FAQ Or the Ultimate Kitesurfing and surfing guide to Mancora Lobitos – North of Peru HOW TO GET TO MANCORA? Which is the best way to get to Mancora? It’s easy! There are basically 2 ways to get to Máncora and the north of Peru from abroad: a) Via Lima, the Peruvian capital city, or b) Via Guayaquil, South Ecuador. Most of the time, we’d advise you to travel through Lima as it is easier: from Guayaquil to Mancora the only option is to take a night bus, which means crossing the border into Peru late at night. Consider your options when choosing Lima or Guayaquil. Flight tickets to Guayaquil may be cheaper than to Lima, they might also be more convenient if you are travelling from the north of Latin America. From Southern Europe: Check flights from Madrid and take a low-cost (but reliable) company, flights usu ally go to Lima. Avoid Vueling airline if you are travelling with a big surf quiver. From Northern Europe: There are direct flights to Lima from Paris and Amsterdam with Air France. Flights to Lima are normally less expensive than to Guayaquil. From USA: It seems logical to land in Guayaquil and take the bus to Mancora. However, it is by far not the easiest way to travel. Choose this option only if you are not afraid of long trips, and especially if you are on a budget. It still does not mean than flying to Guayaquil is cheaper than Lima. There are direct (nonstop) flights to Lima from Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. When in Lima, should I take a plane or a bus to get to Mancora? When you arrive in Lima, you can get to Mancora either by plane or bus. The bus option can appear unfeasible (16 hours long), however you will be traveling mostly at night on a straight Pan-American road. Some bus compa nies offer an exclusive service: 180º degrees seats, wifi, personal TV screen and meals. Choose between the bus or plane alternatives depending on your flights connections, your time and budget. Which airports are close to Mancora? There are three airports close to Mancora: the closest is Talara at only 1h10 from Mancora, then Tumbes (1h45 away), and finally Piura at 2h30 away in a taxi. Which airline companies offer domestic flights in Peru? The airline companies in Peru are: LATAM, TACA AIRLINES, and VIVA AIR, a fairly recent Low cost company. The airline companies in Peru are: LATAM, TACA AIRLINES, and VIVA AIR, a fairly recent Low cost company. From 2019 PERUVIAN AIRLINES no longer exists. OUR RECOMMENDATIONS: a) Choose LATAM airline over the other companies. It’s best to buy tickets from their official website rather than search engines. b) Include the final destination when you buy your flight tickets from home. If you do so, it is important that you get enough time (2hours minimum) for your stopover in Lima before your next and last flight, as you’ll have to take all your gear out the plane at the Lima’s airport and re-check-in for the domestic flight!b) Include the final destination when you buy your flight tickets from home. If you do so, it is important that you get enough time (2hours minimum) for your stopover in Lima before your next and last flight, as you’ll have to take all your gear out the plane at the Lima’s airport and re-check-in for the domestic flight! How do I reach to Mancora from the airport? Take a taxi to Mancora. We can organize a trusted taxi for you, or you can find one directly inside the airport. See the price of official taxis two questions above. GOOD TIP: Share a taxi by finding other flight passengers or directly telling the taxi drivers waiting outside the airport: “Quiero compartir taxi” Cheaper alternatives than taxi: You also have the option of taking a “collectivo van”, which we do not recommend. It is better to take the local bus (EPPO), it is not as fast but is much safer and more comfortable. From Talara it is quite easy: you can take a moto-taxi from the airport to get to the bus terminal. Buses leave every 30mn to Mancora. From Piura or Tumbes, taking a bus will make your journey seem never-ending so it is best to take a taxi! Which bus should I take to get to MANCORA from LIMA? We recommend ExcluCiva Bus Company which you’ll find on Javier Prado Avenue. Choose preferably: > the 2nd floor (specifying 180º degrees seats (“sillas ciento ochenta grados”) and not 160º); > The left side of the bus when you go to Mancora and the right side when you go back to Lima to get the sea view. > It’s best to choose seats in the front half of the bus as they shake less than in the rear of the bus. Other reliable bus companies are: Oltursa and Cruz del Sur. We do not recommend you to choose the cheapest bus alternatives. Buses generally leave Lima from 4PM to 6PM and arrive in Mancora at 9AM to 10AM the next day. Best bus companies as mentioned above charge around 160 soles (50 USD approx.) for a one-way ticket from Lima to Mancora. You can buy your tickets online at least 2 or 3 days in advance in order to book the best seats. There is no need to book your return ticket from Lima, you’ll have the chance to do this in Mancora. DON´T WANT TO TRAVEL HEAVY, PAY TAXES AND EVENTUALLY GET YOUR BELOVED GEAR BROKE OR LOST? Then rent! We have last generation premium gear for rental. See all our equipment and prices here. