Peru Surf Season, Surfing Conditions Peru- Waterways Travel
Northern Peru Season Information
Chicama Season Information
Southern Peru Season Information
Most of the Pacific Coast of Peru gets less than one inch of rain a year. It is drier than the Sahara and from one end to the other, Peru looks like the surface of the moon. Or at least, the surface of the moon that has epic surf.
The Humboldt Current is the largest upwelling current on the planet, and it flows counterclockwise from the southern tip of Chile to the northern reaches of Peru. The cold water that upwells to the surface is rich with nutrients, and sealife thrives. Fishermen from small towns like Puerto Malabrigo (inside of Chicama) produce as much as one-fifth of the world’s seafood.
The Humboldt Current also contributes to the climactic factors that make coastal Peru look like the surface of the moon. Peru is flanked by the Andes which rise as high as 15,000 feet and create a wall separating the cool Pacific air from the more humid air of the Atlantic. This coolness limits the amount of evaporation from the ocean, thereby limiting humidity, which in turn limits the air’s ability to retain sun generated heat. Also, the east side of the Andes soak up all the moisture from air moving to the west, leaving almost nothing to fall on the west side.
The North Equatorial Current rotates clockwise, carrying warm water from north to the south. The two currents collide into each other with terrific force along Peru’s northern boarder with Ecuador. During the north swell months of November to March this collision point moves further down into Peru, bringing with it warm water. The water temperatures either side of where these two currents make contact can change as much as 8 degrees along a 20 mile stretch of coast.
What does this all mean in terms of getting you into endless surf? In a nutshell it’s like this; Peru has good surf year round, and the time of year you travel may dictate the area in Peru on which you focus.
The entire coastline is dry!
Lima area gets big consistent surf year round. Air temps can get into the low 60’s in the dead of winter (June/August), and up to the low 80’s in the summer (Dec/Feb). Water temps range from 58-68 winter to summer. You’ll get south swell year round in Lima, but winter weather can be unfavorable June through October. Very best months December through May.
The Chicama region is most consistent during the south swell period April through October, but can pick up big NW swells Dec/Feb which are less frequent. During the south swell winter the water temp will range from 60-68 degrees, and up into the 70’s in the summer. Air temperatures range from 65-80 degrees, with even the winter months having warm days.
Northern Peru is never really cold. October through March will see water temperatures 72-77 and air temps in the mid/upper 80’s. During the winter April through September water temps vary between 65 – 73 degrees with air temperatures still reaching the mid 80’s.