This may shock you: I am not much of a tent-sleeping kind of girl. While I may rough it in the name of adventure every once in a while, I much prefer accommodation that includes running water and electrical outlets. And, to be totally honest, I’m a pretty big fan of mattresses. I know, right? What a wuss.
So I was somewhat skeptical when, over lunch in Lima, one of my PR contacts in Peru insisted that I simply must stay at the Vichayito tent hotel outside Mancora.
But no, she insisted, these were luxury tents.
After eight nights in hostels, I was ready to take her up on that offer. After a twenty-minute bumpy tuk tuk ride from downtown Mancora, we’d arrived at the Vichayito Bungalows y Carpas. First impressions were strong — I loved the use of natural materials and the low-profile main building and bungalows.
But what I really loved? The thatch-roof canvas tents, complete with charming gardens, dotted along the beachfront.
I quickly fell in love with waking up to the roar of the nearby waves, and sitting on our porch during the day and listening to the thatch roof rustle in the wind. When we got a little tent fever (see what I did there?) we wandered up to the hotel pools, or down to the beach.
While the pool was often brimming with families, the beach was large enough that everyone could claim their own stretch of sand. Often we’d look around and realize we were the only humans in sight.
Vichayito provides free kayak and SUP rentals, which we took advantage of one ambitious morning. While I experienced the same motion-sickness I did while paddling at sea in Mancora, it was a nice break from our beach bumming nonetheless.
The fact that our visit was close to Christmas was all the justification I needed to spend obscene amounts of time and percentages of my budget at the onsite K’oral Spa. And I am not ashamed to admit that my gold sparkle mani/pedi brought me great joy throughout the holiday season.
There is room for improvement at Vichayito, as there is anywhere. The restaurant, while perfect for a casual pool-side bite for lunch, lacks the atmosphere necessary to justify the expensive prices at dinnertime. And the breakfast buffet left something to be desired — it was one of the few places in Peru we didn’t have fresh juice!
Also, the interiors of the tents could use a small face-lift. Small changes like swapping out the cheap plastic hangers and replacing the dollar-store fan with an upgraded version would make a huge impact.
Long term travelers know, eventually you need a vacation from your trip. Out in the middle of nowhere with no wifi, I was forced to take a true break for two days — and it was exactly what I needed. This was the perfect location to say goodbye to and reflect upon my ten weeks of travel in Peru.
Speaking of which — um, can you believe I’m actually done writing about Peru?! I’m having a hard time believing it myself. Thanks for taking this trip with me, guys. It wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without you. And now, onward to Ecuador!
Have you ever stayed in a luxury tent? Let me know where in the comments — I think this is a an experience I need to repeat again soon!
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Many thanks to Vichayito Bungalows y Carpas for their generous hospitality. I was a guest of the company in order to promote them on this site and through my freelancing outlets. As always, you receive my thorough and honest opinions regardless of who is footing the bill.