It’s been said that Mancora was Earnest Hemmingway’s inspiration for his novel, “The Old Man and the Sea,” a story of a poor old fisherman who went to sea one day in his tiny fishing boat and hooked into an enormous fish much larger than his boat- the catch of a lifetime. The waters here are still plied with fishermen of all levels from large commercial fishing trawlers to young boys paddling out on makeshift bamboo rafts to set lines and nets to eke out a living bringing in a few fish each day.
It’s a funky little town with mostly narrow dirt roads except for the Pan American Highway which runs right through its middle. There is a surprising plethora of eateries some of which are quite sophisticated catering to the vacationing beach-goers who come from all over including Ecuador. You can get anywhere in town in one of the three wheeled moto-taxis for 45 to 90 cents. Infrastructure is sorely lacking, municipal water ran out while we were there and the managers of our little guesthouse had to buy a tanker of water to be sure we had toilets and showers. We rented a comfortable room at Viento Sur which caters to kitesurfers. Besides fishing, Mancora and the surrounding area is renowned for good wind and waves drawing surfers and kiters come from all over the world. Good people, good wind, a beautiful beach and sunsets dropping into the Pacific each night made for a very pleasant stay in this our first stop in Peru.