Chiclayo was our first stop in Peru and it was one hell of a welcome. It felt like we were back in a Guatemalan or Mexican type city with all the hustle and bustle, and people everywhere! It has a population of over 500k making it one of the top 5 most populous cities in Peru. With that comes its problems and we did witness a lot of rubbish, especially on different bus journeys where it becomes evident how widespread the rubbish problem really is. We were a bit taken a back on the first day but ended up really liking the place on the second day, even though all those horns hoking can really get on your goat.

The main reasons for coming to Chiclayo are to visit the Brüning and Tumbas Reales de Sipán museums, archaeological sites of Huaca Rajada, Túcume, or just a stop off after doing the night bus from Ecuador. We stayed two nights to recover from the night bus from Cuenca and to visit the museums. Continue reading to find out what we did in Chiclayo.

What we did in Chiclayo

Tumbas Reales de Sipán (Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum)

This pyramid styled museum is located in Lambayeque and costs 10 soles per person to enter. The good news is the museum is really impressive and they have lots of artifacts from the Moche culture. The bad news is there are no English translations, well actually there were 3 at the start just enough to get us excitedly thinking everything was translated but this is not the case. And the museum is a school tour hot-spot so bring patience.

Before entering the museum you must go to the locker area and hand over your bag including camera and phone and Id. Nat Geo supposedly own the image rights to the artifacts hence the no camera rule.

Once inside we wandered around the 3 floored structure admiring the intricate artifacts. There are representations of tombs of the Old Lord of Sipán, a priest and the extravagant burial tomb of El Señor de Sipán. The Lord of Sipán was buried in a tomb with lots of gold ornaments along with 3 women, a guardian, a warrior, 1 dog, 2 llamas, 1 boy. Pretty spectacular.

Note: Museum is closed on Mondays.

Brüning Museum

This museum is also located in Lambayeque and costs 8 soles to enter but was not worth it. There is no information, neither Spanish or English so unless you want to look at more artifacts we wouldn’t recommend going. There are 3 small floors with exhibits on Lambayeque, Moche, Inca, Chavin, Chimú cultures.

Some artifacts from the Brüning Museum

Note: You can take pictures here and guides are available for a fee.

How to get from Chiclayo to Lambayeque on your own

  • Take a taxi to the combi station, circa 4 soles, walking is an option but its a good distance away from the plaza and its advisable to take a taxi.
  • Ask for Lambayeque or Tumbas Reales and you will be quickly directed to the next available colectivo. It costs 1.50 soles per person.
  • The journey to Lambayeque only takes 15-20 minutes.
  • Check out for directions to the museums.
  • Museum Addresses:
    • Bruning museum – Huamachuco, Lambayeque.
    • Tumbas Reales musuem- Juan Pablo Vizcardo u Guzman 895, Lambayeque.

Note: Both museums can be visited easily in one day.

How to get from Lambayeque to Chiclayo

Head to the Pan American and look for colectivos either passing on the road or parked up. They will be shouting loads of different names but ask for Chiclayo to make sure. It costs 1.50 pp to get back.

We were dropped off at a different location in Chiclayo but thankfully there were a few taxis waiting so we jumped into one and got dropped back at the hostal for 5 soles.

Tour option to visit the museums

If you want to visit some archaeological sites and the above museums on a tour there is a company called Algarrobo Tours. They have kiosks along many of the streets and offer full day tour to different sites of interest. Tours cost between 35 to 50 soles depending on your negotiation skills. This cost is for transport and Spanish speaking guide. Entrances to the museums, sites and lunch are not included.

Mercado Modelo

This was a crazy market but in a good way. You can find everything and anything here from herbs (someday witches herbs), clothes, meat, fruit, flowers, toys, decorations, curtains, wool, the list goes on and on. We walked around and down the different lanes taking it all in.


The craziness of the market – as seen from our hotel window!

Outside the market and along the adjoining streets there are merchants selling their gear. I picked up 3 t-shirts for $7 and Alan got 4 really nice t-shirts all for $20. They didn’t seem to be interested in negotiations but then again the clothes were dirt cheap to begin with so I’m not complaining.

Aoife’s new t-shirt collection
We also spotted some of the most cutest puppies for sale, which broke my heart as there were so many. We heard one woman shout that they were only 25 soles, that’s like $7!!

Chiclayo to Trujillo

We left Chiclayo and headed to Trujillo with Entervsa at 8.30am, it was direct and the best bus I’ve ever been on, bear in mind 4 months travelling through Central America and the mini-buses in Colombia!. It cost 25 soles. It took 3.5 hours. What made it great was the host who made sure we were ok, handed out snacks and drinks!! Amazing!


We didn’t bring the camera with us for any outing, and only brought a small amount of money. People get very close to you which it usually harmless but we didn’t take any chances and were more relaxed because of it.

Where we stayed

We stayed two nights in Hostel Arke. It was pretty basic and the beds were not so great but the staff were nice and we enjoyed the location, beside the market. Noise can be a problem so maybe a room at the back is better. It cost $20 per night.


Mi Tias – We headed here twice for burgers and at 8.50 soles each, you can’t go too far wrong. If you want a take away burger you can get the same thing for 4 soles, minus the chips but includes a long queue. They have other traditional Food options available for between 20 to 35 soles.

Other things to do in Chiclayo

  • Head to the Pimentel beach – not sure how nice this would really be though.
  • Visit the archaeological sites of  Huaca Rajada and Túcume.

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What an adventure!!! I’ve always wanted to go to Peru.


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