During holidays, peruvians come all the way from Lima to spend their holidays at the beach. It turns into a real partytown with an overcrowded beach and bars competing for the loudest music day and night.
Most buses stop a couple of blocks north of the main tourist area. You can walk or take a mototaxi for S/.1.
Ormeño are the most frequent long distance buses to destinations south of Mancora. There are frequent kombis to Piura & Tumbes.
Cruz Del Sur has daily connections to Lima (18 hours)
For surfers, Transportes Linea have frequent buses from Piura & Chiclayo through Pacasmayo to Trujillo. Buses leave Trujillo for Huanchaco frequently, & Trujillo's Santa Cruz terminal for Puerto Malabrigo (aka Puerto Chicama) every 2 hours.
Star Peru have regular flights from Lima to Talara, Tumbes & Piura.
Bus from Cuenca to Mancora: Buy your ticket at the main Terminal Terrestre for the 7:15am bus. Look for the "Pullman Sucre" office. They will sell you a double-ticket, one $7 ticket to Huaquillas, and a separate CIFA ticket from there to Mancora for $8...totalling $15 (as of May 2013).
The first chunk of the bus ride takes about 5 hours and drops you off at the Pullman Sucra office. From there you walk 2 blocks or so to the CIFA office (ask around to head in the right direction). The bus to Piura will leave around 12:30pm and take about 3.5 hours to reach Mancora. This CIFA bus will take you to the ONE immigration office that you will need. Here, they stamp you out of Ecuador, and then in a separate line 2 feet away, another employee will stamp you into Peru. Easy and free. Board the bus that should be waiting for you outside and enjoy the rest of the ride.
Most of the bars, restaurants and hotels are clustered on two blocks along the PanAmericana. Mototaxis are everywhere but the town is small enough for walking.
The South Beach (Anywhere south of Máncora's pier, all the way to Organos). Even in low season, Máncora's main beach can get crowded and undesirable for travelers looking to relax without the constant bustle of soccer balls, frisbees, barking dogs, and sunglass salesmen. A 15 minute walk south offers an entirely new view of the Máncora beachfront. Bring extra sunscreen and drinking water as the beach, which only gets more beautiful, tempts one to keep walking all the way to Organos. Recommended to go at low tide since high tide blocks access back over a few extended points (unless you care to wade them, which is doable). Should you get trapped at high tide, there is a beach road behind the hotels that leads back to Máncora, they should let the stranded pass through their property if asked nicely.
The Main Beach. In addition to tanned bodies, you might spot some pelicans and crabs there. At certain times of the year Humpback Whales & Dolphins can be seen from the shore.
Huge waves break along the beach during December and January, making for good surfing. Some surfshops won't rent out boards during this time, afraid it won't come back as one part.
Also popular is kiteboarding. You can rent a kite at a few places. For first timers, a 3-day certification course is requirerd and is about $360. You spend the first 2 days on the beach learning how to handle the kite. You can also just take an initiation course or go on a kite journey to enjoy the best kitesurf spots around Mancora with a kite expert.
Spondylus Escuela de Buceo, Av. Piura 216, Mancora (Opposite Casa Blanca on ground floor of tall white building.), ☎ +51999891268 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 10.00-13.00 & 15.00-19.00. Recreational diving is becoming an inreasingly popular past time in Peru. The Northern Coast provides a rich and abundant diving location. Spondylus Escuela de Buceo is the first and only PADI dive resort in Peru and offers experiences for both certified and non-certified divers, as well as Certification courses.
There are a lot of restaurants, most of them serving fresh seafood. Service is generally very slow but the seafood is fresh, cheap, and delicious.
On the beach, restaurants will bring a mini-tent, table, chairs, menus, and food to the sand for you. The main road is lined with restaurants but for the cheapest meals (5 sol), go to the road leading to the beach. Be weary of the apparent cleanliness of where you are eating. Many travelers complain of symptoms of food illness in their first few days in Máncora, which can make the 18 hr busride to Lima intimidating.
Tao Mancora, Avenida Piura 240 (South end of Máncora, beach side of Ave Piura.), ☎ (073) 258056, . 13:00-17:00, 19:00-23:00. Quality Asian Fusion menu in spacious, sit-down atmosphere. One of Máncora's nicer establishments. Full bar and polite staff. Try the curry dishes.S/20-25.
