Mancora for Dummies
Mini guide of Mancora for beginners
1. What is Mancora anyway?
Mancora (photo) is a small fishing village of no more than 9,000 inhabitants which, for several years now, is the most popular beach of the Peruvian North Shore all year through for both national tourists (mostly from Lima) and for visitors from around the world.
Lonely Planet, the famous international tourism guide defines it as: “Indulging in sun, surf and sand at Mancora, Peru’s premier beachside hot spot”
2.- Where is it?
Mancora (Peru) is located on the Pacific coast at 1165 km of the Northern Peruvian Pan-American Highway. 120 Km South of the Peru – Ecuador frontier, and 1165 kilometers north of Lima, (capital city of Peru).
Mancora is furthest northern seaside place of the province of Talara in the Department of Piura, Northern Peru.
3.- What makes Mancora so special?
4.- Is Mancora a place for backpackers or is it also for couples and families seeking for a more unique and relaxing place?
For both; while in the town of Mancora there is a variety of lodging prices besides good restaurants and bars; in nearby beaches as Pocitas, Vichayito, Punta Sal (as well as in certain sectors of Mancora), houses and hostels are in general of a better category , with very good facilities and restaurant services. We must clarify that there are no five-star hotels nor Gucci shops here; Mancora and nearby beaches still keep that hidden beach scenario without much luxury, with good lodgings, some with air conditioning in the rooms, gourmet cuisine, Wi-Fi in their facilities, etc. Also small but beautiful boutiques, surf shops and crafts in general.
5.- Why Mancora and not to other beaches located further North (Ecuador) or South?
The beaches located to the North (Ecuador) have more tropical climates (more humidity in the air, more rain and an average of few sunny days); the beaches south of Piura have a desert climate (cooler temperatures in the atmosphere and ocean, colder winds, especially in winter, from April to December). Mancora and nearby beaches adopt the best of both climates: permanent sun without humidity, pleasant nights and warm sea temperature. The landscape is semi desert with dry forest with carob trees which wait for some small rain to become green again.
Mancora is the ideal place for travelers who cross the Peru - Ecuador border and want to give a beach break before continuing their trip. Throughout the year Mancora is visited by tourists; bars and restaurants open all year and they are always working, unlike several nearby villages.
6. - How do I get to Mancora?
You can only get directly to Mancora and/or beaches nearby by road, through the Northern Pan-American Highway. Several bus companies from Lima, Tumbes, Piura, Guayaquil (Ecuador) and other cities of Peru get to Mancora. As well as taxis and other transport services from airports near Mancora.
The fastest way to get to Mancora and/or nearby beaches is to take a flight (of approximately two hours) from Lima, capital city of Peru, 1165 km south of Mancora, to the cities of Piura or Tumbes.
7. - Where can I sleep?
In Mancora there are lodgings for all budgets, from US $ 4 per night per person (not listed in Vivamancora.com) to US $ 150 per night per couple. Most exclusive places are located in beaches such as Pocitas, Vichayito, Punta Sal, Punta Veleros and certain parts of Mancora.
Other factors to take in account are seasons. It might be best to avoid super high seasons such as dates approaching New Year, Easter Holidays and July 28th (Peruvian independence celebrations), especially in the town of Mancora (not necessarily in the rest of the beaches), where the lodgings double their prices from normal or low season (rest of the year).
Many lodgings take American dollars, however it is recommended to carry with local currency (soles). Mancora has banks to change money and carry out other operations. Many lodging do not publish their rates on the web, you must contact them directly to determine their current prices.
A good lodging (on the seashore with hot water, swimming pool, Wi-Fi, etc), in some more residential and quiet beach as Pocitas or Vichayito, prices vary between US$ 40 to US$ 70 *a couple, per night per person with breakfast included (during normal or low season). On the other hand you can find cheaper lodgings, but with good facilities and good service for US$ 15to US$ 25 * a couple, per night per person (during normal or low season).
* Reference prices
8.-What we won’t find in Mancora?
- 5 star hotels
- Traffic lights
- Traffic jams
9. - What activities can be practiced in Mancora and nearby beaches?
- Surf lessons with local Mancora teachers (photo). This is a beach known worldwide for its docility and ease for learning how to surf.
- Kitesurfing lessons. Ideal between the months of June to December (windier season).
- Having an excellent ceviche or an amazing majarisco (green bananas in a seafood sauce) Visit the Mangroves of Tumbes National Sanctuary (120 km north from Mancora, full ride duration of approx. 5 hrs) or other areas such as Cerros de Amotape or Tumbes reserved Area
- Go to the "mud pond", a pool of hot water springs with healing properties around 40 minutes from Mancora.
- Visit beaches like Cabo Blanco, El Ñuro, Lobitos and others.
- Go out at night to eat and have some drinks in the many restaurants and bars / pubs of Mancora, which are concentrated in a small, tourist area.
- You also have in Mancora services like massage; deep-sea fishing; diving, canopy; jet ski rental and terrestrial quads; as well as yoga, Spanish, salsa classes, etc.