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO COME KITESURFING TO PERU? When is the wind season in Peru? Our wind season here in the north of Peru (Mancora, Lobitos) – where we are based – but also Pacasmayo, is from mid-april to mid-January. However, there is wind all year around in Peru, as the best season in the South (Paracas) is from November to April. All our wind season in the far north (Mancora – Lobitos) (April – December) is super good with amazing wind sta tistics (towards the end of December until the beginning of January wind starts to fail one some days with the arrival of summer and the north Equatorial hot current). What are the winds statistics in Peru (north shore)? If you come on day-trips with us on the spots around here on the Peruvian North shore, you will have a 98,5% chance of riding everyday!!! (within our wind season: April – December). The wind comes from the south west, starts around 12h and dies around 17h. in the little town of Mancora, where we are based the wind statistics drop quite a bit: 4 to 5 days a week. But it is a great spot for foiling so in the end you could kitesurf everyday! When is the best season for kitesurfing waves in Peru? Most people ask this question. Now that we know that wind is not really a factor to take into consideration (read above) as it is blowing almost everyday during the whole season – April to December – your main concern will be the waves. During most of the wind season (Austral Winter) in Peru, we receive South and South-West ground swells travell ing a long way from the Patagonia seas in the South Pacific, enjoying great periods up to 22 seconds! (PARENTESIS: WIND SWELL VS GROUND SWELL For those who don’t know the difference between Ground swells and Wind swells, they are in fact the same as they are both created by the wind blowing above the Ocean. However, a ground swell travel bigger distances, which will have effect on the wave’s energy (and tidiness). When swells have intervals of 10 to 20 seconds (period between each wave – the higher the greater energy), we talk about Ground swell.) SWELL STATISTICS IN PERU Wave statistics show that May-June-July and October-November are the best months in terms of swells. Wind is usually stronger starting from August. However, over the years I have found that there is no best pattern, we have magic sessions throughout the whole season! I personally particularly like April – May – June (water is still quite warm and also maybe because it is the beginning of the season too ).Iit is also the high season (crowds wise) in Pacasmayo. The Peruvian north shore offers the best combo for wind & waves and it is very rare that there are no waves at all, and this situation would do not tend to last more than 3 days. Obviously like any surf trip: you always rely on a bit of luck… THE WKP ADVICES: Some good advice for the most exquisite wave-riders to get the best waves: 1) Come whenever you like during our wind season, except December. 2) Better come 10 days to 14 days rather than a few days, as it will increase your chances of having good swell. 3) If you have the flexibility, you can organize your trip last minute (or 2 weeks in advance, as far as a swell fore cast goes) 4) If you come to do some visiting Peru as well, it would be wiser to decide the program 2 weeks in advance de pending on the conditions. GENERAL QUESTIONS What is the water and air temperature? What clothing should I need? Wear shorts, flip-flops, shirts and a good hoodie for the cool nights (July-October). During summer (December – April): just a lycra. Clothing: The same as in winter, without the hoodie! Is the place suitable for my non-kitesurfing partner? For kids? If your partner likes to relax, to enjoy a paradisiacal beach and read, then yes! There are lots of activities to do such as spa, yoga, sup, surfing, horse-riding, plus excursions such as whale watching, diving, fishing and discovering the area. What is also amazing about visiting Peru is the food! You will have the chance to try the famous Ceviche where it i s originally from, and the wide variety of the northern Peruvian gastronomy in the great deal of restaurants all over the town. Kids can do what kids usually do: like enjoying simple things, the beach, the swimming pool, they can also try to learn how to surf, or kitesurf is they are older than 13. What other activities can we do in Mancora? These are the other activities we propose: -Yoga -Diving; -Surfing and stand-up paddle -Whalewatching; -Cooking Lessons; -Spa & Massages; – Motocross enduro And day-Tours: Mangroves, inland excursions, natural tubs, ceviche tour, Stand-up Paddling with giant turtles; Catch & Release fishing in a Yatch (only in Summer); -Fishing with local fishermen. See all our experiences here. Is it possible to party in Mancora? (…) Hell yeah! But best about it, is that you have the choice between a super healthy lifestyle retreat style, or a fun social stay, or mix both of them. What is important to understand is that if you decide to go sleep early and wake up early you will not know anything about the town’s night life. Mancora has two faces, everyday you choose which one you like the most. OTHER KITESURF RELATED QUESTIONS