Orientation

Piura, Peru

El Faique
Photo by: Sam Buckley

Clouds jump the mountains flanking El Faique and hang overhead, adding to the quiet, rural, cloud-forest feel of this small Andean town in Alto Piura. Most tourists in this area are headed up to Huancabamba, another three hours up the road. For those headed to or from Huancabamba and looking to break up the seven hour ordeal, we highly recommend stopping in El Faique for a day – it is a great spot to hike, relax, and enjoy the beautiful views from 1,200 meters up. The same bus going to Huacncabamba goes to El Faique, making it an easy and accessible place to stop off on the way.

Activities

Piura, Peru

Santa Ana
Photo by: Sam Buckley

Santa Ana Waterfall

Santa Ana is a 35 meter waterfall, nestled into a cove in the mountains near El Faique. The waterfall spills down the mountainside, creating natural water shoots and several pools, in which you can swim during the dry season (April-November). There are also benches and tables near the falls that are perfect for picnicking.

How to Get There: You can hike or take a cab to Santa Ana

Hike: The hike is 3 hours from El Faique. To reach the trailhead, go to the end of town (keep going the way you came in) and you will hit a dirt road. Follow the road until it forks off to the left, towards the forest (there is a sign). For any fork in the path, there will be a sign.

Cab: The cab ride is 30 minutes and should cost S/.50, though you will probably need to haggle a little to get this price. To get to the cars for hire, from where you came in, go to the back of town and there are cars lined up. You can negotiate with any of the drivers of these cars.

Cerro Huaynay:

The view from Huaynay
Photo by: Sam Buckley

Cerro Huayanay

This is the large hill that you pass on the way into El Faique (on your right coming in). There is a path leading up and an amazing 360º view of the surrounding valley and mountains. This is a perfect place to watch the sunset. The hike is about 30 minutes straight up.

How to Get There: From anywhere in town on the main road, head back the way you came from (such that the valley is on your left) and follow the road until you reach the big hill on the left. There is a clear trail leading from the road right up the side of Huayanay.

Petroglyphs

El Faique, Piura, Peru, northern Peru

Petroglyphs

About ten minutes downhill from El Faique there are Incan-era petroglyphs. These are definitely worth seeing if you have half an hour to kill, though not worth going well out of your way for. To get to them, go to the plaza and go straight downhill. You’ll pass through another plaza and see signs guiding you towards the petroglyphs. You should eventually bear off the path to the right (there’s a sign).

Dining

Arrierro: They offer basic menu here (soup, main course, juice). If facing the church in the plaza, go one block up past it to get to Arrierro.

Yves: Yves has a slightly wider variety and also does ceviche (they bring fish up every day – you should have it mid-afternoon). To get there, go past the church (with the church on your left) about a block and it will be on your left. It has a sign on the front.

Restaurants around the plaza: There are also several restaurants around the plaza that offer basic menu lunches for S/.8, or menu dinners for S/.5.

Lodging

Arrierro: S/.25 They offer basic accommodations and claim to have hot showers

How to Get There

El Faique, Piura, Peru, northern Peru

Canchaque (left) and Faique (right)

From Piura: Take a cab or moto-taxi to Terminal Castilla (should cost less than S/.4, but cabs will likely ask for S/.5). Enter the terminal and go to the far back left for a bus called Virgen de Asuncion. Morning buses leave at 6AM, 7:30AM, and 10AM; afternoon buses leave at noon, 3PM, and 6PM

Price: S/.10

Trip Time: 3 hours

From Huancabamba: Get on the buses going to Piura and tell them you’re getting off in El Faique (‘bajo en El Faique’)

Price: S/.15

Trip Time: 4 hours