Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

Posts Tagged ‘beach

Update from our Argentinean Blogger Friend Seba on his Trip to Peru

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sebaWe just got a message from our Argentinean blogger friend Seba as he is back in Argentina after a couple of weeks vacation in Peru — a trip he just did following our posting about a northern Peruvian beach called Cabo Blanco where Ernest Hemingway got inspiration from to write his book “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Here is a translation of his comment posted this morning:

“Well, I am back in Argentina since yesterday, will be a week of reaccomodating myself to work but I promise a super post next week. Your country (Peru) is really beautiful, with things to discover in every single corner, and, as an extra gift, with prices really but really cheap. Hugs and thanks for everything!”

Looking forward to reading all the details about his experience in Peru next week!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

News from our Argentinean Friend Seba on his Trip to Peru, Headed to Piura

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hemingway

Ernest Hemingway in Cabo Blanco, Piura, Peru

Our Argentinean friend Seba seems to be having fun in Peru, and he wrote a comment to our post saying (translated from Spanish):

“Thanks for the post. Yesterday we went up to Machu Picchu, very nice. I will be arriving to Piura in the next days. The goal is to stay until February 2. Looking for the calmest beach in Peru, which one would that be? Accept all recommendations.”

Hi Seba – Glad you are having a wonderful time in Peru. In Piura, I would highly recommend you going to the District of Mancora where you can pick and choose among wonderful beaches and you can relax with a ceviche and a really cold Peruvian beer (ask for Cuzquena, another option is Cristal). Food is amazing, make sure you try one of those omellettes with shrimp (they are huge and delicious) for brunch. And don’t forget to ask for “cancha” as a little appetizer which is traditional — it is dry, toasted salted corn. It’s vicious! The good thing about Mancora is its size. It is small enough you can actually walk it all along, and then you can catch a bus (ask for buses or “combis”) that will take you to nearby beaches. In terms of stay, and since you are hitchhiking, the best option is to check out for small hotels nearby. Since it is peak season, might be tough to get into the big, fancy hotels. You might also want to ask for Inns or sometimes families rent rooms as a small business during peak season.

To help you navigate the beaches, it is helpful to use the km. you are along the Panamericana Sur (highway) as a reference. The District of Mancora is located at km. 1165. So here is a list of nearby beaches in Piura going southbound you might want to check out:

  • Playa Mancora is on km 1165 — This is my beach pick. Check out the Punta Ballenas Inn (named ballenas as some years ago you could see whales in the shores). Great spot for relaxing and enjoying a fun nightlife. Along the main street in the Panamericana Norte you can check out traditional shops for arts and souvenirs, and rentals for surf boards if you are into it. You can also find information sites, including a bus stop. Bars at night can go all the way til early hours of the morning with reggae music, cold beers and Maracuya daiquiris.
  • Playa Pocitas (also called Mancora chico) is on km. 1160 – many people claim it is the best beach in Peru, you can get there walking, taxi cab or moto-taxi from Mancora, Vichayito or Los Organos. It is a bit more calm than Mancora given it is farther from the city. The name “pocitas” was given due to its beach forming small natural swimming pool-type of beach spots once the sea level is low. You can find good quality hotels in the area, and families are often among its tourists.
  • Vichayito is on km. 1155 in the District of Los Organos. This is a very calm beach, wonderful to relax. You can find a beach spa, and bungalows to stay at. Great spot for kite surfing or ocean diving.
  • Los Organos is on km 1150. Punta Veleros is the best beach in this neighborhood. It is a great beach but most likely you will need to make reservations in advance for staying at one of the bungalows or hotels. Might be a bit tough given the peak season.
  • Cabo Blanco is on km 1137 in the District of El Alto. This is the beach you liked to explore from where Ernest Hemingway got inspiration to write his book “El Viejo y el Mar” (“The Old Man and the Sea”). He liked fishing the Merlin Negro (big marlin). This beach holds world records on fishing, and is a great spot for surfers.
  • Lobitos is on km 1100 in the District of Lobitos. This is a beach a bit far from the others, which explains why its weather and beaches are a bit colder. It is a windy city, and there aren’t as much tourist facilities as the other beaches. Perhaps you might want to check it out, but wouldnt recommend you spending the night here.