La Mosca en la Sopa, Avenida Piura 229, Mancora 1234, Peru (South End of Máncora, opposite beach side of Ave. Piura), ☎ 073-411422. Argentinean restaurant known for grilled beef, homemade pasta and smoked fish. Staffed by two friendly Argentineanas. Nearly everyone who visits La Mosca en la Sopa gives rave reviews. Dining area and patio are slightly cramped. Fairly priced.S/25-30.
Naylamp, Avenida Piura, Mancora, Peru (Opposite of Máncora's central square, 0.5 KM north). 8 Soles, 2-course menu selection for lunch and dinner. Staff is brusk but efficient. Menu is simple but fresh and properly prepared. S/8.
Green Eggs & Ham, Piura 112, Máncora, Peru (Accessible from the beach behind the surf schools and volleyball court), ☎ (073) 25 8004. 0730-?. Outdoor balcony view overlooks Máncora's busiest section of beach-malecón, a sand volleyball court and a couple surf schools. Earlybird surfers, fishermen, shell and trash collectors populate the beach in the early hours as the waves crash, providing a pleasant ambiance for sipping coffee and planning the day. As of 29 Sep '13, Breakfast Menu consists of 6 Options for 15 soles each in varieties of pancakes, waffles or eggs, ham, bacon, potatoes, tomatoes, and cheese, sides of toast or fruit salad, and beverages of juice, coffee, tea or soft drink. Coffee, fruit salad, and Omelette are delicious. Be careful, some Options include two sides, and some include only one. Additional sides are 4 Soles. Lunches also receive generally good reviews. S/15-20.
El Mero Murique, Av. Piura 416, Mancora 73, Peru (Directly across from South end of Máncora's central market), ☎ +51 73 258165. Argentinian style grill in the center of Máncora. 2nd floor patio overlooking Ave Piura and Máncora's market. The quality menu and central location may explain the US/Euro prices. Offers a wide selection including ceviches, tuna steaks, grilled fish and chicken, and desserts. Über-sweet chincha juice seems to be a house specialty, and is sold by glass or pitcher. Most prices were around S/30 as of 29 Sept '13. Banana flambé with icecream is available for dessert and is delicious for S/12. S/30+.
Mochileros Larr, (Paved road accessing beach from Ave. Piura. 30M from beach on North side. Just walk around, the cook will shout at you from his streetside grill). Mochileros Larr offers a fixed barbecue menu of fish, (delicious) chicken or beef with rice and salad for S/10, and large (650mL) beers @ 2 for S/5, (as of 29 Sept '13). With a patio view to Máncora's main beach access road filled with local foot traffic, it offers an entertaining and inexpensive start to an evening in Máncora. Mind the streetside grill and the wind direction when selecting a table, or you may be fighting off sparks and smoke during your evening! Bring hand-sanitizer as the bathroom facilities are rustic (no running water).S/10.
Los Hermanos Lama, (Roughly 1km Northbound on the Panamerica from the downtown market, away from the tourist section). Los Hermanos seems to be the place discerning Peruvian visitors and locals stop. Delicious platters of shrimp, barracuda, chicken and pork (usually only about half of which is actually available on a given day). Quick service, sidewalk tables under an awning. S/20-25.
Pepe's (Laguna Hostel Restaurant), (Upstairs of Laguna's Main Building, 0.7KM North of the Malecon). 8:00-15:00, 18:00-21:00. Some of Máncora's best cooking. Belgian proprietor Pepe offers a simple menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He also speaks seemingly every major European language (English, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, at least) and has travelled the world for years, adding interesting conversation to a terrific, affordable meal. All menu items are delicious, but the breakfast sandwich is fantastic. Pepe's also known for his burgers. Delicious, fresh-made juices as well.S/9+.
If you don't mind loud music there should be enough bars to still your thirst.
WooHoo Bar. has a party atmosphere downstairs and a chilled out open upstairs terrace with a dart board and good views of the town, playing great music at a volume that won't make your ears bleed. They serve domestic & imported beers & ales, and make good strong cocktails. They also have possibly the nicest toilets in Mancora.
During holidays it can be hard if not impossible to find accommodations. Most of the accommodations are located next the bars, making them very noisy.
There are several hotels along the beach where to stay. Some are very basic while others offer more comfort. During the low season (September) nice accommodations can be had for reduced prices. Browse the town and surrounding area, viewing rooms and discussing prices if you like. The nicest hotel in Mancora was used by world famous writer Mario Vargas Llosa's daughter - Morgana - for her wedding.
