Surfing in Peru: 7 Best Surf Spots

Surfing in Peru: 7 Best Surf Spots

Peru is a bucket-list destination, and not just for its ancient Inca ruins. With over 1,400 miles of coastline and just about every kind of wave imaginable, the country boasts the ideal ocean currents for catching the perfect barrel.

Blessed with the longest left-hander wave on the planet, Peru is a fantastic surfing spot year-round. The surf averages 4 – 10 feet during Peruvian summer and 8 – 15 feet during the winter months, with some days easily reaching a whopping 20 feet.

If you’ve been wondering where to go surfing in Peru, here’s our breakdown of the 7 best surfing spots and what you need to know before beginning your adventure.

Table of contents:

What to Know Before Going Surfing in Peru?

Peru is undeniably one of the most budget-friendly destinations in all of South America. Because its local surf scene hasn’t been fully discovered just yet, it is a wonderfully chill place to soak up the Peruvian surf life and enjoy delicious, fresh seafood without breaking the bank.

three guys going to surf

Some more perks that Peru’s coastline has to offer:

  • Most surf spots are peaceful and the waves are uncrowded
  • The wind is predominantly offshore
  • Warm water
  • Outstanding pointbreaks
  • Year-round swells

With such an extensive coastline and variety of waves, you’ll be spoiled for choice. That said, there are a few drawbacks that you might want to consider:

  • Some waves can be hard to get to
  • Petty crime still occurs, especially on popular beaches


Check the Surf Forecast

Some surfers will be happy to hop in the water no matter the conditions, but if you’re looking for more than just water and waves, there are a few key indicators to keep in mind.

surfer on wave with blue sky

You’ll find plenty of resources online, such as Surfline, that can help you get all the conditions information you need including:

  • Swell size/surf height – though it depends on the season, in most instances, the swell size in Peru is between 3 – 9 ft (1 – 3 m).
  • Swell direction – depending on the local beach, this will help you identify in which areas you’ll find the biggest waves.
  • Water temperature – the warmest water temperature averages at 72°F / 22°C and the coldest – 60°F / 15°C.
  • Wind direction and strength – Peru’s coastline has steady offshore wind, which holds the wave for a little longer before breaking.
  • Tide – high tides in Peru typically occur in the morning and in the early evening.


Choose a Season

Although waves are good all year round, it’s useful to note that there are two main surfing seasons in Peru – the south swell and the north swell season.

The south swell season runs between April and October and has the most reliable surfing conditions. The waves are slightly bigger and the weather is generally better (compared to the north swell season).

The north swell season, between October and April, brings in warmer water. Because it coincides with Peru’s summer, it has overall good conditions. With that in mind, the northern swells can be less consistent and you might experience some rain.

group stretching at beach

Get Your Equipment

Whether it’s your first time surfing or you’re a seasoned surfer, many local surf schools and shops along the shore will be able to offer equipment for hire. Overall, the essentials that you’ll need to have include:

  • Surfboard/longboard
  • Wetsuit – As a general rule of thumb, a 3/2 mm wetsuit is recommended along much of the Peruvian coastline, especially during the winter months (April to October).
  • Booties – While not mandatory, booties will help keep your feet warm and protected from the rocky parts of the Peruvian seafloor.
  • Sunscreen – The sun in Peru can get intense, particularly in the summer months, so be sure to pack high-quality sunblock.


The Best Surfing Spots in Northern Peru

The northern coast of Peru holds some of the most popular surf spots in the country. The water is warmer and it’s a good place to start if you’re a beginner or intermediate surfer.

surfer catching wave

The best time to catch waves is during the Peruvian summer (October to April). During those months, the northern coastline enjoys plenty of sun and consistent, northerly swells.



Skill level: all

Huanchaco is a tranquil, little town with a wide variety of waves for all levels of surfers. It offers year-round consistent conditions along with an array of other activities, adding up to creating a laid-back atmosphere.

Stretching across a kilometer of beaches, Huanchaco has five separate breaks. Most of them are great at all tides, but it’s important to remember that currents in the area can be strong which would require some extra effort.

