Mancora, Peru, A Cheap Hippie Surfer Town

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In this “Mancora, Peru, A Cheap Hippie Surfer Town” post, I share the following:

Mancora, Peru: Why come here, How to get here, Interesting facts, Top things to do here, Google Maps walking tour, Accommodations, Restaurants, Nightlife opportunities, Livability factors, Cost of living, and Final thoughts

Why come to Mancora, Peru

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. We came to Mancora, Peru because we read online that Mancora, Peru, is a cheap hippie surfer town. That is exactly what we needed right now.

Let me explain. You see, we just left the Galapagos. We spent 19 days in the Galapagos before coming here. The Internet is weak in the Galapagos. So, when we left the Galapagos, we needed somewhere that had decent Internet, so we could catch up on projects. Plus, we wanted to be able to walk on a beach during breaks from work.

We also wanted a place that was cheap to live and had great restaurants for reasonable prices. Finally, we wanted a place that wouldn’t distract us too much. In the Galapagos, we were distracted from work by all the beautiful animals and things to do. Here, there is not much that distracts us.

In Mancora, Peru, there is just surfing, swimming with captive sea turtles, fishing, partying, walking on the beach, eating great food, and reliable Internet. We don’t surf, we don’t fish, we don’t party (much), and we already swam with free sea turtles (in the Galapagos). We can easily just work (on the Internet), eat great food, and take walks on the beach. This cheap hippie surfer town is exactly what we needed. We read that online and knew it was the place for us.

It worked perfectly by the way. We will leave in two days, after being here 10 days total. I spent the first 8 days working and caught up with everything. Now I just have 2 days left to film and write about Mancora, Peru. I will explore this hippie surfer town and report back to you what I find. Read what I say below in my final thoughts.

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How to get to Mancora, Peru

Flights: On the day we searched there were round-trip flights on Skyscanner from Lima, Peru to Mancora, Peru for $275 USD per person. We consistently get the lowest price on flights using Skyscanner.

Bus from Lima, Peru: You can catch a super nice bus from the Lima, Peru, Bus Terminal (Google Map), to Mancora, Peru. At the Lima Bus terminal, ask the information desk for the “Cruz Del Sur” bus company. The bus costs about s/77 and it takes about 19 hours to get to Mancora. The symbol “s/” is the sign for the Peruvian currency, the Sol. If you fly into Lima, the taxi to the bus terminal should be around s/36. If you are flying into Lima, I suggest using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flight.

Bus: From Guayaquil, Ecuador: You can catch a super nice bus from the Guayaquil, Ecuador, Bus Terminal (Google Map), to Mancora, Peru. At the Guayaquil Bus terminal, ask the information desk for the “Cruz Del Sur” bus company when you arrive at the Guayaquil Bus Terminal. This bus crosses the border from Ecuador to Peru so check to see if citizens from your country need a visa. Neither of us needed a Visa to enter Ecuador or Peru, carrying our USA and Malaysian passports. Both countries just stamped our passports for 90 day visits without asking for any proof of onward travel, hotels, or anything else. If you fly into Guayaquil, the taxi to the bus terminal should not be more than $6 USD. We always find the best flight prices using Skyscanner. This is a 7 hour bus ride including going through immigration at the border between Ecuador and Per.

Interesting Facts: Mancora, Peru

Construction: The civil defense of Peru has determined that 40% of the buildings in Mancora were not built properly which makes them vulnerable to earthquakes and Tsunamis.

Tourism: Although there are only around 10k residents in Mancora, over 350,000 tourists visited in a recent year.

Violent Storms (El Ninos): Local Mancorian reports (Youtube video) that changes in weather over the last 20 years from global warming have dried out the forest and caused flooding that is changing the shape of the coast.

Founded: Mancora was founded in 1908. There is not much history online about this tiny fishing village.

Lighthouse: The lighthouse was built in 1978.

Things to Do: Mancora Peru

These are in order of my most favorite first:

 

Chill Out: Head to one of the stylish resorts south of the fisherman’s pier for the day. Mancora central can get a bit crazy and crowded, but head south along the beach and find more chill environment at one of the hotels south of the fisherman’s pier. Just walk south (left as you face the water) from central Manora. Our favorite day in Mancora was chilling in a place called Hotelier Arte y Cocina as shown in the above picture.

