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Santa María de los Valles de Chiclayo
From left to right and top to bottom: Chiclayo Cathedral, also known as Santa María Catedral; statues of the Paseo Yortuque; Walk of the Muses; Basilica of San Antonio de Padua and Main Park.
From left to right and top to bottom: Chiclayo Cathedral, also known as Santa María Catedral; statues of the Paseo Yortuque; Walk of the Muses; Basilica of San Antonio de Padua and Main Park.
Flag of Chiclayo
Official seal of Chiclayo
City of Friendship
Chiclayo is located in Peru
Location in Peru
Coordinates: 6°45′46.66″S 79°50′11.81″W / 6.7629611°S 79.8366139°W / -6.7629611; -79.8366139
Country Peru
SettledApril 18, 1835
 • MayorMarco Gasco Arrobas
 • Total174.46 km2 (67.36 sq mi)
27 m (89 ft)
 • Total552,508
 • Estimate 
Time zoneUTC-5 (PET)
Area code74

Chiclayo (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃiˈklaʝo]; Quechua: Chiklayu) is the principal city of the Lambayeque region in northern Peru. It is located 13 kilometers inland from the Pacific coast and 770 kilometers from the nation's capital, Lima.

Founded by Spanish explorers as "Santa María de los Valles de Chiclayo" in the 16th century, it was declared a city on 15 April 1835 by president Felipe Santiago Salaverry. He named Chiclayo "the Heroic City" to recognize the courage of its citizens in the fight for independence, a title it still holds. Other nicknames for Chiclayo include "The Capital of Friendship" and the "Pearl of the North".

Chiclayo is Peru's fourth-largest city, after Lima, Arequipa, and Trujillo, with a population of 738,000 as of 2011.[2] The Lambayeque region is the fourth most populous metropolitan area of Peru, with a population of 972,713 in 2009.[3]

The city was founded near an important prehistoric archaeological site, the Northern Wari ruins, which constitute the remains of a city from the 7th to 12th century of the Wari Empire.


Many different historical accounts tell of the naming of Chiclayo. Some attribute it to an indigenous man known as "chiclayoc" or "chiclayep" who transported plaster between the ancient cities of Zaña, Lambayeque and Morrope.

Another version claims that around the time that the city was founded, the area was home to a green-colored fruit called chiclayep or chiclayop, which in the Mochican language means "green that hangs". In some towns in the highlands of Cajamarca, squashes are known as chiclayos, evidence that this fruit is the origin of the city's name.

Another source indicates that the word is a translation from the extinct Moche language and is derived from the word Cheqta which means "half" and yoc which means "property of".

Others say the Mochican language had words similar to the name, such as Chiclayap or Chekliayok, which means "place where there are green branches".[4]



The coat of arms summarizes important features of the province, such as the one dedicated to the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, represented in light blue background, which is a Catholic town, represented on the cross, but, also see other items related to the history, geography and landscape.[5]



Pre-Columbian cultures

Mochica culture

Main article: Moche (culture)

The Moche civilization began between the 1st and 7th centuries AD, occupying a territory that spanned much of what is now the northern coast of Peru, encompassing what is today the coastal area of the departments of Ancash, Lambayeque and La Libertad. This civilization developed a broad knowledge of hydraulic engineering: its people constructed canals to create an irrigation system in order to support agriculture. They produced surpluses, which supported population density and a strong economy for development. The culture was characterized by intensive use of copper in the manufacture of ornamental objects, tools and weapons.[4]

During the Moche times, Pampa Grande, near Chiclayo, was a major regional capital.

The Mochicans produced ceramics with elaborate designs, representing religious themes, humans, animals, and scenes of ceremonies and myths reflecting their perception of the world. They were famous for huaco-portraits, which are preserved in museums around the country, highlighting amazing expressiveness, perfection, and realism. The civilization disappeared as a result of disasters caused by El Niño.[4]

Sican culture

Main article: Sican culture

The Sican culture (or Lambayeque culture) existed between 700 and 1375AD and occupied the territory that is now the department of Lambayeque, including present-day Chiclayo.

This culture formed towards the end of the Moche civilization and assimilated much of the Moche knowledge and cultural traditions. At its peak, (900-1100), it extended over almost the entire Peruvian coast. The Sican excelled in architecture, jewelry and navigation. A thirty-year drought around the year 1020 hastened the fall of this civilization.