And if you have a bit more time, here is a list of beaches in the Department of Tumbes (north to Piura, close enough to the borders with Ecuador) you might want to check out:

  • Punta Sal located in km 1187. It is 15-20 minutes driving from Mancora. A great beach spot with several hotels and restaurants for tourists. You might want to call in advance to make sure you have somewhere to stay given it is peak season.
  • Zorritos in km 1241. This is a good beach spot for relaxing. Has various hotels and restaurants, and is close to the city of Tumbes (capital of the Department of Tumbes) and the frontier with Ecuador. If you go, you might want to check out Hervideros, a small site of natural thermal water pools. Zorritos has several bus agencies, pharmacies, mini markets, etc.

Since you were interested in Ernest Hemingway, here is a snapshot I found:

In the 1950s and 1960s, fishermen traveled to Cabo Blanco to hunt big marlin. Ernest Hemingway caught a 700 pound marlin while filming the motion picture based on his novel , The Old Man and the Sea. In 1953, Alfred Glassell Jr. caught the IGFA all tackle world record black marlin, weighing 1560 pounds.

Have fun, and keep us posted on your trip!

Got tips for our Argentinean friend on his trip to Piura? Feel free to share and post them here!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Argentinean Blogger Travels to Peru Inspired by “Connect to Peru” Blog Post

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playaA blog post woke me up in a gratifying way this morning as I read an Argentinean blogger named “Seba” was going on a two-week vacation as a hitchhiker to Peru, and particularly to the northern beaches in Piura after mentioning Hemingway finding inspiration for one of his books in Mancora from my post on “Great Beach Getaways in Piura: White Sands, Warm Water, and Sun”.

Here is a translated version of an excerpt of his post:

As it reads. This humble server is out on vacation. Leaving with Sun. Two weeks. Already got the yellow fever shot, backpacks ready, passports up to date and tickets in hand. Destination is Peru, first Cuzco and then the beaches in the north, definitely Mancora (I want to know that place since I learned that Hemingway got inspiration from that place to write “The Old Man and the Sea” (“El viejo y el mar”). [and then he links his blog to my post]

Seba – If you read this post, thanks for reading “Connect to Peru” all the way from Argentina! Enjoy your trip to my native Peru. I am sure you’ll run out of camera memory with all the wonderful things you can explore particularly when hitchhiking! Best of luck, and we’d definitely like to hear from you on how your adventure went two weeks from now! Buen viaje!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 17, 2009 at 10:03 am

Ready to Fly? Paragliding in Lima, Peru

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tandem_paraglidingIf you are of the adventure type, paragliding might be something you’d like to try for your next visit to Lima.

It is done in the Miraflores/Larcomar area right next to the beach which is where most of the top hotels (e.g. Marriott) in Lima are located. So ask your hotel or travel agent for a paragliding company nearby.

Here is a fun video of what you’ll be able to enjoy. Are you ready?!?

Written by Catherine Castro

January 14, 2009 at 11:06 am

Surfin’ U.S.A.? Try Surfin’ Peru!

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surfOne of Peru’s most beautiful and fun beaches, San Bartolo, will be the venue wherethe best surfers in the world will be competing for the World Championship of Women and Men Professional Surfers 2009, as an article in RPP reports.

So if you are planning to be in Lima, Peru between January 23 thru February 1 and like surfing, you might want to consider a trip to San Bartolo which is just a few miles south of Lima (TIP: to drive from Lima to San Bartolo take the Carretera Panamericana Sur, drive until kilometer 50, and then make a right).

Among the 10 surfers representing Peru is Sofia Mulanovich, a multi-world champion surfer and the first South American to be inducted into the Surfers Hall of Fame. Check out a video interview to Sofia here.

As of date, the teams from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico,  Puerto Rico, U.S. and Hawaii have confirmed their participation.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 13, 2009 at 2:43 am

How Are Peruvians Welcoming 2009?

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playa1So how do Peruvians plan to celebrate the New Year’s? An article in RPP Noticias, the leading news radio and online site, states the options are either camping at a beach, at a friends’ or family’s place, or at a public venue for the long weekend that began yesterday for most.

For the New Year’s Eve, traditionally there are superstitions on receiving the New Year with a positive attitude and good luck, including wearing a yellow underwear (typically bought by someone else to bring more luck), eating 12 grapes at midnight, having yellow flowers, among many others. And regardless of where they will be, people plan ahead to stock up on alcohol and beers, bottled water, as well as canned food if you will be away from home.

