Located about 55km east of Piura, just before the Sechura Desert starts rising into the Andean slopes, Chulucanas is known Peru-wide for its distinctive ceramics – rounded, glazed, earth-colored pots that depict humans. Chulucanas’ ceramics have officially been declared a part of Peru’s cultural heritage and are becoming famous outside the country.

The best place to buy ceramics around here is in La Encantada, a quiet rural outpost just outside of Chulucanas, whose inhabitants work almost exclusively in artesanía (handicrafts). La Encantada was home to the late Max Inga, a local legend who studied ceramic artifacts from the ancient Tallan and Vicus cultures and sparked a resurgence in the art form. The friendly artisans are often happy to demonstrate the production process, from the ‘harvesting’ of the clay to the application of mango-leaf smoke to get that distinctive black-and-white design. The village is reached from Chulucanas by a 30-minute mototaxi ride (S10) down a 7km dirt road.

While it's an interesting place, shopping in Chulucanas is probably for diehards only, as lugging this excellent but fragile pottery with you around Peru would be less than ideal.

Civa has frequent buses to Chulucanas (S6, one hour) from Piura’s Terminal Terrestre Castilla.