Northern Peru, with its white sand beaches, steady sunshine, and, wait for it…whales(!) is a dream destination for travelers to Peru and never more so than right now.
In case you’re on the fence or not convinced just yet to include Northern Peru on your Peru holiday, consider these 5 reasons to visit Northern Peru from mid-July to mid-October (a.k.a. right now):
1. It’s whale watching season!
Antarctica is so cold! As a result, Humpback Whales migrate to the warmer sea waters of Northern Peru for their breeding and calving season.
From mid-July until mid-October, you can witness an up close view of their 10-foot-high blows and waving tales. Also, with a bit of luck you will see the whales breaching fully out of the water!
Back in 2016, I was able to see three breeches and so many tales up close. Even today, this is definitely in my top five best moments in Peru!
Extra Bonus: You will probably see dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and the funny blue-footed boobies on your whale watching trip as well.
2. You can escape the winter and say hello to the sunshine!
Especially during the grey winter months in Lima, it’s a perfect plan to treat yourself to some sun. There are daily flights from Lima to Piura or Tumbes. Travel just two to three hours on the road and there you are: sun, sand and sea!
It is said that the Mancora region has over 350 days of sunshine, so leaving with a nice sun tan is a sure thing. With temperatures ranging between 25 and 34 degrees Celsius year round, it’s a comfortable climate to enjoy.
Sipping a cocktail and watching the stunning sunset from your hammock—what a perfect winter escape!
3. Go sporty or lounge the day away by the pool or beach.
Mancora is famous for its waves. For those who are the ‘sporty’ type, you can kite-surf, paddle board or go horseback riding on the beach! I will gladly wave to you from my hammock or lounger at the pool overlooking the sea : )
These activities can be enjoyed year round, but it does make it that much more fun when you know it’s utterly cold back home.
4. You can swim with sea turtles.
Something unique that gets me off of the hammock is swimming with sea turtles. There are tour operators offering this activity; It is worth knowing that a group of around 15 sea turtles have their home at the Muelle Viejo at Los Órganos.
It’s great to watch them swim or, even better, swim along with them. Make sure you have your swimming gear on as there are guides around that are happy to go into the water with you.
I did and it was surreal to swim together with these turtles. It’s an experience that doesn’t break the bank. If my travel notes are correct, it was only 2 soles to snorkel (I tipped 5 extra soles). Snorkel masks can be rented for around 5 soles, and for 20 soles you can purchase the “You Swimming with the Turtles” Go-Pro clip.
5. There’s plenty to indulge in.
Last but not least, Mancora is the base of one of the many Peruvian culinary gems: Donde Teresa.
Teresa Ocampo is a famous culinary icon in Peru. As a pioneering female chef, she starred in many TV programs. Her show, What Will I Cook?, successfully taught many the ins and outs of preparing good Peruvian meals.
Nowadays, her son Javier continues the culinary tradition of the Ocampo family. With his restaurant only a 35 meter distance from the sea, it’s no surprise that he serves superb marine cuisine.
Chef’s Suggestion: Saltado de Atun
My favorite dish on the menu? It was a hard decision but you can find out in my Donde Teresa restaurant review.
Certainly, when in the region be sure to stop by and have at least one meal at Donde Teresa!