Máncora is Peru’s most popular northern beach resort, boasting year round summer. The turquoise ocean attracts surfers and windsurfers alike and as any sandy beach, there is so much beauty to take in. There is a lot to appreciate about this dusty little beach side town.
But I have to admit, I have love hate relationship with Máncora .
Summers last from December to April and are very hot. Rain is usual during the night and the temperature can reach over 38 °C. The rest of the year is dry, breezy, and sunny. The temperature during winter and spring never falls bellow 25 C° during daytime and is usually around the high 20’s. Night temperatures drop to around 17 C°.
The beach town has over 30 different beach resorts that receive tourists from all over South America. It boasts a large proportion of luxury restaurants and nightclubs for such a small town of 10,000. Resorts rim the nearby kilometers of beaches connected by a road. Most people arrive by bus, private car, or plane from the Talara Airportor Tumbes Airport. Currently, tourism is booming as a large influx of tourists take to the beaches all year round. In 2005 340,000 tourists visited Mancora. The resort town has the unique characteristic to seem private and empty when relaxing on the beach, while brimming with people late into the night at the many nightclubs in town playing loud music. It is extremely well connected to the rest of the country and with easy worldwide access…
The Pan American Hwy serves as Máncora’s main street, boasting restaurants, hostels and an artisan shopping area. There is one small ‘main street’, sort of a mini main street leading you to the beach, lined with local restaurants, clothing stands and bars. There is a small concrete ocean front walkway called ‘malecon’, which unfortunately has a habit of partially falling into the ocean. Over the 5 months we’ve been here, there has been construction crews consistently trying to rebuild the malecon.
I love, love LOVE the weather here! (I’m a California girl, after all) The beaches are beautiful, but depending on the tide, the amount of sand available to sit on varies. I love waking up and being able to walk on the beach. I love being able to gasp in awe of the surfers. I love being entertained by the kite surfers and their ninja moves. I love the simplicity of life here. I love the feel of local community. I love the market and the cheap and yummy meals I can have for around $1.50 there. I love being able to have fresh cieveche every day. I love being able to go to the hostels and have a drink, play ping pong, swim in a pool and even play pool. Really, life is pretty good here.
But night time is different. This town is famous for it’s bars, night clubs and beach parties. But what I really hate is the drug culture. And with this drug and drinking culture, I have seen on average 1 drunken fist fight a week from my window. The chaotic energy is overwhelming at night and it’s hard to escape. What else to I hate? I hate the loud music. From where we were first living, we had two night clubs to our right, 2 night clubs to our left and each club played loud, loud LOUD music every night. And it wasn’t just loud, it was the deep thumping bass with competing reggetone. Can you say headache? So we eventually moved and at least I can sleep now, without ear plugs.
It’s a love hate relationship I have with Máncora. Moving off the beach helped tremendously. But the relationship has been established. But as always, I try to focus on the positive. Advice? Come to Máncora, enjoy it! (but you might not want to stay too long.)