Peru

The ultimate Peru surf guide

We called ourselves Mokum Surf Club with the intention of telling you all about our surf adventures in South America (and anywhere else around the world), only to find out that there wasn’t that much surf going on in this part of the world. Yes, you can surf in Chile and apparently it is quite good but so, so cold. And that was exactly what I wanted to leave behind in Holland, no 5mm wetsuits on this trip, please! So I had to be patient a little longer, discovering all those other pretty places along the way. I got definitely nothing to complain about, but once I entered Peru the ocean started to call my name! With probably the oldest culture of surfing, it is not a bad place to start this adventure. So here we go… The first proper surf blog post with the best surf spots in Peru! No 5mm wetsuits needed.

Waves in Huanchaco Peru South America

Huanchaco

This little town has not much to offer, except surfing. It might not be the prettiest town or the prettiest beach, the surf is nonetheless quite good! It’s a lefthand point break that works during all tides. Huanchaco is a very consistent wave that works all year long with a S-SW swell, though the best months to visit are November till May. Just a few locals in the water, constant waves rolling in and the ’caballitos de tortora’ (one-man boats used by fisherman, probably the oldest form of surfing) add up to the charm. And don’t forget the freshly caught seafood waiting for you when you’re done.

Chicama surf in Peru

Chicama

Some claim it’s the longest wave in the world. Ha! That’s something you gotta try at least once in your life right? Get lucky and ride this wave for about 2.2 km all at once. It’s definitely the longest lefthander in the world if it works. It needs quite a bit of South, South West swell for all breaks to connect, however, and apparently, your chances of this happening are highest in June. But even if Chicama isn’t connecting it’s well worth the trip down here. It’s a fun wave, perfect for intermediate surfers to work on their skills.

Mancora

Ok, maybe Máncora is not the most exciting surf spot in Peru, but what a nice little town to hang around for a bit. Not only do they have one of the best hostels you’ll come across in South America (Loki Máncora), you’ll get the prettiest sunsets, fun waves, and even kite-surfers can join in on the fun. There are an exposed beach reef and point break that mostly offer lefthanders. None of the spots rely on certain tides, so you can eat your heart out all day long. The good thing about Máncora is that you can leave your wetsuit at home, as this is the only warm water surf spot in Peru. Máncora is also one of the best surf spots in Peru to learn how to surf, as conditions are mellow and surf instructors are plenty.

sunset surf session mancora peru
mancora sunset sessions

Lobitos

With the desert as your background, fishing boats everywhere, and oil platforms on the horizon, Lobitos has quite a rough feeling to it. Besides that, it’s the number one surf spot in Peru I’ve been hearing through the grapevine. With fellow travelers being the best travel guide you can wish for, who am I to disagree with that? Lobitos offers one of the best left-hand barrels of northern Peru and will make you one happy clam. There are several breaks offering waves for all skill levels.

San Gallán (Paracas)

OK, I might be cheating here, but I can’t let you make the same mistake as I did. Unfortunately, I have to admit I haven’t been to this place, which I still regret up to this day. I only found out about this place a little too late, but based on stories and the incredible pictures of the scenery, I would recommend paying this place a visit. Not only Paracas but also San Gallán, the island in front of Paracas is worth the trip. This place apparently has one of the best right-breaking waves in Peru. It’s hollow, it’s fast, and it’s calling your name. The island is part of the Paracas National Reserve which means surfing in beautiful surroundings with hundreds of sea lions joining in on the wave.

surfboards at Playa Cocles in Costa Rica

Peru Surf Vibes

The good thing about the surf in Peru is that it hasn’t been discovered just yet. Nine out of ten times it’s just you and a few locals conquering the waves. No competition, year-round swell, and friendly Spanish chats while waiting for the next set to come in. The lack of tourism or even backpacking invasions makes the entire coastline of Peru such a chill place to soak up Peruvian surf life and get stuck while eating fresh seafood. Peru, you got me hooked.

Marthe

huanchaco peru caballero de tortora

Photos by: M. Barends, J. Roeland ©