The sea! The sea! The open sea! The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
– Brian W Procter
I thought Mancora was cool, but Huanchaco had a special feeling to it. It glows with beachside happiness, salty fresh air, sunshine and summer, and helpful kind people.
Upon arrival early in the morning off the night bus from Máncora, frogs chillhouse hostal were happy for us to store the bags before check in so we could enjoy our day.
The best place to eat in the mornings is the Chocolate Cafe (avacado, toast, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes and egg f you want it)… but to be fair we only ate at one other place and whilst the food and coffee was great, the service was a bit slow (an hour plus before we got all our food). I suppose it comes with the territory of chilled beach town.
The street vendors have great delicious food especially the donuts with honey/treacle drizzled over the top.
Enough about food!
The reed canoes are super interesting, odd and charming, especially watching the old men riding them way out at sea as the sun sets. They line the beaches during the day and blend with all the surfers.
Not only is the chilled and quirky town of Huanchaco a good place to visit, the city of Trujillo, just a 20 minute minivan (collectivo) ride away, provides an interesting walk and exploration in a city that doesn’t have many other travellers or tourists. People are more then happy to help if you’re lost or trying to catch the right minivan to certain places.
We visited the ruins of Chan Chan, which is a UNESCO world heritage archeological site – the largest city of the Chimu people. This sandy construction stretches on and on, however you can only visit a few of the 9 sections, which is plenty ! Whilst a lot of it is reconstructed, the city is very impressive being that it’s made of sand, and next to the coast – if you will, aide size sand castle. Of course visiting Chan Chan would not have been the same without the girls I was with and their ability to translate the Spanish self guided leaflet tour.
The following day we began the quest to get to Huacas del Sol y la Luna – the temple of the sun and the moon, a place that is still getting excavated and remains somewhat a mystery. The temples are more then 700 years older then the 15th century ruins of Chan Chan. Partly covered in sand, the sheer size of the inverted pyramid creates an intense sense of awe, and the murals and decorations that are in amazing condition are invredibly colourful and intricately detailed.
The tour is covered in the price (s/10), and even though it was in Spanish it was very interesting and the tour guide was very passionate about the place (which always makes things more interesting regardless), again thanks to the girls I was with I got the general gist of the tour through their translating skills.
I love the ocean, so anywhere on the coast I’m generally happy to be there, especially if the place comes with quirks and good vibes like Huanchaco.
There are lots of things to see and do around the area which is perhaps why I preferred it to Máncora.