Peru: the ultimate surfing destination
The 2,400km Pacific coast has outstanding waves for all levels, from newbies to elite surfers looking to challenge themselves.
Lima also has multiple breaks while Peru’s northern coasts are home to some of the longest waves on the planet.
For locals and foreigners alike, Peru’s national identity tends to be defined by its Andean heritage, from the Incas to adorable alpacas. Yet as any seasoned surfer can tell you, the country’s 2,400km Pacific coastline is home to countless breaks for surfers of all levels. Whisper it quietly but Peru is a world class surf destination with a rich surfing tradition that has borne various world champions, starting with Felipe Pomar, a Lima local and big wave specialist who won the 1965 World Surfing Championships.
Peru’s “surfing” may actually be as ancient as Hawaii’s, and long predates the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th Century. Local fisherman on long, narrow reed rafts learnt to harness the power of the waves to coast back to land with their catch. This practice still exists along parts of Peru’s northern shores. So, it comes as no surprise that Peruvians took to the sport like, well, fish to water, when Carlos Dogny, a globetrotting Peruvian bon vivant, learnt to surf in Hawaii and then brought the first board back with him to Lima during the Second World War. Today, surfing is part of the culture along the length of Peru’s coast, where two in three of the country’s 30 million people live.
Punta Hermosa, a beach resort 30 minutes south of Lima may be the country’s best known surf spot. Peru actually won the team world championship, when it hosted it there, in 2014, narrowly beating out heavyweights Australia. Punta Hermosa is also home to Pico Alto, Peru’s best known big wave, which requires a massive swell to break, with waves several stories high. Another renowned wave is Chicama, near the northern coastal city of Trujillo, reputed to be the world’s longest break at 1.5km, although only elite surfers are capable to take the four-minute charge down its entire length. For surfers, who usually spend a long time paddling in the water for a few fleeting seconds of actually riding a wave, that is huge.
But there are numerous other waves suitable for beginners in Peru, and no shortage of experienced instructors and options for renting a board or, if it’s not summer, a wetsuit. In Lima, the classic beginners’ beach is Makaha, next to the Rosa Nautica, a restaurant at the end of a 100m pier that is a landmark in the Peruvian capital. But there are other options too, including some remote, windswept beaches in the north where you’ll be far away from the crowds. If you’re interested in learning more, just let us know!
To go surfing as part of your unique, individually tailored itinerary, contact the Peru Empire Company at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +51-1-700-5100 or, if you are in the US, 347-713-7030/34.