Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chiclayo Overview

Chiclayo is the fourth largest city in Peru with a population of 567,675. It is the capital of the Lambayeque department and is the only major city in the region. By major I mean it doesn’t close up at sun down. It has many hotels including three 4 stars, dozens of casinos, two shopping complexes, a ton of restaurants, and lots of disco/ karaoke establishments. In contrast, the 50,000 residents of nearby Lambayeque have zero options after dark and generally get many hours of sleep. Located 20 minutes west is the Pacific Ocean with several beaches to choose from, though they’re not the groomed and manicured beaches you may be accustomed to. Go 30 minutes east and you’re in the mountains. There are many other attractions in the immediate area but let’s stay focused on Chiclayo for now.

The principal park is located in the center of the city. It’s a large park with a wide variety of flowering trees and shrubs. It is surrounded by the business district as well as the city hall (municipalidad) and the mammoth Santa Maria Cathedral. During the Christmas season each shrub and tree is sponsored and decorated with colored foil and lights by a business or some other institution. Walking through the park at night (in a T-shirt and shorts by the way) borders on breath taking. We’ve got many photos of the decorated park but none of them do it justice.

Chiclayo’s other park of note is Las Muses, which was funded primarily with gifts of money from France and Germany. Tour busses from all of Peru regularly visit this park, as do couples holding hands. It is a beautiful and romantic setting.

Chiclayo is in a growth period. In 2005 the Real Plaza shopping complex was completed. In 2007 the Tottus & Sodimac complex opened. Tottus is similar to a Walmart Super Center while Sodimac resembles Menards or Home Depot. Both complexes house many small shops and a food court. The mom-and-pop shops selling everything from food to clothing have not been affected at all by the new malls and continue to be the back bone of commerce. The Boulevard Mall opened last year and another mini-mall will be opening soon. Two new hotels are nearing completion.

The distinctive public library never fails to get my attention when I walk past. It gets a lot of use and is often utilized as a meeting site for various functions. There is a live theater facility named Dos de Mayo but it sees limited use mostly by traveling entertainment from Lima.

By the way, if you click on any of these photos, and we hope you do, pay attention to the people. You’ll see they're dressed exactly as you are, and many of them are holding cell phones to their ears. Some things are universal.

Chiclayo has its warts and blemishes but it also has a lot to be proud of. It’s a good place to live. We’re comfortable here.

Tom & Maribel


  1. Hello Gringo. I see you live in a good place. The city looks interesting, clean and attractive. Thanks for posting it. I can imagine you are a very happy man with a good family, your wife and your child. Good for you. Life is really different but in other sense those cities are modern have tradition and all that you need to be happier.

  2. hi how are you doing, you dont know me, i am new on this i just made my blog excatly about this beutiful city, I need to finish some stuff but i am almost done, i just want a little bit of help to publish my blog, do you know how? how can my blog be found on google seach?, i would love to have your help, thank you, Anice, NC

  3. Sorry my blog is this: