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Best known of the northern beaches is Mancora, where surfing competitions are held. The center of town is a bustle of hostels, restaurants and shops. We found a few things we’d forgotten to bring along, like peanut butter, and new flip-flops. Mancora is 100% tourist.

The beach in Mancora had everything we’d heard about, jet skis, horseback riding, and people spending a day in the sun.In town, what looks like a grocery store is an overgrown convenience store, as no one is expected to stay for long. Supplies for cooking include beer, energy drinks and chips. Prices are high compared to elsewhere in Peru. I passed on a crocheted bag to carry my keys and beachcombing. We didn’t need shell souvenirs or bikinis. We strolled the downtown area and then had sushi at Buda with its irresistable wall painting. We have friends who’ve bought art in Mancora. Another recommends the Sirena dress shop.

 

In contrast to the hostels that are cheek by jowl in town we drove south along the shore road on our way home. This is where you find mile after mile of large houses and comfortable hotels with pools overlooking the beach. This is the Mancora that people dream about.