Northern Peru, Chiclayo, Cost of Living, Things to Do
In this Northern Peru, Chiclayo, Cost of Living, Things to Do Guide, I also share a Google Maps Walking Tour, Interesting Facts, Accommodations, Restaurants, Nightlife, Livability, How to get here, and Final thoughts
Cost of Living: Chiclayo, Peru
This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. Below is the estimated cost of living one month in Chiclayo, Peru as a temporary visitor. Some of the estimates could be reduced as a long-term visitor, digital nomad, or full-time Expat.
Monthly Cost of Living, Chiclayo, Peru, Ecuador ($USD)
|Airbnb (1 Bedroom Apt)||$15.00||0||14||30|
The above table do not include alcohol, airfare, or excursions, and it is for one person. Some of the expenses remain unchanged when you add another person. I don’t guarantee you anything. I am just sharing my notes from my own experience while there. For more information about how the table works, please visit VagabondBuddha.com at this page.
Things to Do: Chiclayo Peru
Huaca Rajada: This is the site where the second most significant archaeological discovery of the last 100 years was made, The Lord of Sipan Tomb. I missed this because I mistakenly assumed it was just a hole in the ground. So I went straight to the museum and saw what was recovered from the Tomb. Only a week later when I was in Trujillo and saw the Sun and Moon Temples, did I realize that these tombs are located in huge pyramids that are as (or more) significant historically and visually as the gold and art recovered from the tomb. The above picture is from a tomb I visited later in Trujillo (Huaca Cao). This will give you an idea why visiting the Huaca is so important.
Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum (Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan): This museum has the contents taken from several tombs excavated at the above Huaca Rajada. Namely, the Lord of Sipan, the Old Lord of Sipan, and several other tombs. Although I was not allowed to take any photos or video inside the museum, it felt as significant to me as when I first saw the Tutankhamun exhibit when I was a boy. About a week later, I visited the museum for the Lady of Cao which did allow pictures. I have included a picture of gold and jewels I took while at the Lady of Cao exhibit. This will give you an idea of how exciting your visit to the Lord of Sipan Museum will be.
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There is a dramatic difference in the experience available to you if you visit these sites with a knowledgeable guide. This One-Day Guided Tour that will take you to both of the above two sites plus one more and explain the historical context. If you are short on time, here is a guided tour of only the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, which includes hotel pick up and drop off in Chiclayo.
Brüning National Archaeological Museum: This museum is 5 blocks west of the above Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum. It is not as exciting as the above Royal Tombs, but it is well worth the visit when you are in this part of the world. This Bruning Museum includes an exhibit of all of the pre-Inca societies of Peru and also includes a room of erotic pottery taken from various Huacas in Peru. Here is a guided tour of the Bruning Museum. All of these exhibits come to life with a great guide.
Pimentel Beach: This is a fishing and beach village about 20 minutes southwest of Chiclayo. There is a large dock that you can visit for s/2 per person. Then walk south along the boardwalk until you see the reed boats like in the below picture. Have lunch at around noon and then watch the reed boat fisherman return with their catch of the day around 2:00 to 3:00 PM. We enjoyed a great lunch one door south of this link at Restaurant Picanteria Nayaloop.
Reed Boats: These reed boats are found in Peruvian Huaca Murals date as far back as 500 BC. A real Peruvian fisherman can make these reed boats from seaside reeds in about 2 hours. They last about 6 weeks in the salt water if you use them to fish every day. Our guide at the above royal tombs museum explained that local fisherman still use these reed boats in Pimentel. So it is the best place to see them. Just walk about 500 meters south of the Dock in Pimentel Beach.
The following 4 suggestions are in the below embedded Google Map Walking Tour:
Catedral Chiclayo: This construction of this church started in 1869 according to plans created by Gustave Eiffel, the famous architect of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. My Old Town Chiclayo Google Maps walking tour is embedded below. It starts at this Catedral Chiclayo and continues to the following three places.
Principal Park (Parque Principal): Chiclayo centers on this park where you will find shopping and other tourist activities along with the Catedral Chiclayo.
Mercado Modelo: You will find large covered outdoor markets like this all over Peru. Everything you need for daily life is here such as food, clothing, restaurants, and specialty items.
Shaman Doctors: When you are facing main entrance to Mercado Modelo, but you haven’t entered yet, the Shaman Doctors will be about 50 meters to your left, as shown in the above photo. There are dried frogs and lizards and voodoo dolls. Plus there are natural herbs and cures from the Amazon Rainforest you will see in parts of the world that don’t have an FDA that is managing speech about natural cures.
Street Food: There is a delicious Peruvian snack that you will find in many Peruvian restaurants if you like potato and egg (Papa a la Huancaína). If you are using the below Google Maps walking Tour, you will find the above woman selling this dish in a food cart at the last stop on the map. She is across from the entrance to Mercado Modelo, on the corner.
Google Maps Walking Tour: Old Town Chiclayo, Peru
Google Maps Walking Tour: Buy a local SIM card and load it with Internet Data when you enter Peru. You can use your phone as a hotspot when WIFI connections are weak. Plus, you will not be charged international roaming rates when you click this embedded Google Maps Tour.
Interesting Facts: Chiclayo, Peru
We came to Chiclayo, Peru, for a couple of reasons. First, we are traveling the world determining the cost of living in various places so people can decide where to visit or retire. We are digital nomads and we love exploring the world and why not gather information about costs of living as we go.
