Today, surfers from all over the world travel to South America searching for those legendary left-hand point breaks that have made this continent such a heated surf region.
The surf conditions in South America differ as much as the coastlines themselves. The west coast of South America receives consistent southwest groundswells from the southern hemisphere storm activity. These southwest groundswells are exemplars of the famous left-hand point breaks that line the west coast of South America from Ecuador to Chile. The east coast of South America is much different. There is far less groundswell activity happening, especially in the lower latitudes. So, waves are minimal at best in Argentina and Uruguay. Brazil does provide some quality, wave-rich areas, most notably on the northern coast.
South America is a great surf travel destination. Aside from airfare, which can range from $600 to $1000, it’s dirt cheap for everything: food, lodging, entertainment, etc. This enables traveling surfers to easily extend their stay.
Read through our South American Surf Spot guides to find the best destination for you.
Ecuador has consistent year-round surf, picking up swell from the northwest to southwest. Surf crowds are small. Most visitors travel to Ecuador to access the Andes Mountains. Ecuador is a good jumping-off point for the Galapagos Islands, which have some epic waves on each island.
The top South American surfing destination. Peru is home to Chicama, the longest left-hand point break in the world. Not to worry, Peru is not a one-hit wonder; it’s littered with long left-hand points, reefs, and really fun beach breaks. In fact, there are so many surf spots throughout Peru that crowds are hardly an issue.
Chile is one of the most rugged and prettiest countries in the world. Its rugged topography helps to create some classic surf spots. It seems that around each rocky headland lies another epic left-hand point break. Most traveling surfers head to Punta de Lobos, Chile’s most famous left-hand point.
Brazil Surf Spots
Brazil has a long coastline with many waves around every corner. Brazil’s surf is not the biggest or best that South America has to offer, but offers fun waves in a tropical atmosphere with an unreal party scene.