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Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experience?

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marina
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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby marina » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:07 pm

hi All,
I posted my inquiry on a few forums and here's a response I got on the Nwkite.com forum. Also, given the state of seige in Ecuador right now, I wouldn't feel too comfortable traveling from there to Peru. I was in Quito about 12-15 years ago ending a paragliding trip (epic!!!) when the president doubled the price of natural gas. It was the night before we left and we were scared to go outside our hotel. There was rioting, people lighting tires/trash on fire, chaos on streets, etc. I would maybe talk to Skip at PeruKiteCamp. I had a group of five friends who flew into GYE and as part of his service, Skipped picked them up and they had no problems whatsoever. good luck!!!

Marina,

I stumbled upon Mancora when it was still a well kept secret so my info is a bit outdated. It was 2004, I was on the road from Quito (Ecuador) all the way to southern Patagonia, always traveling by bus (350 bus/hours in 8 months). 1 kite (fuel9) 1 surfboard. Mancora had none of the shishi places yet, just a few run down hostels and the one place with no sign on the beach-Smile

Here you have some ramblings..

I don't recommend to fly to Guyaquil. The town is almost as bad (in terms of crime) as Lima AND you have to cross the border which is where all the scum of both countries tends to congregate. The border itself is set up in a way to allow plenty of opportunities for said scum to take advantage of travelers. (Note: I speak perfect Spanish & I don't look like a gringo --still Tumbes is the one place, in over 7 years of extensive solo traveling through Central and South America, that got me-Wink

A cab ride from Guayaquil to Mancora is more expensive than a plane ticket Lima/Mancora (and you don't have to deal with the border and the other hazards of overland traveling).

Long distance buses from Guyaquil drop off foreigners at the border on the Ecuadorian side (even the luxury ones and even if you had already paid for the ride all the way to Lima-Smile) they don't tell you when you board the bus, of course. You look around and realize there is a bridge to cross (on foot) to get to Peru..

.. but 4/5 days per week the bridge is closed and you have to walk through the market (euphemism) where local scums (from age 5 up) have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of you..
Note: the closure of the bridge is a social/political form of welfare demanded by local population-Wink

Then you have to take a cab for a about 1.5 miles to the immigration (that is after they got you)

Safest option is to take a plane to Mancora from Lima (not sure now, but up to a few years ago basically you had to wait almost the whole day at the airport --I wouldn't go around dragging all the equipment).

Tip: If you take a cab ask the driver to lock the trunk (and watch him do it), keep the windows closed, seat in the middle of the back seat and keep your small bag(s) under your feet.

Second best is to take the bus. Go for the luxury one as it is a LOOOONG ride. Long distance buses travel overnight. Always.
Window seat is best:
a) you can see the scenery (the next morning) and
b) you can put your valuables to your (protected) side (that is the side of the window).
Tip: tie your bag to your leg/arm when you sleep.

Make sure you get receipts for your bags (and keep them safe).

Small dollar bills are accepted everywhere but make sure they are new (even banks won't take US$ that have cuts, pen marks, tape, are worn etc.).

Only banks or hotels will accept 50 and 100 dollar bills (watch them carefuly when they are handled, if they disappear for more than a couple of seconds chances are they will not be the same when they get back to you-Smile)

Have fun,

Gianni

More tips:

IF you decide to stop for a couple of days in Lima on your way back and treat yourself a 5 star hotel, and IF you decide to have your valuables stored in the hotel safety (whether or not in a locked/closed bag) make sure to write down on a sheet of paper the serial number of any dollar bill (from 20 up) and have the manager of the hotel sign the list. Check the numbers when you retrieve your belongings to make sure the bills are the same.

The chain attached to the back/side of the chairs in bars and restaurants in Lima and other (fairly( big cities is for your bag: use it.

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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby littlekitegirl » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:02 pm

wow....

this really sucks :(

I've been planning our honeymoon for months and we're first planning on going to the galapagos (which is now in jeapordy do the political situation in Ecuador) then travelling down to Mancora for some kiting. I've read lots about this bus trip and am getting very conflicting reports - I've read that as long as you avoid the chicken buses, the trip is okay...

I'm looking into flights but it would be around $800 each (ouch). I've contacted our hotel in Mancora to see if any rides can be arranged, but I'm not hopeful...

What airlines other than LAN do people recommend? I'll read over this post again to see if that's already been answered...

