Unlike south American's most popular beaches Cabo Blanco isn't tropical. A thriving fishing village situated on Peru's Northern Shore a few hundred kilometers from the Ecuadorian border, only a few stray palm trees dot the town's blunt, desert coastline. But Cabo Blanco presents a visually striking landscape and in its starkness there is a beauty of literary proportions.
In fact, when Ernest Hemmingway arrived in Cabo Blanco the site's beauty is reported to have awed him. There for the filming of his acclaimed novel, The Old Man and The Sea, Hemmingway reportedly caught a 700 hundred-pound marlin during his one-month stay.
The site's exquisite coastal landscape, along with the allure of big game fish, has drawn a diverse handful of celebrities to Cabo Blanco's beaches, including Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and Nelson Rockefeller. And roughly twenty years after Hemmingway caught his marlin, surfer Gordo Barreda stumbled upon the village and discovered the famous Peruvian Pipeline, garnering Cabo Blanco's dusty, desert coastline even more attention. This infamous left-hanging wave remains renowned in the international surf community to this day and continues to draw surfers from every corner of the globe.
Though Peru largely fell off the tourist map in the 1980's and 1990's, potential visitors deterred by a failing economy, political violence, and a brutal dictatorship, finally came. Today, the country's economy is flourishing and its democratic government is thriving.
The country's beach scene is up and coming and surfers and tourists alike are returning to it's North Shore in a small but steady stream, in search of epic waves, remote beaches, and great seafood. With no crowds and excellent prices, the region is the perfect vacation destination and Cabo Blanco is certainly not to be missed, though getting there can prove to be challenging.
To get to Cabo Blanco, you will first need to get to Mancora (seen in above photo). From Lima you can bus up the Pan-American Highway, about a sixteen-hour ride. Though if you don't find the idea of a long bus ride all that appealing, alternatively you can fly to either Tumbes or Piura and then take a shuttle the remaining distance.
Vans anxiously wait at the airport to transfer tourists to beach destinations, so you likely won't have trouble finding transportation at a reasonable price. Once you've arrived in Mancora, you can take a local bus to Cabo Blanco or you can also hire a moto-taxi to take you there for around 70 soles. Remember, Cabo Blanco's remoteness is what helps it to maintain its charm. The trip might be long, but don't be discouraged: the beautiful coast and great waves make the journey well worth it.
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