Mancora was the best beach we visited in Peru. It is squeezed up in the north of the country near the Ecuadorian border and the Amazon forest. For backpackers doing Peru Mancora represents beach down time after trekking up Machu Picchu, seeing the desert in Huacachina and Nazca, sampling the colonial culture of Lima and just generally getting a belly full of culture. We went August to Peru. It was cold at times. I was longing for warm sea and sunny beaches.
We spent one night in a backpackers that catered too much for its prime market. The dorms were expensive, cooked meals too, the place was a long walk from shops and amenities and worst of all they hosted a ‘pirate party’ for our night there. Not in my honour I might add. It was a half-hearted affair with a couple of American lads taking on the rum drinks deal.
The next day we found a hotel room in the more central south part of the beach. It was less money with air-con and TV, just 1 minute from the beach. We divided our time between smoking and watching episodes of Two and a Half Men on TV with swimming and going down the market food stalls for cheap eats.
At night the market has a bit of life and local colour with the risks and temptations that brings. Better, if more potentially hazardous, than a pirate party.
It is a long beach with recognized breaks. Plenty of backpackers give surfing a go as it is a cheap activity. By this time I’ve already decided that surfing is too much effort. Floating in the sea and taking in the sight of thousands of gulls having a feeding frenzy was enough fun for me.
The town was a dusty street that held a photographic charm. It wasn’t a place full of cafes and bakeries designed to please tourists; rather one of those sleepy Peruvian towns.
Looking back: I quite miss Mancora.