 

$5 Artisan Meals: Mancora has attracted some great Chefs from different parts of the world. But hippies can’t afford big city prices so there are daily specials at most of the restaurants for s/15 ($5 USD). They usually include a starter, an entree, and a jug of juice. We thought the specials would only be during lunch like in Ecuador, but in Mancora, you will find specials all day. We had several meals for $5 that rivaled gourmet restaurants in the USA and Europe that would easily cost 5 times as much. The Peruvian restaurants also had delicious specials for as little as $3 with 2 courses and juice.

 

Surfing, Boogie Boarding, Paddle Boarding, Body Surfing: The surf varied substantially from one day to the exit, as did the wind. But it never went more than a day or two before there were some decent waves. There are several surfing schools on the beach teaching surfing and renting boards. Boards are rented for about s/10 to s15 per day.

 

Sunsets: There is a lighthouse on the bluff above the city. There is a guy there named Eduardo who has a small hut selling beers and cocktails. Head up there and watch the sunset over the fishing boats just south of Mancora central. From the main street in Mancora, the path to the lighthouse starts on the side of Caja Puira (Bank).

 

Walking/Running on Beach: I went running on the beach in the mornings while we were in Mancora. Qiang Hui and I also took walks on the beach once or twice a day when we needed a break from work. Make sure to walk both north and south on the beach to get an idea of the different neighborhoods. To the north walk as far as Misfits Hostel. To the south walk at least 300 meters south of Fisherman’s Pier.

 

Fisherman’s Pier: Walk south of Mancora, Centro and walk out onto the fisherman’s pier. It is another world out there. As a bonus, you will see Frigate birds up close as they swoop down and try to steal a fish or two from the fisherman. Their boats look like they are from another century. There is a boat repair yard on the beach next to the dock where you will see characters that make Popi look like an accountant.

 

Riding Horses/Four Wheelers: You will see horses that you can rent for a ride down the beach. You will also see Four-wheel ATV’s that you can ride around the beach.

 

Mercado Centro: This is the market where locals buy fruits, vegetables, and meats. On the second floor, there are also some fairly priced restaurant-booths where you can try local food. There is also a vegetarian restaurant food and juice bar on the second floor of the Mercado.

 

Working: We rented a small apartment just a few blocks off the beach. It had a small kitchen and great Internet, so we spent most our time in Mancora, getting things done. The apartment was $20 per night. Meals out where $5 each per person, and we cooked many meals at home also with food we bought at Mercado Centro. Because of the nice sunsets, cheap living, and great Internet, we could have stayed there for a month, no problem. Qiang Hui said no. She missed the clothes washing machines we had in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Both tour companies I promote offer various tours in Peru and the rest of the world.  Please book your tours through GetYourGuide.com  or  Viator.com.  You pay nothing more by using these links, but we make a small commission which helps us to keep traveling and sharing.  Please check today to see what tours are available here:  GetYourGuide.com  and Viator.com.

Google Maps walking tour: Mancora, Peru

Google Walking Tour: Normally I recommend buying a local SIM card when you enter a new country. So you can use your phone as a hot-spot if your WIFI connection is weak. But in Mancora, Peru, they won’t sell SIM cards to locals. We heard that they will sell us one when we get to Lima. We shall see.

Accommodations in Mancora, Peru

Here are some of the accommodations we saw in Mancora:

Las Olas: This is the most beautiful place we saw in Mancora, Peru.

Hotelier Arte y Cocina: This was our favorite day in Mancora. We had already booked ourselves into another place. However, we fell in love with this place walking by on the beach one day and spent the whole day here. It is open to the public so check it out. The picture above labeled Chill Out was taken there.

Hotel Grandmare: Great area right on the beach. Just south of Mancora before the fisherman’s pier. Looks like a Boutique Hotel.

Hotel Del Wawa: This is a beautiful place right on the beach. You may hear some noise from the party zone 2 doors down.

Casa Mediterranea: This is in a super quiet area right on the beach. Very nice place.

Don Giovanni: This looks like a nice place right on the beach.

