I was pretty happy to find Huanchaco. I had been travelling for around 3 months straight, and was totally wiped out. Huanchaco was just the spot I needed. A chilled out surfer town.
I think the surfer vibe and scene is generally a good one for digital nomads. One thing is that both groups tend to hang out for a while. So the people running the lodgings are used to visitors staying for a few weeks, or even longer. I think the surfers that come here normally hang for a while.
Huanchaco’s surfing credentials are pretty first class. About an hour away is the longest wave in the world, and they’re pretty long in Huanchaco as well. There are practically always people out there surfing.
I believe there is a bit of an oversupply of lodgings. But that is good for visitors. There are plenty of choices, and there are good prices available. There are even some furnished apartments on offer, month to month. It’s generally not so easy to find these kind of places.
Besides Huanchaco itself, there is Trujillo, Peru’s third largest city, just about an hour away. Buses cost 2 Soles and run like every 5 minutes. So if you want to get out of town for the day, or need a new pair of shoes or something, there’s a place to go. I was going into Trujillo once or twice a week, having lunch there, working in one of the cafes, exploring a bit, and getting whatever I wanted from the supermarket. The nearness of Trujillo is a big plus, and I think it plays a large part in making Huanchaco viable for longer stays. You can find my writeup about Trujillo cafes here.
Also, most of the archeological sites are in Trujillo. It’s obvious how to get to most of them. The only site that’s really a bit further out is Huacas Sol y Luna. If you tell the bus driver that’s where you want to go, they should be able to drop you on Av. Incas, from where you can catch the collectivo, or grab a taxi.
Just a heads up that here in Northern Peru, you kind of want to stay in your lane, if I may put it that way. In other words, watch out for wandering off the beaten track. It can quickly metamorphose into a scene out of “The Badlands.” Part of it is that it’s so arid. However, there’s another part that has to do with social conditions. People will even warn you about trying to get the bus to Huacas Sol y Luna. That’s actually alright. But there are areas where you want to watch it, including the outskirts of Huanchaco (like if you fail to get off the bus in time, and go to the bus depot). The main parts of Huanchaco and Trujillo seemed totally fine though. Just a heads up.
For its small size, Huanchaco does quite respectably on the nomad cafes.
A couple of other cafes possibly worth trying are Otra Cosa, and Moksha Yoga and Surf Hostel. They are vegetarian restaurants, but they have coffee beverages and wifi as well, and pretty decent seating areas.
I felt like I could have just stayed in Huanchaco, listening to those waves roll in. But after 3 weeks, my visa was up, and I headed out at the last minute on a night bus for Guayaquil. Huanchaco is such a great spot. I don’t know what higher praise I can give.
Enjoy those great ocean vibes!