Colonial period

Parade of the Muses
Parade of the Muses

In the early 16th century, Chiclayo was inhabited by two ethnic groups; the Cinto and Collique. The chieftains of these ethnic groups donated part of their land for the construction of a Franciscan convent. This section of land was approved by the royal decree of 17 September 1585. Thus, with the advocation of Saint Maria of Chiclayo and under the direction of Father Fray Antonio of the Concepción, a church and a Franciscan convent were erected at Chiclayo. At the time of construction of these Spanish-built edifices, the city of Chiclayo was founded. Unlike other major Peruvian colonial cities such as Lima, Piura, Trujillo, or Arequipa, Chiclayo was inhabited by a largely indigenous population rather than Spanish colonizers.

Republican era

During the Peruvian War of Independence, Chiclayo supported General José de San Martín's liberating army with soldiers, weapons, horses, and other resources, under the supervision of the most progressive creole, José Leonardo Ortiz.

After independence, Chiclayo was still a small village. In 1827, Chiclayo was elevated to the level of villa.

On 15 April 1835, Chiclayo was proclaimed a city by then-president Felipe Santiago Salaverry, who declared it a "Heroic City" in recognition of the services its people rendered in the War of Independence. The next day, the Chiclayo Province was organized, with Chiclayo designated as its capital.

Modern Chiclayo

Today, Chiclayo is an important Peruvian city, the financial and commercial capital of Northern Peru. Its strategic geographic location makes it a rail, communications, and automotive hub. Modern touches include large supermarkets, banking chains, warehouses, hospitals, clinics, and galleries.[6]

Chiclayo is also known as the "City of Friendship" and Perla del Norte ("Pearl of the North") of Perú.[6]

Municipal administration

In Chiclayo, the mayor is the head of government. The mayor is democratically elected for a period of four years. Each district also has a mayor, under the supervision of the mayor of Chiclayo. They are responsible for coordinating government administrative action in their district.

Recent mayors of Chiclayo[7]
Period Mayor Political party
1993–1995 Arturo Castillo Chirinos AP-FREDEMO
1996–1998 Miguel Angel Bartra Grosso AP-FREDEMO
1999–2002 Miguel Angel Bartra Grosso Adelante Chiclayo
2003–2006 Arturo Castillo Chirinos AP-FREDEMO
2007–2011 Roberto Torres Gonzáles Todos por Lambayeque-Manos Limpias
2011–2015 Roberto Torres Gonzáles Movimiento Regional de las Manos Limpias
2015–2018 David Cornejo Chinguel Alianza para el progreso
2019–2022 Marco Gasco Arrobas Podemos Perú



Central Chiclayo comprises three districts:[8] Chiclayo, José Leonardo Ortiz, and La Victoria. Peripheral to the central city are three other districts: Pimentel, Pomalca, and Reque. Districts are subdivided into housing developments. The total land mass is 252.39 km2.

Adding Pimentel, Pomalca, and Reque to the City of Chiclayo was proposed by a 1992 urban development plan called "Chiclayo 2020". The program was superseded in 2016 by the Plan de Acondicionamiento Territorial (PAT) and Plan de Desarrollo Urbano (PDU).[9]

Metropolitan area

Main article: Chiclayo metropolitan area

Chiclayo is part of the metropolitan area of Chiclayo-Lambayeque. The metropolitan area comprises the six districts of Chiclayo listed above, and six others: Lambayeque, Santa Rosa, Puerto Eten, Eten City, Monsefú, and Reque. Sixty percent of the metropolitan area's population is concentrated in the six districts of Chiclayo[10] The metropolitan area comprises central Chiclayo and adjacent areas, including the provincial capital of Lambayeque, some of which serve as bedroom communities and supply goods to Chiclayo.[10]



Chiclayo has a warm and very dry desert climate with the sun shining all year around. Since the city of Chiclayo is located in a tropical zone near the Equator, the weather should be hot, humid, and rainy. However, it mostly resembles a subtropical climate, being comfortable and dry. This is due to the strong winds called "cyclones"[clarification needed] that lower temperature to a moderate climate for most of the year except in the summer months where the temperature rises, so summer is often spent in resorts like Puerto Eten and Pimentel. Periodically, every 7 to 15 years, there are hotter temperatures with much higher rainfall and extreme rise of river water.

