The North Coast and Northern Highlands: Places to Explore

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Huanchaco

Less than half an hour away from the city, Huanchaco is a little beach community where surfers, tourists, affluent Trujillianos, families, and couples easily mix. With excellent restaurants, comfortable hotels, and never-ending sunshine, this is a nice place to unwind for a couple of days or to live it up at one of the many annual fiestas. The Festival del Mar is held every other year during May, the Fiesta de San Pedro every June 29, and multiple surfing and dance competitions happen throughout the year.

Head to the beach in the late afternoon to watch fishermen return for the day, gliding along in their caballitos de totora, traditional fishing boats that have been used for more than 1,000 years. These small, unstable boats, made from totora reeds, can be seen in Moche ceramics and other pre-Columbian handiwork. The boat's name, caballitos, means "little horse"; fishermen appear to be on horseback as they straddle on the boats.

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