The Swells of Surfing Chicama

When in Peru Surfing Chicama should be on your bucket list.

Are you a surfer who is looking for some of the longest and most exhilarating waves in the world? Well, Peru might just be the place for you. Located about 300 miles north of Lima, Chicama offers one of the longest waves in the world ideal for surfing. Chicama, an arid region with cold sea, is known for its well organized swells. Big swells produce waves that can be ridden for 3 quarters of a mile.  The entire cape where the waves break is roughly two and a half miles long.

surfing Chicama
Surfing Chicama, Peru.

The area is divided into three sections. The outside point called Malpaso breaks for about 150 m. The next point toward the town is called Keys, which breaks for another 600 m before touching deep water. When the swell goes above six feet, the main point connects with the main break called The Point along with El Hombre continuing till the pier in town.

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Surfing Chicama Map

Main break, El Point is often easy to identify with its long projection from the line of cape. This is where most surfers begin their session from. Waves start off unexpectedly fast spinning for 1.1 km until it reaches El Hombre section where the swell hits a cluster of rocks and sandbanks before speeding up again till the pier.

chicama surf 19
Great waves are common when surfing Chicama.

The long left-handed waves of Chicama were first spotted in 1967 by a Hawaiian Chuck Shipman while passing the area in a plane. Shipman soon informed his Peruvian pals about the discovery. Since then, Chicama is gradually becoming a hotspot among professionals as well as amateur surfers. The best season to visit Chicama is between March and October when S/SW swells hit Peru delivering consistent waves.

Despite its beautiful waves the place hasn’t attracted a swell of crowd, which is quite surprising. Chicama maintains its quaint small town charm with around a dozen surfers. Chicama surf resort and spa offers a luxurious stay with splendid views of the wave front. The resort houses a restaurant, bar, and spa and offers full-fledged professional support for surfing. They even provide boat service to take you back to the top of the point.

the famous el hombre
Several local hostels are available to spend a weekend surfing Chicama.

If you are looking for an economical stay with surfing support then Hostal El Hombre is the right place for you. The owner there has an incredible experience with surfing Chicama.

The hostel has the best location in town, great views of the point and a good vibe – it’s also the safest place to stay in terms of security for your stuff. Doris, the lady that runs the place, is super friendly and helpful, although you will have to communicate in Spanish. Rooms are clean but basic – the price is 20 soles per person, 40 soles for a couple and rooms with TVs.

There are also fancier rooms/apartments on the top floor with hot water and private bathrooms for a little extra. For those interested in surfing Chicama I would recommend turning up a day or two early, or calling ahead to make a reservation as the place will fill up quickly when it’s good. As long as your expecting a basic hostel setup purely for surfers then you’ll be happy here – the downsides are no wifi and no kitchen (Doris can cook you food though).

For surfers looking for more excitement, Pacasmayo located 25 miles north of Chicama, is another spot for long left waves with relatively bigger and consistent waves than surfing Chicama.

Don’t forget to check out all the other incredible destinations Peru has to offer.

About the Author

I am a travel enthusiast who has closely worked with different communities in India. My interests range from alternative rock to English literature. I also happen to love cats a lot.

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