Climate data for Chiclayo (1961–1990, extremes 1943–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36.2
Average high °C (°F) 29.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.4
Average low °C (°F) 19.3
Record low °C (°F) 15.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 5.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 1.2 1.3 3.6 1.9 0.7 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.6 10.6
Average relative humidity (%) 73 72 74 75 76 78 79 80 79 79 78 76 77
Source 1: NOAA,[11] Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)[12]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (mean temperatures 1961–1990, precipitation days 1970–1990 and humidity 1954–1969)[13]



The entrance to the passenger terminal.
The entrance to the passenger terminal.

FAP Captain José Abelardo Quiñones González International Airport (IATA: CIX, ICAO: SPHI) is the main airport serving Chiclayo and the surrounding metropolitan area. It is run by ADP, a private airport operator that operates various airports in northern Peru. The airport hosts domestic airlines, international airlines flights, and fuel supply services. The terminal has a runway of 2520 by 45 meters.

Four airlines serve Chiclayo's international airport; LATAM Airlines and Viva Air Perú offering domestic service to Lima. In July 2016, Copa Airlines began direct flights between Chiclayo and its hub in Panama, making it the first ever international flight to arrive to the city. US-based Spirit Airlines has expressed interest in serving Chiclayo from its hub in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States.


Chiclayo, because of its location, serves as a point of interconnection for various cities of the Northeast of the country and has various bus companies which service cities such as Lima, Trujillo, Piura, Cajamarca, Chota, Cutervo, Bagua, Jaén, Chachapoyas, and Tumbes.

To adequately accommodate the transportation demand, the city is served by two different land terminals, one located towards the southern end of the city and another at the northern end on the Panamerican Highway. A substantial number of bus companies have their own terminals, many of them located near the downtown of the city and in nearby areas. These interprovincial buses contribute to the congestion experienced in downtown Chiclayo. To try to solve the problem the city government has proposed a plan to build a central station in the city.

Regionally, there are various different public services such as combis, cousters, colectivos, which provide services within the districts and provinces of the department of Lambayeque. There are also an overwhelming number of private taxis which incessantly honk their horns throughout the downtown area of the city, causing a great deal of unwanted noise pollution.



According to the Census of Population and Housing undertaken in 2007, 574,408 people inhabit the area within Chiclayo's city limits or the six municipalities. The metropolitan area has a population of 930,824; it includes other nearby cities like Monsefú and Lambayeque in a ten-minute radius by paved highway. Under the thirty-minute range are, in order of hierarchy, Ferreñafe, Santa Rosa, Eten, Illimo and Tuman. Chiclayo is at the center of the Chancay River delta, in a fertile valley.

Municipalities of
the city
(census 2007)
Distance from
main square (km)
Chiclayo center 50.35 260,948* 60,325 5,182.7 27 0 km
José Leonardo Ortiz 28.22 167,717* 34,641 5,943.2 28 1.5 km
La Victoria 29.36 77,699* 16,447 2,646.4 23 2.4 km
Pomalca 80.35 23,092* 5,802 287.39 29 7 km
Reque 47.03 12,606* 3,664 268.04 21 8 km
Pimentel 66.53 32,346* 9,301 486.2 4 11.9 km
Total 301.84 km2 574,408* 130,180 1,903.02
*Data from the census taken by the INEI[14]

According to the planning director of Chiclayo, by 2020 the San Jose district belonging to the Lambayeque Province will be completely integrated with the city of Chiclayo. The district has a population 12,156 inhabitants. Most of the district is conurbanized with the rest of Chiclayo.

Education and culture

Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum located in Lambayeque, a city part of Chiclayo's metropolitan area.
Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum located in Lambayeque, a city part of Chiclayo's metropolitan area.

University education

The following is a list of the universities located in Chiclayo:

note: Pedro Ruiz Gallo National University is not in Chiclayo but in near Lambayeque city, 11 km distance.

The following is a list of museums in the area:

Tourist attractions

Main article: Tourism in Peru § Destinations by Department#Lambayeque

Front face of the cathedral of Chiclayo
Front face of the cathedral of Chiclayo

The department of Lambayeque is one of the most touristic in the country. It was home to the ancient civilization of the Moche who created some of the most ingenious monuments and works of art known to ancient Peru. In 1987, royal tombs of ancient Moche rulers were excavated. The artifacts found in the tomb were transferred to the Royal Tomb of Sipan Museum in the city of Lambayeque. Also there are the Brunning Museum and the Sicán Museum in Ferreñafe. These museums display the magnificent ancient artwork produced by the ancient Moche. The pyramids of Túcume are also in this area. In 2007, more than 306,000 tourists visited the museums of Lambayeque. There are more than 20 adobe pyramids all of which are 40 metres (130 ft) in height and are in an abundance of vegetation and wildlife. Also in the area is the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve which has abundant biodiversity. The department of Lambayeque boasts some of the best cuisine in Peru. The most popular dish in this area is Arroz con Pato (marinated duck with green rice). The city of Chiclayo, the capital of the department, is the second largest in the Peruvian north and has a vibrant nightlife.

