Most Beautiful & Best Beaches in Peru

Most Beautiful & Best Beaches in Peru

If Machu Picchu is on your vacation bucket list during the rainy season, pack a bathing suit because that’s when the sun shines brightest on the best beaches in Peru.

Peru’s northern coast beaches bask in equatorial desert sun almost all year round, but especially from December through March. That is peak summertime in Peru, when the rainy season makes Peru’s jungle destinations less attractive for visitors.

While most head to Peru to explore the rainforests and mountain ranges, the country’s dramatic northern Pacific coast is a wonder in itself. But without the crowds you’ll get in Cusco.

Combine surf and sun with delightful beaches, stylish accommodations and heavenly seafood, and you’ve got all the perks of a laid-back beach vacation.

From mid-July through through October, the warm waters stretching from Punta Sal Tumbes to Cabo Blanco in Piura offers spectacular whale watching, as well as sea lions and other ocean wildlife.

And if you tire of the marine life, sun, sand and surf of these Peru beaches, there are plenty of fascinating ancient archaeological ruins to explore.

Peru is one of the best places in the world for surfing, and these amazing northern coast beaches are where it happens. They are located along more than 600 miles (1,000 km) of Pacific coastline, far from the gray sea mist that shrouds the less hospitable southern coastline for much of the year.

Below is an overview of the main points to visit on the north coast of Peru, some of the finest in South America:

Mancora Beach (Piura)

Surfing and partying late into the night on Mancora beach on Peru's northern coast.
Surfing all day then party through the night til dawn at Máncora beach. Photo by Bruno Ahlgrimm on Flickr

Mancora, 723 miles (1,164 km) north of Peru’s capital, Lima, bustles with hotels, entertainment and affordable restaurants. But, of course, the main attraction is the beach: pure white sand and picture-perfect waves breaking between the reefs. The reliable, strong winds, warm water and brilliant sunshine draw sun-bathers and surfers from around the world. Days are filled with frolicking in the surf and hanging out on leisurely on the beach. The nights are spent partying until the wee hours.

Las Pocitas Beach (Piura)

Man photographing the tranquil  at Las Pocitas beach.
Capturing the tranquility at “Little Pools” beach. Photo by Bruno Ahlgrimm on Flickr

Mancora is one of the country’s hottest party beaches and it certainly isn’t much of a hideaway. But just to the south is a quieter setting for perfect beach holidays. Las Pocitas, is a stone’s throw from Mancora. Stay at the ultra-hip Hotel DCO, which feels like stepping into a fashion show; or treat yourself to Casa de Playa, which has its own ceviche seafood restaurant. Relax with a cool cocktail under the palm trees as the occasional horse strolls by. There are also rock pools to explore — small pools formed among the rocks at low tide, which create tiny marine ecosystems. Perfect for children.

Vichayito, Los Organos and Punta Valeros (Piura)

Vista of the seaside village of Vichayito, which has one of the best beaches in Peru for a great family vacationers.
The peaceful seaside village of Vichayito is great for family vacationers. Photo by Incacity on Flickr

Six to 10 kilometers south of Las Pocitas, spread between sandy beaches and dry hills, stretch the fishing villages of Vichayito, Los Organos and Punta Veleros. Quieter than Las Pocitas, they are great destinations for families, as most properties have lovely swimming pools and shallow wading pools for non-swimmers and kids. The surf pier at Punta Veleros is another attraction and there are plenty of water sports available, including surfing, kitesurfing, snorkeling and diving. On land, you can go horseback riding, hiking and bird watching at the nearby El Encanto mountain, or indulge in pure relaxation at Spa Origenes. Also, Soleil bungalows is a great place to stay.

Punta Sal (Tumbes)

Punta Sal, a great beach on Peru's northern coast for ocean-side bungalows and lazing in a hammock
The view from a luxurious bungalow of the soft sand, palm trees and gentle rolling waves of Punta Sal. Photo by Incacity on Flickr

Just north of Mancora is Punta Sal, where calm waters and an enchanting expanse of soft sand offer a perfect setting for tranquil family beach vacations. Punta Sal Suites & Bungalows Resort bills itself as “paradise.” Another option is the Club Punta Sal Hotel, or head north to visit Caleta de la Cruz de Pizarro, where Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadores landed in 1535. The deep waters here are also known for their extraordinary fishing; try your hand at landing a marlin, tuna, wahoo or dorado.

Zorritos Beach (Tumbes)

Zorritos, one of the best beaches in Peru for tranquility and soft white sand.
Zorritos beach is beautiful, clean and empty. Photo by Federico Matias Barreña for Fertur Peru Travel

Zorritos beach, 631 miles (1015 km Golden) north of the capital, is situated just outside the city of Tumbes. Sand, warm water and a flat wave create a beautiful natural landscape. Near the beach there are comfortable bungalows, restaurants and bars. Think of it as a quieter, gentler and more rustic version of Mancora.

Huanchaco Beach (La Libertad)

Astoundingly beautiful sunsets at Huanchaco Beach in Northern Peru
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean from Huanchaco beach in Northern Peru. Photo by Jasmine Halki on Flickr.

Peru is probably the first place humans ever surfed. Walk along the beach at Huanchaco, 357 miles (575 km) north of Lima, and you’ll see handmade “caballitos de totora” reed boats still used by fishermen. When the day’s catch is over, the fishermen ride the waves back to shore with their catch on the caballitos, as depicted on the 3,000-year-old pottery vessels. For a few soles, some fishermen are happy to take on a passenger for fishing or surfing. Then you can try the local catch in one of the small seafood restaurants that stretch along the oceanside.

Cabo Blanco (Piura)

Sail boat off the coast of Cabo Blanco, Peru, the beach town associated with Ernest Hemmingway and arguably one of his best stories.
Cabo Blanco, most famous for its association with Ernest Hemmingway and The Old Man and the Sea. Photo by Gerardo Leon on Flickr

Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea was inspired by the sportfish-rich seas surrounding Cabo Blanco. You won’t see many old people fighting massive fish, but you will see plenty of great surfers and scenery. Sadly, many of the big marlin that made Cabo famous in the 50s and 60s are gone, but the beautiful beaches, rocky cliffs, blue seas and skies are the same as they were in Hemingway’s day. There are still a few deep-sea boats, but they now are mostly a commercial fleet. From November to January, Cabo Blanco creates the perfect pipeline wave – only for experienced surfers.

Contact us for a custom vacation featuring the best beaches in Peru

So remember, if they say “rainy season” in Peru, that means the sun is shining on the soft golden-white sand beaches of Peru’s northern coast.

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Authored by: PeruTravelTrends

A Peru Tour Operator and Travel Agency: Since 1994 creating wonderful vacation experiences for adventure travelers and holidaymakers in Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, and all around the Andean region.

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