slide through cables on air, with a harness that holds it). It’s also a sighting of birds.
Several places and activities
For the bravest, at the desert of Sechura you can make motocross.At the Yacida beach, you can practice rappel. Mountain cycling in Huancabamba. You can surf in sand as well in the Médalo Blanco dune.
Typical dishes in Piura
Majado de yuca con chicharrón (Mashed mannioc with pork rind)
This dish is made with boiled mannioc mashed with chilly pepper and served with pork rind.
Seco de chavelo
It’s a delicious dish, original from the Chulucanas. Among the ingredients, we can find the green banana, smoked meat or “cecina”, seasonned fresh meat, onion, tomato, coriander, dried chilly pepper, boiled mannioc and “cancha” (a sort of dried corn). Just delightful!
Sudado de mariscos o cachema
It’s a classical dish where the fish is seasonned with salt, “chicha de jora” (a sort of alcoholic drink) and pepper.
Chifles are fried banana chips.
How to reach Piura
Piura by train
There isn’t nowadays a train to get to or from Piura. There is a project to build the Tren de la Costa, which will connect the city of Sullana (Piura) with the city of Ica (Ica). The construction was declared of national interest, but there are no more details about the beginning of the works.
Piura by flight
The distance in a straight line between the cities of Lima and Piura is 574,7 mi (925 km). The Aeropuerto Internacional Capitan FAP Guillermo Concha Iberico is located at 1,2 mi (2 km) from the city and has a diversity of services. The airlines that operate in the airport are Latam, Iberia, Avianca, Aeromexico, Copa Airlines and United Airlines. You can travel to Piura from cities as Lima, Trujillo, Arequipa, Iquitos, Cusco, Tarapoto and Ayacucho.
Piura by bus
-The travel from Lima to Piura takes about 16 hours.-The transportation companies that cover this route are Oltursa, Excluciva, Tepsa and Civa.-The cost of the bus ticket Lima-Piura is at 50 to 150 soles, depending on the service chosen.- There also buses from Chiclayo, Huaura, Guayaquil, Máncora, Órganos, Sullana, Trujillo, Tumbes.
Accomodations in Piura
Location: 614, Grau street Price: 20 soles and up Rooms come with full bathroom though they are a bit dark. The atmosphere is pleasant and family-friendly.
Location: 851, Junín street Price: 20-35 soles Hospedaje Aruba offers small, lit up rooms and its impressive decor separates it from its competitors. Smaller rooms share the bathroom.
Location: 327, Avenida Tumbes Price: 40 soles and up The Hostal Chicho has comfortable rooms and is located on a street perpendicular to the avenue, so there isn't much noise, and there are bathrooms with hot water and TV.
Location: 353 Huáscar street Price: 70 soles and up The Hostal César has double rooms with bathroom, comfy beds and TV.
Location: 2, Andrés Araujo Morán street Price: $40 The Hotel Chilimasa is located on the route to the airport, and though on the outskirts, but it worths it because it offers all the comforts of a hotel: very comfortable beds, air conditioning, a pool, is modern and includes breakfast.
Important dates in Piura
Señor Cautivo de Ayabaca
For this festival thousands of pilgrims from northern Peru and southern Ecuador flock to Ayabaca to demonstrate their fidelity to the Cristo Cautivo. This is not to be missed, and if you're adventurous and like to get to know people, we recommend participating in the pilgrimage.
Semana Jubilar de Piura
(October,1st to 9th)
Piura offers the best musical, handmade and gastronomic repertoire to celebrate this festival where artistic performances and social and cultural events become daily.
San Clemente Fair
(November, the 23rd)
Festival in honour of the Señor de los Milagros de San Clemente. It's known for its joyful atmosphere and the active participation of its attendees. The most noteworthy of all the various activities is the bullfighting.
Día de la Algarrobina
(March, the 15th)
The carob tree (prosopis pallida), representative of Piura, is the most important forest tree (from an economical point of view) of the dry forests in the Peruvian North-East. In this area large and leafy trees of carob grow and their fruit is the raw material for the production of the famous “algarrobina”. At this festival they make a competition to the best algarrobina cocktail, a competition to the biggest pod of carob tree, and even dishes based on algarrobina.
Virgen de las Mercedes
(September, the 24th)
A festival that joins a large number of devotees who make a long pilgrimage from various places to renew their faith and keep their promises before the Virgin. The celebration is accompanied by processions and parades, among other cultural activities that bring together locals and visitors from different areas of the region and the country.