Twin towns – sister cities

Chiclayo is twinned with:

Notable people

Augusto B. Leguia was president of Peru in three periods.
Augusto B. Leguia was president of Peru in three periods.

See also


  • Guía metropolitana, comercial, industrial y estadística de la ciudad de Chiclayo. Ciudad Comercial del Norte peruano. Chiclayo, 2002, incluye un croquis de la ciudad de Chiclayo.
  • Diario la industria de Chiclayo.suplemento dominical.-Comentarios de la actualización del plan regulador "Chiclayo 2020"
  • "Ponencia: "Hacia una ciudad sostenible", Ex alcalde de Chiclayo Dr. Arturo Castillo Chirinos.
  • "Ciudad Heroica" Columna del diario El correo de Chiclayo. Dr. Fernando Bartra Grosso.
  • " Modernización de Chiclayo ha comenzado" Jorge Incháustegui Samamé. enlace del catatro Sach.
  • "Historia de la ciudad de Reque" Ministerio evangelistico nueva vida. Dante Samillán Rodriguez.
  • "Planificacion y desarrollo de la ciudad de Chiclayo metropolitano". prolongación al sur de la ciudad, -historia de Reque en la ciudad de Chiclayo-, -creación del distrito de la victoria. Dante Samillán Rodriguez.
  • "Futuro de Chiclayo, encuentro económico APEC, mejoramiento de la ciudad de chiclayo". diario la industria.
  • ALCALDE, Nélida. Los tugurios en el centro urbano de Chiclayo, 1940–1970. TLS/UNPRG, Lambayeque, 1984.
  • BAZÁN, Inés y José GÓMEZ. Capitalismo y región en Lambayeque. Instituto de Estudios Sociales Naymlap, Chiclayo, 1983, 125 pp.
  • CARDOSO, César. "El poder económico en Lambayeque". En: Dominical, Suplemento de La Industria, Chiclayo, domingo 5 de marzo de 1995, pp. 4-5.
  • BACHMANN, Carlos J. Departamento de Lambayeque. Monografía Histórico – Geográfica.
  • ASENJO MUNDACA, Clara; SANTA CRUZ ROJAS, Hilda R. Educación y crisis en el distrito de La Victoria 1987–1994. TLS/UNPRG, Lambayeque, 1994.
  • ALVARADO, D. y F. EFFIO. Desarrollo urbano de la ciudad de Chiclayo 1875–1981. TLS, UNPRG, Lambayeque, 1984.
  • Plan director 2020 y catastro urbano de la ciudad de Chiclayo.


  1. ^ Perú: Población estimada al 30 de junio y tasa de crecimiento de las ciudades capitales, por departamento, 2011 y 2015. Perú: Estimaciones y proyecciones de población total por sexo de las principales ciudades, 2012–2015 (Report). Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. March 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Local Stats, Info, Weather" Archived 26 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine, TravelsRadiate, 3 August 2011, accessed 3 August 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c "Historia de Chiclayo". Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Mi tierra en la Web: Escudo de Chiclayo". Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Cabrejos, Juan. "Raíces mochicas de Chiclayo, perla del norte del Perú". El Comercio. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  7. ^ es:Anexo:Alcaldes de Chiclayo
  8. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática (2012), p.39.
  9. ^ "Municipalidad Provincial de Chiclayo Planes Urbanos". Municipalidad Provincial de Chiclayo (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Gerencia de Urbanismo". Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  11. ^ "Chiclayo Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Station Capitan Jose" (in French). Météo Climat. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Klimatafel von Chiclayo, Prov. Lambayeque / Peru" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  14. ^ INEI Census 2007 Archived 23 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i Educacion superior. "Educacion superior". Paginas Amarillas. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  16. ^ Educacion superior. "Educacion superior". Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d e f MUSEOS EN LAMBAYEQUE, MUSEOS EN LAMBAYEQUE. "MUSEOS EN LAMBAYEQUE". Lambayeque. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2013.

Coordinates: 6°45′46.66″S 79°50′11.81″W / 6.7629611°S 79.8366139°W / -6.7629611; -79.8366139