Surfing in Peru is on the rise in terms of popularity, but its roots start with the country’s first civilizations. As coastal Peruvian empires rose along the shore, they surely depended on the sea for food. Reed boat fisherman would return to land by riding the waves in ceremonial fashion. Times certainly have changed, and now Peru surfing, which can be enjoyed year round, is enjoyed on modern boards instead of small reed boats. If you are an experienced surfer, you will undoubtedly enjoy the world-class Peru surfing found on its northern coast, and beginners can find lessons and surf tours that will have them up and riding in no time. Surfing is just one of the ways to enjoy Peru adventure travel, and it can be a great thrill when coupled with visits to Peru’s best northern cities.
The northwesternmost Peru departments of Tumbes and Piura are arguably the best places to enjoy the Peru beaches and surfing in Peru. Here, you will find a bunch of options for Peru surf tours. Peru surf tours are designed to allow visitors to experience the best waves, and with flexible options, you can generally have it your way. In Peru, the breaks differ by beach, offering both gentle and roaring waves. So many waves in Peru go unridden, so if you want to change that, then head to the Peru surf spots and claim your spot in the water. The north coast of Peru is located close to the equator, and swells both from the north and south bring waves that can be as long as one mile wide. From November through March, the north swells off the coast of Tumbes and Piura produce smaller waves, but the weather is warmer and sunnier overall. The south swells, which generally overtake the area from March to November, produce the bigger waves, but the weather is cooler and it tends to also be windier during this season. Since the Peru beaches here in the north can be enjoyed year round, you can arrange Peru surf tours regardless of when you visit.
Between the months of November and March, some of the more notable Peru surf spots, like Mancora, Cabo Blanco and Organos, generally see more surfers looking to enjoy the nice climate. Come the south swells of March through November, and Peru surf spots a bit further down the coast are at their best. The waves can be quite powerful at locations such as Bayovar, Lobitos, Pacasmayo and Chicama. The further north you are on the Peru coast, the more livelier the Peru surf spots tend to be. Destinations such as Mancora and Organos are nice beach resort towns with good nightlife. Onward south, Pacasmayo is a thriving town of sorts, and a good place to try ceviche, which is among the signature Peru food dishes you will find. If you keep heading south along the Piura department, you can find beaches in Peru that seem to be somewhat forgotten. Great Peru surfing can be found in the desolate towns of Bayovar, Chicama and Poemape.
If you choose to go with one of the Peru surf tours, you will likely have all your transportation, food and lodging needs taken care of, and you can basically tailor the trip to fit your time frame. The Pan-American highway, which extends down the Peru west coast, is the route of choice for those moving up and down in search of Peru beaches. If you had to name the top spots for surfing in Peru, you could make a good case with Chicama and Puntas Rocas. Puntas Rocas is holding a world surfing championship in 2008, and Chicama has what some claim to be the longest wave in the world. Chicama is located about an hour and a half northwest of Trujillo by car or bus, and Punta Rocas, is close to Lima. Punta Rocas tends to get more crowded than Chicama, especially from December-March, when Lima locals flock to the beaches. While some of the best surf spots might not be ideal for beginners, there are locations that are much more gentle. If you book one of the Peru surf tours, they will know where to take you. Some coastal Peruvian hostels and hotels rent surf equipment and wetsuits, so you won’t need to worry about that. Bring your sense of adventure to the Peru beaches and see why Peru surfing is making waves within the surf community.