Accommodations and Food
All the hotels in Las Pocitas have beachfront property and restaurants, but it’s a good idea to check out both before you rent a room. Beaches tend to be rockier closer to Máncora, and restaurants vary from classic Peruvian to Italian. Most hotels have exceptionally good restaurants. Just as in the town of Máncora, room prices double during high season and may include different services.
On the border of Las Pocitas and Vichayito, Peña Linda Bungalows (tel. 073/25-8435, www.vivamancora.com/penalinda, US$25 pp) escapes the buzz of the hotel corridor. Its pleasant collection of bungalows is quiet, laid-back, and just off a sandy beach.
Los Corales (tel. 073/25-8309, www.loscoralesmancora.com, US$45 pp with breakfast) offers large, clean rooms with tile floors and thatched cane roofs. The rooms have private porches, but if you want to mingle, there is a playground, an open sitting area with coconut trees, and a mostly sandy beach. Services include Internet access and a TV room with DirecTV.
Near the southern tip of Las Pocitas is Máncora Beach Bungalows (tel. 073/25-8125, www.mancora-beach.com, US$30 s, US$68 d). American-owned, the hotel offers large, comfortable rooms in a pleasant two-story building. Each room has solar-heated water, a large modern and tiled bathroom, a telephone, TV with cable, and a private porch with a hammock and sweeping ocean views. There are two pools, a local fishing boat that has been converted into a bar, and an oceanside restaurant that specializes in fish and Mexican dishes. The staff here is a friendly and fun-loving family.
Honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic break should try Sunset (tel. 073/25-8111, www.hotelsunset.com.pe, US$58 s, US$66 d). The self-described “seafront boutique hotel” has only five rooms, which are intensely private and have spectacular second-story balconies. Inside, the large rooms are elegantly decorated with framed tapestries, elegant lighting, brush-painted walls, and vaulted bamboo ceilings. This hotel also has an excellent, if expensive, Italian restaurant, where an Italian chef rolls out authentic gnocchi and ravioli and then serves them with flavorful homemade sauces. Excursions include a US$120-per-person evening mud bath with wine, guided walks to nearby secluded beaches, horseback riding on the beach, and sportfishing on the Cristina, a yacht based in nearby Órganos.
Despite its ugly entryway, Casa de Playa (tel. 073/25-8005, www.hotelcasadeplaya.com, US$55 s, US$85 d with breakfast) has a nice pool, terrace, and restaurant and some excellent second-story rooms with private porches and hammocks. The other rooms here, however, are smaller, and the beach has quite a few rocks.
For a bit more space, and a sandy beach, try Las Pocitas (tel. 073/25-8432, www.laspocitasmancora.com, US$55 pp with breakfast). Constructed in 1987, this was the first hotel in Las Pocitas. It has a 1950s resort feel, but the rooms are large, with stucco walls and polished cement floors. There are table tennis and foosball tables.
On the weekends, the quiet bougainvillea-filled gardens of Playa Bonita (tel. 073/25-8113, www.playabonitaperu.com, US$45 pp) fill with families. Rooms have tile floors, but some are stuffy from stale cigarette smoke.
The best of this group of hotels is the sophisticated Hotel Las Arenas de Máncora (tel. 073/25-8240, www.lasarenasdemancora.com, US$71 s or d with breakfast). Nineteen spacious bungalows spread across a grassy, palm-lined property. Each bungalow has a TV and DVD player, private patio, air-conditioning, and refrigerator. The hotel management provides a video library, evening bonfires, and helpful service. The open-air restaurant serves up fresh seafood and is a good place to watch semitropical birds flit between palm trees.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition