History of Piura
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.
-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.
-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).
-We recommend to travel in summer to enjoy the magnificent beaches. It’s preferable in October, November at the end of the year.
How to get around in Piura?
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.
Risks and cautions
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.
Getting to Piura
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 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 Máncora
There 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have a drink
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.
To go out in Piura
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.
-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.