KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - MANCORA
Northern Peru's reputation for waves is incredible, with the north shore being home to some of the best waves spots on earth, like Chicama - the longest left in the world. Whether visiting on your own or with family, you also enjoy the endless summer, warm water, waves and gastronomy of the Mancora area.
This former fishing village is still not on the radar of many tourists.
Vichaito / Organos: Large virgin beaches and constant side-onshore winds, ideal for beginners. Downwind and ride the shorebreak to Mancora from here. Mancora: Great spot with side-on wind. A point break in front of the hotels creates a nice, long wave, perfect for learning to surf, paddleboard or kitesurf in the waves.
Cabo Blanquillo: a long desert beach with a side-on wind. One nice point break and a long section of big shorebreak. You'll see fishermen downwind with their white sails boats and might also spot seals, turtles and whales. Picturesque background decoration for Hemingway's movie adaptation of The Old Man and the Sea.
Tres Cruces: Reef break at the start of a very long white sand beach. It's a wild ride that's not frequently visited, but neither is it inhospitable.
Lobitos: World class with offshore wind up to 30 knots. Long, perfect beach break up to three metres split up in sections, some forming barrels. A closed down oil camp lies in the background.
Baterias: Side-off over a massive beach break, from two to four metres.
La Laguna (Mancora): Flat-water created by the high tide. Regular wind and perfect conditions for freestyle, when the quantity of water permits it.
As you can see, a directional board is mandatory here and the north shore is a good spot to learn strapless riding.
WIND WATER AND WEATHER
Winds average 20 - 30 knots from mid-May to early January, swells come all year, mainly from the north or south, predominantly with left-side point breaks, beach breaks and reef breaks. In 2006, Mancora was noted as one of the best three climates in the world in National Geographic. Enjoying 27°C air temps all year, it's hot and dry during the day and cooler at night, when you might need a light sweat shirt. Water temperature averages 23°C, although if you head south you may need a 3/2.
Hiring a car is not advised as the spots are quite hard to find and you need to know which works when according to swell and tide conditions. Best to spend less money and get yourself a local guide. Wild Kitesurf offer packages. If you really want a car, you can rent it from Piura 2.5 hours away.
Currency: Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN): £1 = 4PEN / €1 = 3PEN / $1 = 2.6PEN Expensive items, including your hotel bills in American dollars. You can change dollars and Euros in Mancora, but rate is not great.
Plenty of hotels and more in Mancora, from cheap hostels to four star hotels. Stay right by the sea and close to the surf and kite spot in Mancora, walk to restaurants and bars or choose a more peaceful location under palm trees further away at Las Pocitas, where it's just a few minutes moto taxi back to town.
FOOD AND DRINK
Enough fantastic restaurants to try a new one each day. Peruvian cuisine is rapidly rising in popularity - it's where the famous ceviche was born. Party each night or chill out on a 'hamaca' on a deserted beach.
Soak up the Mancora sunshine on the beach, go deep sea fishing, spear fishing, whale watching, take surf, yoga or boxing lessons, go canoeing in the mangroves or rent a quad bike.
From Lima take a plane to Piura, Talara or Tumbes ($100 / €70) and then a taxi. Luxury bus companies also run transfers and include food, but take longer, but are 50% less expensive. From Guayaquil some buses drive through Ecuador border, down the Pan American route through Mancora, but are less comfortable and you'll probably pass the border at night.