A beach resort town on Peru's northwest coast, Máncora draws surfers and land-loving tourists alike. Also known for its hot springs and mud baths, the city is a favorite among those looking for rest and relaxation.
A former haunt of Hemingway's, Máncora also attracts nature lovers to the Mangroves and the Amotape Hills National Park, whose equatorial dry forests contain orchids, thorn trees, spectacled bears, boa constrictors, American crocodiles, and over a hundred bird species.
Though good all year round, surfing is best from November to February when the water is warmest and the waves won't overwhelm beginners.
Boats can be rented to tour the mangroves and islands that house over 350 crocodiles and other fauna. Tours also include stops at the beaches of Punta Sal and Zorritos.
On Avenida Piura, there's a colorful outdoor market where locals sell handmade jewelry, crafts, clothing and food.
Visitors play hard during the day and night in Máncora. The party scene is centered at the hotels, which feature theme parties, live DJs, and dancing until dawn.
Máncora has the freshest fish imaginable. Try the pescado a lo macho with garlic sauce, octopus, shrimp, and squid, chupe, a soup with shrimp or crab, or ceviche, fish marinated in lime juice and onions.
The best time to visit Máncora is during high season, January to February.
The closest airports are in Piura, Tumbes, or Talara. International visitors need to layover in Lima before taking a flight to one of the three cities. A taxi from the airport is roughly S/. 392. A shuttle bus is S/. 294.
The drive to Máncora from Lima is approximately 21 hours along Route 1S - Carretera Panamericana Sur.
The bus from Lima to Máncora takes 16.5 hours and costs S/. 143.
The Loki del Mar does double duty as a popular nightspot. The hotel features spacious rooms, a pool, bar, and lounge area. Blue Ocean is right on the beach and provides free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, a restaurant, and beach bar.
Las Pocitas - Las Pocitas offers surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing, kayaking, water skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, boat tours, as well as restaurants and nightlife.
Avenida Piura - Avenida Piura is the central shopping district as well as the location of most city clubs and bars.
La Poza de Barro - the mud baths at La Poza de Barro, with their high mineral concentration, are said to have healing properties.
Elvis Taxi provides private service in Máncora to the Piura and Tumbes beaches, as well as transfers to the Talara, Piura, and Tumbes airports. Fares start at S/. 6.54.
Car rentals in Máncora start at S/. 115 a day.
Avenida Piura hosts most of the shops in Máncora with the outdoor artisans market, as well as surf shops with swimwear, sandals, and accessories.
Ultimarket Marlon Máncora stocks all staples and Fruteria Macharé sells fresh fruit. Máncora is relatively inexpensive. A Coca-Cola costs S/. 2.50.
La Mosca en la Sopa specializes in grilled beef, pasta dishes, and smoked fish. Entrees average S/. 100. El Mero Murique serves ceviche, grilled fish, and chicken. Entrees average S/. 100.