This is Huanchaco, Part 4: Housing
Living in Huanchaco
If you can’t tell by how much time we’ve spent talking about it, Huanchaco is a great place. There are basically two options for long-term accommodation: staying in a hostel or renting a room. Whether you’re in need of a base camp for surf trips up the coast, wanting to volunteer in the nearby area, or just needing a break from traveling, here’s a guide to finding “home” in Huanchaco.
Hospedajes and Hostals
Huanchaco is home to many great cheap housing options. What is offered everywhere varies wildly, but the best options have a private, secure room with kitchen access and wifi.
DORM: beds for 10-15 soles a night (US $3-5). Discounts for longer stays can be pretty minimal, but go ahead and ask. A few places also offer use of the kitchen, including Chill Out (324 Los Pinos), Las Camelias (348 Las Camelias), and McCallum Lodging House (305 Los Ficus).
PRIVATE ROOM: Rooms range from S/.350-500 (US $125-180) a person, with better discounts for couples or pairs of friends. Prices vary wildly, and in the low season couples can find rooms with kitchen access, private bath and wifi from S/.400 (US $145) for two people.
Most hostals are located in the area of Los Pinos/Los Ficus. There are smaller options in the back streets throughout the city, and it may be easier to negotiate a lower monthly rate here.
Questions to keep in mind:
- Do you want to cook? Restaurants in Huanchaco are pretty inexpensive so long as you stay away from the seafood joints on the malecón, but kitchen access can be invaluable.
- How much privacy (and security) do you want? If you’re looking for some time alone search out something off the main strip. You can always stop by the livelier places for a beer.
- If you’re looking to meet people, look for something with a good common area. My Friend (533 Los Pinos) and Casa Suiza (308 Los Pinos) both have busy restaurants that attract partiers, while and others such as Chill Out and McCallum Lodging House have more mellow common areas that attracts fellowship.
This is a harder section to write, since there are so many different options. Every week it seemed as though there were new signs advertising rooms for rent on doors and telephone poles.
Some are merely a room in a house, but there are great deals to be had for apartments. The best are rented furnished (amoblado).
Rob and I showed up from an overnight bus and had an apartment by 5 that afternoon. Basically we just walked down the main strip and asked respectable-looking business-owners (mostly surf-shop guys) if they knew of anywhere we could stay. Everyone made the effort to actually walk us to the location and introduce us personally to the people renting the place.
We were shown everything from a windowless room in an unfinished house (S/.600 a month) to a damp room in the back of a surf shop, to totally unfinished apartment (S/.400 a month if we’d help work on the place). We ended up in a fully furnished two-bedroom place with our own entrance, 6 blocks from the beach (about as far as you can get in Huanchaco), a kitchen, and a front porch. Total costs: S/.455 ($158) a month, including spotty wifi, electricity, and water.
If you decide to stay
- FOOD: Go to the market on Calle Manco Capac in the mornings for fresh fruits and vegetables, and most anything else you’d need. There are supermarkets in Trujillo, but try to support the little guys in the community you’ll be calling home.
- WATER: Save waste, money, and headaches by getting a 20-liter water bottle. For a deposit you can buy these at almost any corner bodega. You can also call for water delivery―ask at any restaurant or hostel for a recommendation.
- BUSES: Taking the bus into Trujillo is only S/.1.50 (US $0.50). There are four lines (A, B, H, and H with a heart). B goes north of the city on España, A goes south, and the two H buses head into the neighborhoods farther south of the city center. The combis of the same letter follow the same route. See Trujillo Nuts and Bolts
- MONEY: There are two ATMs by the municipality building on the waterfront, but both charge a pretty hefty withdrawal fee. Your best bet is to go into Trujillo and use a Banco Credito del Peru ATM. But remember that most small businesses in Huanchaco won’t have change for larger bills like 50′s and 100′s. Try to change those in Trujillo.
- BEER: If you enjoy a beer now and again (and have a fridge), the best deal is to buy a case of Trujillo for S/.36 (US $13), plus a S/.14 deposit on the bottles and the crate. Go to 406 Los Cedros (look for the big Trujillo sign) for your own personal beer case.