May 14 2008
It’s safe to say that if you’ve read about a surf spot in the New York Times, then it’s no longer an underground spot. I read about El Salvador in NYT three or four years ago, then Nicaragua and Panama. Surfing has been blowing up around the world, and surfers are by nature travelers. It was only a matter of time before it became the en vogue sport. The New York Times last week published a travel article on Peru and specifically surf in the North around Mancora. Peru has great exposure to Southern swell (they also pick up bigger Westerly and Northern swells during North America’s winter). They’ve got every kind of break, from big wave spots to some of the longest point breaks in world. Waveshunters has a good summary of the best waves in Peru (link). The best part about Peru is how many of your surfers buddies do you know that have been down there?! I’ve got one that’s surfed there.
Peru has a couple of downsides. From June until late fall, they suffer from the nearly constant coastal fog especially in the South. You’ll also need a wetsuit in the South and will probably need some rubber to cover you in the North. Mancora offers a respite from the fog and cold water of the South. Although the North doesn’t have the same swell exposure as the South, it makes up for it in quality of waves including Chicama, the longest wave in the world.
The Peel Project is a great surf movie on Peru. A group of surfers travel down and road trip all over Peru, surfing the best waves and seeking out secret spots.