Mancora Peru – Beaches, Surfing and Nightlife

Mancora Peru – Beaches, Surfing and Nightlife

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I didn’t expect to like Mancora in Peru, a small beach town on the northern coast known for surfing and partying.  I hadn’t planned to go there, but after returning to Lima before going to Ecuador, Mancora Peru was a good spot to break the long journey from Lima to Guayaquil in Ecuador, with spectacular beaches and a more chilled out vibe than I had imagined.  If you’re travelling to Mancora I’ve put together this mini guide to Mancora to help you find the best things to do in Mancora, from surfing to

Why Visit Mancora Peru?

I’d heard Mancora was a party surf town, crazier than Huanchaco and full of mosquitos.  The mosquito part was certainly true!  I used my mosquito net for the first time, and was very glad of it, as the bedroom of my surf hostel was full of the little blighters.  I wasn’t really feeling in the party mood, so I can’t comment on the party part, but other travellers told me it was a riot!

The Beach in Mancora Peru
The Beach in Mancora Peru

The big draw for many people is the beach, which is probably one of the best beaches in Peru, and relatively near Lima.  During public holidays people from Lima flock here for the beach resorts and surfing – not a bad way to spend their vacation!  Try to avoid visiting during the holidays, as it can be difficult to find availability at the beachside hotels in Mancora, and the beaches are will be packed.

Want to take a tour in Lima?  Check out these options with GetYourGuide

Things to do in Mancora Peru

Mancora town has plenty of touristy shops, some restaurants and bars, and surf schools, but off the main strip it is dramatically quieter, with unpaved roads and rustic houses.

Mototaxis hang around the town and the Point Hostel (opposite Psygon) to take you to & from town if you don’t feel like walking – usually 3 soles during the day, and 5 at night.  It is easy to walk around town, but bear in mind that the main road that passes through Mancora is the Pan American highway, so it is busy with cars, buses and big trucks so take care crossing the street.

Surfing in Mancora Peru
Surfing in Mancora Peru. Credit: Br@hl pn Flickr

I spent most of my time in the hostel, or on the quiet beach next to the hostel.  The sunsets were beautiful, and the birds, crabs and lizards provide the entertainment.  If it weren’t for the mosquitoes I think I would have liked Mancora a lot more – sadly the mosquitoes love me and despite my best efforts and practically bathing in repellent I still got enough bites to have me scratching like a flea-ridden mongrel.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking in Peru

If I return to Mancora I’d love to try surfing there, after going to a surf camp in Fuerteventura I need to keep practising!  As well as surfing in Mancora you can also go diving, kitesurfing, and at certain times of the year you might spot whales and dolphins swimming off the coast.

Mancora Peru Accommodation – Where to stay in Mancora

I chose my hostel – Psygon Surf Camp – for its good value, good ratings and location next to the beach.  I wasn’t disappointed. The hostel was actually very chilled out, with spacious rooms (no air-con), sturdy bunk beds and lockers.  I was lucky enough to have booked a bed in a 6 bed dorm, but had the room to myself for both nights I was there.  The room also had its own bathroom, although plagued by mosquitos too (open air, so to be expected I suppose!).  It was nice to feel like I had my own space for a while, a luxury you don’t often get in hostels!

Check prices for Psygon Surf Camp on booking.com

Psygon Surf Camp hotel in Mancora Peru
Psygon Surf Camp Mancora Peru

Psygon Surf Camp also had a pool, hammocks, ping pong table, and a bar and restaurant, offering various meals including sushi.  The sushi was pretty good, and, being a guest in the hostel, I got 20% off the sushi platters making them a good value 40 soles compared to the rest of the menu.

The hostel is 15 minutes’ walk from town, so perhaps 30 minutes to the main beach in the centre, although just 2 minutes from the quieter beach on its doorstep.

You can also check Hostelworld for other options in Mancora Peru.

BOOK YOUR HOSTEL NOW

Or check the options on Airbnb.   If you have never used Airbnb before, use this link to sign up & get $30 credit to use on your first trip!

