Travel & Tourism
Chiclayo Peru is one of northern Peru’s more interesting cities, and its close proximity to other interesting northern coastal cities as well as its plethora of intriguing ruins, scenic countryside, and vibrant culture makes traveling in the area a rich and exciting experience. Undoubtedly, it is the archeological ruins in the area that draw the most tourism interest.
Downtown Chiclayo features a thriving marketplace commonly known as the Mercado Modelo. Here, shoppers can purchase appliances and clothing as well as many natural medicines and herbal remedies, such as the famous “uña de gato” (Cat’s Claw) in its raw fibrous bark form (suitable for brewing as a tea), and a myriad of other interesting products from the area’s local shamans and healers.
The Mercado is located just 5 blocks from the Parque Principal (Plaza de Armas), and is open daily from sun-up to sun-down.
What to Do & See
In addition to its archeological wonders and shopping opportunities, the city of Chiclayo boasts some of the finest cooking to be had in northern Peru! (some local specialties include arroz con pato (duck served with rice) and the local variation of ceviche (raw fish marinated in lemon juice).
Other Chiclayo social scenes include partying at the local private casino club and relaxing (music, poetry, etc.) in the impressive Paseo de la Musas, which features elegant statues of traditional Greek Muses in a grassy park-like setting.
(According to the Project Director Metropolitan “Chiclayo 2020”, there are many future plans to expand and integrate the central nucleus of the city with its surrounding districts.)
Celebrations are popular in Peru and the city and region of Chiclayo are no exception… Some good ones to attend are:
- Pilgrims and the Cross of ChalponThe festival of Santísima Cruz de Chalpón in February: (considered summer in the Southern Hemisphere), celebrated in the city of Chiclayo, is always a crowd pleaser.
- The Holy Cross of Motupe Pilgrimage: Annually celebrated in early August in the nearby towns of Chalpón and Motupe. The event features an emotive pilgrimage (Santisima Cruz de Motupe) in honour of the local patron saint, and has since become the most important religious celebration in the Lambayeque region.
The celebration takes place over a period of days… On August 2nd, the parish priest and a group of faithful followers begin the pilgrimage to the hill of Chalpón, 10km away. The following day the pilgrims climb the hill to the cave that houses the holy cross and celebrate with a mass, before carrying the cross down the hill and slowly returning to the church in Motupe, arriving on 4 August via the small hamlets of El Salitral, El Zapote y Guayaquil.
The main day of the festival is August 5th, where ‘castles’ of fireworks go off in the main square and bands play music till the wee hours. The pilgrimage offers a great opportunity to witness the mix of Indian and Christian customs incorporated into local religious ceremonies.