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

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

Postby marina » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:31 pm

hey guys,
trying to make a trip happen to mancora next month -- my first semi real vacation in 7 years since we started The Kiteboarder and am totally psyched as I'm goofy footer!

Have some q's that I'm hoping those that have traveled there can help me with;

Fly into lima or guayaquil? leaning toward GYE as seems like will get there sooner, even if border issues.

Any suggestion on airline or ones to avoid? Best airfare and times is with Copa but online reviews are pretty scary.

Any rip off airport schemes to be aware of/watchful of?

Anybody know bus schedule from GYE to Mancora? I've gotten conflicting info from people and online. Some say only two evening buses, some throughout day, some shitty bus, some same is lima super luxury bus, one website said 11p is best bus to take for comfort?

Best sized surfboard to take for conditions?

Best kite size for 130 pound girl?

Any other travel tips would be highly appreciated!

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

Postby stefaans » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:00 pm

Marina, yes the best way to go is to fly into GYE. The flights going to GYE all land at the same time I think 9:30 maybe 10ish. It is very important that you are ready to roll once you get to GYE because you will need to have yourself together and get a cab to the bus depot asap. its only 5 minutes away and cost almost nothing. When you arrive at the bus depot run and go get a ticket on the ground floor and then run to get your bus on the 2nd floor. You really have very little time to do all this and get it figured out. if you miss this bus you are hosed you have no idea.
If you make this late night bus it rolls traight to mancora with a couple border stops/ drug inspections etc. you will be in Mancora in just over 6hrs.
If you miss this bus the next bus will be at 6:30am the next morning and this bus will be a whole new experience. you will be uncomfortable since this bus doesn't really go by seat but see how much over max capacity they can get it. aslo has maybe about 50 stops for people traveling from town to town. this bus takes more like 11hrs.
! thing you need to do to make sure you have a good trip is go see your pharmacist and take the correct atibiotics for the stomach flue you WILL be getting there. If you are not prepared you will spend half your vacation where you dont want to.
If you take 1 kite an 8m is probaly the best way to go and if you are willing to ride strapless just get a board there. Places on the beach are about 200(forgot the currency) and there is a hostel called "Loki" I think for 35 a night. Be ready to hang out if you stay here. nice pool and parties daily.
Do not eat at the cheap beach restuarants they don't have running water and this is what gets you sick in the first place. Make sure you spend a good amount of time at the sushi restuarant and the beef house you will not be dissapointed.

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

Postby stefaans » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:06 pm

1 more thing. Use the ATM at the south end ot town the others will cost you $5 a pop.

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

Postby marina » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:27 pm

dthx so much for info Stefaans! So you are saying take the 11p bus? our flight gets in at 2:30p. Do the earlier buses all make multiple stops/less quality?

Any experience with Copa? I traveled with LASCA to Ecuador 10 years ago for a paragliding trip and it was a nightmare.. delayed 10 hours pulling in an out of airport with south americans ready to beat our group up because of one idiot's comment....

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

Postby stefaans » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:45 pm

yes their actually 2 completely different busses, the daily busses have a bunch of upright seats and those stop all the time. The nightly(overnight) bus has about half the seast(normally 2 levels) that fold down almost completely flat. The night bus is I think $2 more and they guy selling you the tickets wwill have pictures for you of the actual busses. It's worth the $2 it either $9 cheap bus or $11 for the nice bus.

Seriously stay away from the daily bus. we were not allowed to take anything on this bus, bags nothing. We were searched by a chick in all areas I dont even want to tell you how bad. the bus pulled of and made its first stop 15 minutes later where piles of people stormed into the bus with huge bags and crap. some things just don't make sense in some of these countries but you just gotta go with it.
The busses are prettyy good on their schedule, their were never late but be carefull becasue they will actually come early and leave there is no waiting for anybody. Sorry no experience with Copa, I will try and remember the bus service we used, thier the only ones with the direct bus to Mancora. You will be suprised when you run in there therewill be 20 different bus companies.

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

Postby VOMKB » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:32 am

I am from Ecuador, and the short answer is fly into Lima. First of all, you are not guaranteed to be out of customs and immigration by the right time. You are more likely to end up stuck in Guayaquil than anything else. Since you would be arriving at night, you will have to take a cab to a hotel if you cannot make the bus, and traveling with gear is a clear candidate to be robbed. I am not trying to scare you, but I would not do it.

I have driven to Mancora from Guayaquil, and the travel time is 6 hours +/- 30 mins

Guayaquil - El Cambio 2 hours unless the driver is flying, which could be less.
El Cambio - Huaquillas 2 hours too
Immigration in Huaquillas to cross the border ~30 mins if you are with a group of people from the bus.
Huaquillas - Mancora 2 hours

It is a tiring trip. Fly into Lima, catch the next morning's flight in Mancora and avoid all the hassle of traveling by bus.

In terms of airlines, the ones I like are American Airlines and Lan. I have been very successful with Lan traveling with a golfbag. They don't ask anything, just simply accept it as a golfbag. American can be a bit more difficult, but I have pulled it off too. Copa will ask you to pick one piece of luggage as the important one, which is guaranteed to get on the plane. Anything else is not guaranteed, so you may not get it. I have flown with them 3 times, and I also had to go to the airport to pick up a suitcase a day later at least. I went snowboarding in Argentina, and on the way back, my boardbag with everything did not arrive for 2 days and that was the last time I flew with them. If you have any other questions, just email me directly.

Jaime

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

Postby windmaker » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:51 am

Have been to Mancora twice, always through Lima and Piura using Lan Peru flights which are excellent and on schedule.
Went to Ecuador on a day trip from Mancora and it can be an adventure...

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

Postby marina » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:34 pm

how much are the flights to piuru from lima? I checked and everything was $500 per person but travel websites say tickets are $120 each way.... any tips for airline or how to get this rate?

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Postby VOMKB » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:45 pm

Go to lan.com and you can plan your entire trip. Just for testing, I tried Lima to Piura on October 14th and there is a rate of 40 USD one way.

Jaime

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

Postby marina » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:59 pm

hi Jamie,
looks like I need to book it there as US site is $500 plus for RT LIM to Piura!

Can you tell me:
Is it easy to just book ticket at airport?
Do they have 'gringo' and 'local' rates
maybe book one way ticket ($229 on peru travel site) and get return while in country for cheaper?

Are you affilliated with Davo from the hostel? Next year, hopefully Ecuador but chose Peru this year as my traveling companion only surfs....


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