Every summer, limeños beeline for the beaches clustered along the Panamericana to the south. The city exodus peaks on weekends, when, occasionally, the road is so congested that it temporarily becomes one-way. Popular with surfers, this stretch of barren, coastal desert is lapped by cold water and strong currents. Inquire locally before swimming, as drownings occur annually. Surfboard rental is almost nonexistent; best to bring your own. The principal beach towns include El Silencio, Señoritas, Caballeros, Punta Hermosa, Punta Negra, San Bartolo, Santa María, Naplo and Pucusana.
Punta Hermosa, with its relentless waves, is the surfer spot. The largest waves in Peru (reaching 10m) are found nearby at Pico Alto (Panamericana Km 43). Punta Rocas, a little further south, holds annual competitions and is popular with experienced surfers.