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(044) 484 240 Anexo 317

Caballitos de Totora

 caballito-totora A caballito de totora is a type of boat constructed from thousand to three thousand years to B.C. It is designed to transport a navigator with his gear, during the marine fishing operations in Peru and  in the lakes of Bolivia and Peru.

These marine boats typical of the north of Peru, rafts constructed of a reed known as totora (Scirpus Californicus). They are a tradition preserved from our mochicas ancestors and remain the main tool of work of the current artisanal fisherman.

In ancient times the totora grew abundantly in the small valleys of the Peruvian coast.

The technique of construction of the caballo de totora has been passed down from generation to generation and “consists of cutting the totora stems and soaking them in water to prevent them from breaking, then allowed to dry in the sun to come together in two curved bodies that are tied with ropes.

 26051420424964360511 They are made based on totora stems and leaves that can carry up 200kg of fishing.

In some beaches of the Peruvian coast, especially in our Huanchaco Beach, it is a fishing tool, they are used to walk to visitors and sporty to run waves of form similar to the surf.

These totora boats can be found embedded in their sand in front of the beach, and for  immemorial times this was a symbol of respect of the population to the Peruvian coast.

The original name of these boats is tup, word that comes from the muchik, language spoken by the Mochicas and that supposedly disappeared in the middle of century XX, approximately.


It is due to the peculiar way in which the crew are mounted on these small ships, which the Spaniards called them caballitos.

For three thousand years has not changed its design. Already the Mochica used it towards the 200 A.D. and it is currently used by Bolivians and Peruvians.

The forward end (bow) is sharpened and curved upwards, the back being wider.
It usually has a length of 4.5 to 5 meters; and a width of 0.6 to 1 m; its weight varies between 47 and 50 kg and can withstand 200 kg of payload.



Above these historic reed rafts inhabitants of Peru’s north coast are thrown into the sea during long journeys that can last a whole day and return laden with fish.Fuera de las horas de trabajo las utilizan para deslizarse sobre las olas.

A caballo de totora has a useful life of approximately one month and in each one of the towns of this coast still exist experts in charge of maintaining intact a fleet that, nevertheless, has been diminishing with the passage of the time.

Mastering these boats is not easy. It takes a lot of skill, balance and at the same time strength in the arms to direct the oar: a cane known as “guayaquil” cut along.