The waves at Huanchaco are soft, making it an ideal destination for anyone, including those wishing to learn how to surf.



Skill level: all

Along the Pan-American Highway, near the Ecuador border, you’ll find Mancora – a classic beach town renowned for its lively nightlife, consistent waves, and great weather.

Mancora is one of the most popular surf destinations in Peru due to its warm water breaks and waves suitable for all skill levels. Its main beach has a soft, left-hand wave.

With a slightly warmer portion of the Pacific Ocean, Mancora is a great surfing spot all year round, though, northern swells tend to bring the best waves.

sunset with surfers in the sea

Playa Chicama

Skill level: advanced

Chicama is another popular surf destination located about 20 mi (32 km) north of Trujillo. This surf break is at the top of the Humboldt current, which means that rain clouds are rare and the coast is consistently dry.

Playa Chicama is internationally renowned as the world’s longest left-breaking wave (stretching for about 1.2 miles/2 km). The best conditions for all breaks to connect, allowing you to ride this wave, typically appear in June.

Even if the breaks aren’t connecting, Chicama is still a wonderful spot that offers mostly sunny weather and crisp barrels for advanced surfers to work on their skills.

The Best Surfing Spots in Southern Peru

The southern coast of Peru has colder water (compared to the northern part) and rather foggy weather for a bigger portion of the year. During the summer (November to April), though, the fog generally clears up and you get to enjoy hot, sunny days. You can also include these types of experiences in your customized Peru tours with us for an even more unique and memorable time in Peru.

Miraflores beach

Playa Waikiki

Skill level: beginner

Just a stone’s throw away from Lima is Waikiki – a beach near the upscale Miraflores neighborhood.

Playa Waikiki has one of the most ideal beginner waves in the region – perfect for those learning how to surf or looking to improve their skills and condition. Along the beach, you will find a number of different surf schools offering both private and group lessons, as well as places where you can rent surf equipment.


Punta Rocas

Skill level: all

Best known for its spectacular waves and consistent breaks, Punta Rocas is an exposed reef break that hosts numerous surf competitions, including the first ever ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship.

Beginners, pros, and everyone in between are sure to enjoy surfing in Punta Rocas. The waves are powerful throughout the year but beware of rips and rocks.

sunset with people in the ocean


Skill level: intermediate, advanced

Caballeros is a reef located north of the town of Punta Hermosa, a former fishing village. While it might not have the fastest break in the area, it is a good place for going on long rides and experiencing unmatched break consistency.

Caballeros’ beach is best for intermediate and pro surfers looking to catch a right point break.


La Herradura

Skill level: advanced

Just south of Lima’s Miraflores district you’ll find La Herradura – one of the best point breaks in Peru. During the south swell season, waves can reach 6 to 12 feet and you can catch the best ones at low to mid tide. The beach is ideal for experienced surfers.

Easily accessible from Lima’s downtown and Circuit de Playas, La Herradura is lined with great restaurants and cevicherias that are definitely worth a visit after a long day of surfing.


Let’s Go Surfing in Peru

Peru has been a melting pot of human history for decades.

If you have the chance to get off the beach, be sure to hop on a tour of Peru and learn more about this fascinating place and its thousands of years of culture. Let us know in the comments which is your favorite beach to go surfing in Peru!

  • 28 February, 2023 at 9:04 pm

    We hope to visit my wife’s parents in late June, what are the conditions like at La Herradura like for photography?

    • 1 March, 2023 at 5:29 pm

      Hey Kirk, thanks for your message! In late June, the weather in Lima tends to be fine, but it’s not summer compared to Europe or the US. The sky tends to be grey, conditions can be foggy and temperatures are around 15-20°C. Hope this helps!


  • 5 August, 2022 at 5:33 am

    hi there, I didn’t know about that! It’s awesome that Peru has so many different surf spots. Any recommendations for booking classes in advance or do I just go to the beach and there is someone?

    • 7 August, 2022 at 7:53 am

      Hi Ana-Marie,
      that’s for sure! Peru has so many different surfing sports and it’s super easy to book classes. Just go to the beach and then you can find easily someone who can give you lessons.

      In case you have any further questions, then do not hesitate to reach out.


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