Don’t worry, I’m not going to draw this one out. The magic of Mancora, quite simply, was that we stayed put there for ten entire days. Mancora is so far north in Peru it’s practically making out with Ecuador, and many travelers use it as a short stop to break up the overland journey between the two countries. I’ve recently accepted that I had far too ambitious an itinerary for this trip, but this ten days — the longest we stayed continuously in one destination — was one thing we did right.
And it was the perfect spot to do so.
Many travelers that I spoke to before arrival dismissed Mancora as a one hit wonder — there’s an infamous hostel in town called Loki and backpackers tend not to peek beyond its pool. Fair enough, as I myself enjoyed several sessions of sipping pina coladas with my toes in said pool — but there is so much more to Manora than the Loki.
There is non-stop stunning weather, for one thing.
There’s a bohemian beachfront with golden sand and cobalt colored waters, for another.
And then there are is the plethora of yum-tastic restaurants which I’m salivating thinking about (and will outline in a future post) as well as a diverse selection of accommodation — Loki included (also coming to a post near you soon!) Of course, it would be impossible to write about Mancora without mentioning the surfing for which this town became famous. The wave-worship has extended to kitesurfing, SUP, and other watersports as well.
Our board of choice was a Stand Up Paddleboard, which I tried for the first time in open ocean — previously I’ve stuck to lakes, rivers, and ocean bays. Things were a little less than successful. Balance was tricky, and I actually got a little bit motion sick from the waves! That crushed my dreams of starting every morning with an ocean-based workout, though my disappointment was offset by the discovery of an open-air gym and a simple running route.
trying out a very advanced new method of paddleboarding
Brief attempts at physical activity aside, our days in Mancora were blissfuly relaxed. I would work away most of the day from my perch overlooking the ocean, breaking when necessary to join a round of beach volleyball, snack on delicious beach burritos, or take a dip in the pool.
Being in Mancora reminded me that I belong by the ocean. Falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves and waking up to the smell of saltwater gave me at least a minor recharge from the travel burnout I was started to feel after over two months of sprinting through Peru. I left the country with a warm sandy kiss, and for that reason, this little town will always hold a special place in my heart.
Stay tuned for more posts about Mancora — from where to eat, to where to stay, to our day of diving adventures!