Lima has a great surfing scene and various beaches to choose from. If you are, however, in for a change of scenery, there are many beaches to explore further down south the coast. Most famous is the beach town of Punta Hermosa. Vibrant in summer, yet a ghost town in winter… Finding surfboards in low season is a true challenge. This post tells you where to rent a surfboard, where to sleep and how to get to Punta Hermosa by public transport from Lima.
Public Transport to Punta Hermosa
When you don’t travel in the rush hour, it only takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. It’s actually very easy and mega cheap: 4,5 soles one way. In short, make your way to Puente Benavides by combi and there take a bus in the direction of San Bartolo. Note, you can also take an Uber for 50 soles, which will save you about an hour. But if you’re up for an adventure, here is how to do it yourself!
TIP: to ease the journey, all locations (black) are links to google maps!
Combi to Carretera Panamericana
Many buses that travel south along the Carretera Panamericana Sur (the main highway – S1) will take you to San Bartolo and thus to Punta Hermosa. Accordingly, getting to the highway is the first part of the trip. There are two bridges (=puente) along the high way where you can take the bus south: Puente Benavides and Puente Atocongo. We chose the first because this bridge is very easy to reach from Miraflores.
Why this bridge? Avenue Alfredo Benavides starts from the beach entry near Wong, Kennedy Park. Accordingly, at the crossing with Avenue Jose Larco and, more precisely, right in front of ATM BanBif Miraflores, almost every combi that stops displays “Pte. Benavides” on the side. A combi is a minivan. The general route it follows is written on it.
If in doubt, ask the driver if they go to “La Rici”, slang for Universidad Ricardo Palma. Every driver will know where you need to get off now. The fair varies between 1 to 1,5 soles. And the drive is about 20-25 minutes outside of rush hour.
Bus at Puente Benavides
Once you arrive at the bridge, get off at Paradero URP (Universidad Ricardo Palma) and you will find yourself at a big crossing. Make your way to the bridge and walk down to the bus stop that is right next to the high way.
In reality, it really is not hard to find a bus to Punta Hermosa here. Many busses offer the route, combi’s as well as the bigger busses. Easiest is just to tell someone that you want to go to Punta Hermosa and they are sure to find you a bus. The cost is 3 to 3,5 soles.
TIP: As this ride takes about 1,5 hours, it really is worth it to wait for a combi. Their chairs are generally softer and more comfortable than the plastic ones in the big busses.
Arriving in Punta Hermosa
Keep an eye on the map if you have internet and/or tell the driver you need to get off in Punta Hermosa. They are generally very helpful and will tell you when to get off. Punta Hermosa though is quite stretched, so it’s nice to know your hostel/surf spot beforehand to prevent a long walk.
The way back: Punta Hermosa to Lima by Public Transport
Make your way to the Mercado of Punta Hermosa. Not only can you get great food there (we had an amazing menu for 10 soles… Great Ceviche!) it is also where you will be able to grab a combi or bus in the direction of Lima. Once again, it’s recommended to take a combi as these tend to be more comfortable. Ask the driver if he crosses Puente Benavides on the Panamericana Sur and enjoy the ride. At the bridge, return to the crossing and look for a bus in the direction of Miraflores.
Surfboard rent Punta Hermosa
When you get to Punta Hermosa in low season you will be stunned by how empty the town is. You might also have heard that finding boards to rent is challenging… Update: it really is. We ended up walking around for 1 hour in our quest for boards. The good news is though: we found them in the end and can now save you the walk.
One option is renting from Manuel Suarez Portocarrero. He only has boards for more experienced surfers as the biggest is about 7 feet. For bigger boards, it’s better to go to a surf camp and ask for rentals. We ended up going to Bravo Surf Camp, which also happened to have an amazing atmosphere. The biggest boards are about 8 feet and rent is 30 soles per day, including a wetsuit.
Sleeping in Punta Hermosa
Again, we would recommend Bravo Surf Camp. Multiple friends spent the night here and were very positive. It is a true surf hostel: everyone surfs. The crew can tell exactly where to surf every day as they have a car and go to check out the various beaches. On the website, they offer packages as well that include meals and surf lessons.
TIP: In case you want to stay for a longer period of time, they have weekly, biweekly and monthly rates to with discounts
Surfing at Punta Hermosa
The town is dedicated to surfing: there are many surf spots in and around Punta Hermosa. To decide which spot is yours, check magicseaweed.com for the conditions and options.
Want to surf up north instead?
To the north of Lima, you will find many more great surf spots. Among which, the longest left break of the world: Chicama. How to get there by public transport we wrote for you as well in this post. Do you prefer Mancora instead? This is where to get the best bites. Lastly, the best food in Huanchaco you find here.
Enjoy your surf!