Some 10km east of the city, Playa de Perú is a wide sweep of clean sand that’s popular at weekends. Any local bus running east up the coast (towards Trujillo) will drop you at the highway-side turn-off, from where it’s a fifteen-minute walk to the beach. About 2km beyond the turning for Playa de Perú, on the Río María, there’s a series of waterfalls and natural pools set in lush, shady forest. A path leads from Río María village on the highway, winding through the hills along the left bank of the river; it takes around thirty minutes to walk to the first cascade and pool, with some muddy sections and a bit of scrambling during the wet season.

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