Tumbes, Peru.

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Stop, look and listen! The real Tumbes, Peru is just around the corner and no need to jump in the nearest taxi and flee. Border crossings can be a stressing experience and often times you can rush by without smelling the roses. Tumbes, Peru is a quaint and friendly town to visit. Plus north of Tumbes lies Puerto Pizarro, the gateway to the National Mangroves Sanctuary.

 

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There are plenty of affordable hostels to be found off the main drag in Tumbes, Peru. The hostels surrounding Plaza de Armas can be rather expensive. Walking a few streets off the main drag you will find the hostel prices can reduce in price by 50%.

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The central market is worth a visit to buy fresh fruit and have a refreshing fruit drink.

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You will find many assortments of restaurants to choose from in Tumbes. Tumbes, Peru is a good place to eat turkey (pavo) sandwiches.

Puerto Pizarro is nearby and a shared taxi will cost about 2 Nuevo Sols per person from Tumbes. In Puerto Pizarro you can hire a water taxi and be dropped off at a remote beach to enjoy a day in the sun.

Plaza de Armas in Tumbes is beautiful at night, plus the temperature is cooler and a great time to enjoy the small town atmosphere. The evening is when Tumbes comes alive with the adults strolling around the town and the kids playing together. All the street vendors setup stands to sells their goods. Grab a sweet treat and relax under an exotic tree in Plaza de Armas.

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Now if you walk down by the river on the south side of town, you will find a rather pleasant waterfront park. Lots of money was spent on the waterfront infrastructure, but it seems the waterfront mostly lies vacant during the year. There is security during the day and I felt secure jogging and walking in the area during the day. Nighttime seems a different story and best to avoid the area after the sun goes down.

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The best area to have a stroll is the pedestrian walkway through the center of town called “ Paseo La Concordia,” and there are some statues and artwork to admire. Near the North side of Paseo la Concordia you will find a giant statue of Christ.

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My experience is Tumbes has been positive and I would suggest having a look around the town. Feel free to stop and have yourself a meal if passing through and definitely don’t be afraid to spend the night in Tumbes if your arrive at the border crossing late. I’ve read a lot of guidebooks that discourage people from staying overnight in Tumbes, Peru and feel this information may have hurt the town tremendously for the tourism potential.

(Update) I was robbed in the early morning in Tumbes with a gun. So watchout!