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Chilca: The Mysterious Surf Paradise

Some years ago I got to know one of the best waves for surfing along the peruvian coast. A beach that had been hidden for years, out of sight of the surfing crew; or at least, the secret of this wave had been very well kept. It was amazing to “discover” such a perfect wave just a few kilometers from Lima, the capital. There it was, a massive beach break with perfect barrels. One of those waves that are rare to find. For so long we had no idea!

I remember the first summer, when this magnificent beach was just beginning to become popular. All that season was a tube party for those who were lucky to know about it on time.

The entrance was by car on a beautiful trail between hills, and after fifteen minutes you came to the beach. It was an incredible feeling to arrive and see the waves bursting in the most perfect way, spitting spray from its tremendous strength. It didn’t take too much time before people spred the word and more guys came looking for those tubes.

The beach soon became known throughout the surf community. There were big wave championships and even bodyboarding world-wide championships. We had in our backyard something similar to Puerto Escondido, in Mexico.

Chilca, also known by some as UFO’s, for the alleged sighting of UFOs, was the heaven of wave riding for a few years. However, after some incredible summers the usual scores became less common. The currents made the sand of the beach move and the road where you could pass by car was now the place where the wave broke. The water reached the famous cave where people had previously parked and the waves changed shape, no longer breaking in the same way or with the same perfection of a few seasons before. In addition, the beautiful trail by which you entered (wanting to get there as fast as possible to be the first in the water) was closed with walls and watched by armed people. They were taking care so no one could get in or open a new path for lands that belonged to everyone. A strange move of dubious legality, to say the least, that left us all without a way to get to the beach. The Chilca paradise lost it’s charm.

It was obvious that no wall was going to stop the hungry herd of addicted surfers in their search for tubes. Very soon new routes were found on foot, climbing hills for twenty minutes, or even in fishing boats from the closest fishing port in Pucusana. However something was missing, something was not in place, and that was the perfection and size of the waves we had known years before.

Many summers have passed and we continue waiting for the return of Chilca’s miracle. We are waiting for those five meter giants or even more, to come back and see everyone trembling with fear and paddling for our lives.

This summer I have seen the beach with more sand and throwing a couple of gold memories. We want to see those perfect peaks and feel the same old respect for this cocky beach, which is often not in the mood, but when it is, you can’t ask for more. This makes me meditate about the importance of enjoying things when we have them and, when they leave, remember them with appreciation for the great moments they gave us. I will always be grateful with this beach…

I leave some images of a couple of days at the beginning of this summer of 2017. Days that have made me remember a bit of how was the game before, and that have left me wanting more.

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