Pacasmayo, an early-20th-century port 105 kilometers north of Trujillo , has a famous old pier where tobacco, cotton, and sugar were loaded onto large sailing ships and, later, steamers. Boat traffic is still concentrated on the northern side of the pier, while sunbathers and swimmers congregate on the south.
Precisely because so few people ever visit here, Pacasmayo is imbued with memories of bygone times and a nostalgia augmented by an interesting railroad museum outside of town.
Just before the village of Guadalupe are the ruins of Pacatnamú. This complex of pyramids, cemeteries, and homes, occupied before Moche times, is rarely visited even though it is comparable in size to Chan Chan .
There are several hostels but the best lodging is Hotel Pakatnamú (Malecón Grau 103, tel. 044/52-2368, www.actiweb.es/hotelpakatnamu , US$27 s, US$38 d including breakfast and free parking), which offers nice rooms, TVs, and a waterfront view. It also has a restaurant with a surprising variety of dishes—from seafood to pasta.
The best restaurant in town is Aruba just a block and a half from Hotel Pakatnamú.
All the major north–south buses stop in Pacasmayo, from which buses depart regularly for Cajamarca. The turnoff for Cajamarca is just 15 kilometers north of Pacasmayo, a road junction famous among Peruvians for a cluster of seafood restaurants.