have heard nothing but great things about this surfer, perfect beach town. id like to go on a budget, but am open to advice on how to get there via bus from Lima. or if flying into the local airports of Tumbes / Piura is better?
and most important where to eat?! and where to stay :-)
As I remember, all busses from Lima to Guayaquil (or in general, all busses heading to the Huaquillas border crossing) make optional calls at Mancora and Tumbes. Transportation from Tumbes to Mancora is cumbersome, so flying is not recommended.
However... personally I didn't like Mancora much. It's a dirty, half-deserted, ultra-poor place, in one of the most unattractive regions of Peru. In my opinion your time is better spent elsewhere, unless you're a surfer yourself; the waves are said to be very good.
[ Edit: Edited on 20-Mar-2009, at 09:37 by bentivogli ]
wow. thanks for the insight. it cost $400 to fly roundtrip form buenos aires (current home). and then was unsure about buses. hmmm. okay.
i think ill save my money and time...will goto salvador, brasil and patagonia. i know, totally opposite spectrum and location. but nonetheless exciting and new :-)
i loooooooooved Mancora. i spent the last 8 days of my 3 months in south america there and it was absolutely one of my favorite times of my whole trip. i took a bus from lima to Trujillo/Huanchaco for the Chimu ruins which i think was 10 hours, and then to Mancora from there which was like 8 hours i think. i stayed at the Loki in Mancora, i think its one of the more expensive hostels but by expensive i mean 25 Soles, which is still cheap, but you can find cheaper in that town. but i liked that Loki quite a bit, there is a pool and everything is outside (the bar, pool table, common areas) and the hostel itself is pretty. for 32 Soles you can get a room on one of the upper levels with balcony, those are really nice. but true with all the Loki's, it IS a party hostel, so if thats not what you're looking for i wouldnt stay there. but it was perfect for me because it was the end of my trip and i wanted to go out with a bang, and i definitely accomplished that. also there is beach access from the hostel with a guard at the door for security, so you just walk out the back about 50 steps and you're at the ocean. the bars on the beach do a lot of cool things like have beach parties with DJs n stuff, i went to one with fire dancers and drums and a bonfire, and the other hostels have parties too. and you can rent these weird boat things that are about as long as a surfboard and shaped like a kayak with one end that curls up like a canoe and its all woven like a basket. and then early in the morning when the waves are calm, you can paddle out with another person on their own boat, and when you get out far enough, stand up together each on your own boats and hold the other person's hand for balance, and from the shore it looks like you are floating on your feet bcuz you cant see the boats. its one of the weirdest and coolest things i've seen, and i saw the sunrise almost every day and saw people doing this and it was so cool. but Mancora itself is tiny, there isnt much in the town of course, but thats not was people go for. but there are plenty of good places to eat, the people are kind, the mototaxi's to and from everywhere are never more than 2 Soles, and the beach is pretty nice and the waves are big enough to jump into and let them throw your body back toward the shore. its an incredibly laid back place. but you pretty much have to give in to the beach culture, lots of relaxing, poolside/beach drinking, dancing, tanning, swimming, partying, maybe do some yoga with the sunrise in the morning... if you expect more than that you wont like it.
GO!! its really fun.
p.s. transportation between Tumbes/Mancora in either direction is VERY easy.
im thinking about flying into Lima and doing the "scenic" bus ride. should be interesting. and hopefully cheap. do you remember how much and if they go all the time? or just 1/2x a day?
also, for food. other than the bar...do most people go into town? seafood? sorry...this is big for me. wherever i go, i want to be well fed and deliciously of course.
also... AWESOME idea for the boats and walkin on water a la Jesus! do you have a picture ?!
I do agree with sbee's comments on Trujillo and surroundings: the archeological sites are quite interesting. Chiclayo is also nice (ish), but still I wouldn't bother with the whole region unless you're passing by on your way to/from Ecuador.
Simply here to ditto a few things.
I loved Mancora. It's a relaxed beach town and all I did was sit on the veranda of the hostal and watch the sea and sun. I stayed at Las Olas, which is one of the nicer hostels on the beach. The little huts are fantastic! Here's a page from my online journal about Mancora.
Chinclayo was recently ranked as one of 10 places to see that will disappear within 10 years. It is literally melting away with rain from climate change. I loved it, even after months of Inca ruin hopping.
Finally, the Royal Tombs of Sipan museum in Lambayeque - 11 Km north of Chiclayo, is out of this world. I'm a museum fanatic, and this is one of THE best representations of an archeological dig I've ever seen.
Great thread-Thanks to (almost) everyone for contributing!
i think there were about 3 busses a day at least going that way, per company, and there are quite a few companies. I dont know for sure how much it costs bcuz i had that stop in Trujillo, so i had two seperate bus trips. peru is a pretty cheap country, it wont be overly expensive. everybody recommends Cruz del Sur bus company, i never did take that one but it has the reputation of being the most comfy and it actually serves food....bus food, but food. but its also the most expensive. the bus ride all the way to Mancora is pretty long though, its probably worth it to take a nicer bus with a Cama seat if you can afford it, i always roughed it with the Semi-Cama to save money and those rides can make you wanna kill people, unless you have some Valium or something, ooooohhh i recommend the valium. ANYWAY.... the thing that kinda sucks about Lima is there isnt a central bus terminal, they're all seperate buildings but they ARE in the same place so you can check around. or you can do it through one of the many agencies but you'll pay a little extra for their service. its not very much more though, and waaaay more convenient.
for food in Mancora, since i stayed at Loki i usually ate the dinners they offered at night at the hostel, they're pretty cheap and they're good. one thing that sucked about Loki is there is no kitchen, so i couldnt save some money by cooking which i usually would do. but, restaurants in Mancora are cheap and good, there is good seafood everywhere, especially on the beach. "going into town" is a funny thing to say about Mancora.. i mean this place is a one-main-road kinda place, really tiny. but there are the typical stands and bodegas and people going up and down the beach with food to sell along with the tons of restaurants lining the beach and main strip. and people at your hostel can recommend things to you too.
i wish i had pictures of the crazy boats!! thats one other thing i wanted to tell you actually, i dont have pictures because i NEVER took my camera to the beach, or anything else of value. every day, i mean eeeevery day, you hear about someone's camera being robbed on the beach or whatever. usually they were not being real smart, like walking down the beach alone at night with too much cash and valuables, you just dont do that there. during the day if you want to take your camera to the beach and then right back to your hostel, i'm sure thats fine, i just didnt want to risk it. when you go to the beach at night for parties or whatever, take only what you need. i dont want to make the people in that sweet town sound like a bunch of thieves, its not like that, but of course a few ruin it for everyone. i loved the people there, i dont want to give the wrong impression. dont be scared, just be careful.