Surfing enthusiasts around the world are always on the lookout for the perfect wave. For those seeking an extraordinary experience, look no further than Chicama in Peru. This, not so hidden gem anymore, offers one of the most incredible and consistent waves on the planet, attracting seasoned surfers from far and wide. With its stunning natural beauty and unparalleled wave quality, Chicama has become a mecca for those in search of the ultimate surf adventure.
Chicama is situated in northern Peru, near the town of Paiján. Accessing this surfer’s paradise can be an adventure in itself. Whether you choose to drive or take a bus, the journey to Chicama will take you through picturesque landscapes, including the captivating Port of Chicama, also known as Puerto Malabrigo. The last 14 kilometers of the trip may be a bit challenging, but the reward at the end is worth every minute.
If you prefer a faster mode of transportation, flights to the nearby city of Trujillo are available. From there, you can easily make your way to Chicama and prepare for an unforgettable experience.
The Wave of a Lifetime
Chicama is renowned for its world-class left-hand point break. The wave begins about two kilometers out to the cape and breaks along the cape, forming its first reforming section at the point. This point is marked by a large rock outcropping, where the wave tends to close out. However, experienced surfers can often ride the long, barreling section in front of the point, embarking on one of the longest rides of their lives towards the pier.
As you ride the wave, you’ll pass by breathtaking sand dunes and hotels, reaching a section known as El Hombre. This section peels right in front of the infamous El Hombre motel/hostel. If you can maintain the pace, you can ride the wave all the way into the town, right up to the pier. However, be prepared for the challenge, as not everyone has the stamina to keep up with this fast rifling wave over such a long distance.
Check the video
Surfing in Chicama: A Natural Wonder
Chicama is a natural wonder that captivates surfers with its awe-inspiring beauty. Despite its world-class status, Chicama remains relatively off the radar for many surfers, thanks to its challenging access and cultural barriers that foreign travelers sometimes face when visiting Peru unaccompanied. However, for those who venture here, the rewards are well worth it.
The wave at Chicama is incredibly consistent, providing surfers with over 150 days of rideable waves each year. The swell direction is predominantly from the southwest and south, while the wind direction favors the east and northeast. Swell sizes can range from less than 1 meter to over 4 meters, ensuring there is always a wave suitable for every level of surfer.
Respecting the Local Environment
When visiting Chicama, it’s crucial to be respectful towards the locals and the environment. The town’s greatest natural resource is its waves, and efforts are made to protect and preserve them. As a visitor, it’s important to arrive with good vibes and friendly, respectful intentions. Chicama has a rich history, with native Peruvians inhabiting the area for over 6,000 years. These local people were among the first to ride waves on reed surf-craft thousands of years ago.
Among the best local surfers in Chicama are Juan Arroyo, also known as Pajarete, a friendly local who owns one of the hotels in front of El Hombre. Another respected surfer is El Zorro, who was one of the first local chargers and is also