Mancora Peru Beach House, ☎ 51-996802692 (email@example.com), . natural ambiance in the paradisaical Las Pocitas Beach. Perfect place for whale watchers and dolphing lovers. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dinning room kitchen, terraces.US$250 week for 2 people/US$500 week for 8 people.
Hostal Sol Y Mar, ☎ 073-258106 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Recommended by the locals, private rooms around a central area, all with private bathrooms. Also has a pool. Rooms are a bit shabby, hotel needs some renovations. No hot water.Single from S/15pp.
The Buena Vista is a very beautiful hotel located just a little bit north of the main beach area. It has its own direct beach access, and the rooms are excellent. For about $50 a night they have simple rooms with double beds, private baths. No hot water, but during the day the water is pretty tolerable, its hardly cold. Speaking from experience in Peruvian "Winter." Its a very nice resort, but the service is a little strange. You have to purchase toilet paper at 2 soles per roll, and to rent a beach towel costs 8 soles. Also towels for bathrooms have to be requested. And I received a surcharge when the handle to the shower faucet broke quite easily. However I have to say its probably one of the nicest places in Mancora otherwise. Has a pool and jacuzzi, and friendly staff.
La Posada, (Close by to the bridge). S./15 (dorm). A basic hostel with a pool, a nice yard and hammocks.
Loki Hostel (Loki del Mar), Avienda Piura #262 (Located on the main road through the town.), ☎ 0051-73-258484, . The newest member of the Loki chain. With a prime plot of land stretching from the main drag to the beach, the new hostel gives backpackers the perfect place to take that well deserved break from their travels. Good clean rooms, internet, hot water and fully equipped with all the backpackers facilities. To chill there is also a 26 meter swimming pool and a big Loki bar. Dorm : S/25 to S/32 Twin : S/76.
Guacamayo Bed + Breakfast, Prol Ave Arequipa Playa El Amor (email@example.com), ☎ 51 1 995558414. Nice rustic-style privates as well as dorm rooms, with rooms in a bamboo building with hamocks outside, and a breakfast area (eggs, bread and coffee included) in another building across the way. Really nice couple running it. In a quiet area located 5 minutes to the nicest stretch of beach in town (on the north side) Take a moto-taxi, only 1-3 soles, and much easier than trying to find the place on your own.S/.30–45.
Kokopelli Beachpacker's, Calle Piura 209, ☎ 005173258091, . Brand new hostel, with a fun but genuinely chilled-out atmosphere. Spotlessly clean rooms, fantastic restaurant-style food (try the fresh tuna steak sandwich with camote fries!), freeform pool with swim-up bar (3 happy hours a day and the best pisco sours in Peru)... Koko's is the perfect place to chill out, and only a stone's throw from the beach if you fancy surfing, kitesurfing, or just watching the sunset.S.30 (dorm) to S.90 (priv ensuite).
The Point Hostels Mancora Beach, Playa El Amor, ☎ +51 (073) 706 320, . The Point Hostel is situated right on the beach. Brand new swimming pool. The hostel is Bali-inspired with lots of greenery and rooms of bamboo. Infamous for Mancora's best Full Moon parties.
Rio Hotels Mancora (firstname.lastname@example.org), Calle Tumbes 346 (Behind Mancora’s Health Center), ☎ +51 (73) 411 596, . A Brand New 3 Star Low Cost Hotel By The Rio Hotels chain, Located in A Quiet Neighborhood, Perfect For A Good Sleep! All Rooms With WI-FI,Hot Water, Fan, 32" LCD Cable-TV, Ensuite Bathroom. Hotel Has English Speaking Staff, Car Parking, Some Rooms with Air Condition, Hot tubeSimple Ensuite from 30 soles, Twin Ensuite from 55 soles.
Mama Sirena, Zona de la Playa 260, Mancora, Peru (900 Mtrs North of Máncora's Malecon (Main Beachfront)), ☎ (0051) 073-411486, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Quiet, clean, spacious rooms with friendly staff and on-premises owners. Hot water, Television, WiFi, small pool, 24 hr security and staff. Breakfast available. Accepts Credit Cards.
Kites Mancora, Calle Acceso Veraniego 125, Mancora, Peru (1KM North of Máncora's Malecón). Small, unique resort with various two-level bungalows, private rooms, and one shared backpackers' room. Short walk directly out front door to the beach. Bring sandals, the sand gets HOT. Hot water, WiFi, Television, Breakfast, Pool. 24 hr security. Accepts credit cards. Pleasant staff. Ask for Victoria.
