Sometimes as you travel through this world you chance upon a hidden gem that sparkles just for a momennt, Malecón Grau on the Panamericano Norte was just such a place. It was lucky for us that we decided to stop here for the night, for we could easily have missed it.

Malecón Grau is a quiet little coastal fishing town snuggled among the harsh desert sands. There are no famous tourist attractions and nothing much to do in Malecón Grau, unlike Huacachina, where you can try Peruvian sandboarding, here there is nothing. In most ways it is completely unremarkable, which is why the buses drive by without stopping and you are likely to pass it without ever knowing it existed on your way to the more famous tourist spots of Mancora and Chiclayo.

Our decision to Malecón Grau wasn’t planned, we just happened to be on a road trip heading to the North of the country. The sun was already sinking low in the sky when we turned off the motorway to Malecón Grau. It had been a long day of endless motorways and archaeological wonders.

What we found as we drove into town was an awesome little fishing town with high hills behind it surrounding a deep sheltered bay. In short Malecón Grau is a natural harbour and there has probably been a settlement here since people figured out that wood floats on water and fish are tasty.

Malecón Grau isn’t very large and spreads around the bay and up the hills following the contour of the land in the shape of a crescent moon. Small fishing boats lay tied up on water as flat as a miller’s pond. We found a basic hotel that offered a great view of the town and an even better one of the sunset.

Early the next morning before the mist had risen we headed off without a second look back. Malecón Grau was a great place to rest our heads for the night.