The Complete Guide To Máncora - Peru’s Main Beach Town

Sunday, 29 April 2018
Máncora exceeded our expectations. Talk to any Peruvian and they’ll tell you that the beaches in the north of Peru, namely Máncora, Organos and Zorritos, are by far the best their country has to offer, but all too often these comments are followed up by the fact that they’re complete ‘party towns’. This somewhat put us off as in our experience when beach towns get a reputation for being party towns they often become trashy and spoilt. This had been the case in some places we’d visited in Asia, particularly Thailand and we hoped it wouldn’t be the case here in Peru. Thankfully it wasn’t and Máncora turned out to have a great balance of bars, restaurants and nightlife alongside long stretches of golden sandy beaches which weren’t overly commercialised. We really enjoyed the time we spent here and much preferred the beach to any other place we’ve been to in Peru. So, without further or do, here’s our ultimate travel guide to Máncora!

The Beach
Máncora’s beach is great. There are quite a few tourists around but even at high tide there is plenty of space for you to put your towel down and have your own area. The sand is soft and relatively un-polluted although our biggest criticism is that ever so often people will drive past in quad bikes that they’ve just rented for an hour or so, without realising that there really isn’t anywhere to use them. Apart from this there really isn’t anything else wrong with the beach. Occasionally you’ll get pestered to buy sunglasses or a cold drink but that can be expected anywhere along the coast.

Surfing is pretty popular here although in our opinion the waves were much better further south in Huanchaco (LINK). There seemed to be more waves earlier on in the day whereas in the afternoon there were ten or so surfers all trying to ride the same tiny wave. If you’re an experienced surfer you’re more likely to enjoy it here but if you’re a beginner (like us) you’re likely to find it more stressful as there as so many people in the water to avoid hitting!

2 Hour Surf lesson — 50 soles ($15.50us / £11.20)

2 Hour Surf Board Hire — 10 soles ($3.10us / £2.20)

Whole day Board Hire — 20 soles ($6.20us / £4.50)

Going out
Despite being ‘the party town’ there really didn’t seem to be many clubs or live music anywhere. There were more bars then you’re average Peruvian town though and the town was definitely more lively in the evening than somewhere like Huanchaco.

Where to eat
Máncora had a good amount of cheap food options, particularly for lunch where you could get budget set meals which didn’t have to be the useful ‘pollo a la plancha’ or ‘ceviche’. Our top picks are...

Cafe del Mundo - Open for lunch and dinner, this place had great mix and match menu options with big portions.

Tokuyo - A Japanese restaurant which makes lots of sushi but also some salads and chicken teriyaki. We weren’t too sure about eating raw fish in Peru as our stomachs haven’t always been in perfect condition here, but the food was really excellent and we had no problems. It’s ran by a Japanese couple so it can be trusted!

Getting around
Máncora is a town of tuk-tuks / Moto-taxis and if you don’t fancy walking somewhere this is your only option. The town is really small and so you shouldn’t pay more than 2 soles each trip to get around. 

We took a direct bus from Trujillo to Máncora overnight. The service was run by CruzdelSur which is our favoured company for reliability and comfort and it cost us $25us. Other more budget options are available but may not always run overnight.

You can also get direct buses from Guayaquil and Cuenca in Ecuador and Chiclayo in Peru.

Where we stayed
We stayed at Wiracocha Hostel which we were really pleased with. The owner was so lovely to us and made us feel at home right away. Breakfast was excellent and was even brought to us in bed! We were also allowed to use the room into the evening after check-out so that we could shower after going to the beach. The hostel is slightly further out but still only a 10 minute walk from the beach and less time to the town centre. It was really reasonably priced at around $17us a night. 

We hope you’ve found this post useful, thanks for reading!

Will & Melissa

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