Peru and Ecuador trip... Opinions? Answers to my Q's...?

I’ve got a surf trip planned for this November 1stish to March of next year… Looking at Peru and Ecuador, and I’ve got the cash to do the trip but I need to keep it pretty cheap and dirtbag to have the cushion funds to deal with board destruction or thefts or other travel emergencies. So there is no problem there: What makes it a bit tricky is that my girlfriend is also going (it’s a surf trip with some side treks and sightseeing - when the swell dies is the theory).

She’s stoked to learn to surf but always lived inland til this year, gotten out a little bit here but not enough to be consistently popping up and heading in the right direction…

So I’m trying to figure out where we can go that makes it easy for her to get out there and give’r on waves that she’ll feel ok with but also has something nearby that I can dig into, really to get some time in on some friendly little barrels… And we’re really trying to avoid car rental due to the being on the cheap. Anybody with any good experience relating to Peru/Ecuador that has a few pennies to throw in here? Thinking mainly places where walking to the surf is an option, or maybe scooter rentals…?

Original thought was Peru first, Lima then south and the work back up to the North and to Ecuador in late January to end of March for the warm boardshort weather… but is Peru too tricky to get around in for these purposes? I’m spoiled as my only real surf trip was indo and god knows it’s easy there… rent a scooter and pack a pair of boardshorts… more time this time around but less knowledge of the area.


Oh, forgot to mention: my apologies for the non-design post… I’m just frustrated with the more travel-oriented surf forums I’ve checked out. Anyone has any good suggestions in that realm I’d be stoked on that too!



Just got back from 3mos in Ecuador with my wife. If you are unsure what to do and where to go and how to get there START DOING YOUR HOMEWORK NOW. You will be traveling by BUS to keep it cheap. Keep the amount of stuff to a minumium. One big backpack and a VERSITIAL surfboard over the shoulder. Lots of places to go and see. PLENTY of surf that time of year. Get a recent copy of “The South American handbook”. Get ready for a REAL ADVENTURE!!  Learn as much spanish as you can between now and then. Be patient and friendly it will go a long way.

Peru, hands down.

Ecuador; warmer water, fewer surfers per capita than Peru, lush jungle all the way to the water in many areas, US buck is the currency. Lots of places to stay. Possibly a more forgiving learning environment, but that’ll entirely depend on where you’re going. Buses work well; cabs/hired vehicles not as common. People are friendly; poverty is rampant outside of urban centres.

Peru; Colder water in central and south, 'bout the same temps to the far north, LOTS of REALLY good surfers, but for some reason it’s not hard to find an empty break; Dec 09 I had a well known point enitrely to myself, 5 mornings in a row, overhead and reeling, 1 week before Xmas. Food is MUCH better in Peru; some of the best you’ll sample anywhere around the world. MANY more historical/cultural sites to explore. Cost is similar, though easier to get decent flights from NA to Peru than to Ecuador. Buses work GREAT, cabs/hired vehicles easy to come by. Poverty prevalent outside urban centres, but in general the middle/upper class have shoe-horned their way in to alot of areas making travel/amenities a little easier. Strangely, the “lower” class is friendly, the middle/upper tend to be a bit snobbish.

Check the holiday schedule; if you’re going to be in either country over a holiday stretch I recommend you get your accomodations worked out for that period in advance; prices tend to double over a holiday weekend and availability becomes scarce. Peru in early December is quiet everywhere but Lima; AFTER the 25th, the coastline goes nuts; would be a no-go zone for me until end of January.

Lots of breaks in easy-to-travel areas in Peru work on NW swells. Many of the NW breaks in Ecuador are in tough to travel territory; predominant activity during your window will be NW; something to consider…

Forget about scooter rental; not available and not going to be safe in most of the zones you’ll travel to. Hire a cab for the day to get to more isolated areas; still way cheaper than renting a car (which we just did due to having a 10 mo old on th trip; 775$ US including insurance for 9 days; ouch!)

If it’s Peru, save yourself the hassle and cost of flying with your board and order one in advance from Klimax; makes great boards…tell him what you’re after, where you’ll be surfing, your ability level and size and it’ll be dialed up for not much more than 400$ US; send a deposit to insure the board is complete on time.Take your own fins to save bucks and be able to experiment.

Airfares from Peru to Ecuador are reasonable if you plan ahead; they’re high if you’re going last minute; I think if you get your tickets a couple of weeks in advance you’ll probably be able to dial in for less than 200$ each if you book with a travel agent in Peru. With less than 1 weeks notice it’ll be more like 450$ (ask me how I know this…)

Around Ecuador, the common buses are quite efficient and reasonable in fact. In Peru, I’d pony up for one of the nicer buses if I were doing a longish haul up north; for heading to the beaches south of Lima, hiring a cab from Lima would be a perfectly fine option; a worthy cost rather than going through the hassle of getting to the bus depot in Lima and then not getting dropped off exactly where you want to go. 50$ won’t get you far in a cab in NA; it’ll get you a LONG way in Peru. Hired driver for 100$ got us from Playas to Montanita in Ecuador, on our schedule.

Eat ceviche for lunch, not dinner. It’s all good in Peru; Ecuador not so much (awesome oyster ceviche there tho).

And yeah; bone up on your spanish…you’ll be in a bad way without it; ESPECIALLY in Ecuador; Peru def has a higher english speaking populace, but it’s still peanuts…


oh, jealous…and with a 10mo…manly.

Sounds awesome guys I am super stoked, and thanks for the extra info! On a surfing-specific note did you find it tricky finding hostals/hotels that were within mellow access of breaks? I just got a little concerned when noticing the number of breaks (using, for what it’s worth) that specify access by car at least, or sometimes 4x4… GreatWhite, were you usually able to get a cab back from those more remote spots or you just had the guy hang out for the session?

A buddy had mentioned Klimax, I am thinking I might go through the hassle to get one of my boards down just for the field testing of one of my babies, but it’s a mellow point surf machine for sure so I will need to get a second somehow…

So psyched right now, haven’t spoken spanish for about 10 years other than a three week stint in spain so I picked up some Spanish course material and I’m going to get cracking soon!