The Huarmey District offers some of the best beaches in the north central region of Peru. Situated about 2 hours car-drive from Chimbote and four-hour from Lima, Huarmey is an ideal place for those who love beach life as well as those seeking solitude and tranquillity.
If you have a car or are ready to hike over the dunes, you can leave behind the packed and popular beaches of Tuquillo and La Posita and simply enjoy some of the more hidden, less accessible, discrete beaches which are abundant in the area.
My compañero Juan Carlos and I have chosen for our stay a beautiful family hotel right at the entrance to Huarmey, ten minutes car-drive from Tuquillo, called La Siesta. It appealed to me with its colourful murals, balconies and terraces as well as well-maintained swimming pool and continental breakfast buffet (yes, there we go again, I need substantial breakfasts in a country where most people just drink a fresh fruit juice and coffee in the morning).
Those of you who follow my blog faithfully know how much I love Mexico and La Siesta certainly has a Mexican touch, starting with the variegated murals and the name La Siesta and concluding with one of the three dogs of the hotel owners who was named Corona, after the light Mexican beer people often drink here when they go to the beach.
Corona was found by the hotel owners, Pedro and Shirley, abandoned in the road near the hotel, when only three months old. Her mouth and ear was badly torn – an injury caused by humans who were intending to kill the dog, probably an unwanted puppy born. Corona had worms and tapeworms in her body and was basically dying when she was found. Shirley and Pedro immediately took her to a veterinarian and within some weeks and months cured her completely. All the three dogs that Pedro and Shirley own are foundlings and they are being taken care of amazingly well.
For the first time in Peru I saw a family carrying a bowl of water for their four-legged darling when we went to the beach and calling the vet to check whether their dog can eat something in particular – like fish. Today Corona is three years and a few months. She is happy and loving. Thanks to her the hotel became a pet-friendly hotel and there is a considerate number of clients coming with their dogs. It is a pleasure to see how well these people take care of their pets, a major difference to the tragedy I have seen in the streets of South America and Southeast Asia, the tragedy of street dogs and cats that get beaten by people when they pull out leftover food from the plastic garbage bags in the streets to ward off painful hunger.
Pedro and Shirley totally made it on my list of the most inspiring couples I met in Peru and I honestly hope to make it back to their hotel during my stay in Peru this time being, as I loved the spacious rooms, lovely food (I tried several dinner options on the menu), my morning yoga sessions by the pool and the paintings everywhere that support the artsy chilled ambiance and good vibes of the place. And by the way – they have BBQs for clients in this hotel, which include an amazing assortment of wine, olives, cheese and of course a variety of food to be grilled!
Upon prior agreement, La Siesta can organize a beach tour for you taking to some wonderful spots where you will be the only people enjoying the pristine aquamarine and turquoise waters of the Pacific. I honestly can´t remember the names of all the beaches I have seen around Huarmey but let me name out a few of them for your inspiration: Maracana, Los Medanos, Los Perdidos, El Embudo, La Princesa and El Castillo. I enjoyed every single one of them.
With the sandy and volcanic mountains in the background this stretch of beaches overflows with perfect feng shui. If in the area, give it a try, road trip, wander, enjoy and stop for freshly made ceviche in the fishermen village of Culebras. You can see the preparation of the fish for the typical ceviche dish, the fishermen leaving for the sea hunt and the locals chilling around the small and quaint harbor.
Those of you who like to come to a place and simply stay there and relax, Huarmey’s main beach, Playa Tuquillo, is probably the choice. It is an “eco-playa” so it receives special environmental protection and assistance when it comes to pollution and trash issues. The area indeed has not suffered from too much commercialization or pollution. It is common for the local people to come here with their tents to camp over the weekend and enjoy BBQs while sunsets create a splendid shadow and light play in the sky.
Another well-known beach in the area is La Posita, often referred to as “La Piscina del Oceano Pacífico” (Pool of the Pacific Ocean) as it is a natural shallow ocean pool at low tide. The best time to experience La Posita is right between low and high tide, when the pool is filled up to your neck, allowing you swim comfortably and still see the rocky bottom.
The beach of Tuquillo and the village of Culebras are the milestones for the stretch of “Tuquillo Beach Circuit” which includes several islets located fifty meters from the shore, which serve as habitat for various birds such as the booby or the cormorants. This area truly is a great spot for your summer vacation.
On our way back to Chimbote, JC and I have hitched a ride (as the colectivos were taking ages to leave) with Luis (who stopped when we had been hitchhiking for 15 minutes), a young truck car driver, with whom we shared a lunch and good talk. A splendid end to a great weekend.