Caballitos de Totora
Attractions & Activities In Trujillo & Chiclayo
For more than 3,000 years, fishermen in the Huanchaco region of Peru’s northern coast have set out to sea astride “little reed horses” or caballitos de totora. These boats, handmade from totora reeds, curve up like a horn at the front and feature an inner compartment where fishermen toss their catch.
Long before the Spanish or even the Incas reached this region, the ancient Moche people were building these boats from the reeds of the Huanchaco wetlands. It is from these very wetlands that modern-day Huanchaco fisherman still source materials to make their boats in the exact same way as their ancestors did.
Visit the seaside town and watch the local fishermen at work. These days, there are only about 35 craftsmen left who can build them. From the shore, you can also observe fishermen paddling out with a single paddle and often standing up and riding the waves back to shore with their catch in tow. If your luck is in, you might just manage to find a friendly fisherman who will let you hitch a ride atop his “little reed horse.”
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