Big news: we finally posted a luxury beach resort review from somewhere in South America that’s not on the Atlantic. That’s Arennas Mancora hotel in Peru.
Ever since we started Luxury Latin America more than a decade ago, it’s been a mystery to me why there weren’t any luxury beach resorts worth featuring on the entire west coast of South America. There are plenty on the Pacific in Central America, so why does the action stop on the other side of the Darien Gap?
There are a few answers that require a little geographical digging and some that are cultural. In the first category are the topography of mangroves and cliffs, the natural factors of storms and earthquakes, and some cold currents flowing up from Antarctica. On the cultural side, the beaches of Ecuador and Peru have long been quite popular with domestic travelers, but have never gotten on the radar of foreigners. So then you get in a Catch-22 where no moneyed foreigners come, so there’s no incentive to build luxury resorts and hire staffers who can speak English, so no moneyed foreigners come, so…
I’m happy to say we’ve finally got one featured, with a website in English even, so perhaps some others will follow.
Arennas Mancora is the kind of resort that hasn’t really existed before in this land of thatched hut seasonal hotels meant to please large Peruvian families on vacation. What it presents is not radical, but it’s radical for a resort to be doing it on the northern coast of Peru. (Sure, there’s Hotel Paracas in the south, but there’s no beach there.)
With this resort you can check off all the vacation boxes: large swimming pool, lounge chairs on the beach, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and room terraces to take in the view. Some of the suites have plunge pools where you can relax while watching the waves roll in. All rooms come with a much greater array of amenities than is the norm in this region, like A/C, robes, room service, blackout curtains, and sustainably packaged toiletries.
There are just 22 rooms here, so you get some kind of view no matter which one you book. You get a good staff to guest ratio too and since you’re more than just a number, the staffers will start remembering your name and your preferences. You’ll have a hard time making choices at meal time here though, with lots of fresh seafood on offer and a menu that offers flexibility throughout the day. The kitchen doesn’t stop serving there until midnight.
Staffers can arrange excursions like fishing trips, surfing lessons, or tours, or you can just kick back and relax after a sightseeing tour around Peru. It’ll take a bit of work to get here—the closest airport to Las Pocitas Beach in Mancora is small Talara an hour and a half away. Plan your trip for the right time of the year too. In the South American winter, the ocean water gets too cold for swimming, despite the location near the equator.
See our full review of Arennas Mancora Resort in Peru.