Our visit to Chiclayo and Huanchaco (Trujillo) was for some archaeological sites. First we left Mancora at midnight on a CIFA bus that cost 35 soles and was around six hours. So we got into Chiclayo early in the morning and got a taxi to take us to a hostel. Chiclayo is not really easy for tourists who are traveling on a budget since there are really not any actual hostels just more expensive hotels. But I found one called Muchik Hostel and we tried checking in that morning, this was our most interesting hostel experience yet.
The guy at reception was not being clear and kept saying sleeping in English while we were communicating in Spanish that we wanted two beds. After a few minutes we finally understood that he was trying to say that there were no rooms with beds but he had a room we could stay in for 10 soles. Also strange since nearly every key was there on hooks behind him. So Michelle and I took the room because we were exhausted and wanted to sleep for a couple of hours. We luckily had our sleeping bags but we were laying on hard floor so it was extremely uncomfortable. After sleeping for a couple hours we found out how to get to the site of Sipan. We took a taxi to a local transportation terminal that is all collectivos going to various areas (I forgot the name of this terminal though) and found one going to Sipan. This cost us 3 soles and was about a 30-45 minute drive outside of Chiclayo.
We were dropped off in front of the museum entrance to the site and paid 10 soles to visit the museum and site.
After exploring the museum, which is really well done, we went to a local restaurant and got a quick bite to eat. Afterwards we walked to the site, a two minute walk from the museum, and explored the so called "pyramids" but they are just sandstone monoliths not actual pyramids. There were also burial sites that had been uncovered and were on display. We spent maybe only an hour or so there since Michelle isn't interested in archaeological sites and since I've seen the Pyramids of Giza, Machu Picchu, Tikal and various other amazing sites I was a bit disappointed.
So we waited outside the site for a collectivo to come by and take us back to Chiclayo. We had good timing and one arrived almost right away, but they run every 30 minutes so it's frequent. When we got back to Chiclayo and to our hostel we decided we didn't want a nights sleep on hard floor so we haggled the price from ten soles each to just five each and went to a bus terminal to get us out and on our way to Trujillo.
We were taken to the EMTRAFESA terminal and got on a bus to Trujillo for 14 soles. It was a kind of crappy bus but it was cheap and got us on our way. The bus ride was four hours and we got into Trujillo around 9:30 at night. I had found a hostel that was cheap and had a kitchen but not realizing it was in Huanchaco instead of Trujillo, which is about 20 minutes north. So we had to take a taxi which was 20 but I got it down to 18, still pricey though.
We made it to Naylamp Camping Hostel and got a dorm for 20 soles a night. Not knowing anything about Huanchaco we had no idea what our plans were except for visiting Chan Chan. But turns out Huanchaco is a tourist surf spot, so we were back on the beach. The water is cold though so not ideal for swimming. Since we both are feeling ready to go home in many ways we were pretty unmotivated to spend money and finding things to do for the most part. But one day we went into Trujillo and another day we visited Chan Chan. From Huanchaco the best way to get around is through the orange and red local buses that are constantly cruising through.
There are four lines: A,B, H with a heart, and H without a heart. All lines will take you to Trujillo but to different areas and all of them can drop you off at the entrance of Chan Chan. So one day we hopped on a bus, the H line with no heart, and it took us to the center where the big market is. We got some produce for making dinner and finally found the "inca shoes" we both have wanted. These shoes are made out of recycled car tires and cost seven soles, so eco-friendly and cheap. After that we hopped on another bus to take us to the mall because there is a supermarket there called Tottus. We picked up some bus snacks and got back on another bus to take us back to Huanchaco.
The next day we went to the archaeological site of Chan Chan which is between Trujillo and Huanchaco. Before we left I met an older man named Marty who was from Southern California and he joined us to Chan Chan. We paid 1.50 to get to Chan Chan, basically anytime you take this mode of transportation the most you'll pay is 1.50. We were dropped off on the side of the highway and walked for about 15 minutes to the entrance of the site. The cost was 10 soles and admission also includes a visit to the museum (which was closed the day we went, so on Mondays), Huaca La Esmeralda, and Huaca Arca Iris. We decided to get a guide for the site so we could learn more.
Chan Chan is the largest adobe archaeological site in the world but only a fraction is open for people to explore. There are nine separate temples and plazas but we only saw one. Initially I was excited about this site but was disappointed again. Our guide was pretty knowledgable and worth the 35 soles the three us split the price for. The tour was about an hour long and honestly the place is a maze so it was nice having him. Now the thing with archaeological sites is that most if not all have been restored in some manner because environmental elements diminish sites over centuries. But there is a difference between restoration and complete reconstruction. Chan Chan looked too new and perfect and our guide even mentioned that a lot of the mosaics and structures were replicas in order to preserve the real ones. So in truth it seemed too fake and new and that was my disappointment. At one point when we were on the tour a group of about 30 high school kids were there and asked for a photo. I thought they meant of them but they wanted photos with us, it was hilarious and ridiculous.
After our tour ended we were all feeling hungry so we decided to go back to Huanchaco and get lunch.
Michelle and I were going to go visit the museum and other sites the next day but we just didn't have the energy. Since we knew we were so close to being home I think we became unmotivated, so we just enjoyed our last lazy beach days. Especially since we return in winter and I'm going to Montana and she's going to Ohio, so no warm beaches there. Time here has been marvelous but also draining and coming to a close. We will make our way to our last stop before Lima and flying home. My next and second to last blog will be from Huaraz, way up in the mountains and back at altitude.