In the following summary we are going to introduce you to three coast spots we visited in the North of Peru. For your knowledge: The North get’s way less visitors then the South, because many people focus mainly on Machu Picchu and the Cusco region. We believe this to be a positive thing, because that means that you are rather seldom going to face hordes of tourists while exploring the North. Probably the Peruvian Tourism industry won’t share that view 😉
Trujillo is one of the largest cities in Peru, but it is not very known among tourists. Looking at the city, we did totally get why, it is not really a beauty (hopefully not offending anybody). But it is home to some of the most interesting ruins of pre-Incan tribes (Moche & Chimu). For everybody that wants to dive a bit into Peruvian history, especially getting to know cultures that came before the Incas, then consider spending a day or two in this region in order to check out the impressive ruins of Huaca del Sol and Chan Chan. The entry to each site is 2.50€, considering the fact that Chan Chan was the largest city of the Pre-Colombian area in South America, that is a very affordable price.
In order to visit these ruins, you do not need to necessarily stay in Trujillo. In fact we highly recommend to stay 30 minutes outside of the city and get a hostel in a town called Huanchaco.
Huanchaco is a tiny, but beautiful beach town, just a 30 minutes bus ride away from Trujillo. Huanchaco has some of the best waves in Peru and is therefore also a great spot for Surf-lovers. The town has a couple of pretty decent restaurants too, if you are not in the mood for cooking. For the ones that prefer to cook, head to the central market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
In terms of accommodation there are a couple of hostels to choose from. You should be able to find private rooms for 15-20€ and dorms for 7-10€.
Mancora is simply the best spot for some beach time in Peru. Mancora in comparison to the rest of the North, is very known, especially when it comes to surfing and partying. We were a bit afraid that it would be over crowded, but we got lucky, the town wasn’t packed by tourists at all (July 2018). Mancora has a couple of very good fish restaurants (3-5€ per meal) and also a wide range of hostels to choose from. You find hostels in all price ranges, but expect Mancora to be the priciest destination in the North (dorm beds for more than 10€, privates for min. 20€). As the long beach front is truly stunning we recommend to stay directly at the beach, although that can mean that you pay a bit more. We highly recommend the Misfits hostel, it is right at the beach, the owners are extremely friendly, they have a kitchen and awesome bungalows to stay in. If you go for the private bungalow, it will cost minimum 25€ a night. A tip: you pay less if you book it on arrival, but obviously that is more risky, as the hostel is one of the highest ranked on Hostelworld.
As we already pointed out, you can eat really tasty fish in Mancora, the are many restaurants, but actually the best and cheapest food we got was at the central market, where you can grab fresh Ceviche for less than 2€. The central market is also the place where you should buy your veggies if you like making use of your hostel kitchen.