Mancora has always been a synonym of quintessential beach but contradictorily that same attribute was a burden that carried out its own doom. Massive concurrences and lack of planification and regulations made of this idyllic destination a not so cool place in just a matter of decades.
But new life came to Mancora with a renewed collective consciousness that is promoting touristic activities oriented to conservation, while putting in practice sustainable activities looking to directly involve local communities of fishermen, in an ordered manner.
The first thing coming to sight is the whale watching tourism phenomenon, occurring between july and november where the humpbacks are the guests of honor, some of them mothers, bringing their recently born calves that were conceived in these same waters exactly a year ago.
The experience to see the whales breaching and to hear them singing -with the aid of a hydrophone, is so captivating that people describe it as a unique sensation, digging deep in their hearts assuring their involvement in its preservation or at least adding voices in their defense.
But whales don’t come alone. Dolphins of different species, sometimes in huge pods, make also their appearance, and if the odds are with you even orcas can be seen around. Five of the seven species of marine turtles make of peruvian waters its home as well, and two of them; the Green and the Olive Ridley nest in the northern coasts.
Move a little bit more towards Ecuador and other giants will be elegantly swimming below the surface. For long time hidden from the eyes of the visitors but not from the long timers fishermen, young whale sharks and giant manta rays give us the opportunity to submerge along them in experiences out of this world. Supervised by non-profit organizations, that as in the case of the humpback whales, are recording information to contribute to science, broaden the knowledge about these, believe it or not, vulnerable animals.
Move a little bit south and the name of Cabo Blanco might not just bring back memories of legendary fish trophies but it will show you that it is closer to real life than you thought. As Hemingway came looking for inspiration for his novel, others came and battled the largest black marlin and big eyed tuna in the world. Now the idea is to use this fame and glory as a thrusting force into making of these areas a marine national reserve, first of its kind in Peru.
Meanwhile surfers, some of them knowing all that some of them not, have been gliding an outstanding variety of curls, getting in touch with the ocean and recognizing its intrinsic value, and at the same time, realizing the power that the sport has over kids and youngsters, keeping them away from the bad influences proper of poverty and winning over crime and addictions by making of them one with the sea.
Mancora is not only the popular beach resort destination but an important stretch of coast and sea between Piura and Tumbes that holds treasures beyond the imaginable, experiencing an unlikely positive spontaneous and unprecedented change that needs to be supported by everybody, from the government along the local communities and NGOs to visitors alike.
If you are planning a RESPONSible trip to Peru or specifically to its northern coast, let us know writing to english @ responsibletravelperu.com or filling our questionnarie and we will be happy to help you out.
Photo credit: Agencia Andina