Chiclayo, Perú


Santa María de los Valles de Chiclayo (or simply Chiclayo) is located in the northwest coast of Perú and was founded in the mid-16th century. Chiclayo has a population of about 880,000. Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, this area had been populated by various indigenous groups. The Cathedral of located in the main square of the city. It was built in the neoclassical style and dates from 1869. It was designed from drawings of Gustave Eiffel. Across from the main plaza is the Municipal Palace which dates back to 1919. Like so many other towns, the fountains in the various parks are not working. There is a park called Fountain Park, and it has many fountains. I was hoping to see them all spraying water but none were working.

Chiclayo is surprisingly clean for a city of its size and the fact that there are just about no garbage cans anywhere along the streets. The city center is very busy and the traffic is typical, that is, chaotic. Chiclayo is famous in Perú for its cuisine. Perú is rich in archeological sites, so many it would take years to see them all, and you would need to have your own vehicle to drive to many of them, as there is no public transport to many.

The Moche civilization lived in here in the northwest of Perú in the 1st-7th centuries. They developed irrigation and farmed the valleys to the point of having a surplus so they also provided food to other localities. They were also coppersmiths, making jewelry, ornaments, tools, and weapons. They are also known for their ceramics which were elaborately decorated and portraits that are saved in museums throughout the country. They eventually disappeared due to climate events related to El Niños. From the 7th to the 14th century, the Sican people occupied northern Perú. These people took on many of the cultural traditions and the knowledge of the Moche, but a 30-year drought brought them to their end. In the early 16th century, the Cinto and Collique people occupied this part of Perú. They founded a Franciscan convent in 1585. The 16th century saw the Spanish arrive. This region was mostly inhabited by indigenous people while the Spanish population remained very small. This was when Chiclayo was founded, but it was only a village. It was elevated to a town in 1827, then to a city in 1835.

The climate is called a warm dry desert climate. The average daytime high is 27° C (80° F) and the average nightly low is 18° C (64° F). Chiclayo gets a measly 27mm (1.06 inches) of rain per year, and pretty much all of that falls in January through April. Humidity ranges from 72%-80% year-round.