This blog post is about my final week in Peru, spent on the beach in Mancora. This post is long overdue, as many of you know. I am currently in Ecuador, and look forward to posting about my new adventures soon.
Mancora is on the coast in the far north of Peru, close to the Ecuadorian border. When asking around amongst locals and travelers alike about the Peruvian beaches, mostly the reaction was underwhelming. With one exception. Mancora.
When people described Mancora the words “the best” always came up. The best beaches in Peru. The best sunsets you will ever see. Or simply, Mancora is the best.
So of course I had to see what all the fuss was about. I can honestly say that I did not want to leave Mancora.
Mancora has a little something for everyone. When you first arrive it is quickly obvious that this beach town is a relaxed party atmosphere. But there are also tons of options for people that prefer a quieter more tranquil ocean experience. I personally like something in the middle, and happily found it. There are shops, restaurants, hostels and hotels to fit just about any budget. Many of which sit directly on the beach, if not brief walk away.
There are so many ways to enjoy the beaches of Mancora. There are the obvious things like sunbathing, playing in the sand, and swimming. But there is so much more…! Mancora is famous amongst surfers. It a great place for experienced surfers, as well as beginners to take lessens and rent boards. You can wander the coastline on horseback, sip coconut water straight from the source, ride giant floating bananas, eat a meal or drink a beer right on the beach as the tide washes up under your feet, etc, etc, etc. And of course, the nightly spectacular show put on by mother nature herself includes one truly marvelous sunset. The sun literally transforms into a ball in the sky unlike anything I have seen previously.
You don’t have to sit on the beach the whole time you are in Mancora. For animal lovers, there is a plethora of wildlife roaming the seas just a little bit off the coast. Tour operators take you on a boat ride to seek out whales, otters, and giant sea turtles.
One of the popular activities is swimming with the turtles. Which of course, I had to do because I can never pass up an opportunity to get up close and personal with wild animals. After the experience I had some mixed feelings. On one hand, I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing the turtles up close in their natural habitat. They are free animals that live in the ocean and can come and go as the please. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I felt some guilt about swimming with these lovely creatures. It felt a little bit too much like human interference to turn them into a spectacle. The tour operators feed the turtles to attract them and help them become accustomed to people. This made the experience less authentic, and I had to question how it effects the species in the area. With all of that said, I enjoyed the experience very much. I just feel the need to forewarn animal activists that while they are not treated badly, it is not exactly the “natural” experience that doesn’t interfere or effect the wildlife that one might hope for.
And of course I have to include a few photos of the stunning Mancora sunsets.