Peru Surf Spots

Peru’s waves rarely grace the pages of popular surf magazines, and most Peruvian surfers couldn't care less –they know the score. Peru’s 1,400 hundred miles of desert coastline is dotted with lush green valleys and a mind-boggling amount of surf. Peru benefits from a wide-open Pacific swell window which welcomes swells from the north and the south. These swells routinely bomb her numerous points, reefs, and beach breaks, bringing quality surf from its border with Ecuador in the north down to its border with Chile.

Although Peru is loaded with quality waves breaking in both directions, goofy-foots win the top prize – long pin-wheeling, left point breaks. The best of these is Chicama. Gushingly put, Chicama is the longest wave on the planet and arguably the least crowded premier surf spot. Its remoteness and 2-mile-long, leg-burning rides keep the surf population small and spread out.

Not to be outdone by the quality breaks of Chicama, Pacasymayo and Mancora in the north, Peru’s central and southern regions also offer an enticing array of quality surf spots. On the central coast sits Lima, the capital of Peru, where you will find a cluster of good waves. Off Lima’s coast lays a challenging big wave reef, Pico Alto, and a host of tamer options for the rest of us. A short ride to the south to Punta Hermosa will place you among many quality spots. If you are interested in more remote surf, head farther south and you’ll find dozens of relatively uncrowded breaks.

Although not tropical, water temperatures are manageable in Peru. In the summer, which is the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, temperatures hover in the 60’s and 70’s, while the winter months drop into the 50’s. The water is warmer in the north than in the south, so plan accordingly. In the central and southern regions, fog and grey skies prevail courtesy of the Humboldt Current. The weather is temperate due to the current’s cooling influence on the desert climate, so expect cool water and a moderate climate with the desert landscape.

The best thing about the surf in Peru is that they always have it! The north, south and central regions of Peru receive swell twelve months a year, so you are guaranteed waves. Guides are recommended for first-time travelers due to the remoteness and sheer number of options available. These guys will put you on waves that match your skill level and interests, while ensuring you have the right equipment. With that in mind, if non-stop waves, friendly surfers, uncrowded lineups, and a little adventure are your idea of good surf trip – head to Peru.

Seasons in Peru

  • Summer: December-March

  • Autumn: March-June

  • Winter: June-September

  • Spring: September-December

Northern Peru Surf Spots

 

MancOra

Surf Location Resort city of Mancora located around KM1164 on the North Pan-American Highway
Best Swell Direction Northwest or Southwest
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction Anything out of the east
Best Surf Season In the summer, look for solid south swells to light up this spot
Wave Quality Nice, long, left-breaking waves in warm water. Very popular spot for backpackers and vacationing Ecuadorians.
The Surfers Good local surfers - can get crowded on weekends and good swells
Boards Short, fish or longboard
Paddle Out Easy to difficult, depending on size of swell
Skill Level Beginner to Expert
Bottom Reef, rocky
Watch Out For… Rocks and weekend crowds
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

Cabo Blanco

Surf Location The city of Cabo Blanco KM 1137 off of N. Pan-American Hwy down from the pier
Best Swell Direction West, Northwest
Best Tide Low to mid tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Spring and Winter
Wave Quality Regional classic, quick left-breaking barrel with a long, fast wall; only recommended for experienced surfers. When it is breaking, expect Peru’s best in the lineup.
The Surfers Good vibe from very good surfers. Show respect and patience and you’ll be fine.
Boards Short board to semi-gun
Paddle Out Depends on size of swell, but the wave is fairly close to shore
Skill Level Expert
Bottom Rocks and sand
Watch Out For… Crowds, reef, and powerful surf
Water Condition Clean
 

Pacasmayo (El Faro)

Surf Location Located at Km 663 of the North Pan-American Hwy
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction North, Northeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality World-class wave, it has a long left point which picks up a ton of swell, fast
The Surfers Not crowded during the week or the weekend
Boards Rounded pin
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Sand and rock
Watch Out For…
Water Condition Clean
 

