My first stop on my Peruvian adventure was Mancora, a sleepy beach town not so far from the border.
I arrived at 6 am tired after a sleepless night on a bus and a 3-hour stop at the Ecuador-Peru border.
My first impression of the town wasn’t great. It definitely catered to tourists with plenty of shops offering a multitude of Mancora knick-knicks for sale.
People come here to surf or go kite surfing. I don’t do either. I just came for the ceviche and a change in scenery.
I spent the majority of my time trying to find a place to enjoy the ocean view without having to pay a fee. During low tide, there were plenty of rocks to chill. For high tide, I found what looked like the lifeguard station. They were sitting in the shade with their phones.
The one thing I do love so far is ceviche. Thank you, Peru, for inventing this amazing dish. And this is why I’ll never be a vegan!
For a little something different, I hopped on a bus to Talara, a non-tourist town famous for its oil refinery. There is also a ridiculous amount of missiles and fighter jets on display throughout town. But there were plenty of cervicherias for cheap! My massive plate of ceviche with white fish was 10 PEN ($2.97)!
On the way back to Mancora, I stopped off at Los Organos, a posh beach town with only a few visitors. I found an unmanned umbrella and sat watching the kite surfers. One of the instructors came up to me and asked me why I didn’t try kite surfing. Besides almost drowning in a river in Baños, I just said I’m not great in the water.
Of course, my last meal in Mancora had to be from the sea. Langostina con ajo (shrimp with garlic) for 15 PEN ($4.45).
As for Mancora, it’s a good place to break up the trip because the next biggest city south is Chiclayo, a 6-hr bus ride south or Guayaquil, a 6-hour ride north. Otherwise, I would say Mancora is a hard pass.
- Prices in shops very because there are no price stickers or labels.
- A bus from Mancora to Los Organos is 2 PEN (59¢) on Eppo. It’s great to enjoy the beach if you want peace and quiet.
- The only reason to go to Talara is to get a SIM card and go to a proper supermarket (Plaza Ver) with equal pricing for both locals and foreigners. It costs 7.50 PEN ($2.23) on Eppo.
- My favorite restaurant: Café del Mundo, but they definitely cater to the foreigners. But they got a French chef who knows how to cook!