Surfing in Peru

by Derek Dodds October 18, 2016

Peru - Surf Destination

My bro always dreamed of going to Peru, he is a goofy-footer and he mainly surfs rights in California. I myself love rights but once I ventured down to Peru my vision of going left changed and once I left that country I had a new fondness for the going backside.

Surfing Peru If you are going to Peru on a surf trip I'd recommend taking a few days to head into the mountains to visit Macchu Picchu—now look I am a lover of the ocean, but I highly recommend that you take some time and visit this magical place.

Machu Picchu is one of those places but you'll never forget, you'll be transported to a different time, and the feelings that you'll have while walking to the ruins we'll remind you of the history of humanity.

Peru has mainly three surfing areas, the points in beaches to the south, the waves around Trujillo (this includes Chicama, sump report to be the longest left in the world, which I would agree with), and the third area is to the far north and include the beaches of Mancora.

Surfing in Peru

Surfing in Peru Bellestas Islands

I personally like the beaches around Trujillo, which offer a nice selection of beach break and point break. Trujillo is a short flight from Lima, that you should book as part of your original trip. Once you get to Trujillo, you need to take a taxi to Huanchaco—a town full of plenty of great places to eat and inexpensive accommodation right in front of the surf break.

There are several breaks to the north including Chicama and Pacasmayo, which serve up excellent waves and plenty of cultural distractions.

Surfing Peru The jewel of Peru is Chicama and any surf trip to Peru should be focused on this excellent wave.

We got very lucky on our trip because a major south swell slammed into the Peruvian coast and Chicama lit up like a Catholic Easter service and a Latin country. See the picture below.

Surfing in Peru

Surfing is a very popular activity in Peru especially after the emergence of the Peruvian Surf Champions. It has produced world wide champions such as Sofía Mulánovich, 2004 female world champion, Luis Miguel "Magoo" De La Rosa ISA World Masters Surfing Championship 2007 leader, and Cristobal de Col, 2011 World Junior Champion.

Best Time to Visit Peru

All south and south West spots have very reliable swell from April to October. And from October to march north swell hit the coast. This means that during the south swell season you'll be surfing around Lima or Trujillo and during the north window you'll want to head to the northern region.

Surfing in Peru

Water Temperature

During spring and fall, short sleeves are fine, although long sleeves will work for the early or late sessions. During winter time a 3/2mm rubber is OK. Booties are a great help to keep feet warm and protect them from rocks and shelves.

Water temperature is not as cold as northern California but cold enough. From Trujillo down you'll want a 3/2 and if you get up north to Lobitos or Mancora you can shed the suit and surf in your shorties.

Surfing In Peru

Going north or south? There're tons of waves around Lima, but I wouldn't hang too long in that city, it's kind of a shit hole. No offense to any Peruvians that might be reading this, because you have so many beautiful places in that country, but Lima isn't one of them. If you do get stuck in Lima, There are some waves in the city, but the water is nasty and the crowds are horrific.

Now once you get out of the city and drive to the south you'll find yourself in an entirely different situation with tons of surf along beautiful shoreline scattered amongst the small villages of the countryside. My advice it to get the fuck out of Lima as quick as possible.

Surfing in Peru

Surfing in Peru PC:  

You should always be prepared to charge large waves if you are going south of Lima, but if you do not surf this size, still there are many breaks with fun waves. South of Lima is a perfect party place during summer and weekends are really busy.

Surfing in Peru  If you wake up early, you can go surf while everyone is going back home after the nightlong party.

Your main decision when visiting Peru, is to either go north or south. Well actually, the decision is to either go south to the southern part of the north section or to the extreme North.

If you've read this article you know that I favor the beaches around Trujillo, but if you decide that you want a different kind of trip (and one not including Peru’s best wave) then you can decide to go South of Lima or to the beaches around Lobitos.

Side Trip To Machu Picchu

Surfing in Peru

If I were you, I would try and plan my trip for a 3 to 4 week window and leave a few days to fly back to Lima and up to Cusco which will put you at the doorsteps of Machu Picchu. It'll cost you a couple hundred dollars to get to Cusco from anywhere in the country by plane.

Once you're in Cusco, Machu Picchu his a few hours away. You could do the whole trip in a few days and get back to the coast if you see a swell coming.

For a complete breakdown of the specific waves in Peru:

Current Conditions

North of Peru is one of the best places on earth to surf, many of locals from Lima have moved to the North for this purpose. In the North there are plenty of warm water waves, excellent seafood and not as many crowds as around the big cities. However, there are few beaches were crowd can be extreme like Cabo Blanco, and Máncora.

Surfing in Peru If you avoid the high seasons, you will be surfing great waves with only a hand-full of surfers.

