The waters around Wahu, Hawaii, have traditionally been thought of as the birthplace of what is known today as ´surfing´. Hawaiian royalty were apparently the first to take part in what they called ´the sport of kings´. However, northern Peru offers some convincing evidence towards the argument that it is in fact the home of the first craft used for surfing. Two cultures, ´Moche´ and ´Chimu´, are known to have existed on the coast of northern Peru over two thousand years ago. Ruins, textiles and ceramics from these cultures have been discovered, all bearing iconography depicting waves and what is believed to be the first crafts designed for surfing ´caballitos de totora´ (´little reed horses´). These crafts were fashioned from reeds, designed for the powerful waves of northern Peru and were used by fishermen. To view these crafts still in use by fishermen today, visit Huanchaco Beach, near Trujillo.
In the early 1900´s, things had progressed from the ´caballitos de totora´ and citizens of Miraflores and Barranco were riding table boards and drawing boards in the surf around Lima. Then according to legend ,Carlos Dogny, playboy and globetrotter, brought the first modern surfboard to Peru from Hawaii and started surfing the waves around Miraflores. Gradually more and more people caught on to the fun that surfing offered and eventually the Waikiki club on the Costa Verde of Miraflores was established to house the then five to six meter one hundred kilo boards after the surfers left the water.
Peru blossomed as a surfing destination and earned its spot on the map when the first World Surfing Championships were won by a Peruvian Felipe Pomar. Peru is also home to another World Surfing Champion who started her career as a child surfing the waves around Mancora and Punta Hermosa. Sofia Mulanovich started competing at the international level at the tender age of 13 and would often take part in the boy´s competitions and conquer those as well. She is a four times National Champion and in 2004 earned the World Champion title. In 2007, she became the first Peruvian to be inducted into the Surfer´s Hall of Fame, and most recently she won the Movistar Peru Classic in 2009. The influence of these and other well known surfers has significantly increased the popularity of surfing in Peru.
Peru has many different kinds of waves, catering to everyone from beginners to hard core surfers. There are always new waves being discovered along the 3079.5 km coast of Peru and some spots especially in the south are yet to be surfed. Why not try and be the first? Lima offers the perfect spot to start your new hobby and staying at Dragonfly Hostels you’ll be close to the action. From the hostel to the beach it is only a five minute walk through the tourist friendly district of Miraflores. You can book surfing lessons and sessions through us with Johnny Surf School, who offer significant discounts to Dragonfly guests.