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Northern Peru: Fact file

Visit Us

When to go

Northern Peru can be visited at any time of year but unpaved roads inland can get very muddy in the rainy season Jan-Mar.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency

Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from ATMs in the larger towns using a UK credit or debit card. Numerous money exchange offices exchange US dollars cash (few accept euros or sterling and the rate may be poor).

Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Getting there

Frequent flights from Lima to Trujillo take 1 hour 12 mins and 1 hour 30 mins to Chiclayo or Cajamarca.

Combines with

A beach wind down in Máncora, trendy but low-key sea and surf resort on the northwest coast; pre-Columbian ruins of a ceremonial centre at Pachacamac  in the desert just 31 km from Lima; the Inca sites around Cusco, including Machu Picchu (1 hour flight from Lima); a trek in the Cordillera Blanca from Huaraz, mountaineering town halfway between Trujillo and Lima.

Key events

National Marinera Contest; Trujillo, 2 weeks from the end of Jan. Dancing couples compete in 6 categories.

Festival de la Primavera: Trujillo, last week of Sept. Pageants, floats and parades, and a competition of riders of the famous Peruvian Caballos de Paso horses famed for their extra tripping gait.

Fiesta de la Purísima Concepción: Chiclayo, 8 days prior to Carnival and also in Sep. Celebrates the town’s patron saint, with dancing, fireworks, cock fights and sporting events. 

Carnival Cajamarca in a full-on affair with processions, dances and paint-throwing.

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