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Chicama Surf Resort, Peru

The Surf

Chicama is known around the world as perhaps the longest wave in the world. The entire point is two and a half miles long and divided into three sections: The very outside point is called Malpaso, which breaks for about 150 meters. The next point toward town is called Keys, which breaks for another 600 meters before hitting deep water.

The main point is called….. Main Point, and this is to Chicama what Supertubes is to J Bay. This is the money wave that surfers fantasize about.

The entire point never connects, no matter how big the swell gets, but when the swell is over six feet, the Main Point links up with sections called The Point and El Hombre that break all the way to the pier in town – a ride of  2.5 kilometers that lasts for minutes.  Sean Murphy, owner of WaterWays claims to have ridden over 10 miles of waves in one session on an average/good day.

Some say Main Point is slow, some say it’s fast, but all surfers who have been to Chicama say legs are more important than arms. Most surfers have never ridden a wave for a minute, and so four minutes might as well be an hour. Paddling back out is not an option: too far, too much current. Most surfers walk, and it takes a good half an hour walking to cover a distance that took a couple minutes on a surfboard.

The truth about Chicama is that those epic roping days are not every day, but there are other waves close by that are more consistent, and some say, even better than Chicama.

Just 25 miles to the north, Pacasmayo is another incredibly long left point that is known for being consistently much bigger and more consistent than Chicama. Pacasmayo is another endless left that breaks from 3 to 15 feet and has several sections: some speedy and tubular, others thick and slow.. Pacasmayo is an impressive and consistent wave. Just when you think it’s losing its shape, a new wall forms all over again; this is known as the Pacasmayo Express. The resort can easily transport surfers to this spot, and let them decide for themselves which is the better wave.

Fifty miles to the south, there is a left point at Huanchaco that would cause riots if it were anywhere else in the world, but here it’s just another Peruvian left point.  A visit to Huanchaco is a full day trip as you will want to experience the town itself and take a ride on a “caballitos de totora”, one of the local reed fishing boats the locals still utilize today to come in and out through the sur.

Halfway between Chicama and Huanchaco, Poemape is yet another left point. This place is off the beaten road and hard to get to. And it’s all in front of an abandoned fishing village that is ghostly and spooky: you half expect to see Clint Eastwood walking around in a pancho, smoking a blunt and squinting out to sea to see what the tide is doing. What Clint might see is a left point that is more exposed to wind than Chicama, but is consistently a little bigger.  The outside breaks over a rock before turning the corner and wrapping into the small bay. The point changes from year to year depending on sand flow; sometimes fast and hollow, other times a bit fat with sections.