Laguna, (0.7 KM North of Máncora's Malecon (Main Beachfront)). checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Laid back, quiet hostel (if owner's dogs aren't barking). Nicely constructed bamboo huts around a courtyard, pool and lounge area. Home of Pepe's restaurant. Huts usually have water... but sometimes not. Cold water only. Friendly, mostly bilingual (Esp/Eng) staff, and Pepe seems to speak nearly every major language in case of a translation emergency. S/60+ for private. Cash only.
Kon Tiki Bungalows. Up on the ridge overlooking town, this Swiss/Peruvian owned and run place is excellent value. While not on the beach, the view from the ridge overlooking town and the Pacific Ocean is spectacular. Town is a 2 mins walk down/up the hill, with the beach about 5 mins walk. The bungalows are new and immaculately cared for, and each has it's own sitting area/patio. Fantastic place for relaxing and enjoying the views, with access to town and beach. A full kitchen and comfortable dining/socializing area is also provided for guest use A double bed bungalow for 2 people costs $30 per night, with 10% discount for 1-week stays. From town, simply look up on the ridge to see it, and find the trail going up (or ask any Mototaxi driver).
The usual recommendations :
Always respect the ocean, observe and learn about the local characteristics of the sea before jumping in. Have extra care, especially under the influence of drugs, alcohol and, or fatigue and lack of sleep. Calm seas can hide strong currents, or seasonably develop dangerous tides and currents.
Get used to being approached by moto-taxi drivers with offers for rides, marihuana, etc. Travelers unanimously find this annoying and frequently joke and share stories of various encounters. Inexperienced travelers may feel obligated to interact with various characters due to the rarity of such boldness in their homeland. It's part of the experience. While most drivers are looking to make the best living they can in a fair way, as in all cases, there can be a few bad ones. Relax and be polite, but stay aware and don't say or do anything or go anywhere unless YOU want to and feel comfortable doing so.
In all cases of taking a moto-taxi ride, it's advisable to know (at least roughly) the correct directions to your destination, pre-negotiate the fare, and have correct change. Always feel free to say "no thank you" if you're not comfortable with the driver, or the price. Another one will be seconds away.
Stay within busy areas of the beach and town, preferably in good company, observing drug and alcohol intake especially when partying... Don't become an easy prey to predators of any kind. Don't flash any valuable stuff when taking a moto-taxi as long as some of the riders might be thieves. Be aware specially if you're carrying a bag with you.
As of 20 October, '13, Máncora stations a police officer on the north end of the beach near The Point and Misfits hostels. The officer will likely stop and warn anyone passing along that it's not recommended to travel further north on the beach due to recent robberies. He will not, however, keep anyone from proceeding. The north beach is entirely uninhabited and first-hand reports of robberies at knifepoint do exist (chat with Pepe at his Laguna Hostel Restaurant, for example). If one ventures to the tranquil North Beach, it's recommended to take nothing of value - even sunglasses, or clothing an enterprising thief might think they can turn a sole on. Also beware that some automotive construction traffic from the direction of Punta Sal (a few KM north of Mancora) comes barreling down the beach at unsafe speeds. Keep a careful watch for such traffic coming from behind as you walk.
Take care if you are in an all female group, there has been occasions when female travelers have been sexually assaulted by Tuk Tuk drivers(moto taxi)
Use skin protectors, sun glasses and hats. Mancora is near the Ecuator border.
Los Organos is an upscale beachtown 15 minutes away from Mancora. It is great if you are looking for a quieter town and a lonely beach. You can also practice some water sports like surf, kitesurf, deep sea fishing and scuba diving. The food is cheaper than in Mancora, but the accommodations are a little bit more expensive, with a large variety of four and five star hotels and restaurants. If you don't mind the cold water, you can find a cheaper place to stay.
Talara is a compact, bustling city 90 minutes south of Máncora. If in need of grocery items, pharmaceuticals, electronics, or a Claro/Movistar shop, Talara probably has what you need, and saves you the extra time to Piura (both are served by EPPO).
Eppo is a bus company which offers short distance buses. From Mancora, they go to Los Organos (for 1,50 soles), El Alto, Talara (for 5,50 soles), Sullana and Piura, from 04:00AM, every half an hour. The buses are comfortable and somewhat new, but the service is really good as they are very punctual and the rates are cheap.