Peru: the new surfing mecca in Latin America

In a country famous above all for its imposing mountains, priceless archaeological sites and the Amazon forest, you can come across another element that makes Peru an even more unique destination: its coastline.

In Peru, the coasts extend for over 3,000 km along the Pan-American, in a succession of beaches suitable for every need: from the soft white sand to pristine beaches, overlooking a calm warm sea or bathed by the impressive waves of the Pacific Ocean. Peru’s beaches are ideal for both sun and sea holidays and for the most demanding sports enthusiasts. The southern coasts, surrounded by incomparable desert views, offer colder waters because they are exposed to the Humboldt current, while the tropical northern coasts are bathed by warm waters that benefit from the El Niño current.

According to an accredited theory, it was in ancient Peru that the first evidence of the existence of men capable of facing the sea on board boats was found. This practice, which dates back more than 2000 years, continues to be used by fishermen in the northern areas of Huanchaco, Santa Rosa and Pimentel, in the departments of La Libertad and Lambayeque, who venture into the sea on the typical caballitos of totora, small woven reed lances with elongated design that date back to the Mochica Chimu culture. The historic city of Huanchaco is not only home to the Caballitos de Totora but is considered the cradle of surfing and in 2013 was named World Surfing Reserve. While the first World Surf Championships were held on the beach at Punta Rocas in 1965, international competitions take place here every year in February.

On the beaches of the Lima region, in particular that of Herradura, the waves can reach up to 4 meters high. For water sports enthusiasts at the first “waves”, however, you can try on the beach of Cerro Azul, south of the capital. While on the famous beach of Punta Hermosa in Lima, waves are formed that reach up to 8 meters high. In the region of Ica there are the beaches of Paracas, one of the richest ecosystems of the Peruvian coast, ideal for lovers of diving or sport fishing and for those who enjoy sailing.

Going back up the Pan-American, north of Trujillo, you will come across the internationally known Playa Chicama thanks to the longest and most sinuous left wave in the world and popular destination among both professional surfers and amateurs. The beaches of Bayóvar, with their clear sea, dunes with white granite rocks and encounters with turtles and dolphins, are just a stone’s throw away.

In the region of Piura there is Mancora, a lively tropical paradise where travellers can enjoy surfing, kitesurfing, longboarding, bodyboarding or, more simply, enjoy the landscape and the cobalt blue waters of the ocean. The migration and mating of humpback whales can also be observed along the coast of Piura and Tumbes between July and October. Do not miss the small fishing village of Cabo Blanco, made famous by Ernest Hemingway who lived here and drew inspiration for the drafting of The Old Man and the Sea. It is an ideal place to listen and admire the sea but also for deep-sea fishing, diving and surfing.

In the area of Tumbes lies Punta Sal, one of the most fascinating places in Peru, characterized by carob hills, pristine beaches and clear waters. Also in this region you can visit Punta Camarón, characterized by coconut trees and a short distance from Bocapán, from which you have easy access to the thermal baths of Hervideros.


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