GET $30 AIRBNB CREDIT

How to get to Mancora

I took a Cruz del Sur bus from Lima to Mancora; a 19-hour journey along the Pan American Coastal Highway.  The road was good, some nice views along the coast – and I spent a lot of the time wondering how they built this road that seems to hang off the side of the sand dunes.  Any bus running from Lima to Tumbes will pass through Mancora, so there are plenty of options.  Cruz del Sur has the best reputation, and is also the most expensive.  Other companies include Oltursa and Civa.  You could also fly, the nearest airport is Talara to the south, or Tumbes in the north.

READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Bus Travel in South America

Overall, Mancora was a great stop-off point between Lima and Ecuador, but I didn’t find it special enough to warrant a specific journey if you’re not travelling between these two destinations.

Have you been to Mancora?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments below.

Prepare for your trip to Mancora Peru with these top picks from Amazon:

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Mancora Peru has a reputation as a surfing party town, but with one of the best beaches in Peru it's attraction for me was more than that. I didn't expect to like it, but spent a few chilled out days here. #Travel #Peru #SouthAmerica #Travel #Mancora #Surfing #Backpacking

Just to let you know, this post may contain sponsored or affiliate links, which help to maintain Tales of a Backpacker, and give me the chance to keep travelling, and to keep creating awesome content for you!

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Last updated: October 7, 2018
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11 thoughts on “Mancora Peru – Beaches, Surfing and Nightlife

  1. Looks like a lovely little beach town Claire. Big fan of towns where you can get R and R during the day and enjoy a nice beach too. Not into the party scene so I’d skip. As for skeeters, if a net does the trick I am A-OK.

    Ryan

  2. Your pictures are absolute stunners! I had heard of Mancoa but this post just gave me Peru travel goals! Mosquitos! OH no!! That is something that would put me off. The beach looks perfect for surfing! Love the vibes of the Psygon Surf Camp at Mancora Peru. Mosquitos love me a lot and I detest them:| I am sure if that isn’t a deterrent I’d love spending the days on the beach for those stunning sunsets!! I wouldn’t mind the 19 hour bus ride too!

  3. You had me at suahi. I had some great surfing lessons in Portugal last year, and now I’m excited to try out the conditions around the world. I’ve yet to make it to South America, and I hope to do so in the next couple years. It looks fantastic there, and staying at a surf camp sounds like a lot of fun. I’d say the 19-hour drive is well worth it.

  4. Your remarks on mosquitos have put me off this place. Though it does seem like a laid back place to relax and surf. I have been to Peru just once, but it was the trip of a lifetime. A trek from Cusco to Caliente via the Salkantay trail and then visit to Machu Picchu. It couldn’t have been more spectacular.

  5. Mancora looks beautiful but so sorry about the mosquito experience. Psygon Surf Camp seems to be having good facilities and one needn’t venture out much. Great pics.

  6. I am not sure I like the sound of mosquitoes! But I do love a nice beach sunset or hostels like the one you’ve talked about, with hammocks and just a lazy day. Mancora sounds like an interesting place to visit 🙂

  7. Jenn and I have completely different views on mosquitoes. Jenn must be the tastiest morsel ever, because they flock to her. I rarely get bothered (especially if Jenn is there as a better choice). Surfing in Peru is actually the top of my world surf adventure list and pretty high on the overall bucket list too. I have heard stories about slow, perfectly formed waves that are easy to catch and take forever to close out. There is some place that even has a small fleet of boats waiting to ferry you out to the break after every run. It sounds absolutely amazing.

  8. Wow, getting a 6-bed room to yourself in a hostel?? That’s unheard of hahah I’ve never had a great hostel experience, but yours sounds like it was nice!

  9. Oh wow, Mancora looks beautiful. I would love to check out the beaches here but by the sounds of it, take a lot of mosquito spray! Never heard of this area but I would love to relax here and splat the mosquitos, I mean check out the sunsets.

  10. Woah, I really admire you taking a 19 hour bus trip to get there from Lima! I would probably get so motion-sick. I have a friend who is heading to Mancora later this year so I’ll be sure to pass on your tips about the pesky mosquitoes and mosquito net. Your hostel also sounded quite good as well, thanks for sharing your experience!

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