Indagare member, Bettina Cisneros, recently returned from a four-day trip with her family to the Mancora Marina Hotel on the northeast coast of Peru before heading off to Cusco and Macchu Pichu. Here are her thoughts:
“Mancora Marina Hotel, which overlooks the water, is very contemporary with minimally-styled but comfortable guestrooms. From what I saw, it is the nicest property in the area, but it’s all relative. While new, the hotel is already showing some wear and tear.
“We are a surfing family so the hotel’s location (about a ten-minute walk from the town and surfing area) was ideal for us. We enjoyed being within walking distance to the surf rentals and lessons area, without staying in an overly-crowded area. The beach is nice but does not have the pristine white sands that one might expect. (These can be found further down in the Los Pocitos area).
“The food was great and surfing (and kite-surfing) was very accessible. There are wonderful yoga classes available overlooking the beach, and prices are very reasonable. It is definitely still a very simple developing area and might not be for everyone. It reminded me of Tamarindo in Costa Rica 20 years ago, with lots of buildings in development but few finished products. Everything is very easy-going and little rough around the edges.
“A few words of caution: it is not easy or convenient to get to Mancora, so I wouldn’t recommend visiting from the U.S. for less than 5 days. Piura (rather than Tumbes) offers the most flights at the best times, but is a three-hour drive away. Flights between Piura and Cusco require changing planes in Lima, which makes for a long travel day.
“Knowing some Spanish is very helpful in places like this. The hotel has guides that can offer nature tours or tours on the water. We had planned a snorkeling trip at Los Oranges, which is supposed to be another beautiful beach, but it had to be cancelled due to weather conditions.
“A few notes for those visiting Cusco, Macchu Picchu and the Sacred Valley—I recommend families visit the newly opened Chocolate Museum (210 Calle Garcilaso, Cusco, 51 84 24 4765) and take a workshop there. A highlight of the trip for our children was learning about the chocolate-making process and making their own artisanal chocolates, chocolate tea and hot chocolate. We also really enjoyed the one day hike on the Inca trail into Macchu Pichu and the ceviche-making class at the hotel Casa Cartagena (336 Pumacurco, Cartagena, 51 84 224 356). We accidentally booked a tour of Pisac with a shaman, which actually turned out to be really special—he made a tour into a spiritual experience.”
Read Indagare’s destination report on Cusco.
Read Indagare’s destination report on Cartagena.
Read another member’s postcard on a trip to Peru.