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The Best Places to Surf in Peru (Peru Surf Guide)

Updated: Sep 5, 2023


Home to the best left point break waves in South America and the entire world, Peru is one of the most magical places to surf.


With perfect, peeling lefts, it’s paradise for goofy footers or those regular footers who favor their backside.


There’s no shortage of spots to surf whether you are on the north, central or southern coast.


The climate and sea temperatures change as you go down the coast, but the waves always stay firing.




Surfing in Peru

The reason why Peru is such a great surfing destination is the fact that if you start searching for waves on one end of the coast and don’t find what you are looking for, you can just keep going in the other direction and eventually you are bound to run into a fun wave.


Waves in Peru

Each wave has similarities and differences that makes each of them special but equally as fun.


Every spot works with a specific swell and wind direction which I will discuss later on in this article once we start discussing the breaks.


The best time of the year to surf Peru is during its summer. Summer in South America is the opposite of summer in North America.


Summer in Peru, and the best time to surf during the year, is between October to April.


This is when the waves will be bigger, more consistent, and more powerful.


Surf Culture in Peru

Surf culture runs very deep here in Peru, especially because of the long history of surfing in the country and its people.


Some people like to believe that Peru was one of the birthplaces or even the birthplace of surfing.


People used to ride caballito boats down the wave to the shore after fishing.


The locals here are nice and surf spots are not too crowded since there aren’t massive hotels and surf resorts to market towards people. It’s simple, it’s quiet at times, and the waves are world class.


The kids have to be at the most hollow and peaky part of the wave, named El Hombre, and make it out of a barrel.


If they do not make it out, they are never allowed to surf again according to tradition in their local culture.


Gear Needed to Surf in Peru

In Peru, you will need some cold water gear.


The water can warm up enough during the summer to wear a spring suit- maybe, but most of the time you will need a full suit.


So, depending if it is Peru’s summer or winter, you may need to pack a full suit… a 3/2mm suit or a 4/3mm, maybe even thicker during cold winters.


That, and you'll need sunscreen to avoid a sunburn.

The Top 5 Best Surf Spots In Peru


Mancora

An all year-round, great left point break wave, Mancora offers beautiful waters and perfect waves for surfers of all skill levels.


The ideal conditions for this spot could be a NW or SW swell paired with SE winds. The waves are typically pretty mushy, so Mancora has waves for those looking to learn how to surf.


Waves here can get big though, so only intermediate to advanced surfers should paddle out during bigger swells.


Since this spot is open to surfers of all levels, that means that boards of all types are more than welcomed as well. You will see both short boards and longboards out there since the waves are more easy-going and fun to carve and cruise on.


Mancora is a sand bottomed break that works the best on a low tide in chest to double overhead waves.


The local beach town and restaurants have good vibes and fun times to experience including friendly local residents and lively nightlife.


This is one of the most popular surf spots in Peru since the weather is warm here due to Mancora being located near the border of Ecuador in northern Peru.


Mancora can get crowded since it is so popular, so be aware of those around you and be respectful out in the water to the locals.


Huanchaco

A cute, little surf town, Huanchaco is a great place to surf for those that like softer waves with great form in a more quiet area.

The crowd isn’t as bad as Mancora. but can still get a little hefty. This spot is a left point break that is great for surfers of all abilities.


The sand bottom break works best in a S or SW swell paired with SE or ESE winds. All surfboards are welcomed here.


The water is colder in Huanchaco since it is in the central coast near Trujillo, so be prepared to wear a full wetsuit. Huanchaco works at any tide and can hold swells from shoulder to triple overhead high.


Chicama

The world’s longest left-breaking wave. Now, that’s a sentence to start an introduction about a surf spot.


Seriously though, Chicama is an insane left point break that is bound to have you feeling like your legs are about to fall off after your first wave.


It is recommended that only intermediate to advanced surfers go out at Chicama due to how famous the wave is.


It is hard to learn how to surf here, especially since the waves can start barreling and the conditions are difficult to navigate at times.


I say this because there are some weird currents here and there and you will struggle to paddle the long journey out there.


All kinds of boards are welcomed here although you will mainly just see short boards. On those smaller or mushier surfing days, you are bound to see a longboard or two out there.


Surprisingly enough, considering this is one of the most famous left point breaks in the world, the crowd isn’t too bad.


You can sit on all different levels of the break which helps the crowd spread out.


Any tide works, so don't worry about the wave changing up with the tide too much once you are out there.


The ideal conditions for this wave is a SW swell paired with SE winds. You will definitely need a full suit while surfing Chicama since it is located on the central coast of Peru north of Trujillo.

Pico Alto

Considered one of South America’s biggest waves, Pico Alto is the wave for those advanced or big wave surfers looking for a thrill.


It is a 30 minute paddle from the shore although it is completely worth it once you are out there.


The wave is mainly a right, but some people like to try to go left… It works every now and then.


Any tide works with this spot, so don’t worry about the wave changing too much once you are out there.


The ideal conditions for Pico Alto are a S or SW swell paired with E winds with a wave height of triple overhead to as large as you can dream of.


Only ride a gun board here and be careful because the bottom is all rocks and the waves are very heavy.


The crowd isn’t too bad and as long as you know big wave surfing etiquette, you should make a ton of new connections and friends out there.


Caballeros

A right wave- yes, you heard that correctly, Caballeros is a really fun wave that breaks on an urchin and rock bottom.


This spot is located on the north end of Punta Hermosa and all ability levels of surfers are welcomed here.


You will see both short and longboards and the people are very friendly as long as you are respectful and friendly as well.


The crowd is surprisingly not too crowded for it being one of the only really good rights beside Pico Alto.


The ideal conditions for this spot would be a S, SSW or SW swell paired with NE or E winds.


Caballeros can hold swells that range from head high to pretty far overhead and work at any tide!


Things To Do In Peru When Waves Are Flat

If you happen to be the rare, unlucky one who travels to Peru and finds that the waves have gone flat, don’t worry too much because there is a lot to see and explore around this beautiful area.


Explore the famous and ever-beautiful Machu Picchu, climb and hike mountains and trails with views you cannot even imagine, explore the Amazon, go whale watching, go paragliding, go skydiving, shark diving, and so much more!


I am barely scratching the surface of the many incredible things Peru has to offer.

Peru Surf Guide

I believe Peru is one of the most magical and breathtaking countries in the world. Much of what the country has to offer surprisingly goes overlooked, but Peru has everything an ocean and mountain man/woman could ever want. Maybe it’s time to run away and go to Peru…

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