Chiclayo is the capital city of Peru's Lambayeque region and it is the country's fourth largest city. It is located 95 feet above sea level, and the metropolitan region boasts a population of over 975,000 citizens. Visitors to Chiclayo, or the City of Friendship as the locals refer to it, will enjoy the warm weather and the sunny views of both beaches and mountain ranges. Tourists will find a wide variety of things to do while visiting Chiclayo, some of which include shopping, dining, sightseeing, and festivals.
Visitors to the city that wish to do some shopping should head to the Mercado Modelo, which is a Chiclayo market located within blocks of the Parque Principal. The market features a variety of stalls with merchants selling produce, fruits, vegetables, crafts, art work, woven items, and live animals. Sometimes referred to as the Witch Doctor's Market by the locals, visitors to the south-western side of the market can find products from local healers, shamans and other spiritual practitioners.
A variety of dining options are available in Chiclayo, and given its proximity to the ocean, many restaurants specialize in seafood. Some local options for restaurants include Hebron on the Jiron Balta and Las Americas on the Aguirre. For upscale dining, the Restaurant El Huralino on the Libertad is also on option.
Many of these restaurants features dishes inspired by native Spanish, Indian, and Moorish influences. A number of local specialties can also be found, such as duck with rice, goat stew, roast guinea pig, and espesado, which is a mixture of beef, butternut squash, corn, and other ingredients.
There are several historical sites to view when visiting the area. The Lord of Sipan Tomb is one of the top tourist attractions in Chiclayo. It was discovered in the late 1980s and is an archaeological site of Moche history. The Paseo de la Musas is lined with Greek statues and floral gardens, and the city's elegant cathedral, which is over 100 years old, is located within the Plaza de Armas.
The Sican National Museum is found within the Chiclayo area, and visitors will be intrigued by the vast number of gold artifacts. Replicas are displayed that show all aspects of the Sican people and their culture, including pottery, tools, and metals.
Chiclayo also has two beaches nearby, which are the Santa Rosa and the Pimentel. Shops and souvenir stands line them, and a pier provides a prime fishing spot. Tourists can also surf the waves, swim, sunbathe, and watch the reed fishing boats working in the area.
As is common in the country of Peru, Chiclayo is home to a number of festivals that tourists can attend. The festival of Santisima Cruz de Chalpon occurs in February, to celebrate the city of Chiclayo. The celebration mixes Catholic and indigenous beliefs and features street dancing. The Festival of Friendship and Gastronomy also begins with a parade in Chiclayo and runs for two weeks, featuring parades, native dancing, and traditional music.
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