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Check out the artisans' market on the main drag, Avenida Piura, or the chic little shop Sirena (Av. Piura 336), featuring very stylish bikinis, sundresses, pareos (beach wraps), sandals and other beach apparel and accessories designed by an Argentine woman and made in Máncora. Soledad Surf Shop (Av. Piura 316; tel. 01/9983-0425) is the go-to place for hardcore surfistas and beachy types who just want to look the part.

While the terrific spa at DCO Hotel is also open to nonguests, another great spa option is Origenes Spa de Playa, on Playa Vichayito (tel. 073/694-460; www.spaorigenes.com); it offers a full menu of spa services and open-air massages, as well as a big hot tub and attractive pool overlooking the beach.

Board rentals and surfing lessons are easily arranged in Máncora (ask at Soledad Surf Shop). For those interested in a full-scale surfing tour of northern Peru, contact Octopus Surf Tours (tel. 19/9400-5518; www.wavehunters.com/peru-surfing/nperu.asp). Kite surfing is also taking off -- pardon the pun -- and several outfits, including Mancora Kite Club (www.mancorakiteclub.com) and Máncora Kite Surf (www.mancorakitesurf.com), arrange lessons, gear, and trips.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.