What size of kites do I need to bring? The standard size: On the Peruvian North Shore, the standard kite would be a 9m kite for a 75kg / 165lb (approx.) gentleman and a 7m kite for a 60kg / 130lb (approx.) lady. The extra sizes: Bringing 2 sizes kite is obviously better and 3 sizes is ideal here! In the case you can or want to only take 2 kites, here are our advices for the second kite size: a) May to August: Bring a 2nd bigger kite than your standard size kite. No bigger than 13m if your weight is no more than 80kg / 175lb. b) September to October: Bring a 2nd smaller kite than your standard size kite c) November to December: it is hard to say, we use all sizes… 7, 9, 12. Which wetsuit do I need? During our Austral winter (May – November): The water temperature in Mancora is pretty warm (around 23º). Now when we go to the southern spots, hit by the Humbolt current, the water can get colder (up to 18º) and a good 3/2 full suit wetsuit is necessary. What else do I need to bring (reef booties, kiteboard leashes, etc.)? REEF BOOTIES 99% of surfers and kitesurfers do not wear reef booties here. However, you are free to bring yours, it does not take to much space, neither weight. In Mancora from the club, it is just sand. Now if you rent one of the luxury houses in front of the surf spot, you may enjoy it at low tide. SURF KITEBOARD LEASH Yes, good riders should bring one, even if there is one only expert spot which requires one. HELMETS Even if a very small minority of kitesurfers uses helmets, I guess it will become a standard like with skating and skiing. So yeah, it’s always better with, than without. Most kite accidents happen with your own board. Is Mancora and the area a good spot for foiling? Yes, indeed, the sea deepens only a few meters from the shore and then you’re ready to foil everywhere in the bay. You can go upwind from our kite club to check the wave pointbreak, the fishermen and glide with the turtles close to the pier. Is Mancora and the area a good spot for foiling? Yes, indeed, the sea deepens only a few meters from the shore and then you’re ready to foil everywhere in the bay. You can go upwind from our kite club to check the wave pointbreak, the fishermen and glide with the turtles close to the pier. Is Mancora a good place for kite beginners? Yes, we give kite lessons everyday to beginners right in front of our kitesurfing club. And they learn fast here with us! The wind direction (side-on shore) is ideal for beginners as it is super constant, and known to be the safest wind. The sand beaches are endless and there is no crowds like you can usually see in most kiteboarding spots around the World. The only drawback is that statistically we may loose 2 or 3 days every month due to waves. Effectively, when a big swell hits the north shore of Peru, there is no sheltered beach where we can hide from the waves, and there is nothing we can do but cancelling the lessons (our limit is bigger than shoulder high). How much will it cost to bring your kitesurf quiver from abroad? From your country, the cost of bringing your kite quiver will depend on: The airline companies oversized equipment policy and fares (see our grid below); If you are bringing a Golf bag quiver with twintip(s) only or a surfboard bag (first might be included in most air companies franchise, whereas the second one is not); If you buy your flight ticket directly to the final destination (Piura, Tumbes or Talara): You may not pay the extra USD 35 (one way fee for an oversized sport equipment on Latam’s domestic flight) Air companies surf quiver franchise: This info may not be up-to-date, double check with your company beforehand. FREE USD 50 USD 100 >USD 100 Air-France – KLM Air Canada Latam Delta Airlines Iberia Avianca Air Berlin United (Continental) Airlines British Airways Alitalia American Airlines Lufthansa SwissAir How much charge LATAM for surf quivers on domestic flights? (Last update: May 2019) LATAM charges around USD 35 per flight for a board bag under 3 meters lenght. Peruvian Airlines does not charge for a regular board bag. Viva Air between USD 25 and USD 35 depending if you buy it online or at the counter. WAVE KITESURFING RELATED QUESTIONS Is kitesurfing waves safe in Peru? Yes. The Peruvian north shore wave spots are very safe compared to a lot of other wave kitesurfing destinations! Why? > Thanks to sandy banks, virgin sand beaches, > the absence of sharks or any other malevolent creatures. > a minority of the spots present off-shore wind conditions. > a very steady and clean wind. > Medium size waves: Except from those exceptional days (2, 3 maximum) when a very big swell hit the coasts, it is rarely higher than 2 meters / 6 – 8 feet. > And because we are here to ensure the safest conditions: (rescue, emergency scenario process, first aid, etc.). Which are the requisites to come with us on our kite safaris? Generally speaking, our wave trips are for both experts and people who want to initiate themselves into waverid ing. However, the participants must have a good general control of the kite. We you need you to be at least able to: > land basic jumps, > ride toeside and bodydrag upwind, > know how to do a self rescue (we can do a refresh on this last