Beyond Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Peru has much more to offer visitors seeking new and exciting travel destinations and attractions.
In addition to the world-renowned tourist attractions of Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, Peru is justly famed for its many archaeological treasures, the spectacular scenery of the Andes, and the biologically diverse Amazon rainforest.
Peru’s other great attraction is its Pacific coast. Peru’s coastline stretches from Ecuador in the north more than 2400 kilometers south as far as the border with Chile. The seas off Peru’s coast are the most fertile in the world, and this is reflected in the fine seafood on offer in the towns and villages of northern Peru and the capital, Lima, at restaurants to suit every budget.
While some travelers make it to northern Peru to learn more about the great archaeological legacy left by its many Pre-Inca cultures, few are aware of just how great some of Peru’s Pacific beaches are!
The most popular beach among Peruvian holidaymakers from Lima is Máncora. This small fishing village is visited by those looking for great waves to surf or quiet beaches for swimming and sunbathing. Surfers flock here during the summer months from November to March to take advantage of the big Pacific swells and enjoy this small town’s excellent nightlife.
Close to Máncora, other popular beach resorts include Zorritos and Punta Sal. Just down the coast from Máncora, the beach resort of Las Pocitas offers calm seas and excellent hotel accommodation, ideal for couples or families looking to relax after their Peru tour. For its part, just along the coast from Máncora the coastal village of Los Órganos offers travelers the chance to go whale watching from August to November.
Another fishing village close to Máncora is Cabo Blanco. Famous among surfers for its big waves, Cabo Blanco was visited in the 1950s by sports fishermen, including Ernest Hemingway, whose Nobel Prize winning book “The Old Man and the Sea” was filmed here for the big screen in 1955.
Most travelers access Máncora and other nearby beach resorts from the city of Tumbes, right on the border with Ecuador and linked to Lima by regular flights. Tumbes offers visitors its own unique attraction in the form of the Tumbes National Mangrove Sanctuary. Local people harvest shellfish from these warm waters, which are also home to the endangered American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). Local fishermen offer tours of the mangroves in small boats.