Punta Sal is one of my favourite places in all of Peru and I’m sure you can see why.
It’s the place to go if you want to escape day to day life in the city. You can log off, sit on a sandy beach, read a book and just relax. It’s summer here all year long, unless El Niño has something to say about it, so anytime of year you visit will be perfect. I’ve visited in October and June, and both were amazing times to stay here.
But it’s not only the relaxation that makes me love it so much here. The beaches are beautiful and if you visit in low season, there will be literally no one here (aside from around the big resorts). Sunset walks on the beach will become a daily occurrence and fresh fish your daily diet.
Fishermen come onto the beach most days with their catch and you have the opportunity to buy the freshest fish possible. Having a self catered apartment is beneficial here, so you can prepare your own food, because believe me, ceviche is what you want to be having in the middle of a long hot day. Or maybe even barbecued fish for dinner. Happy days.
If you’re not up for too much relaxation, the sea is your oyster, so to speak. Swimming, or sea kayaking if you want something more interesting, but watch out for the sea lions! There are also plenty of day trips to be had and if you plan to stay a while, then I do recommend having a car, so that you can explore the area at your own pace. Mancora is probably the nearest big town so if surfing is more your thing, then you can drive there, about 20 minutes south of Punta Sal. Along with bigger waves, this town is packed with restaurants, bars and shops. So, if you fancy a night out, this is definitely the place to come. Also, don’t miss the Panaderia ‘Rico Pan’, as they make insanely delicious – and addictive – manjar blanco filled bread/doughnuts.
Over our time in Punta Sal, we’ve had many a trip away from the beach. We get kind of fidgety after a while! We’ve visited some incredible hot mud baths a little drive out of Mancora, become faithful customers at Frutos del Mar restaurant in Cancas, travelled up to the National Mangrove Sanctuary in Tumbes, eaten at some lovely restaurant hotels in Vichayito and Organos, and seen sea turtles from Ñuro pier.
As I said before, a self catered apartment is a great choice here, and Punta Sal isn’t short on beach side bungalows. Our place of choice is El Refugio in Punta Sal town itself. It’s right at the end of a long bumpy road, but it’s a little slice of paradise. When we last visited it was the last building with only beach beyond, although someone might have snapped up the land next door by now. There are 4 apartments and a house, which lead straight to the beach, so you can come and go as you please, day or night. There’s no internet but there is cable and a DVD player, so you’ll have some entertainment. If you prefer a bit more ‘connection’ to the outside world, there are a few small hotels and plenty of other bungalows along the beach front to choose from.
The best part of all of this is that our dogs were able to come with us. We road tripped up with our car and the dogs both times, and spent from 2 weeks to a month here with them. They loved running along the beach, playing in the sea and sunbathing a little in the day, and we loved having them here with us. The trip wouldn’t have been the same without them.
So, if you fancy a weekend break or something a little longer, then try Punta Sal and I’m sure you’ll find yourselves recharged and ready to take on the world when you get back. Sometimes all we need is to disconnect from everything and enjoy our own company, and what better place to do that than somewhere with the ocean for a view.
El Refugio Bungalows located at the end of the Punta Sal Grande’s main road. The turning of which is located at KM 1187.5 of the Panamericana Norte.
Photography – Emma (and some from my other half).