After crossing into Peru, we decided to stop for two nights in Mancora, to break down the 28 hour journey from Guayaquil to Lima and to enjoy some time by the sea after a long time.
We didn’t really have any plans on how to spend our time here but we still managed to have fun, despite the village being quite small. We stayed here for two nights, but one night will be enough. As soon as we arrived, we decided to take a walk on the beach and just relax and enjoyed the colours of the sunset.
We heard from other backpackers we met in Colombia that a very popular thing to do in Mancora is getting the bus to El Nero, a place only a few km away from the town, to go and swim with sea turtles. So, on our second day, we got a bus from Mancora – you can take the bus for 2.5 soles, and then a mototaxi for around 5 soles. After arriving in El Nero, we stopped in the coffee place on the beach, where I asked for a cappuccino and they brought me a cup with hot water, a jar with instant coffee powder and some milk! Once we got to the muelle and paid the entrance fee of 5 dollars, we walked to the place where you are supposed to swim with the turtle l, but we were horrified to see that about 8 sea turtles where kept in a very small enclosure with groups of about 20 people getting in the water and pulling the turtles to try to get a picture with them. After seeing this, we decided not to get in the water and go for a walk on the beach instead. The beach here is beautiful – even though apparently you cannot swim on the side we were walking on, because of the talk waves. We saw a few big birds and lots of crabs on the beach.
The other interesting thing about our trip to El Nero was noting how the landscape had changed dramatically compared to Ecuador, where everything was so green, while here it looked more like being in a desert.
We stayed in Hostal El Italiano, a small hostel very close to the town which makes the most amazing pizza. It’s Italian owner and his wife were very nice and preparing delicious breakfast every morning. Not only! During our stay there, the owner’s family was visiting and they had brought lots of Italian food and coffee that they shared with us.
Our room has a very cute private balcony you can access from inside the room, so on our second – and last night – we decided to have an aperitivo there instead of going out and rest before the long bus journey.
On our last morning in Mancora, we walked along the Malecon and around the town, looking for artisans markets and then we spent some time on the beach.
It wasn’t easy finding vegetarian food here, but I lived a small place called Cafe del Mundo, where they had a few vegetarian options and they were all tasty and fresh.
To leave, we got a bus Cruz del Sur. The trip takes between 17 and 19 hours and it costs approximately US$45.