Máncora is a lively Peruvian beach resort of ten thousand inhabitants; it is a good stop if you are on your way to Ecuador, as it's only two hours by bus from the frontier city. The beach here is the main draw and it’s around ten kilometers long -- ideal for morning runs. It’s beautiful; walking along it, you quickly leave the hotels and hostels behind and it's just you the sea and the sands. Unfortunately, local police say it’s unsafe to walk the length of the beach as robberies have occurred.
There is an excellent selection of accommodation available in Máncora, including camping and surf camps with basic huts or hammock dormitories. Prices are a little higher than the rest of Peru.
There are lots of restaurants selling some good deals on almuerzas (set meals) and good ceviche (Peru’s national dish) is served all over town. For self-caterers there is a market behind the main square. There is a nightlife pulse in Máncora, but it tends to be a beachfront sound clash among the beach bars -- an incongruous mess with reggae, techno, and chill-out mashed together from different sound systems. It's also nice to sit away from this on the beach and buy some beers or wine and listen to the waves.
The town is a mecca for surfers and a renowned kite-boarding venue; there are places to get lessons from along the beach. You can hire surfboards by the hour or day. On a windy day, it's great fun to watch them out on the sea pulling tricks. Ask for more information at your hostel's reception desk.