At 10 years old, I saw my first photo of Chicama, Peru, and wanted to go ever since. The photo showed three miles of perfect, peeling lefts, without one soul in the water.
Chicama is known as the longest wave on the planet. The last time I was in Peru I was unable to make it, but a year later made it happen.
Chicama’s a fickle wave. The swell has to be really big for it to work. I was staying at Pacasmayo, an hour north of Chicama, when the swell hit. As soon as it got big enough, a friend and I jammed down to score some epic four to six-foot everlasting lefts.
Some sections of the wave were really hollow and others were quite soft. I had a blast riding each wave until my legs gave out, before walking back up the sandy point for another one. The wind blows offshore 24 hours a day, and there is nothing to do there other than surf and sleep. It’s real dusty – moon dusty.
It was incredible to finally get to surf Chicama all those years after seeing it in the photograph as a kid. The wave lived up to its reputation. So glad I went back to Peru to take care of that childhood dream.
If you go, there is an inexpensive hostel to stay at, maybe $10 a night, otherwise there are two nice hotels next door to each other right in front of the wave that are $100 a night… pricey for Peru but worth it if you have the dough. Wouldn’t recommend staying at Chicama or Pacasmayo unless there’s swell.