You might call Montero “Sugarland,” but that wouldn’t do justice to the coffee, cacao, peanuts, and bananas that they are also famous for. However, Montero is the regional capital for the granulated brown sugar (Panela granulada), and each September, they host the “Festival de Panela” (Brown Sugar Festival). The town is centered in the middle of […]
You might call Montero “Sugarland,” but that wouldn’t do justice to the coffee, cacao, peanuts, and bananas that they are also famous for. However, Montero is the regional capital for the granulated brown sugar (Panela granulada), and each September, they host the “Festival de Panela” (Brown Sugar Festival).
The town is centered in the middle of the mountains, with a creek that passes below the town center in the southern part of the urban zone. The Monterinos (people that live in Montero) are proud of their friendliness and the pure air that they breathe. It has been said that the town has been blessed by God for its marvelous valleys, astonishing waterfalls, and large, natural forests.
The district of Montero was founded on March 24th, 1935 and adopted the name of the Lieutenant Lizardo Montero, who was a good friend and served in the Peruvian military with the well known Peruvian hero, Miguel Grau. The Municipality of Montero was inaugurated on May 5, 1965 and each year the Monterinos celebrate their anniversary. There is a long genealogical line of ancestry that has left their land and hard-working culture, values, and the lifestyle to keep progressing and advancing within their families. Today, those Monterino children are capable and able to produce the best of their produce.
Brown Sugar Making
Montero hosts the Sicacate waterfalls, which sit in the mountains surrounding the town. Hike about one hour up the mountain on the main road and reward yourself with a refreshing swim. On your way up, you’ll pass other smaller, nameless but nonetheless beautiful waterfalls as well.
Explore the Forest
There are two forests worth visiting near Montero,: the Bosque de Naranjo de Chonta and the Bosque de Nogal. Both are a bit far for a hike, but you can easily contract a car. The Bosque de Naranjo de Chonta is about 45 minutes away from the town and costs S/. 5 a person. The Boque de Nogal is about an hour and a half away in one of the highest annexes in Montero and the car should cost S/. 7 a person. In either forest, you could easily spend the whole day hiking around and enjoying the views and surrounding nature. If you decide to go to the Bosque de Nogal, be sure to buy some of the queso fresco (fresh cheese) – the farmers are known for their cows and the cheese is made fresh by the owners. There is also a point in Nogal where you can look down on the border of Peru and Equador.
While in Montero proper…
Many do not know about the little pond from one of the creeks, located behind the Primary and Secondary schools. It is a short walk up the hillside, over a small bridge, and through a fence towards what they call the “Third,” because it is the third (and largest) pond in the town of Montero. This is a perfect place to escape the hot sun by diving into the refreshing water in the water hole.
The artisans of Montero include the weavings of various women entrepreneurs. They have created three associations of “Mujeres Tejedoras” (Weaving Women):
1. Las Mujeres Emprendedoras “Maria Zimmerman” located in the lower level of the Municipality.
2. Las Mujeres Tejedoras “Vitalina Nuñez” located on the first floor and room to the right of the main entrance to the Municipality.
3. ASMUCHO (Asociación de Mujeres de Chonta) located in the annex of Naranjo de Chonta in the house of the President, Laura Alberjca Jaramillo, which is right next to the Panela module.
All of the women associations have various weaved products that have been confected to perfection. Their line of products include: purses, wallets, coin purses, table centers, the traditional “alforjas” (what the farmers carry over their shoulders to gather their produce).
The weaving tradition has been passed down from generations and it is a true product of the region. The work requires much time, patience, and creativity.
This is Montero’s official tourist lodge, located slightly higher up on the hillside. It offers a great view of the town and sits right next to a coffee nursery, where you can look out your balcony and admire the hard work of the professional agricultural farmers. The Albergue also has information on the coffee and panela production. One night in the lovely bamboo, rustic mountain lodge is only S/.20.
