Máncora, Peru

Peru’s worst-kept secret, Máncora is the place to see and be seen along the Peruvian coast – in the summer months foreigners flock here to rub sunburned shoulders with the frothy cream of the Peruvian jet set. It’s not hard to see why – Peru’s best sandy beach stretches for several kilometers in the sunniest region of the country, while dozens of plush resorts and their budget-conscious brethren offer up rooms within meters of the lapping waves. On shore, a plethora of restaurants provides fresh seafood straight off the boat as fuel for the long, lazy days. The consistently good surf draws a sun-bleached, board-toting bunch, and raucous nightlife keeps visitors busy after the sun dips into the sea in a ball of fiery flames. However, even though it has seen recent explosive growth, Máncora has somehow managed to cling to its fishing community roots.

Located about halfway between Talara and Tumbes, Máncora has the Panamericana passing right through its middle, within 100m of the surf. During the December to March summer period, the scene can get rowdy and accommodation prices tend to double. But year-round sun means that this is one of the few resort towns on the coast that doesn’t turn into a ghost town at less popular times.

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