21 Pictures that Prove Peru is a Surfer's Paradise

Paddling out at Mancora
Paddling out at Mancora | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Photo of Brandon Dupre
10 January 2018

Peru is known for a lot of things, but, until lately, surfing hasn’t been one of them. With thousands of miles of coast line, there are countless spots to surf and some of them secret. There aren’t California crowds but there are plenty of waves for beginners and big ones for experts. Here are some pictures that prove Peru is the new surfer’s paradise.

City life

There aren’t many place in the world where a nation’s capital is on the beach – and that’s just what Lima is. The capital of Peru touches the cold, Pacific Ocean water, high egeises and apartments right next to the waves. It is a surfer’s dream: you get perfect surf in places like Herradura and Putna Roquitas all while also getting the big city lifestyle. Lima is Peru’s largest city and home to a booming night life, the best food on the planet and plenty of waves. While the water can be cold, the city life makes up for it.

City and the Surf, Peru | © terekhov igor/Shutterstock
Surfing in Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Fisherman in Huanchaco, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip

Warm water

It’s not all cold in Peru, especially in the north near Ecuador, where, in the summer time, you’ll only need your board shorts or bikini. The north of Peru has warm water and consistent, year round waves – what’s not to like about that?

Surfing in Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Surf Shop & Café in Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip


In the north of Peru there are palm trees, endless sun and year round waves. In Mancora, you can listen to reggaeton bumping from the water as you catch a perfect left.

Surfers sunset in Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip


While on good swells it can get crowded, for the most part you can find waves all to yourself. The crowds at the more popular beaches are very localized and you may get a cuss word or two thrown your way, but it really isn’t bad compared to some other places in the world. You won’t have a problem finding your own spot with some waves while in Peru.

Paddling out in peace, Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Pelicans on a ship, Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Surf Lessons in Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Surf School in Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
The line up in Mancora, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip

Burgeoning surf culture

It’s not Hawaii, but surfing is become more and more popular each year in Peru. Thanks to efforts by professional Peruvian surfers, who offer after school programs and camps, Peru’s youth is beginning to take up the sport. There is now a weekly show in Peru about Peruvian surfers at home and abroad.

Surf at Sunset, Lima, Peru | © Christian Vinces/Shutterstock
The sunset with traditional boat craft at Huanchaco town, near Trujillo, Peru | © Ludmila Ruzickova/Shutterstock
Surf in La Herradura, Lima, Peru | © Christian Vinces/Shutterstock
Surf in La Herradura, Lima, Peru | © Christian Vinces/Shutterstock
Beach of Punta Sal, Mancora, Peru | © Elisa Locci/Shutterstock

Big waves

Yes, there are waves for all kinds of people. Peru will take care of beginners, intermediate, and expert surfers – but it also draws some of the world’s best big wave surfers. In the south of Peru on big swells, Punta Hermosa will become one of the largest waves in all of South America. This isn’t for the faint of heart and, really, only the best and most experienced surfers in the world should attempt to ride these waves.

Punta Hermosa beach, Lima, Peru | © Christian Vinces/Shutterstock
Fisherman enters the sea in Huanchaco, Peru | © Christian Vinces/Shutterstock


Peru’s shores are home to the longest surfing history in the world. Depending on who you ask and how you define surfing, fishermen along Huanchaco beach have been surfing since time immemorial. In their hand-made reed boats, the fishermen set out to catch a day’s fishing and then surfing back in on the waves with their catch. The fishermen on the shores of Hanuancho continue to fish and live like this and still today you can see the reed boats lined about along the shores.

Huanchaco Beach and the traditional reed boats, Peru | © Diego Grandi/Shutterstock
Surfer making a perfect turn in Peru | © LMspencer/Shutterstock
Stairs to Miraflores beach, Lima, Peru | © Mizzick/Shutterstock

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