AKA predatory party town economy, “legends” and more
It’s funny how small party towns are all the same, nevermind the culture nor location. It’s just part of human nature that some of us like to get relaxed with the help of some poisons. Many intercultural elements are divisive, but this particular one is rather universal for everyone.
The party ground also comes in a complex package that includes the certain universal types of people such places attracts as well as those who make profit out of it using their tricks and various tactics. So whether it’s Hoi An in Vietnam, Magaluf in Ballearia, Máncora in Peru or Montañita in Ecuador, there are quite a few things all these places have in common.
Máncora and Montañita are two small beach party towns just some 12 hour ride from each-other in the north of Peru, respectively in Western Ecuador. Both are a classic party towns, which involves tons of bars that are all blasting shitty music across each-other; mad traffic with horn-trigger-happy macho drivers; predatory tuk tuk drivers/shady drug dealers.
And there’s also a lot of what I call legends – you know the type that’s been around for a while with overdeveloped narcissism/attention seeking syndrome, who’s always up front by the DJ in the rave, who wants to be seen and who speaks to everyone and then greets everyone with cool gestures…
The legends are not all bad – some of them are actually very nice and some are just pure assholes – there’s no particular good-or-bad typology – there’s just that bit of narcissism and the rest is differences in personality, age and the years or of a substances abuse.
Here they however kind of wilted by turning their talents into the those people who are trying to get you to eat in the restaurant on the streets, the flyer people, or some even dressed like Captain Jack Sparrow getting your attention to get a picture with or enter a club, etc…
Oh yeah – and there’s also a lot surfers here. I’m not entirely sure about surfers yet – they are a bit too sporty for me but they are kinda nice – I’m just not sure how real that nice is. It’s not like with mount climbers because their niceness is genuine. Surfers did not make me trust their genuinality just yet. Maybe it’s because they all look like a cliché, I don’t know..
OK – screw the typologies, although it’s a great subject and I could go on about taxi drivers (not to be trusted liars or their nemesis, the romantic take – super nice like from Jarmush’s Night on Earth); actors (dramatic, sensitive, egoistic and defensive); psy trance (parish-like special group of people that doesn’t let you in completely unless you have dreadlocks and a dog) and so on…
Anyway. Máncora vs Montañita
The major difference is that Montañita is bigger. It therefore has more clubs, out of which not all play reggaeton. Funnily, you are also less bothered by the street touts here but other than that, the towns are like a siblings. Perfect waves and tropical vegetation. Quite nice, I must say.
Well, Máncora is also a popular tourist destination for friendly Peruvians. Except from its main beach, one can stroll to quieter Los Pocitos 10 minutes walk south of the town, take a collectivo to Punta del Sol, a popular family destination or take a tour to swim with the sea turtles in Los Orangos. Upon seeing the video how the poor turtles trying to get away surrounded by many people in the water, I’ve opted against this activity.
As for Montañita, its beaches were cleaner unlike in Máncora where I didn’t even bother to go into the ocean after I spotted dead fish and birds in the water, not to mention the plastic on the beach and so on. As for other activities, I’d recommend a day trip to Los Frailes beach.
And drink some water before you go to sleep – it should smooth up your next day’s hangover 😉
Next possible destinations heading north
- Ecuador’s Quito
- Colombia’s Ipiales, Pasto, Cali and Desert Tatacoa
- Colombia’s Bogotá, Medellín, Villa de Lleyva and Ráquira
- Colombia’s Caribbean coast
- And here’s a general tourism info about Colombia, in case you were interested