Punta Huanchaco

Surf Location The beach is about 10 km NW of Trujillo
Best Swell Direction South
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Known for its long left point, can have a point break, a little section-y
The Surfers It can be crowded at times, especially on the weekends
Boards Egg, longboard, shortboard and fish
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Good for any skill level
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Urchins and pollution
Water Condition Clean
 

Chicama

Surf Location In the city of La Libertad at KM 614
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide All tides work
Best Wind Direction No wind, or East
Best Surf Season Winter and spring
Wave Quality One of the longest left point breaks in the world; world-class
The Surfers Mellow vibe, the wave spreads out the crowd
Boards Any board works
Paddle Out Walk or ride back to the point or prepare to paddle for miles!
Skill Level All skill levels welcome
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Leg cramps
Water Condition Clean

Chicama, Peru - Surf Video

 

Lima and Southern Peru Surf Spots

 

Piedras Negras

Surf Location Roughly 20 minutes south of the city of Ilo
Best Swell Direction South, Southeast
Best Tide Mid tide
Best Wind Direction Glassy to northwest
Best Surf Season Winter and Spring
Wave Quality Excellent left-hand point break
The Surfers Good vibe, uncrowded lineup
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy to moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Expert
Bottom Rock reef
Watch Out For… Rips and rocks
Water Condition Clean
 

La Herradura

Surf Location La Herradura is south of Lima. Follow the Circuito des Playas south past Barranco, past the Regatta Club. Parking is at the last beach.
Best Swell Direction West, Southwest
Best Tide Low tide
Best Wind Direction East or Northeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Has a long left point break; the wave has three sections, all pretty fast and hollow; world-class wave
The Surfers Can be very crowded, lots of locals
Boards Rounded pin
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Best for advanced and experienced surfers
Bottom Sandy with some rocks
Watch Out For… Urchins
Water Condition clean
 

Pico Alto

Surf Location 43 km south of Lima on the South Panamericana
Best Swell Direction West, Southwest
Best Tide Low tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality This wave is shallow and fast with left- and right-running waves. It is also fairly consistent and reliable.
The Surfers It gets very crowded on both weekdays and weekends
Boards Gun
Paddle Out Easy to moderate
Skill Level Best for big wave riders or pros
Bottom Urchin rocks
Watch Out For… Urchins
Water Condition Clean
 

La Isla

Surf Location 43 km on the South Panamericana in front of the Punta Hermosa Resort
Best Swell Direction West, Southwest
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Very shallow but speedy, considered a regional classic, very consistent
The Surfers Very crowded
Boards Good for any boards
Paddle Out Easy to moderate
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Urchin-crusted rocks, flat rocks and sand
Watch Out For… Urchins
Water Condition Clean
 

Punta Rocas (Rocky Point)

Surf Location Follow the sign "Punta Rocas" at Km 46 south of Lima on the Panamerican Highway. Take the lower track; this takes you to the beach parking.
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest, West
Best Tide Incoming
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Punta Rocas is the site for many national championships. The wave is reef-rocky, goes both right and left, is very powerful and a lot of fun.
The Surfers Crowded
Boards Shortboard, mini-gun
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Rocky
Watch Out For… Rips, undertow and rocks; if you paddle in from the south side watch out for fixed fishing lines
Water Condition Fairly clean
 

Cerro Azul

Surf Location 130 km south from Lima on the Panamerican Highway to the village of Cerro Azul
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction East or Northeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Refined left-hand wave, has a good amount of swell with a good shape
The Surfers Crowded on weekends but empty on weekdays
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Sandy
Watch Out For… Urchins
Water Condition Clean
 

Penascal

Surf Location From San Bartolo - Playa Norte, paddle out to the point break on the north side of the bay
Best Swell Direction Northwest, West
Best Tide Incoming
Best Wind Direction South
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality This is a point-break wave that goes both ways. It’s very fast, hollow, powerful and long.
The Surfers Can be crowded on weekends but pretty empty on weekdays
Boards Rounded pin
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Rocky
Watch Out For… Rocks
Water Condition Clean

 

 

Advertise with The Surfing Site!