There are other factors that people consider when deciding where to retire or work internationally. We have identified a few factors below under “Livability.” We include things to do because people also want to know what they can do in their free time if they decide to visit a place or live there for an extended period.
We had read that Chiclayo was not worth exploring unless you are a fan of Archaeology. We read there was not much to do here except visit the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum (Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan). In a general sense that is true, but that one thing to do is so amazing it is worth a visit as you travel through Peru, even if you are not an Archaeologist or interested in human history.
This single tomb contents and historical significance is as interesting and beautiful as the Tutankhamun Tomb in Egypt. The main difference is the age of the Tombs. The Lord of Sipan Tomb in Peru is about 1800 years old and the Tutankhamun Tomb in Egypt is about 3400 years old. Otherwise, there are many similarities in the Tomb contents, setting, and the culture and social norms of the time.
We are traveling south through Peru and Chiclayo is on our route. So we decided to see if the museum displaying the contents of the Lord of Sipan Tomb was as amazing as people say. It made me very sad and it is an unnecessary rudeness to you, that I was not allowed to take any flash free photos during my visit to the Lord of Sipan Museum. You would have been blown away by the contents of this 1800-year-old Tomb.
Chiclayo is one of the most important urban areas of Peru given not only its vicinity to The Lord of Sipan Museum, but also it is the fourth largest city in the country, after Lima, Arequipa, and Trujillo. Chiclayo has about 700,000 inhabitants.
Accommodations in Chiclayo, Peru
Casa Andina Select Chiclayo: This is a really nice place for those who also expect value for their money.
Hostal Satélite: Here is a highly rated hostel that is near Parque Principal. There really isn’t any backpacker partying or tourist walking area in Chiclayo, that I saw. But this hostel is walkable to Mercado Modelo and Catedral Chiclayo. It is also not too far from collectivos going to most areas of interest.
Airbnb: We stayed here 4 nights. This is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment with kitchen equipped for cooking, living room, and dining area. It is in a quiet neighborhood on a park. It is on the third floor. There is a supermarket 2 blocks away called “Metro.” If you need reliable internet and like having some space around you, this is for you, $13 USD per night. (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a discount).
Restaurants: Chiclayo, Peru
Restaurant Picanteria Nayaloop: We only recommend restaurants that we like so much we want to go back. We enjoyed a great lunch while in Pimentel. Qiang had a nice Ceviche and I had a nice vegetarian rice and vegetable plate with avocados. Go to this link, and then go one door to your right to find Nayaloop.
Street Food: We loved the potato egg dish (Papa a la Huancaína) we found at the last stop on our above walking tour. The stand is across the street from the front entrance to Mercado Modelo. See the picture of the woman making Street Food (Papa a la Huancaína) in the above things to do list.
Vagabond Buddha Restaurant: There are many neighborhood restaurants in Chiclayo with specials of the day for s/10 to s/15 ($3 to $5 USD). But it was nice having a kitchen and a supermarket nearby. So we cooked most meals at home and made sandwiches for day trips. Here is the link to the neighborhood supermarket near our Airbnb apartment (Metro).
Nightlife: Chiclayo, Peru
We were there for only a few days so we never looked nightlife. If you find a fun place, please let us know in the comments so we can add it here.
Livability Factors: Chiclayo, Peru
Walkability: Chiclayo is not very walkable. It is a large city spread out over a large area. But you can get a 3-wheel motorcycle taxi (“motor”) for about s/4 to most places in town. The automobile taxis are about 50% more than the “motors” or s/6.
Internet: The Internet was good at our Airbnb apartment including uploading videos to Youtube.
Food: Prices at Mercado Modelo are about 50% cheaper than USA grocery stores. Prices at the Metro, Santa Elena, Supermarket, which was two blocks from where we stayed were about 20% less than US grocery stores.
Weather: Chiclayo weather seems fairly consistent all year. The highs are 24 to 30 C (75 to 86 F) and the lows are 16 to 20 C (60 to 68 F). It rains 2-3 days in February and March, but very little otherwise.
Desire to Move Here: Medium-Low. If your primary motivation is saving money you might consider Chiclayo. It doesn’t seem to offer as much as other places in South America.
How to get to Chiclayo, Peru
Flights: On the day we searched there were round-trip flights on Skyscanner from Lima, Peru to Chiclayo, Peru for $232 USD per person, roundtrip. We consistently get the lowest price on flights using Skyscanner.
Bus from Lima, Peru: You can catch a nice bus from the Lima, Peru, to Chiclayo, Peru. At the Lima Bus terminal, ask the information desk for the “Cruz Del Sur” bus company. The bus costs about s/50 to s/80 and it takes about 10 hours to get to Chiclayo. The symbol “s/” is the sign for the Peruvian currency, the Sol. If you fly into Lima, the taxi to the bus terminal should be around s/36. If you are flying into Lima, I suggest using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flight.
Bus: From Mancora, Ecuador: If you are traveling south through Peru, like us, you can catch a nice bus from Mancora, Peru, at the “Cruz Del Sur” (Google Map) Bus Station, to Chiclayo, Peru. This is a 7-hour bus ride and costs about s/45. The taxi to your accommodations most anywhere in Chiclayo is about s/6.
Final Thoughts on Chiclayo, Peru
We only went to Chiclayo because it was on the path going south from Ecuador through Peru. We read online about the Lord of Sipan Tomb and Museum, near Chiclayo, and we decided it wouldn’t feel right to pass by without stopping. So we took the bus from Mancora to Chiclayo.
We are glad we did. We also enjoyed another of other things we share in our above things to do list.
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