At the Beach, Travel and Leisure — May 16, 2016 at 5:00 am

Top 7 Beach Destinations in Peru

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The Peruvian coastline isn’t exactly known for its gorgeous beaches, what with much of it being covered in desert, but there are some great gems hidden along the shores. Next time you’re in Peru, be sure to check out these great spots.

Punta Sal
Punta Sal is located in the northern region of Peru, not far from the border of Ecuador. It’s a popular surfing spot that also contains some pretty gnarly scuba diving and wind surfing. December through March is the best time to visit, but the numerous resorts in the area can get a tad pricey during this period.

Huanchaco
Huanchaco was once a peaceful fishing hamlet that has recently experienced a renaissance. Now, you’ll find the tiny town teeming with surfing instructors, many of them former professionals in the field, looking to provide lessons to tourists. The vibe in this cheeky little beachside oasis is the epitome of laid back and, while there isn’t much more to do here than surf, it’s a wonderful place to escape to where you can easily lie back, soak up the sun and watch the fisherman row by in their reed boats before you tackle a few waves.

©istockphoto/Kseniya Ragozina

©istockphoto/Kseniya Ragozina

Mancora
Close by Punta Sal you’ll find the incredibly popular fishing town of Mancora. It’s something of a surfing mecca in the country and is home to waves over six feet tall during prime season. There are plenty of surf shops along the beach willing to teach you if you’re a beginner, or you can just relax along the sands and catch some rays. One of the best things about this beach is the vast amount of hiking trails and beautiful rock formations surrounding it, including the famous Las Pocitas formation.

©istockphoto/Kseniya Ragozina

©istockphoto/Kseniya Ragozina

Pimental
Pimental has become a popular tourist destination in Peru thanks to a wealth of picturesque scenery and a wonderful boardwalk full of quaint shops and restaurants to choose from. The small town doesn’t offer much in the way of nightlife or even much excitement, but the calm aura of the town makes it the perfect place to kick back and relax. It’s a magnet for wealthy Peruvians and foreigners alike, so you’d better be prepared to throw down a pretty penny to stay here.

Paracas
Paracas is prized less for its human treasures and more so for its abundance of natural wildlife. Along these shores you’ll find Humboldt penguins, dolphins, sea lions, dozens of bird species and even the blue-footed booby traversing both land and sea. You’re surrounded by nature and can even camp amongst it in places like Playa de la Mina, one of the cleanest beaches in the country.

©istockphoto/VitalyEdush

©istockphoto/VitalyEdush

Lima
The capital of Peru is covered in a thick fog most of the year, but once summer rolls in, the mist disperses and locals flock to the gorgeous beaches. The best beaches in Lima are south of town and include El Silencio, Señoritas and Caballeros, all joined in one long stretch of sand with numerous restaurants and shops to explore. El Silencio and its brothers can get a little packed, but that just adds a little more fun to the equation.

©istockphoto/tirc83

©istockphoto/tirc83

Puerto Inca
Along Peru’s southern coastline lies the “white city” of Arequipa, seemingly named for the miles of white sand along the ocean. It’s a great place to simply relax or take a snorkeling trip. The waters of the bay are calm, making it favorite among fishermen. Straw umbrellas and horses are found all over the beach and you’re certainly welcome to take a riding lesson or two while here.

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