The sprawling bungalow complexes that populate Vichayito’s beaches offer a quiet and remote beach vacation. Should you want access to the city life of Máncora, stay at one of Vichayito’s northern resorts.
Built in 1995, the Vichayito Bungalows de Playa (tel. 073/825-6942, www.vichayito.com , US$50–120) continues to feel well designed and modern, especially after the 2010 remodeling. The spectacular bungalows have five-meter-high thatched roofs, wood floors, and windows with soft muslin drapes. All bungalows face the ocean. Amenities include a large pool, bar, and restaurant. And for an extra US$25 a day, you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner made for you.
Located in south Vichayito, and best accessed from a point on the Panamericana near Órganos , Villa Sirena (tel. 01/9826-8072, www.villasirenaperu.com , US$25 pp with breakfast, US$65 pp with full pension) is simultaneously chic and ecoconscious. Bed frames are made of recycled wood, but covered with crisp white duvets; roofs don’t quite meet the walls, allowing the passing of a constant ocean breeze; and showers are circled off by native tree trunks. Both the pool and the open-air restaurant are protected by grassy sand dunes, which makes for pleasant afternoons of reading or dining on delicious classic Peruvian dishes (US$10–15).
The Lima-born chef Santiago Solari (Vivero Palo Santo, cell 01/998-107-598, ssolaripe [at] gmail [dot] com, US$10–20), who commanded the excellent Naylamp Restaurant in Barranco until a few years ago, now lives in Vichayito with his wife and two kids. He hosts travelers and friends in a pair of bungalows he has built. Most importantly, he cooks superb food in a family-like atmosphere. Born to a Welsh mother and Peruvian father, his command of English is perfect. Call him and ask, literally, what’s cooking. It can be anything from a flounder cebiche to jumbo shrimp with curry sauce, among other delicious options.
There are several other bungalow hotels in the area, but they either lack access to the beach or are too steeply priced for their cramped and rustic accommodations. However, some of these hotels do offer camping, with bathrooms and showers. And for large families or groups, there are plenty of huge homes for rent in the area.
Without a private car, getting to Vichayito is a 15–30 minute mototaxi trip. From Órganos , the US$5 ride follows the Panamericana until Vichayito Sur, where it picks up the bumpy, El Niño–destroyed Ex-Panamerican. From Máncora , the price is the same, but the route is pure dirt road.