All the guidebooks make it sound as though Piura is just a city that you’re forced to stop in on the way through northern Peru to Ecuador, but we were very pleasantly surprised. We only stayed for one night, and so decided to splash out on a nice hotel so we were rested for the long journey to Ecuador the next day.
Central Piura; hotel Los Portales; and Transportes Loja
We had a very good lunch at Snack Bar "El Romano" on Ayacucho, not far from the tamarind tree-shaded Plaza de Armas, then spent the afternoon wandering around the colonial centre before retreating to have a beer by the pool.
Logistics: we arrived by regular bus from Chiclayo. Most of the buses to Ecuador go to Guayaquil via Tumbes, but we were hoping to go to Loja, crossing at Macara. Transportes Loja don't seem to believe in the Internet, or really in publicising their services in any way, so we weren't certain that this would be possible, but the hotel concierge helped us to find their office at the back of the Ronco bus station on Av. Loreto. They used to do 9:30 am and 1:30 pm buses to Loja, but seem to have stopped running the morning one.