Ancash is a Quechua word meaning blue and this region is where the first Peruvian civilization, known as Chavín, originated and flourished in 600BC. It is a land of contrasts, with the 6,768m (22,204ft) white summit of the Andes mountains lying only 100km (62mi) from the deep blue Pacific coast. From Chimbote to Lima, much of the coast is a monotonous and inhospitable stretch of vast sand deserts, except along the green rivers valleys, cultivated with sugarcane, rice and cotton. Despite being blessed by highly consistent swells and a bunch of quality spots, this area is usually missed by travelling surfers who focus on the incredible waves further north, or the easily accessible breaks of Lima and Punta Hermosa. As crowd levels increase everywhere, this rich, empty surf region is definitely one worth checking out.