When thinking of Peru, beaches aren't the first things that comes to mind, do they? We had two reasons for coming to Peru: Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain. But when we heard about the little seaside village Mancora, and coming from Cold Ecuador which left us in desperate need of some vitamin sea and sun, this place became our little piece of heaven for a couple of days.
To get to Mancora from Cuenca (Ecuador), we bought a busticket at the Terminal Terrestre in Cuenca for 20 USD p.p. (Buscompany Super Semeria). Apparently it is rocket science to place the luggage in the bus, because it took a lot of meetings and about 30 minutes before they figured out how to place the bags in the bus. Bit chaotic! But the bus left right on time (10 pm) and we headed to the Peru border. Around 12 pm we got stopped by the policia, who checked all bags on illegal stuff. Luckily nobody was doing tricky games and we could move on.
At 2 am we reached the border near Aguas Verdes and had to fill in a form to check out of Ecuador and check in to Peru (these counters are literately 2 meters apart). This took the whole bus around 1 hour and from here it was only 99 km to the city of Mancora, where we arrived at 5 am. After getting some Peruvian Soles, we took a tuktuk for the overpriced amount of 5 USD to our accommodation where we had a warm welcome. The owner gave us some blankets so we could sleep in a hammock till check in time.
You don't have to go hungry in Mancora. There are plenty of restaurants which serve all kinds of food. We used the shared kitchen of our accommodation a few times but also walked along the beach to the little city centre where we mostly ate really delicious wraps. Typical Peruvian food, right?! It was quite funny (and sweet) that everytime we left our bungalows, we had a dogsquad of 3 that followed us. So instead of a ‘romantic’ diner for 2 in town, our posse came along and made us share our food.
We had a really great stay at Misfit Hostel. This friendly owner has 4 beach bungalows, 3 of them are dorms and one is a private one. We booked the private one which was basic but fine. The bed was comfortable, it has its own shower, a little veranda and the owner provides free drinking water. Our bungalow was at the end of the row and thanks to that very private. However, we did have company most of the times. There are about 4-5 dogs that walk around the premises but they are so cute so we enjoyed their company. Great place to stay when traveling on a budget since the bungalow only costed us 13 USD per night, breakfast and great wifi included.
Mancora is a great and relaxed place for people who want to learn how to surf, do yoga on the beach or just soak up the sun and get some vitamin sea. The things we did were walk along the beach, read books, chill in a hammock, play with the dogs, eat, drink, sleep, repeat. Great start of our time in Peru.