Surfing in Peru, Marie's experience

22 May 2018 | South America

Marie spent 4 months in South America and tells us about her surfing experience in Peru...

"I spent ten days on the Peruvian coast, in the village of Huanchaco, in order to try surfing and relax. Huanchaco is a small seaside town, very easy to reach, 20 minutes by bus from Trujillo, on the north coast of Peru.

What strikes you when you arrive are these strange reed boats lined up on the beach. The caballitos de totora have been used for thousands of years by fishermen. On their boats in the shape of slippers, the pre-inca fishermen of Huanchaco would be the first surfers in the world, even before Hawaii!

It is possible to embark on a caballito de totora for a very modest sum, by approaching the fishermen on the beach.

Having tested it during a fishing session with a friend, on my own caballito, I can testify to the difficulty of rowing, with half a bamboo as a paddle, in the waves and against the current! But what an experience!

Huanchaco is also the place to practice "classic" surfing. For that, I took surfing lessons with the Muchik Surf School, located in the center and a few steps from the beach. Their pedagogy is interesting. They work with a pre-established work plan, adaptable according to the level of each one, with a will to make you progress, even in two lessons. An instructor works with a maximum of two students. Their motto is: "If you don't get up, you don't pay".

So I decided to take two 2-hour lessons, for the sum of 70 soles (about 18 €) per lesson. My instructor, Chicho, is also the founder of this surf school which has been in existence for 25 years. It is recognized by the Peruvian Surfing Federation but also by the ISA (International Surf Association).

After a theoretical part in a room upstairs, which allows me to review the basics and readjust my posture, we go to the water to put into practice the gestures learned. I am finally the only student, so for the same price, I have the right to a private lesson! The beach is ideal because it offers a section for beginners, and a possible progression step by step.

The instructor is in the water with me, pushing me on the waves at first to allow me to stand up. Then little by little, he makes me paddle and catch my own waves, teaching me to read the waves and go at the right time. In only two lessons he made me practice the first 4 lessons.

In addition to speaking Spanish and English, Chicho is learning French, for those who are afraid of the language barrier.

Nothing to do with the surfing lessons I took in France, always in group, too numerous for a personalized follow-up. I really appreciated the pedagogy of this surf school! It made me want to persevere and continue to practice when I came back to France.

In addition to the lessons, Muchik Surf School offers board rental, with wetsuits provided, for 30 soles (about 8 €) a day. What I did afterwards. Instead of staying 3 or 4 days as planned, I ended up staying 11 days, surfing almost every day!

During my stay, I also went to surf Chicama, the longest wave in the world! A perfect left that rolls out for miles when conditions are optimal.

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We went for a day trip, with a tour organized by my friend Carlos, who runs another surf school in Huanchaco, The Wave. Chicama is located in the village of Puerto Malabrigo, one hour north of Huanchaco.

The waves of about 1 m to 1.50 m that day let us guess what the endless left would look like with bigger conditions. But for me, that was good enough!

Chicama makes the happiness of the very good surfers as well as the beginners, with its particular configuration. No need to paddle, just walk along the beach to the peak, then take the waves one after the other. When the waves and the current have pushed you to the rocks, you return quietly to the peak, the board under the arm, easy! And what a pleasure to be able to surf the same wave for more than 5 seconds! It was really worth the detour.

So if you're looking for a surfing destination, not too popular, not too expensive, with waves for all levels, in shark-free water, with a more than relaxed atmosphere, Huanchaco is for you!

As for the accommodation, I spent my whole stay at the Frogs Chillhouse Hostel, 10 min from the center. The atmosphere was great! I met great people coming from all over the world, around Pisco Sour served at the rooftop bar of the hostel! There is no lack of activities: sunset yoga, ping-pong, billiards, beerpong, table football, karaoke night, concerts, happy hour every night except monday...

Accommodation in dorms or private rooms, fully equipped kitchen, communal areas, plenty of beanbags and hammocks, wifi, hot water and a great view of the ocean! I can't recommend it enough, especially for the price, starting at 20 soles (€5) a night."

For more information or to book a surftrip in Peru do not hesitate to contact us.

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