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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby littlekitegirl » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:22 pm

okay....

with all this craziness I'm seriously considering buying tickets from Guayaqil to Piura... but cost is really $$$

Can anybody point me to a reliable travel agend in ecuador or peru to help?

thanks...

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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby maigueri » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:32 pm

I don´t think it´s the best time to go to Ecuador due to the last coup.

From my point of view youcan stay all your honeymoon in Mancora, you´ll not be bored. I´ve been there during one month and that´s awesome (hors´-ridif, kite, surf, quads, wales wachting, see dolphins while kiting or swiming...and the most terrifii sunset i´ve ever seen.

If you need info do not hesitate to send me pm. i´ll go again next week during two months.

By the way...¿anyone going to mancora could bring a kite-board from USA :-?

see u

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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby littlekitegirl » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:47 pm

Sadly... we are supposed to leave on Tuesday, and our flights were booked ages ago (way before any of this happened). We're also fully pre-paid for a very expensive non-refundable galapagos trip, so just going to Mancora isn't really much of an option. Our flights are already into ecuador!

Again, anybody know of a travel agent who could help with the guayaquil, lima - piura trip?

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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby maigueri » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:50 pm

I think the best way is booking from internet.

I wouldn´t trust from any peruvian or ecuatorian agency. I´ve a friend who own a hotel which has transfer i can send him a mail, asking about a private transfer from guayaquil to Mancora, but i think they don´t make that route.

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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby VOMKB » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:54 pm

Please stop spreading rumors. There is NO coup. That is a made up story by the Government for political gain. What has happened is the following:

There was a strike by the police who did not want to go to work because a law that was going to take away some of their benefits. The president went to a police regiment in Quito, and when he was booed by members of the police, he got angry and shouted at the cops in his very confrontational style. As he tried to leave the regiment, a tear grenade was thrown by the cops and one of his body guards fired and injured a cop. That started this whole mess, which is a disgrace for all of us. Again there is no coup, but the situation is tense.

Littlekitegirl:

There is nothing for you to worry about. Galapagos is another world, and mostly untouched by anything that happens in the rest of the country. Everybody in Galapagos is all about tourism, so you are good. I don't know what a travel agency can do for you, but please email me and can put you in contact with one that we use for our travel.

Maguieri:

You are obviously not from Ecuador, so for you to suggest that Ecuadorian travel agencies are somehow not trustworthy is pure bull. No business of any kind survives anywhere by being untrustworthy. Please don't offer advise for something you know nothing about.

Jaime

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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby marina » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:51 pm

Ecuador is a beautiful country with wonderful warm people. I spent three weeks there paragliding the mountains and coast and it is still one of my top three memorable trips. Next year, I hope to go for lkitesurfing and paragliding there!.

RE: Mancora, do you plan on hiring a guide to take you around? If so I would contact Skip at perukitecamp.com and perhaps he will do a deal for you including pick up or help you with your ticket from other there. I also have another contact if you wish.

I am flying TACA which I heard is pretty good. They all have their issues....

Don't worry but be smart! You will have a wonderful honeymoon:-)

marina
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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby marina » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:54 pm

Also, re; spreading rumors, sorry but it is all over the national news so blame it on CNN:-) I have found though that once out of city centers in 'third world' countries, it is typically 'business as normal' as long as you aren't any ugly obnoxious ostentatious gringo!

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Re: Mancora advice: fly into ecuador or lima/airline experie

Postby Shmed » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:49 pm

I mentioned him earlier, but I highly recommend Ruben Palomino (inkapal@hotmail.com), a travel agent to help book travel in Peru. He's not kiting related, but he was great about booking all sorts of night buses and made sure people met you in distant cities to make sure you got places safely. It sounds like you would feel better if you used a local travel agent like him to help you.

Otherwise, I think it's plausible to fly into Lima (I would stay in Miraflores), and use your hotel to help you book an overnight bus to Mancora. I agree that you should go first class-- the one time we took the local cheap bus, my laptop was stolen out of our carry on bag under the seat. You should put your belongings within eyes view.

Don't know what is going on with the political situation in Ecuador, but the Galapagos is a natural preserve of islands some thousand+ miles offshore. Logically, unless you think the Ecuador airports could close, you should definitely go and not worry about it. I haven't been, but I've heard that it exceeds all expectations. Unless you know of something specific, it sounds like it's like worrying about LA riots when you are taking a trip to Hawaii... i.e. probably not that relevant.

Sounds like an amazing honeymoon and you should definitely enjoy both parts!


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