Phone for Yulissa Rivera: (+51) 448063977
Here you will find the lovely Mrs. Edelmira, a widowed woman, that maintains this hostel all on her own. Hospedaje Fiorella is located next to the Catholic church and right up the street from the Municipality. She offers doubles, triples, and rooms with up to six beds, that range from S/. 12 to S/.20 a person.
Phone for Edelmira Neira Robledo: (+51) 638129
Hospedaje Tatiana is located on the main street of Montero and run by sweet Mrs. Marta, who also has a little convenience store next to the hostel. The back patio looks out onto the creek. She offers singles, doubles and triples that range from S/. 12 to S/.15.
Phone for Marta Guerrero: (+51) 0736362, (+51) 969301902
Run by enterprising Flor and her husband, once you walk into Hospedaje Monterino you will immediately see her influence in the traditional, bright-colored decorations and in the beautiful garden in the small courtyard inside the perimeter. On the second floor, you can enjoy a nice cup of Monterino coffee on a communal balcony while also enjoying the view of the town and the surrounding mountains. They offer matrimonial rooms with a personal bathroom at S/. 40, singles with a personal bathroom at S/. 30, and doubles with a personal bathroom at S/.60. They also have triples with a communal bathroom at S/. 60.
Phone for Flor Ordoñiz de Delgado: (+51) 992533956
Cafe Reastaurant Paucar
Don Paucar and his wife Nancy are a kind, humble couple that not only offer a beautiful inside-outside environment, but also great customer service (always a smile). They mostly offer chicken and steak dishes, with the typical fried bananas on the side. They are one of the only places in Montero with fresh fruit juices. They are located to the left of the municipality (municipio). Their prices range from S/.7 to S/.17.
Phone: (+51) 973754251
Restaurant Polleria Este Es Mi Tierra
This is the only Chicken Restaurant in Montero, where they offer whole chickens at S/. 35 and personal plates, such as 1/4 of a chicken are only S/.9. Half chicken plates are S/.18. They also serve other plates such as Ceviche at S/. 20 and Estofados, also at S/. 20.
Phone: (+51) 948235011
Mrs. Ofelia’s House and Mrs. Hilda’s House
Ofelia is a joyous, sweet Monterina lady and Hilda is a strong yet humble, funny Monterina. Ofelia and Hilda are neighbors who help each other out with their restaurant businesses by sending people to one another’s houses when they don’t have what the client is looking for. Both cook amazing traditional Peruvian food as well as the traditional Monterino food, such as Repe, which you will have to ask about once you get here. Their prices are similar and vary from S/.6 to S/.10. A beginner such as a soup or Papa a la Huancaina is S/.3-4.
Ofelia Phone: (+51) 969321893
Hilda Phone: (+51) 969300133
There are two types of transportation from Piura City to Montero: the Omnibusses (El Poderoso Cautivo, Santa Lucia, and Llacsa Huanca) and the collective taxi/cars. The Omnibusses can be found in the Cristo Rey zone of Piura close to the Fruit Market. These busses only leave for Montero in the morning from 8:00 am to 9:00 am and cost S/. 15. The cars are located in the same area, right next to the bus station and they leave for Montero twice a day, at 8:00 am and 1:00 pm and cost S/. 20.
The route and times from Piura City to Montero are as follows:
(All times are approximate. The busses take about half an hour to an hour longer than these times.)
Piura—Sullana: 30 min.
Sullana—Tambogrande: 30 min.
Tambogrande—Las Lomas: 30 minutos
Las Lomas—El Cruce (Ecuador and Ayabaca) Take the route towards Ayabaca: 30 min.
El Cruce—Paimas: 30 minutos
Paimas—Puente Paraje(Cross the bridge and that is where the district of Montero starts): 5 minutos
Continue on the road for half an hour until you reach the center of Montero.
Total time from Piura to Montero: 3 hours
For all tourist attractions contact Elber Meza at( +51)969302011
Gary Guerrero: (+51) 976294317
Heidi Hanssen: (+51) 950267801