A bustling small town 12km southwest of Piura, Catacaos is the self-proclaimed capital of artesanía (handicrafts) in the region. And justifiably so: its arts market is the best in northern Peru. Sprawling for several blocks near the Plaza de Armas, the market has traditional sombreros, excellent weavings, gold and silver filigree jewelry, wood carvings, ceramics (including lots of pieces from Chulucanas), leather goods and more. Weekends are the best and busiest time to visit.

Catacaos is also famed throughout the region for its food, so it's a good idea to shop early before sampling seco de chavelo (mashed green plantains with dried meat) or arroz con pato (duck with rice) in one of the many traditional restaurants.

Colectivos leave frequently for Catacaos (S3, 15 minutes) from Av Loreto in central Piura from 6am to 7pm. Slower local buses leave from near the market, but are not really worth the hassle.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Piura attractions

1. Narihualá

2.15 MILES

Narihualá was the capital of the pre-Inca Tallán culture and is one of the premier archaeological sites around Piura. Covering 6 hectares just south of…

2. Bolognesi Monument

5.47 MILES

Monument to the Peruvian military hero Francisco Bolognesi Cervantes (1816–80) in the middle of a busy traffic circle.

3. Casa Grau

5.69 MILES

This restored colonial home is the birthplace of Admiral Miguel Grau, born on July 27, 1834. The house was restored by the Peruvian navy and is now a…

4. Grau Monument

5.71 MILES

Miguel María Grau Seminario was a well-known naval hero whose monument in the middle of a major traffic circle is now an urban landmark.

5. Cathedral

5.77 MILES

The cathedral was originally constructed in 1588, when Piura was finally built in its current location. The impressive early 17th-century, gold-covered…

6. Museo Municipal Vicus


This four-story monolith offers a sparse but decent look into Vicus culture, highlighted by the underground Sala de Oro (admission S4, 9am to 4pm Tuesday…