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Chincha Alta to Piura, Peru - 22hrs On A Bus Up The Coast

Peru travel blog by Mark Berman - May 2010   » View Photoset (36 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
I left Chincha Alta after lunch on a bus up to Lima and then took another bus north during the night up to Chiclayo and then took another bus to Piura.
Peru Photo - The streets of Chiclayo, a northern city.
The streets of Chiclayo, a northern city.
This part of my dash up the Peruvian coast from south to north would take 22hrs from leaving Chincha Alta to arriving in Piura. Traveling by bus is twice as fast in the northern half of Peru than it is in the southern half. The roads are much straighter and you can cover larger distances more quickly.

Bye Chincha

Leaving Chincha Alta and heading north for around 3hrs to Lima. I had done this leg before in both directions so I knew that the scenery was not great or pretty. We immediately passed a sandy desert with simple self-made brick houses scattered around with some made of lighter materials. We passed over a river with a stony bed on a bridge around some farms and crop fields. After 25 minutes there was a big building on the right that looked like a palace with towers, pillars, lookouts and walls surrounding. It is across a field of crops and has palm trees nearby. A couple of minutes later we
Peru Photo - A drinks stand in the middle of the desert south of Piura.
A drinks stand in the middle of the desert south of Piura.
came to the town of San Vicente de Canete passing many side streets with houses and shops and the Supreme Court. There is a sign saying a place called Lunahuana is 40kms to the east inland. Between Canete and further north to La Capilla we travelled through several little towns. I began to see on the rock hills near the road some shack and slum housing. There is a nice yellow church as we travel this leg on the right side then we pass more fields and livestock. Lots of hills on the right now come into view, some have
Peru Photo - Small white island out at sea north of Chimbote.
Small white island out at sea north of Chimbote.
simple houses built on the sides. Soon after I spot many locals working in a field of crops, this was the first big green space I had seen for a while. Then come all the chicken houses up on the sand hills and a village called Chilca is off to the right. Soon we go past more cheap housing extended all the way up to the hills. We are starting to get closer to Lima. We pass Parque del Recuerdo on the right and this is where the real slum housing starts up on the hills. There are long yellow staircases going up the side of the hills in these slum neighborhoods.

Coming into Lima

As we come into central Lima the city is not pretty on the south side either, the slum city on the hill goes on for miles and miles. When the bus pulled into the terminal I took a taxi to the depot of a bus company that goes north to Trujillo
Peru Photo - Palm trees near the coast south of Trujillo.
Palm trees near the coast south of Trujillo.
and Chiclayo which was leaving around 8:30pm. I had time to go out and find food and also to use the wifi in the bus station. The 3 nice ladies at the desk looked after my backpack. I had bought a ticket for Trujillo which would take 8-10hrs. By the time we got there at around 5am I had changed my mind and said I would continue on the bus to Chiclayo. I paid the difference once I got to Chiclayo bus terminal after the sun had come up. With 60kms to go before getting to Chiclayo that morning there was now light and I could start taking photos again. A sign pointed to the left and said Cerro Colorado (a mountain) and Zana is 22kms toward the northeast. We rolled up the Panamericana
Peru Photo - Soccer practice beside a small church between Chao and Viru.
Soccer practice beside a small church between Chao and Viru.
Norte and passed through the small town of Mocupe and then another called Reque which has a monument of a woman as you come in. On the ground in front of her it says in big letters 'Madre' (mother).

Chiclayo

A few kms later we enter Chiclayo. This was the 3rd time I had been in the city, always passing through although I did spend a few hours looking around the city on an earlier visit. I didn't stay long this time, less than an hour. I wanted to continue onto Piura which is north across the desert. Outside the bus station in Chiclayo I had some food and a nice spicy milky drink from a glass. While leaving the city I again saw the big Jesus statue on the hill and the monument to Sipan, this part of the journey
Peru Photo - The main street, shops and markets in Pacasmayo.
The main street, shops and markets in Pacasmayo.
to Piura takes 2 and a half hours. First town we passed near is Morrope, not much there apart from a few donkeys and rubbish scattered around. Now on the northern side we go through the toll station where a lady is selling a type of fruit that looks like a giant bean, they are delicious. From here the distances are Piura 183kms, Sullana 254kms, Talara 328kms and Tumbes 500kms.

