In a sentence, I simply love the town of Mancora, Peru. As the souvenir t-shirts read around town, “Paradise exists, so go and enjoy it”. Well, I did, and if you ever get the chance I recommend you do so too.
Somewhere in the rupturing of Pangea from Gondwanaland eons and epochs ago, the little town of Mancora, Peru ended up on the wrong coast of South America. With endless miles of white sand beaches, year-round sunshine, comfortably warm water, thatched hut tiki bars, and the unmistakable sensory combo of reggae music wafting over cannabis fumes, Mancora, Peru is every beach loafers Eden. Oh, and did I mention that it’s surf city Peru?
Tucked in an arid corner or northwestern Peru, Mancora for a long time has been a desert getaway for the Latin American elite and the notoriously broke surf crowd. The entire Mancora area itself is actually comprised of 4 main zones: Mancora town, Los Pocitos, Vichayito, and Los Organos. Mancora town is where all of the facilities are, whereas Los Pocitos and Vichayito are a 10-15 minute mototaxi ride down a dirt road, and feature nothing more than spectacular villas along the coast, which is absolutely fine by me. While the activities in Mancora town center around surfing, kiting, and of course drinking, Los Pocitos and Vichayito conjure up visions more of hammocks, palm fronds, and horseback riding down deserted beaches. If you’re looking to stay down the road in Vichayitos check out the Costa Blanca hotel. Cheap rooms, great food, and a whole lot of nothing to keep you from relaxing.
Far removed from really everywhere, the town of Mancora actually has a large amount of restaurants and various options for lodging. Partying backpackers will want to check out Loki or The Point Hostel, while you’ll find the surf and kitesurf community posted up in front of the main break at either Las Olas or Hotel Wawa. The guys of Mancora Kitesurf offer kite packages, tours, and lessons, and I highly recommend checking them out for lodging and activities in the Mancora area.
While the area’s warm water and consistent waves have for generations drawn voyaging surfers to Mancora’s desert shores, within the last decade the spot has also become a global kitesurfing destination that draws thrill-seekers from across the globe (check out Kite Peru video) to spots such as Lobitos, Cabo Blanco, and the actual wave in Mancora itself. While reaching some of the more remote beaches requires a Land Rover and a sense of adventure, it’s all part of the intrepid spirit that probably drew you here in the first place.
Or, if you choose to just lay out on the sand with a cold beer, a good book, a fresh plate of ceviche, and not care in the world, Mancora, Peru is waiting for you.