Airbnb: We stayed here all 10 days. Clara communicates well and is a nice person. It has a small kitchen, refrigerator, and balcony, but no AC. It never got hot enough to turn on AC, so why pay for it? (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a discount).

Mancora Surfer Hostel: This Hostel is right next to where we stayed. This area is near everything but not in the crazy loud area. If you are on a budget this place is pretty nice.

Price Check: Once you have selected where you want to stay, then use HotelsCombined.com to find the agency offering the lowest booking price for that property.

Restaurants: Mancora, Peru

Kiba Mancora Restaurant: Check the specials menu here. You can get a two-course meal with juice for s/15 ($5 USD). Qiang enjoyed a great ceviche starter and Octopus entree. I had a delicious potato starter with pesto pasta entree.

Café del Mundo: This place is open for breakfast (10am) and lunch (until 3pm). Just eat whatever is on special when you arrive. They have vegetarian and nonvegetarian meals. We never got a bad meal here.

Buda Mancora Cuisine: If you have been in South America for some time, you are probably missing Thai food? Try this place. The process are a little higher but we all need a Thai fix from time to time.

Vagabond Buddha Restaurant: There are local Artisan specials ($5 USD) at many restaurants in Mancora, both local food and international choices. So tried to have at least one meal a day outside. I also cooked a few healthy vegetarian meals in our Airbnb kitchen. Groceries (Mercado Centro).

Nightlife: Mancora, Peru

Palosanto Backpackers: Great place to have a cocktail. There is a swimming pool here with 2 for 1 specials and a DJ.

Loki Mancora: Party central.

Mancora Beach: These is where people enjoy sunsets if they like loud techno blaring at the backs of their heads from 4 different bars at the same time.

Hotelier Arte y Cocina: This is where to enjoy a chill sunset but this place falls asleep after dinner.

Light House: This is a great place to watch the sunset. There is a small shack up there selling beer and cocktails.

Livability Factors: Mancora, Peru

Walkability: We walked everywhere. The only reason to get in a three-wheel taxi is when you are in a hurry or you forgot your sunblock.

Internet: The Internet was good including uploading videos to Youtube.

Food: Groceries at Mercado Centro are about 50% cheaper than USA prices. Prices at stores along the along the main street vary substantially.

Weather: A dry tropical climate with water temperatures averaging around 24C. The summer season is from December to April. Temperatures can reach a high of 38C in the summer and drop to 25C at night. The rest of the year daytime temperatures range from 30C days and 17C nights. The winds can be strong here which is why it is popular for kitesurfing.

Desire to Move Here: Low. It is so dusty that it can’t be good for your lungs long term. Plus, there is not much to do here but surf and eat.

Cost of Living: Mancora, Peru

Below is the estimated cost of living one month in Mancora, Peru as a temporary visitor. Some of the estimates could be reduced as a long-term visitor or full-time Expat.  We didn’t check into furnished apartment prices, but they have to be really cheap because our Airbnb was only $20 per day.

Monthly Cost of Living, Mancora, Peru, Ecuador ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High*

Airbnb (1 Bedroom Apt)

$20.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$40.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel

$10.00

30

3

0

High-End Restaurant

$8.00

1

4

8

Neighborhood Restaurant

$5.00

30

44

48

Food Cart

$3.00

30

12

4

Subway/Train/Metro

$0.00

20

26

8

Bus

$0.00

20

10

0

Taxi/Uber

$.60

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$552

$1,084

$928

Total

Per Day

$18

$36

$31

For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha. It does not include alcohol, excursions, or extras, and it is for one person. Some of the expenses remain unchanged when you add another person. *High: In this case medium costs are higher since a moderate hotel room is more expensive than a 1 bedroom furnished apartment.

Final Thoughts on Mancora, Peru

Mancora, Peru is not a place I would travel internationally to see on its own. It is worth a stop if you are already going to be in the area, and you want a beach break between other adventures.

We only went to Mancora because it was on the path between two other great adventures. So if you are slow traveling between Ecuador and Peru, then it is worth taking a few days break in Mancora. Mancora is a place where you can stop to break a 20-hour bus ride into two trips. While in Mancora, you can eat some surprisingly decent food for $5 per meal, surf for a few days, get some work done, party the night away, and spend very little money, while you enjoy some breezy beach sunsets.

The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

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