With guaranteed year-round sunshine, the northern Peru beaches offer a relaxing escape any time of the year. Travelers heading north along the pacific coast from Lima – towards the warmer tropical waters near the Ecuadorian border – are greeted by soft sand and a collection of chic, luxury beach retreats. Aside from soaking up the sunshine on a family vacation or honeymoon getaway, the northern beaches also provide excellent surfing and the opportunity for whale watching from August to November.
Peruvian beaches have an added edge over the many, saturated resorts found in other countries as they are little-known outside of the country. Whilst the waters are not as bright blue as other international beach destinations, the Northern Peru beaches offer a natural ambiance that’s not over-developed, with luxurious, charming properties to relax and unwind after a more active tailormade itinerary in Peru.
The best luxury beach hotels in Peru are located just outside of the northern seaside town of Mancora, a laid-back fishing town and Peru’s most popular beach retreat around 2 or 3 hours drive from either Piura or Tumbes cities. The beach bolthole is easily reached from Lima via a short flight to the northern airports of Tumbes, Talara or Piura, with an overland road transfer to Mancora.
Thanks to a growing number of plush beach hotels, Mancora increasingly attracts sun-seeking jetsetters looking to bask in year-round rays and bathe in its warm waters. Mancora town itself is a popular pit-stop on the backpacker trail. Thankfully, the best hotels in Mancora – Arennas and KiChic – and the best private villas, have sensibly set up shop outside the town on a quiet, sandy stretch of sand. There’s simply no need to leave this patch, so you can save those minutes walking between your accommodation and the perfect sandy spot, spending them instead relaxing with a cocktail in hand. Peru’s luxury beach.
As with any beach resort, the usual array of outdoor activities can be found: boat excursions, nature trips, horseback riding, kite surfing and all manner of other water sports are all possible on Peru’s northern beaches.
SURFING: Surfing in particular has become extremely popular in Peru with more and more surfers attracted to the untapped potential of the country’s waves. For this reason, we recommend Chicama Surf Resort, an ideal choice for families as it offers a wide range of activities for all age groups. Chicama is becoming well known in the international surfing community for its mile-long, left tubular wave that surfers can ride straight or break up into shorter runs. Read our blog to find out more about the growing popularity of Chicama and surfing in Peru.
WHALE WATCHING: Another favorite adventure activity of ours is whale watching; it is possible to take a boat out on to the open ocean to spot humpback whales migrating north from late July through to October. Aracari’s excursion is on a very comfortable boat called the Yate, which is complete with bathroom. There is an 80% chance of seeing the whales, who at times can produce amazing leaps from the water.
THE MOCHE ROUTE: Perhaps the rustic, natural appeal of this part of Peru is a result of the crashing swells of the Pacific that draws surfers, or it could be the long history that the area has seen–thousands of years back–before the Europeans arrived. Indeed, the North is an area of rich cultural heritage as much as paradisaical landscapes. The Moche Route is dotted with important ruins, and tours to see that can be incorporated into a beach trip north.
These properties can also be reached as an extension to the highlights of the northern cities as part of any luxury travel Peru itinerary; for those exploring the outstanding archaeology in the Trujillo and Chiclayo area in northern Peru — known as The Moche Route — Piura and Chiclayo are linked by a 5-hour journey along a paved highway, meaning that you can comfortably transfer between the two areas. A stop at the picturesque town of Catacaos, a centre for arts and crafts near Piura, is highly recommended on this journey, before unwinding at the beach.
One of the highlights of Mancora is its year round sunshine and warm temperatures. Below you can check out the average weather in Mancora by month. Whale watching is possible from August to November.