You typically won’t find Cerro Azul listed as a must-see vacation spot in Peru and it’s usually skipped by those headed to the Nazca Lines from Lima—that’s all for the better. We’ve got the best things to do in Cerro Azul, a true Peruvian fishing town with pueblito vibes and charm, a town so small that you won’t even find an ATM but that is popular with vacationers for a reason.
Cerro Azul is one of the best surf spots on the southern coast of Peru. Surrounded by desert, the little fishing port is a gem in an otherwise orange landscape. To the left of the main pier, you’ll find the only break in the area. With long lefts and a good swell, the area can get crowded but it’s worth visiting for its quality waves. The best times to surf are early in the morning (6 to 9 am) and the late afternoons (4 to 6 pm) when the winds are the calmest.
Because Cerro Azul is mainly a fishing village, you know there will be plenty of delicious seafood to be eaten. Almost every restaurant near the beach serves fresh ceviche and jalea, which is basically a plate of all the seafood caught that day which is then fried. No matter where you decide to eat, it’ll be good.
This option is the most commonly activity enjoyed by Cerro Azul’s visitors—sunbathe and enjoy the escape from Lima’s foggy coastline. The best tanning window occurs during the summer months (December to March) when the sun beats back the fog and shines for most of, if not all, the day. Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen because the sun here is brutal and even if the clouds are out, you shouldn’t take any chances.
If you’re feeling adventurous, rent some 4x4s and explore the entirety of the beach. The areas around the pier are usually crowded with chairs and umbrellas, but if you drive out away from the populated spots, the rest of the beach is uncharted and perfect for an adventure.
A popular pastime in Cerro Azul is to fish from the pier—on any given day, you’ll find the pier lined with enthusiastic fishermen with beers in hand. At the entrance of the pier, vendors sell makeshift fishing poles made of blocks of wood with strings attached and sand crabs as bait. The waters are full of fish and you’ll see them being caught up and down the pier.
At Cerro Azul, you’ll get a chance to ride a jet ski or get towed over the waters on an inner-tube as the jet ski driver tries to throw you off. This is one of the more popular activities amongst Peruvians, especially after a couple of beers so be careful when you swim in the waters—rules here are non-existent.
If you want to get even more adventurous on your trip, you can white-water raft in Lunahuaná, a small city only an hour inland from Cerro Azul. It is one of the top rafting spots in Peru and during the summer there are even Class 4 rapids available to be ridden.