If you happen to be surfing during a very well publicized swell during the height of the surf season then you will have lots of company including gangs of Brazilians—not something you ant to see when you and your bro are surfing solo on that middle peak at Pacasmaya.

Chicama has good waves whenever a big south shows up. Some people swear that the extreme north of Peru is pure magic, but I love the waves around Trujillo.

Getting There

Surfing in Peru

Peru enjoys a privileged location in the heart of South America, turning International Airport Jorge Chavez in Lima into an international hub for tourism and several airlines that reach many destinations in South America.

Surfing in Peru There are several domestic flights connecting the local destinations.

There are direct and stop-over flights to Lima from the main capitals of the world. From LAX I'd get a direct flight to Lima and connect to Trujillo, not even stepping foot in Lima. When you decide to visit Cusco you can book your flight online when the swell drops, no need to lock everything in before your trip—leave some flexibility for swell conditions. The entry points by land are:

  • From Ecuador: Aguas Verdes (Tumbes) via the Pan-Americana Highway and La Tina (Piura) from the city of Loja (Ecuador).
  • From Bolivia: There are two crossings, Desaguadero and Kasani, for travelers coming from La Paz and Copacabana respectively.
  • From Chile: Paso the Santa Rosa (Santa Rosa Pass) (Tacna) via the Panamericana Highway.


Peru has accommodations to suit every budget, especially in tourist hubs and cities. There are several hostels at affordable price and on shared basis.

But when it comes to surfing, you would always want to stay in close proximity to beach that offers good waves and are less crowded and in such cases it is best suited to go look for surf camps who will better understand your surf needs.


Derek Dodds
Derek Dodds


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Surf Travel

Panama Surf School
Panama Surf School

by Laura Topolovich October 20, 2016

Panama Surf School offers you the perfect surf tours to the best spots in the bay. Specially designed for city surfers who are stock in the city or visitors from other resorts who need some space during their business trip or family vacations. 

Continue Reading →

Easter Island Surf Travel Guide To The Most Remote Island in The World
Easter Island Surf Travel Guide To The Most Remote Island in The World

by Derek Dodds October 16, 2016 4 Comments

Easter Island holds a truly extraordinary place in the entire world.

The island has a unique archaeological history. I am sure you have seen you those megalithic statues or what is commonly known as Moai on large constructed stone platforms (also called Ahu). There are 887 of those mysterious statues on Rapi Nui.

Dude, I know you have seen them. it is unknown how or why ancient Polynesians carved more than 25 million pounds of stone to make the Moai.

Continue Reading →

I Almost Got Shot in Rio Brazil
I Almost Got Shot in Rio Brazil

by Derek Dodds October 13, 2016 3 Comments

As we were standing there, two guys on a motorcycle rode up to us in the dark. I stepped forward to see what was up and once they got closer I noticed the guy on the back had a strange look on his face. I looked down at the rider's hands and he was pointing a .45 Magnum at me.

Continue Reading →

Wave Tribe Social Proof
Size Chart

Surfboard Leashes

You Break It We Replace It in First Year. 

Buy a leash closest to your board size—i.e. for 6'4 surfboard you need a 6' leash. 

All leashes are 7mm thick, competition leashes which are lighter/thinner 5.5 mm. 

Pioneer Day Boardbags - Fits One Surfboard

All boardbags have +2 inches. Thus a 6'6 board fit's perfectly in a 6'6 boardbag. All Pioneer bags have expandable fin gussets, so you can keep your fins on your board in the bag—or you can roll with glass-on fins.

Pioneer Sizes:

All bags have interior pockets (fins, leash and wax), bags fit industry standards. 

Our 8'6, 9'6 and 10' bags have fin slots and round noses. 

Pioneer bags also have an exterior pocket and zip all the way to the nose.

Travel Bags - Fits Two Surfboards

All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Surfboard Travel Bag Pockets Fin Wax Leash

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Travel Bags with Wheels - Fits Two Surfboards

New in 2016 is the double travel bag with wheels. Sometimes you want a smaller bag with wheels, now you can have it. All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Wave Tribe Wheelie Surfboard Travel Bags

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Boardbag Material & Hardware - All Bags

Side A of the bag is made from a strong density Rugged Eco Hemp exterior which is one tough fiber and naturally built to last with high impact padding protection with Rebound Foam Dynamics including open-to-nose technology.

Side B is the reflective (rental-car-roof-side) made from Reflective Energy Shield for "Cooler Surfboard Safeguard" protecting your surfboard from the sun's harmful rays made from an alloy-steel mesh weave.

All Sides are guarded by our Japanese Never-Rust-or-Break Nickel Platted Zippers streamline zipper trails and our trademarked Easy Flow Zip System.