Thursday, 27 June 2013

Mancora, Peru

Heading up towards the north of Peru there isn't much on the radar for tourists until you come across the small village of Mancora, which is just a couple of hours away from the Peru - Ecuador border. What started off as just a small fishing village has grown to be a hub for those keen on finding some surf along the Pacific coastline, with decent enough waves for most of the year and with it being so windy, kite surfing is now becoming increasingly popular here.

When driving through the town itself, you wouldn't think there was much to see or do as it looks like it has been catered only for tourists with the main road packed with Internet cafes, restaurants, bars and shops selling all the usual junk. However, once you get off the main road and start heading west to the beach through the 'suburbs' you see that underneath this tourist facade lies a town like any other in Peru, with locals trading between one another, kids running around after dogs, shop owners standing outside their stores with the apparent air of not being bothered about selling anything all day, police chatting to locals and the daily chorus of singing from churches.

Accommodation is spread out all over the place here and with so many options you would be doing something wrong if you couldn't find somewhere you liked. All budgets are catered for as well as lodgings which range from dorms in party hostels to beach front bungalows. Food is fresh from the ocean, so much so you shouldn't be surprised to find some sand in half your meals, having said that though, if you like fresh seafood it doesn't get much fresher than here.

The beach itself is clean enough with fires been prohibited and most people spending the day either lounging on the sand or trying to catch that elusive wave. Parties abound every night with the weekends been the busiest as with any place, at this time the bars on the beach come to life with outrageous happy hour deals whilst trying to out do one another to see who can be the loudest. It's safe to say that there is always a random party a short taxi ride away if the constant competing for airspace starts to get old. Failing that, if it's peace and tranquillity you came here for, then it is just as easy to immerse yourself in the silence of a well secluded bungalow by the beach.

Getting here is ridiculously easy, the main street is the main road from Lima up north to the border with Ecuador, you basically can't miss it, I think it's the Pan-American Highway actually. If you have the time, it's a nice place to stop off to party/ relax/ surf or all of the above. The weather here is pretty much always perfect and compared to the temperamental weather of Ecuador, if it's beach time you are after, this might just be the place for you.

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