The Pacific coastline in Peru stretches for almost 2,500 kilometres boasts the highest concentration of left hand point surf breaks in the world and is home to some of the world’s best kept surf secrets. On 3rd of July this year, Peru’s annual competition in Punta Hermosa, Lima, Billabong Pico Alto attracted some of the world’s surfing elite as they rallied for a piece of the Peruvian surf season.
Depending on when you travel, Peru’s surf scene will be pumping. Northern Peru’s surf zone comprises the provinces of Tumbes, Piura and La Libertad, and is best from October to April when north and northwest swells are their strongest. Central Peru’s surf zone comprises the provinces of breaks surrounding Lima and waves are best from April to October.
For Aussie travellers and surfers who want to explore uncrowded beaches, test out the world’s longest left-hand wave, stay in trendy surf accommodation and taste delicious local seafood and famous Peruvian cuisine, Peru’s surf scene is waiting to be discovered. Here are some top surf spots to add to every surfer’s wish list:
Pico Alto for the big wave surfers
The town of Punta Hermosa, less than an hour south of Lima, is home to a gigantic wave at least eight feet high called Pico Alto. Punta Hermosa has been ranked as one of the best beaches in the world and its massive wave attracts some of the world’s best big wave surfers each year in July to compete in theBillabong Pico Alto. The wave of Pico Alto was discovered in 1964 by a group of Peruvian surfers and is now world renowned in the surfing realm.
Huanchaco for the beginner and the everyday surfer
Peruvians are thought to be one of the first people to ever surf. In Huanchaco, around 600 kilometres north of Lima, traditional one-man boats made from reeds called Caballitos de Totora are thought to constitute the first form of surfing. Originally built by Peruvian fisherman to ride the waves home when the day’s catch was done, these reed boats can still be seen today surfing Huanchaco and neighbouring town of Trujillo alongside the latest board designs from around the world.
Chicama for a surfing endurance challenge
For an extreme coastal experience escape the city and head to Chicama, a surfing town in northern Peru where budding surfers are said to have found the world’s longest left-hand wave. Chicama is a must for the intrepid Aussie surfer. Surfers estimate the wave peels for an incredible four kilometres. Chicama is about 80 kilometres north of Huanchaco set in incredibly arid desert landscape and if the waves are too long then there are plenty of nearby ancient ruins to explore.
Cabo Blanco for the pros
From November to January, Cabo Blanco spawns a perfect pipeline wave and is reserved for experienced surfers only. Ernest Hemingway put Cabo Blanco on the map when he fished here for the giant black marlin in the 1950s and his time here is said to have inspired the book The Old Man and the Sea. A few deep-sea boats still operate here, catching black and striped marlin, mahi mahi and tuna, however the catch of the day for surfers is Cabo Blanco’s pipeline.
For more information on Peru, please visit www.peru.travel.