Clinging to the northern limits of the world’s driest desert, Moquegua defies near zero annual rainfall by supporting a thriving wine industry and a valley full of green fields replete with grazing cows that look like they might have been peeled off the surface of northern France (it’s the rivers, you know). The town itself has a picturesque main square, but there is little else to detain you from a fleeting, but by no means unpleasant, overnight stop.

South Coast Surf Spots

The South Coast is relatively virgin surf territory. Grab a four-by-four, boards and a case of cerveza (beer) to pioneer a huge swath of unexplored Pacific. Unfortunately, up north near Asia, many sections of coastline have been artificially 'privatized' by condo complexes, but there are still plenty of backwoods breaks to discover, with consistent winter swells. Here are some hints from

  • Mollendo has 1- to 2-m waves on a 'mushy' beachbreak right in town, and there are a half-dozen named breaks south of here on the coastal road and around Ilo.
  • Cerro Azul is a top spot, with a long left point break.
  • From Tacna head to the coast for top breaks, including Boca del Río, known for short fun rides, Punta Colorado, a bodyboarder fave, and a powerful left pointbreak at Caleta Sama.