Though the swells in front of Lima are dotted with dozens of surfers, we do not recommend surfing in these polluted waters. The better breaks are La Herradura in Chorrillos, Punta Hermosa, and Punta Rocas. Or head instead to the beaches north or south of Lima, and you will find some untouched.
Keep an eye out for opportunities to surf at San Gallán, one of Peru’s few right point breaks in the Paracas National Reserve; Pepinos and Cerro Azul, near the mouth of the Cañete River Valley; and Playa Grande, north of Lima, which is a challenging, hollow point break for expert surfers.
A good source of surfing information is www.peruazul.com.
For surfing classes, call Rocio Larrañaga at Surf School (tel. 01/264-5100 or 01/9710-7345), who will pick you up at your hotel and lend you a wetsuit and board.
Luis Miguel de la Rosa (tel. 01/9810-1988) offers a similar service.
If you’re just looking to rent, Centro Comercial (Caminos del Inca Tienda 158, Surco, tel. 01/372-5106) has both surfboards and skateboards.
Big Head (Larcomar, Malecón de la Reserva 610, tel. 01/242-8123) sells new surfboards and body boards along with wetsuits.
One of the better surf shops in Peru is Focus (Las Palmeras Block C, Playa Arica, Panamericana Sur Km 41, tel. 01/430-0444). The staff is knowledgeable about local surfing spots, rents boards at a good price, and even has a few hostel rooms.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition