PERU is a country rich in culture, history and waves. The Incas created one of the greatest and complex empires the world has ever seen, leaving the world one of its greatest archeological sites, Machu Picchu. It was in Peru at Cabo Blanco where Hemmingway found inspiration for his Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Old Man and the Sea. There is evidence that the world's first wave riding was in Peru and in surfing, Peru, is most famous for having the longest wave in the world at Puerto Chicama.
Yet, Chicama is just the tip of the iceberg. The whole coastline of Peru is littered with an uncountable number of long left hand point breaks. Besides all these point breaks the geography of the coast also creates a multitude of rock shelf reefs. All these perfect setups are fed a constant supply of swell, which travel uninterrupted from Antarctica, arriving on the shores of Peru with size and power comparable to anywhere. Big waves, big barrels or long walls, Peru seems to have it all, but a combination of barren scenery and poor photography light seems to have kept Peru off the surf travel "A-list".
Our guide for the trip was Alberto from surfperutravel.com, a Lima local and lifelong Peruvian surfer. His local knowledge ensured we had a smooth trip, scored great waves and always had what we needed. When you are measuring your trip in weeks, local knowledge is priceless.
Words by Mark Sankey
Photography by Alexa Poppe