Official language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
Time zone: UTC -5
Currency: Sol (PEN)
In Piura, tourists should remain alert when exchanging money. It’s best to visit the bank instead of using the services of people offering street transactions, as you may become the victim of fraud or even theft.
If you’re looking for spiritual experiences, head to Las Huaringas lake. Assisted by brujos (local shamans) you can take there a journey purifying your soul and bathe in the sacred lake.
The streets of Piura and customs of its inhabitants have been portrayed in books written by one of the most famous Peruvian authors, the Nobel prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa. Most references to the city can be found in his novels, “The Green House” and “The Discreet Hero”.
Situated on the northern coast of Peru, Piura is the oldest Spanish city in the country and third oldest in South America. Pre-Columbian and colonial past, mainly seen in extraordinary archeological sites and magnificent baroque architecture, is perfectly complemented by modern surfing attractions.
Piura, established in 1532 by Francisco Pizarro, remained a Spanish colony in South America for almost 300 years, until 1821. For centuries, Europeans, but also workers from China or slaves from African countries, were appearing among indigenous people. A mixture of their customs, languages, and beliefs has created the remarkably vivid culture and one of the most delicious cuisines in Peru. The city itself charms with colonial architecture and ever-present greenery. The favorite meeting spot of Piura inhabitants is Plaaza de Armas, one of the country’s oldest parks located in the very center. Perfect surfing conditions are what attracts people from the whole world to visit Piura. You can’t miss the most famous beaches, Colán and Mancora which are the mecca for Peruvian surfers, as well as Yacila, Punta Sal, Organos, and Nunura.
What’s so special about local cuisine? Piura is famous for chifles (banana chips) and algarrobina (the Carob tree syrup). Every real foodie should have them on their list. For dinner you may want to order ceviche de leguado (the typical Peruvian salad served with lenguado fish caught in the region of Piura), seco de chabelo (a meal with dried and fresh beef, green banana, vegetables, and aromatic spices, such as coriander), or jaela (fried sea fruits tossed in bread crumbs with onion marinated in lime or lemon juice). Recommended restaurants are El Caracol Azul, La Santitos, and Manos Morenas. In the area of Ayavaci, you’ll also find bars serving cuy – the dishes whose main ingredient is… guinea pigs.