Numerous travelers visit Peru searching for ruins, jungle, and mountain recreation. Winds at Chicama are consistently offshore, but the swell is notoriously inconsistent. It needs a good swell to break, and days above head high are rare. As a guide, wave sizes at the main point are around half the size of open ocean swell charts, and waves less than about 4 feet on the point (i.e. 8 feet on the swell charts) tend to be quite weak and slow. People have stopped at and ridden the points of Peru for many years and Peru has many superb left-hand point breaks. During March through November, numerous south facing waves have superb surf and are very uncrowded providing an excellent surf vacation for the traveling surfer. Furthermore, northern Peru has quite a few waves that face north swells and get great in the December through February timeframe as well. A number of the famous waves in Peru include Chicama, Cabo Blanco, Pacasmayo, and Senoritas among countless other surf spots in and around the Lima area and southward.
The north of Peru offers warm water and dry, sunny weather along with a lot of superb left-hand point breaks.
Going south from the Northern area you will find the points of Chicama and Poemape. This region is a desert which is extremely dry with off-shore winds prevalent.
Chicama is to be found halfway between Lima and the border of Ecuador. The landscape around Chicama is extremely arid, the water is unusually cold and sea fog often shrouds the extensive line-up. Ask any surf traveller where the longest wave in the world is and the answer is invariably Chicama. Furthest out on the tip is El Cape aka Malpaso, which is always the biggest, but not necessarily the best. It draws off a cluster of rocks and starts fast and sucky before hitting the sandier shallows inside the point and backing off into what will become a familiar scene – long sections of slightly tapered, lip-feathering walls that demand a repetitive approach of drive, lip bash, float and snap until a temporary shoulder gives respite for a roundhouse or two. It’s the place to go in small conditions, as it picks up W swell better, but cops more wind, plus it is rockier and breaks all tides. It’s a neat but unmakeable kilometre to the next spot on El Cape called Keys, where a crop of black rocks signals a defined launch spot into what can be a racy wall with barrel potential, provided the swell is moderate to strong, when it can transport you up to three-quarters of the way towards the main point, 800m away. Keys provides the best protection from any S wind and the proximity of the cliffs help also. It’s soft when small and prefers mid to high tide to help hold up the sections.
Through the winter, wetsuits are recommended here. Pacasmayo and Chicama constitute some of the longest left-hand point waves anyplace with Chicama being thought to be by many to be the longest left hand point break anywhere breaking up to a mile on a solid swell. Chicama Surf Resort offers great lodging right above the wave and offers a zodiac boat in the surfing lineup for their customers bringing people back to the top of the point following a wave or waves which have left the surfer a long way down the coastline. Pacamayo is a quick point break wave and offers long walls and quick sections. Poemape is known as a heavier left that carries a lot of power. Both waves are inside an hour to the north of the Puerto Chicama region.
In Lima and further south, the surf gets rather large in the March to October time-frame. One can find a considerable quantity of good surf spots in the area, and if you are close to Lima, there’s always a blowout happening at night. Throughout the larger swell season a wetsuit is nice to have but in the summer season, trunks or possibly a shorty suit are satisfactory.
There is a lot Peru has to provide for the traveling surfer. A Peru surf trip can offer great and uncrowded surf over summer and winter as different locations are subjected to northerly and southern surf. There is a wide range of waves from which to choose such as barrels like Cabo Blanco to long left-hand point breaks like Chicama and Pacasmayo.