Huanchaco, Peru [video + photos]
Since we’ve seen the Peruvian capital, the jungle and the sierras it’s time for a glimpse of the pacific coast in our limited trip through this part of former Inca Empire. ‘Cause our road is taking us north towards Ecuador we decide to stop at Huanchaco, a small beach town 8 hour bus ride from Huaraz. Even though the area is more famous for Chan Chan ruins and the city of Trujillo nearby, it gets it’s fair share of tourists, specially surfers.
We arrive in the middle of the night in Trujillo so we can’t catch a local bus to Huanchaco unless we are willing to wait another 4 hours, and we take a taxi instead. After 20 min of negotiation we manage to find a driver that will take us there for 10 $ (proud to say our negotiating skills have been fine tuned in Asia). As the taxi driver takes us through Huanchaco to find a place to stay in wee hours of the night it’s clear there’s not gonna be much late night activities here. The main street (well, pretty much the only street) is totally deserted. After knocking on several doors without answer we finally find someone who’s willing to get out of bed and give us a room.
A couple of hours of sleep at one of those windowless – prison-cell-has-more-charm – rooms and we’re out to check the place and enjoy some beach time. As usual the first thing we do is to check out the local mercado to get some breakfast and even though it’s not remotely as abundant as the one in Huaraz we find some delicious fruit shakes and coffee to get us started.
The beach is nothing to write home about (ok, we got kinda spoiled in SE Asia with it’s blue sea, white sand islands), but it’s mellow enough and after three months of jungle and mountains it feels very welcoming. Actually, soon enough you realize there’s more to this place than meets the eye. First of all, we met some really friendly pelicans that didn’t mind getting close enough for a few brief cuddles and some photos. I guess you can already sense that you’re getting closer to the Galapagos islands. Secondly, the beach seems to be quite lively and full of various artists, musicians, jugglers and simply people who offer their creative expression in one way or another.
We get some colorful hair and beard extensions, hand woven bracelets, photos with a local iguana and share some interesting conversations with local artists. To top it off we get to share a beer while enjoying a beautiful and long awaited sunset on a beach, with sounds of didgeridoo in the background. I have to say the place has far more charm than expected.