I recently got a chance to view this new surf documentary about Surfing in Peru. The movie is based on two different pairs of professional surfer friends, gringos, who travel around the country seeking the best surfing Peru has to offer. They journey to Mancora, Lobitos, Cabo Blanco as well as San Bartolo to hang out with Sofia Mulanovich Peru’s own world surfing champion.
The movie is pretty good they travel with a private surf guide named Mcgoo one of Peru’s elder surfing competitors. Together they travel up and down the coast even checking out Puerto Malabrigo aka Chicama, the worlds longest left and many secret small spots. Most spots are loaded with nice waves and usually almost no crowds. And of course at the end they visit Machu Pichu. I give the movie a 3.5 star rating.
On my recent vacation to Mancora Peru we decided to eat at a little place on the main street running through town call Restaurant Mechita. We found the place while we were looking for a place to get Menu for cheap. We noticed that they had Menu advertised out front on the billboard for s./8 soles so we decided to give it a try. The menu lists various marisco’s seafood and criolla fare and the prices are about half what you will pay at the Espada, which I did not visit after reading several bad reviews.
We ordered chicharrones de calamar which is fried calamari for our girls for s./8 soles. The menu came with a starter of papas huancaina which was decent although it is pretty hard to screw up skined boiled potatoes in huancaina sauce, it was good though as I tried a taste. The chicharrone de calamar was very fresh and cooked to perfection. I was in the mood for some fresh shrimp and decided to try their cebiche de langostinos which is priced at s./15 soles or about $5 usd.
The cebiche de langostinos was absolutely superb! The shrimp were fresh and plentiful as I did not expect to get so many shrimp for that price. The leche de tigre was perfectly spiced with ricotta pepper and red onions combined with key limes. The dish was served with a piece of choclo corn and camote sweet potatoes on the side.
The restaurant has outdoor seating on the front patio and ample room inside. They were showing the world cup game inside which is where we were seated. If you are going to try to get Menu on avenida grau rather than the boardwalk this is a good choice. I give Restaurant Mechita (***) 3 stars for a delicious quick lunch.
The Restaurant Tumi is located on the boardwalk connecting the Pahamerican Highway to Mancora Beach on your righthand side. I chose this place because they were advertising Menu for s./ 8 soles. Tumi is an open air place with plenty of seating. The seafood was fresh and the beer was super cold.
Menu ranges from fresh fish, chicharon de pescado, chicharon de langostinos, lomo saltado and assorted other dishes as they have quite a large Menu daily. The first serving of the day was a choice of fresh cebiche or paps huancaina. The huancaina sauces was great and I like it spicey! I ordered chicharon de langostinos while my family chose chicharon de pescado and lomo saltado. All the meals were good and served hot.
I recommend it as a nice place to get out of the sun while enjoying a nice quick meal. I give the Restaurant Tumi in Mancora, Peru a rating of (***) 3 stars for budget travel dining.
The Mochileros Lorr is located on the boardwalk linking the Panamerican highway to Mancora Beach. They serve Menu daily with a wide selection to chose from. Prices for Menu are s./7 soles and include a fruit juice drink.
The food in this open air eatery was decent but the best thing about this place was the 3 cold beers for 12 soles special that they run daily. I was even offered my beer for 4 soles as well. The Menu special for the day consisted of a choice of cebiche or chicharon de pescado with a maracuy passion fruit juice and your choice of entree ranging from fish to shrimp with different preparations. I chose the cebiche and chaufa con langostinos. The food was served prompty and the beer was ice cold, probably the coldest I encountered on the entire trip up north.
The Cebiche was fresh and the Chaufa con langostinos was pretty good. They also serve parilla de tuna which smelled fantastic. I recommend the Mochileros Lorr for a decently priced place to eat close to the main drag in Mancora, Peru. I give it a rating of 3 stars.
Mancora is a tourist destination and there are tons of choices when it comes to dining be it a light lunch to a feast for dinner. The Panamerican Highway runs right the main strip of Mancora, where you will find a plethora of tourist shops, banks, atm’s, boticas / pharmacies, and plenty of restaurants to choose from.
Along the Panamerican Highway you will find that most of the restaurants are a little pricey, but Menu can still be found for as little as 5 Soles. For those who are not familiar with the Peruvian version of “Menu” it means that you are given a choice of starters, usually cebiche or papa huancaina or maybe chicarron de pescado, followed by you main dish of choice and a drink, normally a fruit extract or personal gaseosa ie soda like Inca Kola.
