Mancora Holidays

Year-round sunshine, golden sands and perfect waves draw an eclectic mix of chilled-out surfers and Peruvian jet-setters to Máncora on Peru’s northern coast.  


Tucked away in the country’s far northwestern corner, Máncora is a beach town on Peru’s desert-backed Pacific coast, often overlooked by those heading to mega bucket-list sights, such as Machu Picchu. This down-to-earth seaside retreat is known for its consistent surf, lively nightlife, and an enclave of beautiful luxury hotels with a prized location directly in front of the ocean. 

While the compact town centre is characterised by dusty roads, souvenir stalls and a relaxed boho atmosphere, Máncora has a certain rustic charisma. Tuk-tuks zip travellers from A to B, while down on the sand, beach shacks serve up street-style seafood and surfing lessons aplenty.

With a buzzing yet laid-back ambience, the town’s lively restaurants and bars are the place to hang out after the sun dips into the ocean, while the days see visitors hitting the waves or riding across the long stretches of beach on horseback. 

So, is it worth going to Máncora? Absolutely. Our expert guide delves into the many reasons why.

Things to Do in Máncora, Peru

There's certainly no shortage of things to do in the vibrant coastal playground of Máncora. From its world-class surf and untouched stretches of golden sand to delectable seafood and cheerful markets, you’ll find an endless array of activities waiting for you. 

Learn how to surf

For adventurous travellers, there’s no better way to spend the day than surfing in Máncora. Peru’s endlessly popular beach town is known for its warm waters, fantastic waves year-round, and huge seasonal swells, which draw enthusiastic surfers from all over the country and beyond. In fact, Máncora is known for being one of Peru’s top surfing destinations.

New to surfing? This is a great place to learn, with a number of surfing schools offering lessons for beginners of all ages and abilities. Local instructors will share their first-hand knowledge and teach you the best techniques to get up on the board – you’ll be catching waves in no time. 

If you’d like to try your hand at this seaside activity, our travel specialists are happy to book a surfing lesson for you as part of your bespoke tour of Peru.

Relax on Máncora Beach

While Máncora draws in visitors for its great surfing, it’s also a popular spot for simply relaxing on the beach and watching the sun go down in a blaze of pink and orange. And thanks to its yet-to-peak reputation, you might find you have the sandy shores almost entirely to yourself, although that depends on which part of the beach you choose.

Máncora Beach is actually more like several beaches in one. The main section, in front of the bars and restaurants, is where the action is: think character-packed beach bars, backpackers coming in from the surf for a midday beer, and travellers lazing in lounge chairs dotted across the sand. 

On either side of the main beach there are quieter stretches that have few or no amenities but are a short walk away from the centre. To the south is our favourite beach spot, Las Pocitas, where you’ll find wide swathes of empty gold-sand shores, luxury spa hotels, and plenty of solitude. 

Wherever you set up camp, you’ll discover that Máncora Beach is Peru’s answer to an incredibly relaxing coastal holiday.

Indulge in ceviche

While in town, there’s one thing you must do: try ceviche. This ancient Peruvian dish of raw fish cured with citrus dressings, onions, and chillies is a staple of the national cuisine. The chefs here really know how to bring it to life and have helped Máncora become well-known for its tantalisingly fresh ceviche – many say it’s the best in Peru!

With seafood eateries dominating the local food scene and beachfront restaurants serving up freshly made ceviche alongside a chilled glass of your favourite wine, you won’t be short of memorable dining experiences in this endearing little beach town.

Explore the coast

Follow the Peruvian coastline and you’ll arrive at charming little towns, such as Vichayito, Los Órganos and Cabo Blanco, where you can relax on the beach, test out your new surfing skills, or fish for marlin and groupers. There are plenty of exciting things to do across the coast, from kitesurfing and windsurfing to whale watching and scuba diving. 

When to Go to Máncora, Peru

When planning your holiday, you may be wondering: what is the best month to go to Máncora? The good news is there’s plenty to enjoy, no matter when you visit.

For serious surfers wanting to experience Máncora’s famous swells, those roll in from October to March, which coincides with the Peruvian summer (December to March). But one of the main reasons Máncora is known for surfing is that it offers a good mix of different waves year-round, so you can still expect decent surf outside of these months.

Seeking sunny days? You may think it would be tricky to predict the weather forecast in Máncora, given Peru’s wildly varied climate zones that range from high-altitude mountains to the vast forests of the Amazon Basin. Thankfully, due to its proximity to the equator, Peru’s northern desert coast is known for its reliable sunshine and warm-to-hot temperatures that stick around for the majority of the year. 

Another point to consider is whether you want to avoid the high-energy holiday crowds or join them. Máncora gets busy during the end-of-year holiday season, from mid-December through to February, and is very popular with young partygoers over New Year’s Eve – meaning accommodation tends to get booked up quickly.

Our Destination Manager, Sophie Tomlin, shares her tips on making the most of this stunning destination:

“Máncora is famous for its surf, both the traditional longboard type and kite surfing too – its perfect rolling waves draw both locals and surfers from around the world and are ideal for all abilities.
Between July and November, it's possible to go on whale-watching boat trips to catch a glimpse of migrating humpback whales, and you can swim with green turtles too.”

Suggested Itineraries Including Máncora

At Scott Dunn, our travel specialists are on hand to help you create a tailor-made plan for a truly unforgettable trip to Peru. Whether it’s an all-encompassing tour or a pure beach holiday, we’ll make sure you experience everything you want to in this captivating country. 

Take a look at our suggested itineraries for some inspiration to get you started:

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Where is Máncora?

Where exactly is Máncora, Peru? On a map, it sits high up in the very north of Peru, not far from the equator and the border with Ecuador. The country’s Pacific Ocean coastline runs the entirety of its western edge, with Máncora and the rest of the Piura region’s secluded beaches taking their place in the top end.

Máncora is far enough from major cities like Cusco and Lima (both located several days’ drive away in the southern half of Peru) to be off the radar for many tourists, despite its many delights. Those who do venture here are rewarded with the chance to soak up the sun and surf on Máncora Beach largely uninterrupted, and the opportunity to explore many beautiful surrounding areas.

If you want to add a visit to Máncora onto your trip, it’s about a two-hour drive from Tumbes, right near the Ecuador border, while Talara is a little closer. Call into the town of Piura, just over two hours away by car, for even more beach time, surfing. and fishing

Where to Stay in Máncora, Peru

The best hotels in Máncora, Peru, are located just outside of town in the picturesque Las Pocitas area. Let us book an incredible stay for you at one of our hand-picked luxury properties, where you’ll enjoy deluxe amenities, a spa-like ambience, and ocean-view pools overlooking a private beach. Your very own patch of paradise.

Our Destination Manager, Sophie Tomlin, recommends her favourite hotel in the area:

“Kichic is a gorgeous real boutique property with direct beach access and a lovely infinity pool with views out towards the Pacific – the perfect spot to enjoy a pisco sour at sunset.”

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