Mala, Peru: population: about 54,000. Mala is a small town a few kilometers away from the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by hills that are actually very big sand dunes. The history goes back to pre-Inca times with the Huarco people who were eventually conquered by the Incas. In 1537 the Spanish conquistadors arrived and conquered the Incas and took over the area. Now the area has a large banana and platano industry, farming, as well as tourism and commercial services.
Mala has a desert climate. The average daytime high of 24° C (75° F), and the night average low of 15° C (59° F). The city's elevation is 30 meters (98 feet). Mala averages 109mm (4.3 inches) of rain per year.
So, my impressions: I have nothing bad to say about Mala, it's a decent little town. There are a few banks and several cash machines, some mini-markets, but no supermarket. The climate is excellent and the beaches are a few minute's drive away. It has a few nice parks. That pretty much sums it up.
This is my goal: to find a new place to live. So to reach that goal I am traveling most of South America, visiting the countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, passing through Argentina, visiting Paraguay, passing through a bit of Brazil, and finally visiting Uruguay. I have a list of towns, about 70, that meet these qualifications: Cities with average day temperatures of 22-28° C (72-83° F) and night temps of 14° C (57° F) and higher; and a population between 28,000-300,000. I analyzed climate and population data of around 700 towns in the countries mentioned above and then pulled out the ones that meet the previously mentioned criteria, which leaves about 70. My preference leans towards towns of less than 100,000 people. And, now that I have visited more than 30 towns/cities, I've decided I will probably want an inland town. I love the beach and walking in the warm water, but, getting sunburned is just too easy, even on a cloudy day. At least, here in Ecuador. I've also decided that any town with more than 100,000 population will be too big. I've decided that any small town/city (less than around 80,000 population) that meets the temp specifications and has a supermarket and ATM is one worth considering to live in.
My goal is to visit the towns and discover which one calls out to me - "Chip, Chip, make your new home here, this is your new home town". That hasn't happened yet, but the four towns listed below are very close to giving me that feeling. At any rate, I am not visiting tourist attractions or archeological sites, etc, those will have to wait for another trip through South America.
At this point in my journey I have four towns on my Top 10 list - Tingo Maria, Moyobamba, La Merced, Peru, and Catamayo and Puyo, Ecuador. In my travels in Ecuador, I visited 31 towns/cities. At this point in my journey through Peru, I have visited 16 towns/cities.
Next up: San Vicente de Cañete, Peru.