Among the Restaurants along the Panamerican Highway that I would recommend are the Mare e Monte Restaurant and Polleria. The chicken is good and the locals love the place. We went on for Father’s Day at dinner time and the place was packed. Prices are decent and the food is good.
I recommend staying away from the Espada Restaurant as well as the one just to the North of it as well as we had a quite nasty lunch at this place. The Espada we did not try due to reading numerous poor reviews prior to our trip. Prices here were also really high.
My best deals on fresh fish and seafood were found on the pedestrian street that leads to the main part of Mancora Beach. I ate at 3 different open air restaurants along this street and enjoyed Menu at all 3. The fish is fresh and the price is great for travelers on a budget. Menu here ranges from $7 to $10. Cerveza and cold beer is S./4 soles for a 660 ml bottle on this street as opposed to right on the beach where S./6 beers are the norm.
Restaurants that I recommend here are the Restaurant Tumi and the Mochileros Larr. The Mochileros larr had great cebiche and super cold beer as well as friendly staff.
Be sure to check out the hand made jewlery shop across from the Restaurant Tumi where you can find custom made jewelry ranging from alpaca with authentic mexican torquoise to sterling silver.
Night time I suggest trying a sit down dinner at one of the eateries to the south end of the Panamerican Highway. The Beef House in Mancora has a nice selection of steaks and american style baked potatoe to boot. There are a few pizza places and other assorted places for dinner too.
Upon arriving at the Vichayito Costa Blanca Hotel located just south of Mancora, Peru we were greeted and shown around the property. They have 33 rooms including Matrimonial, Doubles and Triples. The rooms are larger than most that I saw while visiting Mancora. The bathrooms were very clean aswell. Ammenites include WIFI, tv with free dvd library, hot water 24 hours a day, and a patio overlooking the beach with table chairs and hammock. Vichayito Beach is fantastic! It is very clean and the water was very calm and serene. The pool is very clean and surrounded by a very nice deck with recliner beach chairs overlooking the ocean. The have a very nice restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were quoted for the triple with 2 adults and our 3 kids at a rate of $60 per night with a 3 night minimum stay which included continental breakfast for all of us.
Our stay at the Costa Blanca Hotel ended up being 6 days and 4 nights and we were allowed to check in upon arrival at 11 AM. We headed straight to the beach and then to the pool. It was the middle of June and the water temperatures were perfect. The sun here is very bright as Mancora, Peru is located in the Tropics, so do not forget your sunscreen. There are beach cabanas with chairs for guests. The beach is very clean and there is great snorkeling here just 200 meters to the north. We found around 10 sea horses washed up on the beach along with lots of sea shells.
Other activities include horseback rides right on the beach for 15 soles for 30 minutes per person to fooseball for the kids.
The pool at the Vichayito Costa Blanca Hotel is very warm and very clean. There is plenty of seating around the pool which is located just below the covered open air restaurant which houses a complete bar. Boat drinks such as Pina coladas and frozen daquaris are 15 soles along with spirits, wine and ice cold Pilsen beer in a bottle can be had for 6 soles. The restaurant serves food from 8AM until around 9PM. The menu ranges from large delicious chicken sandwiches for 10 soles to Langosta or Lobster a lo macho for 100 soles. Other items include fresh fish, shrimp, as well as lomo saltado and steaks. The food is first rate and the price is right on. We charged all of our meals to our room and paid the night before we checked out.
The nights are quiet and very peaceful with the rolling sound of the breaking waves heard from the balconies. Transportation to and from Vichayito Beach to Mancora is best done by mototaxi, which can be found in front of the hotel at the moto stand from 7AM-8PM or later. To get to the hotel as you are coming into Mancora heading north you take a left turn before the main bridge on the Panamerican Highway and head down the dirt road 2.5 Km. The do have parking and at night there are 2 security checkpoints to pass through when coming back from Mancora. A wide range of guests from Gringos to vacationing Peruvians, couples and families. We enjoyed our stay very much and plan to return. I rate the Costa Blanca Hotel at Vichayito Beach Mancora Peru 4 Stars for travel on a budget! (****)
Thank you for a wonderful stay and we’ll see you next time!
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.