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Máncora has quickly gone from forgotten fishing village to one of Peru’s most desirable vacation spots. From the party surf town to luxury hotels in Las Pocitas, there is something for everyone in Peru’s northern paradise. If you’re coming from Ecuador, or heading to it, Máncora is a must-stop, even if you can only stay for a day. Here’s how to do it all in Máncora before you catch the next bus out of town.
Máncora has lodgings to suit all budgets. If you’re looking for white-walled, luxury hotels on the beach, Las Pocitas is your spot. If not, Máncora itself has plenty of hostels and hotels to choose from. Loki is the king of Máncora’s party scene and is usually booked up. Other options are Playa del Amor, where the Point hostel is, or Casa Máncora in La Quebrada, the quiet community a five-minute walk from town.
A combination of warm water and consistent surf makes Máncora one of Peru’s best surf breaks. The left-hand point break works best on north swells, which come during Peru’s summer months when the water is warm. You can ditch your wetsuit for board shorts and a shirt. The beach is also the best place in Peru to learn how to surf. With three surf schools right in front of the break, there are plenty of instructors to go around. The best school is Inca Warriors Surf School, located right in front of the restaurant Green Eggs and Ham. The instructors give you a board and guarantee that you’ll be standing up by the end of the day. All surf schools also rent boards by the hour.
After you have surfed for a couple of hours, you have to eat at the little beach shack over looking the waves. It has Máncora’s best breakfast and a little taste from home: omelettes, hash browns, pancakes, waffles, and French toast. From their second story, you’ll have the best view of the beautiful Máncora beach.
When you’re in paradise, enjoy it! Lie out under the palm tress while sipping on a coconut. You can go for the party scene of Máncora beach, where they pump reggaeton all day and you can hear the constant buzzing of 4x4s up and down the beach, or choose the peaceful quiet of Las Pocitas.
The north of Peru quietly offers the best food in the country. Ask around Lima and you’ll be surprised by how many people will tell you that northern food is their favorite. It’s the combination of fresh fish and the unique use of spices that makes it so good, and no one does it better than the restaurant La Sirena d’Juan. It is northern food perfected, and the place to have dinner in Máncora. You won’t be disappointed.
While it’s known for its surfing and beaches, Máncora also has a reputation for its nightlife. Loki is where most nights begin before they are taken to the beach, where the bars stay open until 5 or 6 in the morning.