Northern Desert

This is the point where it turns into a desert with rubbish on the sides of the road for nearly the next 2hrs. Half way through this nomans land I see road kill and a wild dog feasting on it, nearby wait several vultures. There is the occasional sign of life out here with a restaurant or 2 and people living in basic housing.
Peru Photo - Yellow church in a small town south of Paijan.
Yellow church in a small town south of Paijan.
There is Restaurant El Crucenito and also Restaurant Nocturno. Shrubs, sand and plastic bags blowing in the wind, wooden shacks, donkeys, tyres and then Restaurant Monica. A shelter on the side of the road built from sticks shades cold bottles of drink. There is a school with children playing outside in the hot sun and lots more shack housing. It is now only 20 minutes before Piura and soon we come to the toll station Estacion de Peaje Bayovar with ladies again selling the green bean type fruit to passengers. Northern Peru starts getting a little tropical, we pass on the left a banana plantation and also see palm trees. We head across a river and past a nice white and blue church, then past a vast shantytown with dirt roads before coming into the more central part of Piura where I got off the bus and found a room and bed for the night.

     

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Distances & times (if available) from about halfway from Chiclayo to Piura (Peru) to:


Map location: Chiclayo to Piura, Peru. In 2010 I traveled by bus from southern Peru to the north in 4 days, a dash up the coast! This is part of that journey.
 A : Pisco, Islas Ballestas & Paracas - Peru 32 kms 32 kms straight distance | 57mins 57mins by car (44 kms) | 1hr 8mins 1hr 8mins by bus (44 kms) (44 kms)
 B : Huacachina / Ica - Peru 83 kms 83 kms straight distance | 2hrs 2hrs by car (111 kms) | 2hrs 24mins 2hrs 24mins by bus (111 kms) (111 kms)
 C : Nazca to Pisco - Peru 101 kms 101 kms straight distance | 2hrs 2hrs by car (117 kms) | 2hrs 24mins 2hrs 24mins by bus (117 kms) (117 kms)
 D : Lima - Peru 183 kms 183 kms straight distance | 2hrs 48mins 2hrs 48mins by car (204 kms) | 3hrs 21mins 3hrs 21mins by bus (204 kms) (204 kms)
 E : Nazca - Peru 203 kms 203 kms straight distance | 4hrs 4hrs by car (248 kms) | 4hrs 48mins 4hrs 48mins by bus (248 kms) (248 kms)
 F : Huancayo - Peru 182 kms 182 kms straight distance | 6hrs 26mins 6hrs 26mins by car (293 kms) | 7hrs 43mins 7hrs 43mins by bus (293 kms) (293 kms)
 G : Ayacucho - Peru 207 kms 207 kms straight distance | 5hrs 49mins 5hrs 49mins by car (356 kms) | 6hrs 58mins 6hrs 58mins by bus (356 kms) (356 kms)
 H : Andahuaylas - Peru 298 kms 298 kms straight distance | 10hrs 20mins 10hrs 20mins by car (559 kms) | 12hrs 24mins 12hrs 24mins by bus (559 kms) (559 kms)
 I : Huanuco - Peru 393 kms 393 kms straight distance | 9hrs 36mins 9hrs 36mins by car (588 kms) | 11hrs 31mins 11hrs 31mins by bus (588 kms) (588 kms)
 J : Huaraz - Peru 461 kms 461 kms straight distance | 9hrs 10mins 9hrs 10mins by car (610 kms) | 11hrs 11hrs by bus (610 kms) (610 kms)
 K : Camana - Peru 510 kms 510 kms straight distance | 9hrs 52mins 9hrs 52mins by car (639 kms) | 11hrs 50mins 11hrs 50mins by bus (639 kms) (639 kms)
 L : Tingo Maria - Peru 458 kms 458 kms straight distance | 12hrs 35mins 12hrs 35mins by car (701 kms) | 15hrs 6mins 15hrs 6mins by bus (701 kms) (701 kms)
 M : Abancay - Peru 351 kms 351 kms straight distance | 12hrs 12hrs by car (713 kms) | 14hrs 24mins 14hrs 24mins by bus (713 kms) (713 kms)
 N : Cusco - Peru 447 kms 447 kms straight distance | 15hrs 57mins 15hrs 57mins by car (900 kms) | 19hrs 8mins 19hrs 8mins by bus (900 kms) (900 kms)
 O : Machu Picchu - Peru 390 kms 390 kms straight distance
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


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