Hotels Mancora, Peru

Our Bus from Lima to Mancora, Peru arrived in the morning about 30 minutes early.  As usual we chose to travel with no reservations, so that we could seek out the best accomidations for the cheapest price.

Upon exiting the Civa Exclusiva Bus we were instantly mobbed by the local mototaxi drivers turned travel agents.  Around 15 different mototaxi drivers surrounded us and started shoving hotel brochures in our faces saying they had the best rates.  We had a list made out ahead of time which I attained off www.vivamancora.com and jumped in one of the mototaxi´s and headed to the nearest hotel on the list.

Our first stop was Sahara Mancora located on the north end of Mancora Beach.  They showed me around the pool which was clean and the dinning area.  Continental breakfast was included in the price of $50 usd for a double beach front room.  The rooms were basic and lacking in Television.  I did not inquire if they had internet as we did not stay long.  They also had quadruple suite consiting of a bunk bed in one room with a queen size bed in the other with a bathroom in the middle of both rooms.  The beach at the Sahara on the north side of Mancora was really clean and seemed nice.  The rate on the quadruple was 80 sole a night, but did not have a view of the ocean so we moved on.

Next stop was the Mancora Beach Bungalows located in Las Pocitas Beach, also referred to as Mancora Chico just south of the pier.  The rooms were the same as the Sahara, small no TV but they said that they had WIFI internet.  The rate was quoted at $100 usd per night and the room had a view of one of their pools.  I did not see the beach at this place as the price was very steep.  No other guests were present.

We stopped at 2 more places which were fairly empty and continued heading south to see what Vichayito Beach had to offer.

More to come…..

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Review Penascal Surf Hotel (****)

Penascal Surf Hotel rating (**** stars)

Antonio Otello founded the Penascal Surf Hotel in 1999 and has been making friends ever since.  Located at 51 Km Panamerica Sur in the beach town of San Bartolo the hotel is about a 45 minute drive from Miraflores by taxi.  The town has full services throughout the year and is just what you would expect from a surf mecca, plenty of waves year round.

I recently visited Antonio during the ASP women’s world tour and we got to see Peru’s own Sofia Mulanovich competing first hand.  Following the semi finals it was time for my first surfing lesson.  Having spent alot of time with my brother who lives in Oahu, Hawaii I was really excited to learn.  The lesson started out with mild stretching and changing to a wetsuit.  Next we grabbed our boards and headed to the beach which is right in front of the hotel.  On the beach Antonio showed me how to paddle and the maneuver to stand up which is the hardest part.

Next we headed out to the line up.  The water to the south of Lima is much cleaner than the Costa Verde beaches.  It was the first of June and the water was not all that cold probably about 72 degrees and not cold with a 3/2 wetsuit and booties for the urchins.  In the water Antonio got me into position and helped push me into the breaking waves.  It was Awsome!  After a few tries he left me on my own for a few tries and I caught a wave and stood up for about 6 seconds riding the wave until it died close to the beach.  I had a few more tries and then we finished after about 2.5 hours in the water.

He normally charges $35 high season for lessons complete with liquid shredder soft learning board and wetsuit.  I got the locals discount and was stoked!  After the lesson we went back to the Hotel and enjoyed lunch prepared by Antonio’s wife.  She prepared fresh fish which was excellent.  The hotel is very clean and really laid back.  Even though it is almost winter here there were a few guest I got to meet.  One traveler from Spain and 2 from Australia.

Rooms are complete with bathroom and hot running water.  With spectacular views of the surrounding surf breaks.  Rates are reasonable for the services provided $55 per person per day including 3 meals.  Antonio is a very friendly and gracious host and I plan to return during the summer for some sun and surf.  The Penascal Surf Hotel also can arrange for Surfaris to the North to Chicama at Puerto Malbrigo and all the way up the coast to Tumbes close to the border with Equador.  Prices start at $595 usd for a guided trip all inclusive stopping at Chicama, Panic Point, Lobitos, Organos, Mancora and secrete spots in between depending on the surf that day.  For more information check out www.surfpenascal.com for more information

If you get a chance to get away check out the Penascal Surf Hotel for awsome waves and some laid back beach side fun!

Muchas Gracias Antonio!  I’ll be back next time I am down that way.

Lima Peru – Where to stay

You have arrived in Lima and you are looking for a place to stay.  Most Tourists choose to stay in Miralflores (looks at flowers).  Miraflores is considered the nicest part of the Lima Metropolitan area.  In Miraflores you will find everything from 5 star hotels suchs as the J.W. Marriot, where President George W. Bush recently stayed while attending an APEC meeting, to budget friendly hostals.

If hostals are what you have in mind you have several to choose from.  The main hostel is probably the Flying Dog Hostal located along the Parque de Kennedy (Kennedy Park).  There are 2 of them on inparticular is located on the side next to FedEx and close to the Plaza de las Pizzas.    They charge S./30 for dorms for one night about $10 USD.

Another popular hostel in Miraflores, Lima, Peru is the Inka Lodge.  The Inka Lodge Hostel is located about 5 blocks from Parque de Kennedy and rates for a dorm style room begin at S./36 or $12 USD.  The Inka Lodge was voted #2 Hostel in Latin America 2005.

When it comes to hosteling Peru is Abundant.  Hostel’s and Hospedaje’s can be found on nearly every block and are perfect for the budget minded Mochileros backpacker.