So whether you’re looking to hang-ten with your buds, explore ancient ruins, or just go wherever the spirit takes you, Peru and its beaches will be enchanting and fulfilling destinations.
Let’s face it, the term ‘urban beach’ sounds a bit strange, like jumbo shrimp or civil war.
If you step back for a moment though, you may see that beaches like Miraflores are really the best of both worlds.
Below high, rocky cliffs adjacent to Lima’s ritzy downtown, you’ll not only have access to sun, sand, and surf but beautiful parks, wonderful restaurants, and the city’s fascinating museums and architecture as well.
There aren’t many places like it, where you can cram so many diverse and enjoyable activities into one day.
There’s a boardwalk, surfing and even paragliding too.
Paracas National Reserve
‘Where the mountains meet the sea,’ would be a great way to describe the beaches in Paracas National Reserve.
Framed by the desert and majestic Andes Mountains, the beaches here are remote and breathtaking.
Don’t expect to find a crowd or pesky vendors, as you’ll need to hoof-it to many of these unnamed beaches.
Once you’ve soaked up all the sun, surf and serenity you can handle, head to into Paracas and book a boat tour to the Ballestas Island Bird Sanctuary.
Though you can’t actually enter the island, the scenery from the boat will be more than sufficient.
Famous for its slow pace, marine life and surfing, the town of Los Organos is a good choice for those looking to decompress.
Punta Veleros is its most popular beach, but there are others nearby that are just as beautiful.
Hang around the docks and watch the local fisherman bring in their catch – most of which will end up in the quaint town’s family restaurants, and if you’re lucky, on your dinner plate.
Whale watching tours can be booked from town and sea turtles are pretty common too.
Easy and affordable lodging is available, as are more upscale, private bungalows.
The Paita District is in the northwest corner of Peru, not far from its border with Ecuador.
Its most popular beach is Colan, which is known for its clean, white sand and flat, wave-free surf.
Noted for its beachside bungalows built on foundations of chunky boulders, its jagged, rocky cliffs and serene harbor filled with anchored boats, the scenery is nothing short of stunning.
Lodging won’t be a problem, no matter your budget, and a wonderful and inexpensive seafood meal is always just a short walk away, so ask a local or follow your nose.
Less than 15 minutes from the town of Chiclayo, Pimentel is notable for its traditional fisherman who still use the same reed boats their ancestors have for centuries.
Called, ‘caballitos de totora,’ which translates into, little reed horses, you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time watching the locals launch them through the surf.
Known for its surfing and amazing sunsets, you’ll also find budget-friendly lodging, excellent food, and moderately crowded beaches.
Check out the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipan in Chiclayo for an afternoon change of pace.
Santa Rosa Beach
In southern Lima, in the Punta Negra District, lies Santa Rosa beach.
Noted for its large and perfectly formed waves, it’s a magnet for local and foreign surfers alike.
Surfing lore has it that the best waves appear from April until the end of the year and that it’s really not a good place for beginners.
So if you’re a novice, don’t show up with an outdated board and cheesy wetsuit like Keanu did in Point Break.
Instead, grab your shades, some sunblock, and a cool drink and watch the pros make it look easy.
Words like peaceful, clean and relaxing aren’t often used to describe the beaches in Peru’s capital and most populated city, Lima.
Rumor has it there are roving bands of inconspicuous thieves who specialize in nicking the belongings of careless tourists frolicking in the surf, so it’s always best to go with a friend or two.
Depending on the tide, pollution can be an issue as well, so an alternative would be to find a hotel with a nice pool, avoid the beach altogether, and spend the day checking out the city’s cultural attractions.