North Coast

The North Coast of Peru is the Egypt of South America—it has a dry climate and once hosted iconic ancient leaders who built temples, pyramids and empires. This area is now home to spectacular historical sites and large colonial cities. Travelers also enjoy its beautiful beaches, stellar surf sports, and high-quality seafood restaurants.

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Chan Chan

Chan Chan is the huge abandoned capital of the Chimú civilization. Set just outside Trujillo on the North Coast of Peru, Chan Chan is the largest adobe city in the world.

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Huanchaco Beach

A beautiful and relaxed beach town close to Trujillo and many historical sites, Huanchaco has enough charm to be a destination of its own: with vibrant boulevards, traditional reed fishing boats, and surfing culture, it’s the perfect choice for an entertaining day at the beach. Now an International Surfing Reserve, one of only five in the world, Huanchaco is a popular vacation spot where visitors and locals share the water and waves for surfing, swimming or fishing.

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El Brujo Complex

El Brujo is an ancient monument of the Moche culture. The original ruins - once filled with countless treasures and Peru's most famous mummy, the Lady of Cao - is now accompanied by an outstanding museum.

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Trujillo is a sunny and well-preserved city that boasts a large central plaza and beautiful colonial architecture. Its hidden chapels, inner gardens, and various plazas provide a great canvas for photographers and travelers interested in Peru’s colonial past.

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Chiclayo is located in a green valley along Peru's North Coast. It provides respite from the arid coast and is well known for its historical sites, agriculture, and high-quality restaurants.

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The laid-back beach town of Máncora is a haven for surfers and bohemian-minded travelers. The town’s sunny weather, steady waves, and delicious seafood will make you want to stay for longer than anticipated.

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Tumbes is a gateway for beaches, mangroves, and inland nature reserves along Peru’s northern Pacific coast. It’s somewhat isolated location has kept the number of visitors down.

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The Spanish founded Piura in 1532, making it the third-oldest city in Peru. Visit downtown Piura to see the cobblestone streets and colonial buildings. Basilica Catedral de Piura and the central Plaza de Armas have classical colonial architecture, and the peaceful plaza has shady trees. See more of the town’s religious history in San Francisco Church. It has a crypt in the basement and stained glass windows.

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Casma is a small and unassuming town in Peru’s North Coast region. The archeological sites of Sechín and Las Aldas are close by.

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Vichayito is set about 4 miles (7 km) south of Máncora. The area is quiet and offers travelers a more remote place to relax along Peru’s North Coast.

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Punta Sal

Punta Sal is a laid-back beach along Peru’s North Coast. The beach is lovely and peppered with a few resorts, but not much else.

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Cabo Blanco

Cabo Blanco is a small fishing town along Peru’s northern coast. Located about 21 miles (34 km) south of Máncora, Cabo Blanco is well known for its spectacular fishing and surfing.

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A little more about North Coast

From the Moche Valley to the Tucume Valley, the Lambayeque region to the Piura region, this part of Peru is characterized by a different climate and geography than the rest of the coast. The North Coast has a tropical dry climate, with the desert landscape broken by the occasional tropical dry forests full of thorny trees or carob and huayacan trees.

This tropical savannah is Peru's richest archaeological region, full of ancient temples, pyramids, and tombs. Discoveries have revealed incredible treasures such as the Lord of Sipan tomb, Chan Chan, the El Brujo Complex, and much more. The region was the epicenter of the Moche, Sican and Chimu kingdoms, which were highly sophisticated civilizations. The area's colonial past can be seen in Peru's second largest city, Trujillo. This elegant town has colorful mansions, detailed churches, and a vibrant culture.

Running along the Pan-American Highway from Lima all the way to Ecuador, Peru's north coast is strung with beaches that are bursting with golden sunlight and awesome surf spots. The oceanfront resorts of Máncora attract the jet set, while smaller hideaways such as Punta Sal and Cabo Blanco offer up seclusion next to the Pacific Ocean. Huanchaco, Lobitos, Máncora, and Puerto Chicama attract international surfers, while nature lovers head farther north to explore the crocodile sanctuary and mangrove forests.

The North Coast is also famous for its seafood. Combined with rice, limes and mangoes, this region offers tasty traditional lunches and dinners. The whole area is also blessed with fewer tourists and better coastal weather than either Lima or the south coast.

For some travelers, the biggest attraction to this region will be the beautiful beaches and surf. For others, it's the scenery, archaeology, and the off-the-beaten-path feel. Any way you look at it, the North Coast of Peru is a great place to visit.

Trips to inspire

Browse some of our favorite itineraries

Get excited and browse our selection of our favorite hand made tours including North Coast. From romantic honeymoons to family-fun; these are completely flexible and arranged to your needs.

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MaPi Action & Relaxin' in Peru

Make this family vacation worth the effort –– explore Peru. Lima and Machu Picchu (MaPi) are just the start of the exciting locations and adventures awaiting you.

MaPi Action & Relaxin' in Peru
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