The big swell came to Pacasmayo

A Brazilian looked at me without smiling and said:

It’s the best day of my life,  … it was up there for me to hehe!

The Biggest swell of the year didn’t disappoint

No  crowd, only a few super friendly Brazilians

The wave in Pacasmayo is fickle but when it’s on, it’s on

Once again, awesome town!

Check out the movie here and the story and photos further down:

This post was almost going to get boring! For 6 days we surfed in average conditions, waiting for a big swell showing on the swell maps. Two days before it hit Peru, it was being  claimed to be the biggest one of the year. And it was! For that reason pretty much everyone left Pacasmayo to go to Chicama where the waves are a little smaller and more perfect.  It is also the longest one in the world (See Chicama and story here)

In my 3 or 4 years of surfing, I had never seen a proper solid swell so it was my chance and I decided to stay in Pacasmayo. All my traveling buddies left , but a few Brazilians stayed. My intention was to watch them as it was going to be too big for me, and my board was way too small for bigger waves…good excuse!  Two nights before the swell hit us, Billabong announced that they would start the Pico Alto contest. It is part of the Big wave world tour, and was going to be 30ft (Check it out here)! Anyway, on the big day I woke up as the local guys were getting the boat ready: too hard to paddle out here, as the current is too strong when it gets big. One of them suggested that I use a bigger board, some kind of semi gun, a 6”9. At that point I didn’t really have an excuse to not give it a go. In the end, ten Brazilians and myself surfed 3 hours in some solid surf. Some people say it was 8 ft, some even say it was 10ft…regardless, we had a ball, and we all caught some bombs. It might not huge to international standard and we are all far from being good surfers, but what a reward for such a long wait.

The following day was identical but with even less people  as a few more tried their luck in Chicama. A couple of guys who were in the rescue and photography team at the Pico Alto Big Wave came and couldn’t believe how good it was here!

A few tips if you stay here:

You will usually need a tuc tuc to go to the point or walk 35min from the centre of town. It cost only 5 soles.

Los Faroles ( is the ultimate hostel, with awesome vibe,  super comfortable, safe and affordable as ususal, (25 soles/ $10 per night). It is all geared up for surfers. Other people stay at El Mirador or the Duke which seem fine too.

Food wise, Café Café or Puerto Escondido are great and serve big plates! Its is around 15 to 20 soles for a main but the food is unreal. For a very cheap meal, all the little restaurants in town have “menu” which consists of a soup, main (rice with beans meat or fish) and juice for 6 soles (2 bucks!).

To get there, you can take a bus from Truillo (next to Huanchaco), Chiclayo (2hours away) or Chicama (1.5hours). A Taxi to Chicama is 130 soles and a taxi to Puemape is 40 soles. Puemape is  25 minutes away and is a great option for days where it is too small here as it picks up more swell there (see the Puemape post here).

Pacasmayo is unreal.


14 thoughts on “The big swell came to Pacasmayo

  1. Awesome video bru, well done for charging! Was cool to meet you and your mates. Blessings;) Mik and Inge (The Saffa´s)


  2. Bravo pour ces belles vagues qui me semblent plus grosses que celles de Bell’s Beach le jour où nous y étions…. Il semble que tu progresses pas mal sur ton surf !!! Merci pour ces jolis films qui sont très réussis ! Bonne continuation, progresse bien en espagnol et bises de nous deux… François “the Nico’s father”


  3. I just stumbled on your blog – excellent! I am now a retired surfer – I stumbled on Pacasmayo just over 20 years ago. I had that place perfect for a month and surfed solo every day. The locals (there were 3!) would come out and join me in the evenings. I hope that you can answer a few of my questions – Is the Hotel Ferocarril still there? I surfed with ‘Yucca’, ‘Chata’ and a guy called Jaime Luis Conroy (whose family owned most of the town), he and his wife Fadia lived on the beach front near the football court – did you ever bump into them? Things don’t appear to have changed much which makes me happy. In those days my total budget per day was about $8:00 so not much changed there either. I had my address book stolen and lost contact with those guys, I would be stoked to say hi to them if you know of them – long shot!!


    1. G’day Matt,

      Pacasmayo would have been amazing 20 years ago, but luckily, it is still not too high profile on the surf scene thanks to Chicama being around the corner (and being much less powerful wave wise). So, sadly I don’t know the people you mentioned. The only locals I knoew were the ones that own the surf hostel called Los Faroles, which is located close to the pier and the football court you mentioned (up a little alley). They are a great family with everyone living there (Gd parents, to grand children). The budget was not $8per day, but still the cheapest of anywhere I have been in the Americas! You should go back!!!!! A lot of people go back every year and stay a month…it’s that good, as you know! Cheers Mate.


      1. Thanks for your reply. I used to hit Chicama each time it got big enough at Pacasmayo and had some really good sessions there. I actually did the trip by driving out of Southern California and went all the way through Panama then went back to the States, dropped the truck and went to Chile, Peru – got so surfed out I sold all my boards to the locals in Pacasmayo and hit Bolivia. Unfortunately my days of surfing are over so I wont be going back to Pacasmayo but am chuffed that you had it so good. Do you have blogs of your other American surf travels – cant locate them!


  4. Incredible! It would have been an epic journey! You can see all my blogs by clicking on GOOD TIMES in the menu, then press on the arrow going left to see the old posts… I spent a bit of time in Panama, Chile, Nicaragua, Galapagos, El Salvador, Mexico etc… Most inspiring journey! You can also click on Video in the menu to see all the videos on all these countries! Cheers


    1. Cheers – will take a look tonight (am in Zimbabwe) Envious of you getting out to Galapagos, I did not make it and regret it big time. You in Aus?


    1. I had forgotten about your blog and just stumbled onto it again – if you are ever in Zimbabwe, drop us a line and I will show you around.


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