Tariy 2009 – Day 8 (Conclusion)
The final day of my travels had arrived and where better to spend it then the beautiful beaches of Máncora. I had spend a week traveling through the north of Peru, checking up on my tour operators and making new contacts for the Karikuy Organization. I had now finally reached the beaches of Máncora in northern Peru, the farthest north I had yet traveled in the country.
In Máncora the weather is great year round, always sunny and comfortably warm, although the best time to come is in February, the height of summer. Still even now in early March the sun continues to release its warmth on the more then plentiful tourists and locals that reside in this small beach town. So as I woke up to the early morning breeze and the smells of an ever inviting beach I had to fend off any ideas of actually taking a day off to enjoy a lazy day on the waves. This was after all a business trip and I had already taken a week off administrating Karikuy.
I made my way out of my hotel but not after a long and interesting conversation with Segundo Castro the owner of Bako, the beach side hotel I was staying at. He recommended some good trips down near Puerto Maldonado as well as gave me all the information about his hotel. You can learn more about his budget hotel at www.hospedajebakomancora.com, I have also included some pictures of my hotel room below. it was a very basic hotel that for 25 s/. a night (30 s/. on weekends) gives you a hot shower and an average bed, what you can’t beat is location as it is right next to the beach.
Heading out into the small town I picked up my usual small breakfast of a roll and some juice and then made my way to the bank and bus station to secure my seat. I would be traveling overnight to Lima via Ormeño bus (100 s/.) on the long 14+ hour drive south. After picking up my bus ticket I was ready to begin exploring Máncora. I hired a moto-taxi for 2 hours to take me around the many hotels lining the beaches of Máncora. First we climbed to a lookout point to get a snapshot of the small beach town.
Heading south on the Panamerican Highway just outside the town of Máncora the road splits, if you head to the right you will merge onto the road that winds its way down the southern beaches of Máncora. Here you’ll find the nicest as well as the most expensive hotels. Here is my pick of the nicest and most affordable options followed by some pictures of Máncora, the pictures are not of the hotels themselves, check out the appropriate hotel websites for pictures and info (prices are per night unless otherwise indicated):
Mancora Beach Bungalows
Simple – $52
Double – $74
Triple – $94
Las Arenas de Máncora
P: (51-73) 258240
Simple or double (beachside) – $140
Simple or double (beachview) – $120
Suite – Simple or Double – $180
Master Suite – Simple or Double – $280
Remember to book any of these through Karikuy for a discount in price as well as to include any transportation services to Máncora. Now I must have visited at least 10 hotels on the private strip of beach and I highly recommend those above. That is not to say those are the best. there are more then 20 hotels on that same strip of beach and I did not get to visit them all, however I did go on local recommendations to those that considered very good in service and price.
Before heading out to get some ceviche for lunch I also check out some more hotels in the town of Máncora, these are my recommendations for hotels that are in town, be aware that this means their beaches are public and may be very crowded during the summer months.
simple or double – 85 s/. = $29
Triple – 120 s/. = $41
Quad – 150 s/. = $51
Surf Lessons available
Simple – 165 s/. = $56
Suite – 210 s/. = $71
Luxury Suite – 265 s/. = $90
After walking around in the hot sun all afternoon in pants and a button down shirt I had just about called it quits in my information gathering. It was time for lunch and I had quite the appetite for a good Ceviche. Now I had heard that Ceviche taste better in the north due to the warm waters, and that this somehow makes the fish taste better, so it was time to test this theory out. I had the moto-taxi drop me off at the most well known and liked cevicheria in town. “Las Gemelitas” is located off a side street in town and away from the commercial strip, so make sure you ask a moto-taxi to take you there or get good directions if your going to walk there, it’ not too far out at all. It was here that the theory I had head about turned out to be more then true as I tried the best ceviche I had tasted so far during my time in Peru. That says a lot being that I’ve tried ceviche in most of the major cities in Peru including Callao and Chorillos. Might as well been the best 19 soles I had ever spent, coupled with an ice cold Inka Cola and I was in heaven.
That afternoon I chilled 0ut on the beach and just people watched, got some ice cream and relaxed watching the pedestrian go about their daily business and having some conversations with everyday people. It’s one of those things you truely take advantage of, being from the states I find opportunities like that rare, because lets face it New Yorkers just do that kind of thing. In Peru the atmosphere is different and a good conversation often turns into a beer and then a lasting friendship.
The sun began to set on what had been a beautifully successful day, but like all things everything must come to an end. At this point it was perhaps for the better that I was returning to Lima. The trip had been exhausting due to the fact that I was traveling constantly. I had a great chance to further explore the north of Peru for the first time and it was from a business point of view a very successful trip. I made new friends that I keep in contact with to this day, and once again I am amazed at the amount of diversity there is in Peru. I would find out that night that Peru isn’t without its bad food as I ordered a very badly thrown together plate at a restaurant, my advice here would only be to avoid the small budget restaurants near the Ormeño terminal. I had let my guard down as well because I usually don’t eat where I have no recommendations or where there are no patrons, It was a case of my stomach calling the shots on that one.
That night after waiting for about 1 hour and a half for a late bus I finally rode the last long stretch of my trip. Nothing much to see on a night bus so I went to sleep only to be awakened by the always familiar sight of Pasamayo, the incredible cliffs to the north of Lima overlooking the Pacific ocean. Only hours from Lima I already began throwing ideas together at what new exciting tour packages I could throw together with my new contacts and information. And I had already begun brainstorming my next Tariy adventure which will take me deep into the various corners of the Amazon Jungle.
Daily Expenditure – 156 s/. = $53
4 – Breakfast
100 – Ormeño Bus – Mancora to Lima
15 – Moto-taxi transport (2 hours)
19 – Lunch Ceviche
4 – Taxi to bus station
1.50 – Water
4.50 – Ice Cream
2 – Soda
6- Nasty Dinner