The tranquility that breathes when out of the city, the delicious cuisine, the summer season which remains nearly the entire year, the warmth of its waters and its rich forests and mangroves make Tumbes one of the ideal destinations to escape the capital city. But that’s not all, if your plan includes children, know that this northern corner has developed accommodation to be enjoyed by those big and small, and agencies offer a range of activities for family fun. Now that the holidays are approaching, it may be a good time to travel, so take note of our recommendations and start your next adventure.
Located in Zorritos, the Casa Andina is an ideal place for relaxation as it remains completely out of town. The resort has 57 rooms facing the beach, pool and playground with a trampoline, slides and a foosball table. Moreover, as small children are often difficult when it comes to eating, the restaurant offers a special menu with hamburgers, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, spaghetti and other treats that cost around S/. 18.
Another formidable option is the Royal Decameron Punta Sal, which has a mile and a half of beach, 42 superior twin rooms, 12 bungalows and 259 standard bedrooms, pool, restaurants, and entertainment throughout the day. As an all-inclusive system, you can forget the extra expenses during your stay. There is currently a promotion, available until December 22, and for scheduled travel dates, as low as US$ 79 per adult, per night.
A third family-friendly alternative is La Posada of Tumpis that has standard rooms for two adults and two children, plus two beach houses with terrace and pool available for rent to groups of 10 people. Extensive sandy beaches and a swimming pool are preferred by the smaller ones, and adults especially enjoy the delicious dishes offered. They have 3 night packages beginning at S/. 2,990 for 3 people with all meals included.
*MANGROVES OF TUMBES*
Just 30 minutes from Tumbes is a must-see attraction for everyone who travels north: the National Mangrove Sanctuary of Tumbes, covering 2,972 hectares and inhabited by 200 bird species, 105 fish, 34 crustaceans and other wildlife varieties.
To enter this protected area costs about S/. 200 per person, but the experience is priceless. For starters, the tour lasts all day and the kids can learn about the importance of this productive ecosystem. Aboard small vessels, passengers are taken to Isla de los Pájaros (Bird Island) or Isla del Amor (Love Island), two obligatory points on the route. A crocodile farm can be visited, as can collectors in the area who teach traditional techniques used to gather conchas negras and the 11 species of crabs that live in the mangroves. It should be noted that here the typical ceviche with conchas negras is prepared, yet another reason to revel in the north.
*FUN IN THE WATER*
If you are into adventure, take advantage and experiment with a kayak ride along the coast. If you are staying at the Decameron Punta Sal, you can use these and other non-motorized boats at no extra cost. Alternatively, surfing lessons are another option. For S/. 105, the company Green Trail Expeditions dictates hour-long classes for those as young as 5-years old, and includes the instructor, surfboards and wetsuits. The only requirement here is that the child can swim. You can also consult with Pilar Yrigoyen, associate of a school in Mancora, an hour and a half from the center of Tumbes, and teaches for first-timers in the Punta Sal area, for an additional cost.
Spondyllus is the first school of diving with PADI certification in Peru and provides classes for varying ages. Children as young as 8-years old can learn in a pool, at a cost of S/. 100 per hour and a half session; if older than 10 years, children can experience their first dip in the sea for about S/. 300, which includes equipment and instructor. This service is provided in Mancora, therefore you must book in advance and coordinate with their mobility.
_(Photo: Paco Sanseviero)_
Beginning in January, when the rainy season starts in this region, groups start to tour the northern hills of the Amotape National Park. The route includes an easy to moderate walk where, if you’re lucky, you may see deer and hundreds of birds flying over the site’s area. Along this route you can also reach the Pozas de Barro de Zorritos, a natural hot spring where children and adults will both have fun in the mud, which is said to have healing properties.
Another alternative is to visit the Tropical Forest of Tumbes. In order to get there an intermediate hike is necessary, but once there one can see colorful butterflies, frogs and other species. The most fun for the little ones is the La Cascada, where they can slide down the naturally formed slides. The company Iguana’s Trips offers full-day trips including a visit to the Baños Termales de Zorritos and lunch. The price is S/. 180 per person.
Air: LAN has daily flights from Lima to Tumbes. Starting at: US$ 205.
Land: Oltursa, Cruz del Sur and Excluciva depart daily from Lima. The trip takes about 20 hours. Starting at: S/. 105.Even the littlest ones can enjoy entering the lush mangroves or taking surf lessons.