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A Coastal Tour - Other Activity Chiclayo - Peru

If you feel like you have visited enough ruins after the many archaeological sites around Chiclayo, then take an afternoon to explore the living culture of some of the nearby villages, like MonsefĂş, Santa Rosa or Pimentel.

Begin the journey with a stop in MonsefĂş, an artisan village 14 kilometers (7.5 mi) south of Chiclayo. On the main plaza is a high-relief mural sculpture by William BuendĂ­a, which honors the craftspeople of this pueblo. Around the Plaza de Armas is the brown and pale ochre church (1896), a small museum next door (open only before and after masses) and the central food market. While wandering down the streets, peer into the workshops of the artists and stop in to talk about their work. Four blocks from the plaza, at Calle Izaga and Avenida Venezuela, is the large artisan market. For several blocks, stalls display the straw, cotton and wool weavings noted in MonsefĂş.

After picking up on a few gifts, wait by the side of Avenida Venezuela for a combi to take you down the road. As you near the coast, the landscape changes drastically. Now ribbons of greenery drape the desert. Fourteen kilometers (7.5 mi) of prime beach hug the coast here, from Puerto Etén to Pimentel. Midway is Santa Rosa, a hamlet devoted to fishing. The beach is lined with wooden boats being refurbished by its residents and caballitos de totora (reed watercrafts). The church (1918) has been eaten by the salt and wind. Stroll through the narrow streets and chat with the men crafting new caballitos and mending nets. South of the beach is El Farol, a popular surfing place. There are a few basic accommodations. To continue your coastal expedition, head to the roundabout a block past the seafront market and wait for the combi to Pimentel.

Only two kilometers from Santa Rosa and 11 kilometers (6.5 mi) from Chiclayo, Pimentel was once known as Caleta de la Concepción de Chiclayo. This is the most popular beach destination for the city slickers. Along the broad, pale gray beach is Malecón Seoane, the seafront promenade with gardens and modern low-rise condos. Throughout the town are the remnants of when this was Chiclayo’s port, controlled by the powerful Compañía de Ferrocarril y Muelle. Good examples are the late 19th-/early 20th-century mansions, the train station and a long pier (entrance into the fishing area prohibited during work hours; other times, $0.35 entry fee). The big draw is the surfing. On the boardwalk in the center of town several shops offer board rentals and lessons.

The south end of the beach is home to colorfully painted wooden boats and the totora reed rafts. Near the village are the Pampas de Pimentel, where several archaeological sites are. To the north of the beach is Huaca Agujereada and to the south is Huaca Blanca. To end your afternoon outing, pull up a table on restaurant row and enjoy a fresh seafood dinner while watching the sun set over the Pacific. It is worth spending a few days to relax in Pimentel. Of the four hotels, the most reasonably priced are Hospedaje Pizzería All Incontro (Quiñones 241-243. $3.75 per person) and Hostal Garuda (Quiñones 109. shared bath $6-8 per person, two people with private bath $17-30).


Each of the villages has fiestas. Try to make it for one to experience the region’s living culture more in depth.

• The last week of February in Pimentel is Caballo de Mar—races and other exhibitions of the caballito del mar, folk dances, beach sports, artisan, gastronomic and sand castle competitions and a beauty pageant.

• March 24 in Monsefú is Señor Cautivo de Monsefú—a mid-year salute to the village’s saint

• June 24 in Santa Rosa and Pimentel is San Pablo y San Pedro—the festivities devoted to the patron saints of fishermen, with special processions and seaside masses, regattas and other events.

• The last week of July in Monsefú is Fexticum—a salute to the artistic and artisan production of the village, with food, marinera dancing and the election of Señorita Fexticum

• September 14 in Monsefú is Señor Cautivo de Monsefú—monsefuanos procession the statue of the captive Christ is through the streets of their village. Artisan and gastronomic fairs help round out the festivities.

Needless to say, the beach towns are very popular with Peruvians during the summer holidays (mid-December through March) and Fiestas Patrias (end of July) vacations. Prices on lodging rise during this time.

Population: MonsefĂş (23,500), Santa Rosa (5200), Pimentel (29,700)

Altitude: MonsefĂş (6 m/19.5 ft), Santa Rosa (4 m/14 ft), Pimentel (4 m/14 ft)

Phone Code: 074

Chiclayo, Peru

Other Activity Types:
Sightseeing bus tour, Village

Getting There

From Chiclayo: To Monsefú—combis from bus stop on Avenida Bolognesi, in front of Real Plaza Mall ($0.60)

Price Description:

In transportation, about $2-4.

Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

Currencies accepted
Peruvian nuevo sol

Here are other activities in and around Chiclayo that may be of interest: Cultural Centers,

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

10 May 2012

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