Mancora, a sunny, relaxing and party town.
The white sand, the warm sea, waves for surfing and the eternal sun, have made this small fishing village in northern Peru a global and local reference for travelers when thinking of beach at South America.
The high season is from December to February but we will see backpackers all year along because its sunny almost 365 days of the year.
What are the most popular attractions among the backpackers (diving/surfing/skiing/climbing/hiking etc.)
All attraction are related to the water or surroundings: zip gliding, surfing, kite surfing, diving, stand up paddle, jet ski, swimming at the beach, whale, dolphins, sea turtles watching, yoga, spa (massages in general).
What are the “must see/do” attractions?
- Las Pocitas Beach (and watch the sunset)
- Buceo or turtle/whale watching
- Kite Surfing
- Eat lots and lots of Ceviche (peruvian dish)
- Banana Boat at the beach
- Walk at the main street and see local markets/handicrafts
- Yoga with the ocean view
- Party at the beach (there are 4 bars with music, one next to the other)
What are the best restaurants for backpackers? What those restaurants has to offer? (Mediterranean/Italian/Caribbean/ any another type of cuisine).
Mancora is a small city, but provides good food for everyone. For example, the village has Italian cuisine, Peruvian cusine (lots of them, of course), veggie food and steak houses.
In general backpackers stays between: a fancier restaurant (once in a while is good), local restaurants (the offer menu deals— starter, main plate and juice, for 3 dollars) and eating at the hostel (american food, sandwiches, snacks, etc.).
Some good options are: Acqua (seafood and international cuisine), La Sirena d’Juan (italian cuisine), Café del Mundo or Green Eggs and Ham (breakfast), Monkey Coffee Shop & Bar (coffee and desserts), The Pachamama (best ceviche and fried fish with a nice view), Cevicheria Los Delfines (peruvian cuisine), Antica Pizzeria (pizzas), Angela’s Place (veggie foood) and Helados Mario (ice cream and cremoladas). And for the 3-dollar-meal, just walk through the main street and will find the one that best fits your stomach.
What are the best nightclubs? What did you specially liked about them?
The same applies to the nightclubs, the backpackers have two options: party at the hostel (Loki Hostel is famous for that and people from outside can participate too) or crash at the beach where will find 4 bars, playing reggaeton and international music really really loud (but fun too!). I preferred the second option because I had the opportunity to meet some locals, drink and dance together. Party stays until 2/3am and afterwards people hang around the beach.
What are the best bars? What did you specially liked about them?
In this point I was expecting more from a beach town, is pretty much a lot of the same. Restaurants and bars offering the same beers and drinks, nothing special, for the same price (I think because of this a lot of backpackers drink at the hostel). The only place that stood out was Sirena Café Bar, cozy environment and good drinks.
What are the coolest places around the city you’ve visited?
There are two good options of things to do around the village: visit the waterfall next to the town and a tour to see the sea turtles at Organos (El Ñuro)
Where backpackers usually continue after the place you’ve been?
The ones that are gonna stay at Peru: Trujillo, Huaraz, Tumbes, Lima and Huanchaco. And the ones that are gonna go to other country: Cuenca, Guayaquil, Montañita (Ecuador).
From where they are usually coming?
Lots of backpackers from UK, US, The Netherlands, Australia (specially surfers), Israel and Argentina. A curious fact is that I could find many Peruvians as well, specially from Lima (the capital), maybe because its was a national holiday.
What did you feel was missing in the city? What could make your visit to a perfect one?
Mancora is beautiful! But for a famous beach town I expected more things to do during the day and night. For example a good brewery, a place that you can have juices, smoothies and healthy food or either a band playing at the beach. After the 3rd day, it gets kind of boring but still worth coming!
If Selina will set a hostel there — how do you imagine it?
I imagine a hostel, medium size, cozy, lots of hammocks, with a beaaaaautiful view of the ocean, maybe even a infinity edge pool (but definitely with a pool). With daily activities (day and night) such as learning how to make some handicrafts with local artists, cooking peruvian food, preparing drinks (mixology) and theme parties. A place close to the main street where can can chill out or party for a couple of days!
Eventually, please write in your own words your opinion and describe your personal experience.
My days at Mancora were beautiful, the sunsets blew my mind! Sunny and warm, everything that I was looking at that moment. I ate good food and had a lot of fun with others foreigners. Maybe staying 3 or 4 days was enough to relax and party ;)
Ariadne Nardeli (Brazilian Backpacker Researcher for Selina Hostel)