Huanchaco: Escape from the City

After an overnight bus from Huaraz, we arrived in Trujillo at 4am only to wait around/sleep in the station until 6am when the buses started running. We had decided days ago, based on several recommendations, to stay in a small beach town outside of the city called Huanchaco. In hindsight, I’m sure that it was the right choice.

DSC04836WOnly 20 minutes outside of Trujillo, Huanchaco isn’t the most beautiful beach in the world, but it’s relatively quiet and has great seafood.

DSC04835WAfter looking into several hostels, Erik spotted a laid back, backpacker hangout at the right price and we settled in at Sur America.

DSC04927WOur room was right by the pier and had a nice view of the ocean and the accompanying sounds from the waves to put us to sleep.

DSC04834WThe beach was always busy with locals and tourists alike and provided a great deal of entertainment as we walked along it.

DSC04877WThis area of Peru is known for the surfing and the reed boats called “caballitos de totora” which are regarded as one of the first known surf crafts. Interestingly enough, Huanchaco is one of the only places left where people know how to make them and the boats must be re-made every few weeks because they become waterlogged. The boats lined the shore while drying and were used by fisherman or available for surfing, for a price of course.

DSC04879W We were lucky enough to catch one of the local fishermen out for a joyride late in the afternoon.

Our hostel was essentially being run by an English-Polish couple on work exchange which was very similar to what we had done in Australia and Scotland. The atmosphere was very communal and each morning we sat down to breakfast and each evening to a homemade dinner when someone decided to create a local specialty from their home country. The hostel encouraged this by paying the cooks back for any ingredients, so they ate for free.

DSC04929WMany of the guests joined in as did the owner who coached a professional development U18 soccer team in the area that he was very passionate about.

DSC04931WAs an added bonus, the hostel had two kittens named Ceviche and Sushi who loved to sit on my lap despite my protests of allergies.

DSC04933WOne afternoon we decided to venture out for some local fare and finally took the opportunity to try ceviche, which some sources argue was born in Huanchaco. Ceviche is fresh raw fish that has been marinated in lime and spiced with peppers. Normally it’s served as an appetizer, but I opted for the full-on lunch which ended up being a large amount of raw fish at once. Nevertheless, it was a delicious and refreshing option on a hot day.

DSC04935WWe’re spoiled and have seen many, but the setting allowed for a particularly unique and photogenic sunset. As my Mom would say, “art.”

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