Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Visiting Chiclayo: A happy accident

Chiclayo is one of the most interesting cities in Peru that you have never heard about. Chiclayo is a relatively small city (but the 4th largest in the country) with a population of more than half a million. It is a coastal city in the far north of the country.

Chiclayo is a relatively calm city. It has a notable downtown and amusement park. People here are very friendly and treat tourists well. The city is famous for its food, particularly is duck with fried rice. The famous ruins of Sipán are also nearby.

You can visit Chiclayo in bus (approximately 12-15 hours) or fly a domestic airline (1.5 hours) from Lima

I had the unique experience of flying into Chiclayo on an international flight, although the city does not have an international airport.
I was on a flight from Miami to Lima. Our plane had serious mechanical trouble (they say we lost an engine) so we all got a two day vacation in Chiclayo. 
They could not give us our luggage as Chiclayo did not have a customs agent (the government had to bring in a special immigration officer to process our entry into the country) so we spent our layover buying T-shirts and pants and underwear at the open market. 

Every trip is a learning experience.  Chiclayo is definitely not on the Gringo Trail but worth seeing if you have the time. Take a spare change of clothes...just in case.