According to the article, this is how the New Year’s Eve is looking like in Peru, particularly in the Coast region:

Campers along the beaches have already began to travel mostly by car to their preferred beach or to their friends’ or family’s beach house since the past days according to their vacation schedules. The main inter-department highway along the Coast called “Panamericana” (similar to the I-95 along the East Coast) is already busy with thousands of cars and SUVs with families or groups of friends going north or south from Lima, the capital city. Several police cars are along the highway to address any potential jams, and giving away brochures with safety and driving recommendations. To help the flow of drivers from Lima to the south of Peru, the highway has been opened today to be all southbound, and will change on January 4 when all drivers plan to come back to the city to start work on Monday.

Hundreds of people are also along the highway selling goods for those last-minute needs, including yellow flowers, balloons, bottled water, and other yellow goods to bring up good luck at midnight.

And for those who decide to stay at home or at a friends’ or family member’s place, a dinner similar to what they had for Christmas (a big meal similar to Americans’ Thanksgiving dinner) will be served tonight. The main course could be chicken, turkey, or pork, accompanied by paneton (an Italian-style sweet bread), salads, and several sides such as mashed potatoes and white rice. And to drink, there will be champagne or sparkling wine.

And once the clock hits midnight, fireworks all around the country will be heard. This replaces the typical “ball drop” Americans have.

Happy New Year to everyone, regardless of where in the world you will be!

Written by Catherine Castro

December 31, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Great Beach Getaways in Piura: White Sands, Warm Water, and Sun

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playaAs Peru kicks off the Summer season, lots of places start promoting tourism-related packages, including hotels, beaches, archeaological site tours, etc. In today’s major newspaper El Comercio, an article features the department of Piura, located in the north Coast of Peru.

Below is a list of the most popular beaches, from North to South:

  • Mancora is the most visited beach among domestic and international tourists of the young type, including surfers and adventurers, which explains hotel price ranges from $5 to $ 15 per night. Hotel Las Arenas is one of the most known in the area.
  • Las Pocitas and Vichayito are two great beaches to go to for a more sophisticated tourist or if traveling with the family. Hotel prices range from $20 to $100 per night and is highly recommended to make reservations with months in advance, particularly during peak season which is around New Year’s, July 28 (Peru’s Independence Day), and Holy Week (a Catholic holiday around late March/early April).
  • Punta Veleros, located in the district of Los Organos,  is starting to become increasingly popular. Its beach is good if you like surfing. If you are looking for a relaxing trip this might be the right beach for you. And the area has 5 small hotels and houses you can rent in advance.
  • Cabo Blanco is a beach largely preferred by surfers due to its big waves, as well as those who like to fish. This was the beach that inspired the American writer Ernest Hemingway for his novel “El Viejo y el Mar” (The Old Man and the Sea). The beach has a few small hotels. The best way to access this beach is if you have a car given its limited access via public transportation.
  • Lobitos is another beach for surfers with small hotels made out of wood (similar to cabins). The best way to access this beach is driving. If you don’t have a car, there is public transportation leaving from Talara but the wait could be up to an hour.

There are more beaches going further South, including Yacila, Cangrejos, Colan, Sechura, San Pedro, San Pablo, Matacaballo, Playa Blanca, Loberas, Reventazón, and Chulliyache. However, these beaches are not much tourist-friendly given its lack of access, hotels, and other basic tourism needs. But if you are the adventurer type and have a car via a friend who is local, you might want to go and explore these areas if you’d like but make sure you leave early and come back early before it gets dark for safety on the highways.

Personally, my favorite beaches area Mancora and Las Pocitas where I used to hang out with friends during my Summer vacation in Peru. And regardless of what beach you stay at, the seafood of that area is fantastic, perhaps one of the best available in the country. Make sure to order a ceviche with a cold beer – the best feeling ever! A shrimp omellette for lunch is really good as well.

Click here for a great trip planner in English made available by Peru’s tourism entity PromPeru, including the local cuisine, places to stay, local map, transportation, etc.

TIP: The quickest way to travel from Lima to Piura is by taking a flight. Recommended airlines include LAN and TACA. Once you get to Piura, the recommended way of traveling to your hotel and commuting is either walking or by taking local buses instead of driving. Ask your hotel to get the best routes and bus companies to where you want to go. I wouldn’t recommend renting a car if you are a tourist without any native Peruvian friends traveling with you. Some local routes might not have clear signs/labels, it creates a hussle to ensure you get a safe place to park it at nights, and hussles of filling up the tank when the closest gas station is several miles away from the beach.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 27, 2008 at 1:29 pm