If you’re heading to Chicama, the reason is for the surf. It has a famous point break and surfers flock from everywhere in search of the perfect wave. The town is an old remote fishing town with very little to do.
Walking around, you will see pueblo’s and brightly painted properties which is interesting artistically. There’s a few hostels and restaurants and a park but it feels like a pretty empty place.
As you know Chicama is a long long sand bottom left point break, it is suitable for all levels. The sweep along the point is quite strong, you will want to have your paddle fitness at a decent level. This being said, it is not really a wave of consequence, except for the odd rock and the pier at the end, which you will be unlikely to get to. The vibe in the water is fun and relaxed, as there are plenty of waves for everyone, when there is swell, this break is a literal wave machine.
There are a number of fun sections along the way, best not to fight the current and pick off waves down the point. The point itself has a super strong current that sorts the crowd out.
Next section is named las tittas which is distinctly recognised by a couple of fallen boulders, then there is the reef, with a steeper face for vertical turns and some barrel sections. Further toward the pier is another hollow fast section with some sharp rock, which we were told is a good wave on its day.
Chicama Boutique Hotel
This area has a number of small hostels and the town has very little to do. So if you have a non surfing partner or simply want a bit of luxury during your non surfing hours, then this is the place for you. The hotel is a beautiful little beach apartment style rooms with a main dining area and central spaces like a gym, spa, sauna, jacuzzi and games room. The rooms have a huge bed, a balcony to watch the surf (be sure to select an ocean view), a big bathroom with fresh towels. They provide 2 water bottles each day and really good organic beauty products. The room was super comfortable.
The Board room is set up well to store a number of surfboards including short boards, long boards and stand up paddle boards. There are also padded saw horses in case you need to repair you surfboard. With Chicama being a cool water wave, a wetsuit is important and they have a drier on spin cycle to help your wetty dry quicker.
From the resort you can hire wetsuits for USD$15 a day. You can also hire boards and the boards on stock are shaped by a local shaper and will suit the waves, they have some chunkier shortboards and longboards on offer. They are perfect for the wave as it does not pack that much punch. The cost to hire a board is USD$30, which is a little pricey, but the boards are in great condition.
There are plenty of places around town to hire boards, they are cheaper between S30 – S45. It tends to be a bit of a lucky dip and the boards are little banged up. We mainly hired our boards from The Surf House Hostal, the ladies running the joint were cool and they had an ok selection of boards.
Boat and boat crew
There is always a solid current running at this surf break. The boat assist is a great option to help you maximise your wave count, especially when the waves are bigger. The crew running the boats are Del Mar and Steve who are champion guys. They will put you in the spot to catch plenty of waves and may even take you out to the cape. A chunky deep water wave, you’ll need some length on your board if it’s bigger.
Restaurant / Bar
Breakfast is included in your stay, and it’s a great spread. Many types of bread, Jamon, queso, fruits, cereals and yoghurts. There’s also fresh juices. You are able to order one selection off the made to order menu – French toast, crepes or eggs. We had scrambled eggs daily and they were awesome.
For lunch and dinner you can order off their ala carte menu. We found the prices to be rather expensive, but since there’s not a lot in town (expect the traditional almuzera lunches), you tend to just do it. The food is good; a great variety of salads, ceviche, fish and beef dishes as well as pastas and kids meals are available too. I think some smaller type snack food would be a good addition to crave the hunger bursts, like single empanadas or wraps or even sushi would be awesome.
We liked how they took care to make the dining room look fancier at dinner time.
The bar sells cocktails, juices and coffees. Cocktails are relatively pricy so be sure to buy them when it’s happy hour (6-10pm). The coffee is just a pod machine so unless you like that, just go for the free coffee.
We appreciated that they had a hot water, tea and coffee station available for free all day, with regular supplies of biscuits to keep us full between meals.
Water isn’t drinkable so the hotel provides two small bottles each day in your room. You can also purchase a thermos bottle for $15 USD and have it refilled by their filter in an unlimited capacity.
It’s clear that they are keen about being environmental and sustainable, not only with this but with water usage, signage about not washing towels all the time and encouraging locals to collect rubbish in exchange for a coffee.
They have a basic gym downstairs with a set of weights, a few old step riders, 2 old bikes, press up and a boxing bag. They look like the got a set of cables as a recent acquisition which was great. There’s also some mats to use. It’s sufficient to get a routine in, but I would thoroughly recommend a new bike and a pair of boxing gloves to use on the boxing bag and maybe a good skipping rope.
There’s a hot and wet sauna which has some nice aromatherapy scents in there, as well as an indoor and outdoor jacuzzi. These were great and the staff would turn up the temperature if you wanted it.
There’s a large outdoor pool overlooking the ocean. It was a bit cold for us to make use of but it’s surrounded by deck chairs and in summer would be great.
Upstairs there’s a pool table (with extraordinarily small ball pockets), table tennis, chess, fuse ball, a frog game ?
Rooms don’t have tvs so there’s also a tv room with digital / cable tv. Plenty of magazines around the place too.
In the bar they have a tv playing surf movies daily.
Music is a constant repeat of jazz at breakfast and Jack Johnson / Donovan Frankenteiter for the rest of the time. It makes for good ambience despite its repetition.
You can also arrange massages in house – some of the best we’ve had on our trip.
Manager Ralph does an excellent job, he showed us the full tour when we arrived. He speaks English which made our stay easier. He seemed to always be around when you needed him and he is a good addition to the staffing.
Restaurant staff are excellent. They don’t speak English, but they understand our basic Spanish and are very efficient. Joi in the bar always remembered your name and regular order. They clear plates away quickly and always do a great job.
The staff constantly seem to be working and the maintenance men are always busy, turning lights off if not in use, gardening, painting and cleaning so it constantly feels like they care about the place and want it to look it’s best.
Jorge, the security man, is a breath of fresh air. His outgoing personality made for a fun stay, every time we went out to surf.
We loved our stay at Chicama and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good surf.