Planning a Trip
By Plane -- Star Peru (tel. 01/705-9000; www.starperu.com.pe) and Aviandina (tel. 01/447-8080; www.aerolineasperuanas.com/aviandina.htm) fly daily from Lima to Chiclayo; flights start at around $69 (£35). LAN (tel. 01/213-8200; www.lan.com) flies from Trujillo; flights run from $89 to $119 (£45-£60), though occasional promotional offers can be found for around $60 (£30). There are also flights north to and from Piura, and occasional charter flights from Cajamarca.
Flights arrive at Aeropuerto José Quiñones González, Av. Bolognesi s/n (tel. 074/233-192), just 2km (1 1/4 miles) east of downtown. To the center of Chiclayo, a taxi costs S/5 ($1.65/85p).
By Bus -- Chiclayo is serviced by several domestic bus companies from Lima and most major points along the north coast and northern highlands. Many long-distance buses travel at night only. There is no central bus station in Chiclayo; most companies have their own terminals at offices on Av. Bolognesi, 5 blocks south of the Parque Principal.
The major carriers making the 8-hour trip from Lima are Ormeño (tel. 01/472-1710; www.grupo-ormeno.com.pe), CIVA (tel. 01/428-5649), Cruz del Sur (tel. 01/311-5050; www.cruzdelsur.com.pe), and Oltursa (tel. 01/225-4499; www.oltursa.com). Transportes Línea (tel. 044/245-181 or 076/823-956; www.transporteslinea.com.pe) and ITTSA (tel. 044/222-541) make the 3-hour trip from Trujillo to Chiclayo, as do a number of colectivos and combis. Transportes Línea is also the major carrier from Huaraz (tel. 074/233-497) and Cajamarca (tel. 076/830-753).
Chiclayo has two accessible tourist information kiosks, run not by the municipal government, but by two related restaurants. One is on the Parque Principal, or the main plaza. Another is on Av. José Balta Sur (at Manuel María Izaga), in front of the Hebrón restaurant. Both kiosks give out maps of the city and the area, and they'll give you some basic information about how to get around (and they'll put in a plug for barbecue chicken, to boot).
The official tourism information office is the Ministry of Industry and Tourism (MITINCI), at Sáenz Peña 838 (tel. 074/233-132); it's a large, bureaucratic office of little assistance to most travelers looking for general information. Sipán Tours, 7 de Enero 772 (tel. 074/229-053), is more amiable and willing to dispense information without giving you the hard sell for package tours (but if you're interested, it's one of the most reputable agencies in town offering city and archaeological tours). Another excellent agency, which has specialized in archaeology tours and independent travel in northern Peru and offers bilingual guides in several languages, is Indiana Tours, Calle San Pedro 357 (tel. 074/782-517 or 01/9883-5617; www.indianatoursperu.com).
Fast Facts -- Most banks are clustered around the Parque Principal, including Banco de Crédito, José Balta 630, and Interbanc, Elías Aguirre 680. Money-changers usually hang around in front of banks.
In an emergency, call tel. 105. The helpful tourist police are located at Sáenz Peña 830 (tel. 074/236-700). For medical attention, go to Hospital Las Mercedes, González 635 (tel. 074/237-021); Clínica Lambayeque, Vicente de la Vega 415 (tel. 074/237-961); or Clínica Santa Cecilia, González 668 (tel. 074/237-154). In Lambayeque, head to Hospital Belén de Lambayeque, Ramón Castilla 597 (tel. 074/281-190).
For Internet access, try Sic@n Internet, Vicente de la Vega 204 (tel. 074/227-668), or Efenet, Elías Aguirre 181 (no phone). There are also Internet cabinas clustered around the Parque Principal and on Manuel María Izaga near Av. Balta.
Chiclayo's post office is at Elías Aguirre 140 (tel. 074/237-031), about 6 blocks from the Parque Principal. The Telefónica del Perú office is behind the cathedral at Elías Aguirre 631 (tel. 074/232-225).
Chiclayo is a busy and fairly congested city. The center of town is, as always, the Plaza de Armas -- although, in Chiclayo, it more often goes by the name Parque Principal. About 4 blocks north of the main square is the other focal point in the city: the Mercado Modelo, a sprawling, spirited open street market with stalls spread across several blocks. The main axis in town is Av. José Balta, which runs north to south and extends on either side of the Parque Principal (with designations Sur [south] and Norte [north]). Lambayeque is 12km (7 1/2 miles) due west of Chiclayo; the airport and Sipán are to the east of Chiclayo.
Walking around the centro is easy enough, but you'll need public or private transportation to get to Lambayeque or the major archaeological sites.
By Taxi -- Inexpensive mototaxis buzz about downtown, as do regular taxis. You can hire the latter by the hour (S/24 or $7.90/£4.10) or by the day (S/105-S/140 or $35-$47/£18-£24) to tour archaeological sites or to visit Lambayeque. A round-trip taxi ride to Túcume from Chiclayo costs between S/60 and S/70 ($20-$23/£10-£12).
By Bus -- Combis and omnibuses are most useful for getting to Lambayeque and several archaeological sites outside Chiclayo. There are several terminals around the city serving different destinations. The fare is about S/1 (35¢/20p).
By Car -- If you want to rent a car to make trips to Lambayeque, Sipán, Túcume, and other sites, try Chiclayo Rent a Car in the Gran Hotel Chiclayo at Av. Federico Villarreal 115 (tel. 074/237-512). It rents four-wheel-drive vehicles.