point). Can free-riders join our Kite surfaris? Our kitesurfaris are definitely waves oriented, but the freestylers and freeriders are also welcome: they can play in the waves or outside the shore break, there is plenty of space of everyone. ABOUT US RELATED QUESTIONS When are we open? Our kitesurfing club is open throughout the whole wind season: from the 15th of April to the 15th of Janu ary. (the closing date may change, ask us directly). How do we proceed? -STEP 1: Contact us Directly or fill out our online form telling us which main action or theme you want (ex: Wave Trip, Honeymoon, Kite Lessons, Multi-Activities, etc.), how many people are you, which t ype of accommodation you are looking for, your budget, and your dates if possible. -STEP 2: Depending on your desire and budget, we will send you a personalized first proposal. -STEP 3: Once you have accepted our draft for your perfect kitesurfing holiday, we finalize your reserva tions and send an invoice with payment instructions. -STEP 4: We provide your detailed program and all the necessary info for your travel preparation. We keep at your disposal for any other requests. Is it mandatory to book a trip or service beforehand or can I just arrive in Mancora? In the case you want a well-organized trip and that everything flows, book your kite lessons, or your seat in our 4×4 car for the wave kite safaris, YES of course, it is more than advised! If you are coming for a long period and time is not an issue: No, you are not obliged to book your trip, but still better if you pre-book your kite lessons, or some wave trips, and check our availabilities. Do we charge extra commissions organizing your travel (for arranging accommodation & other services)? No, we do not. We will try to get you better price than if you were booking alone! For example, giving you special rates if you come stay in our kitesurfing club hotel… TRAVEL MONEY RELATED QUESTIONS If you are booking a trip with us, our reservation policy is to send us 35%, and the rest 1 month before your arrival. It is always more relaxing not to carry too much cash when you travel. Here are the different issues about money in Peru: What we advise to do before you travel? > Check with your bank the limits of your credit / ATM card per day & per week; ask them to raise this limit during your trip. > You can also control your credit card withdrawal and purchase fees & commissions abroad. Some banks offer no foreign exchange fee or lower commission rates. > Have 2 credit cards (do not keep them in the same place when you travel). > You still have the possibility of bringing enough cash with you: traveling is pretty safe in Peru (especially if you take the means of transportation we recommended), that way you will avoid paying foreign exchange fee and commissions. Is there cash machine in Peru and in Mancora? Yes, there are several cash mashines in Mancora. But note that the cash machines in Peru only distribute a maxi mum amount of US$400 per withdrawal even with a VISA Gold, Infinite, etc. Each withdraw, your bank charges a fixed fee + a exchange rate commission. This can become quite a budget if you only count on your credit card, in addition that you may reach its limit and run out of cash. Which currency I will mostly use in Peru? We mostly use Nuevos Soles, the Peruvian Currency. You can pay in US Dollars all the bigger expenses: hotels, excursions, fancy restaurants. Sometimes price list are already in US Dollars, which avoid confusion (it is our case), but when the price is in soles and you pay in US Dollars the business will make you pay a unfavourable exchange rate. The best solution is to carry enough local money to pay your daily expenses but also us dollars to pay the big expenses and because it is easy to change currency almost everywhere in the country. How to pay Wild Kite Peru? All our prices are in US Dollars, to facilitate your comprehension of our tariff line. If you have an outstanding bal ance with us, you can pay with either currency (USD or Nuevos Soles). Different to most businesses, we always exchange currencies at the current online rate. How and where to change my currency? When you arrive at Lima’s airport, you can either withdraw N. Soles from the ATM or, exchange your currency; however we recommend avoiding doing so as their rates are ridiculously high! Taxis at the airport can be paid in US dollars. If you stay one or few nights in Lima, we recommend you to change part of your currency in Nuevos soles – the capital city has the best rates. It is better to exchange using official exchange offices rather than the money- changers (that you will find in every touristic place with a registered colored vest) as you will have to negotiate, be aware of the current exchange rates and keep alert on the money they give you. What if I have euros or different currendy than dollars? You may find exchanges for Euros in big cities or touristic places other than Lima, but not at a very good rates. If you are staying in Lima, we’d recommend you directly change your Euros or other currency into Nuevos Soles. If you aren’t staying in Lima and are going straight to your end destination, it’s best to bring US Dollars from your country of origin.