Sights

There is a S1 charge between 10:30am and 6:30pm to enter the town pier, which is a picturesque sight with a gazebo at its terminus.

You don't need to go to Trujillo to visit the archaeological sites of the region – tour operators on the main road here organize direct trips from Huanchaco.

Activities

The curving, gray-sand beach here is fine for swimming during the December to April summer, but expect serious teeth chatter during the rest of the year. The good surf, perfect for beginners, draws its fair share of followers and you’ll see armies of bleached-blond surfer types ambling the streets with boards under their arms. Expect decent waves year-round. The beach break starts about 800m south of the pier – with a rock and sand bottom. It rarely connects for longer rides, but you can get plenty of fun lefts and shortish rights anywhere on the beach.

You can rent surfing gear (S35 per day for a wetsuit and surfboard) from several places along the main drag. Lessons cost about S70 for a 1½-hour to two-hour session. Check at Otra Cosa for local volunteering opportunities.

Sleeping

Most guesthouses are located at the southern end of town in the small streets running perpendicular to the beach. You can get discounts of up to 50% outside festival and holiday times, so be sure to ask.

Eating

Not surprisingly, Huanchaco has oodles of seafood restaurants, especially near the caballitos de tortora (traditional indigenous reed boats) stacked at the north end of the beach.

Drinking & Nightlife

Entertainment is of the reggae and beer variety, but during the week it's fairly tame. On weekends, trujillanos descend on the town and things are a little more lively.