Did you know that the small coastal town of Puerto Chicama in Peru is home to the longest, left-breaking wave in the world? And that the Peruvian Mochica people were the first surfers on earth?
When people talk about surfing, the world’s most popular surf destinations spring to mind. For decades, surfers and their down-to-earth surfer lifestyles have glorified places like Hawaii, Bali, and Australia. But just as there are many world famous waves, there are also lesser-known surf spots that are parallel to them and Peru is definitely one to keep note of!
Surfing in and around Lima
The best swells in Lima for the more seasoned surfers are from May through August. However, surfing is always a favorite past time all year long, as the water temperatures range from 16°C in the winter to 21°C in the summer (roughly 60°F -70°F).
Waikiki and Makaha in Miraflores
Take a stroll down the malecón of Miraflores and from a distance, you will have a panoramic view of surfers bracing themselves to catch the best waves of the day. If you’re up for a challenge and would like to give surfing in the Pacific Ocean a go, head down to the coast. Enigma works with trusted Lima surf schools who offer group classes or individual private lessons.
La Pampilla Beach in Miraflores
Since May 2017, Lima even offers hardcore surfers the opportunity to ride the waves at night. La Pampilla has been equipped with 1,000-watt floodlights high above the beach, which provide enough illumination to surf after nightfall. This is the first stretch of beach in Latin America that is illuminated specifically for surfing at night.
Further south of the capital is the resort and vacation district of Punta Hermosa that boasts some of the best surfing spots in Peru. For the expert surfers, Pico Alto’s waves that average 4 meters (13.2 feet) in height may be especially interesting. And for the seasoned-but-average surfer, you will find that Caballeros is more accommodating with waves that go no higher than 1-2 meters (3.3-6.6 feet).
La Herradura is said to be the best point break in Lima. This spot is named after a robust left wave that reaches up to 3.7 meters (roughly 12 feet) when a south swell comes in strong. La Herradura is definitely for the expert surfer as the waves can be quite unpredictable!
Surfing in Northern Peru
If you are looking for a more laidback beach town experience, head up north where the weather is perfect and the waves are consistent. The Pacific Ocean can be quite chilly, but the sun makes up for it as the north is closer to the equator.
North of Lima, nearly at the border with Ecuador, one finds the small fishing town of Mancora in the sunniest region of Peru. Mancora, (where Ernest Hemingway is supposed to have found the inspiration to write the novel “The Old Man and The Sea”) offers a combination of fantastic surf, long sandy beaches and cozy hotel options. Here, Enigma works with a former Peruvian national champion who is the only female surf instructor in Mancora and probably the most respected.
Last but not least is Playa Chicama, home to the longest, most perfect, left-breaking wave in the world. Located 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Trujillo, this popular surf destination accommodates both professional and leisure surfers alike. The weather is mostly sunny and dry all year, and the small coastal town offers basic but comfortable surf resorts.
Whether you are one to chase the waves or just prefer watching the pros, Peru has all the elements of a surfer’s paradise – pristine beaches, point breaks and breathtaking scenery. In Peru, not only is surfing part of the culture, but it is also a fantastic way to meet the locals. If you would like to find out more, please don´t hesitate to get in touch with the Enigma team and we can help you decide which surf spots suit you best!