A Surfers' Paradise
Sunset over the shore Blessed with gorgeous sandy beaches, warm turquoise waves and perennially sunny skies, it is little wonder this small fishing town is one of Northern Peru's premier tourist destinations. Coveted by surfers and sunbathers alike, Máncora lies at the northernmost edge of the Piura region at a point along the Pacific coast where the cold Humboldt Current and warm Niño Current commingle. It enjoys a pleasant dry tropical climate with sizzling summers from December through April and breezy, cooler weather the rest of the year. Temperatures can climb to 100°F (38 °C) in the summertime, when light evening rainfall is common, and winter nighttime temperatures drop no lower than 60°F (16 °C). The ocean water is warm almost year-round, oscillating between 76°F (25 °C) and 83°F (28 °C).
Máncora's beaches, with their six-foot waves, are great for surfing any time of year and beginners can take advantage of the smaller early morning waves. Underwater diving and horseback riding are also popular. The Las Pocitas beach immediately south of town is known for its gentle waves and small pools (or pocitas, hence its name) that form at low tide as well as its diverse marine life. Visitors can also check out the nearby Cerros de Amotape National Park and the Poza de Barro hot springs.
Bubbling over with surf schools, bars, restaurants and nightclubs, Máncora is well-prepared to receive the hundreds of thousands of tourists who flock to its sunny shores each year. Ceviche is the prized dish here, where menus are centered around local fishermen's harvests, and people are known for being friendly and down-to-earth. As far as transportation goes, getting here from Lima (700 miles to the south) is easy enough by bus or car, given that the Pan-American Highway is the main road passing through town, but some go by plane in order to reduce transit time from 17 hours to about four.