With year round-swell, a huge variety of high quality spots, along with friendly locals and a compelling ancient and modern culture, Peru is undoubtedly one of South America’s, if not the world’s most alluring surfing destinations.
The prevailing wind is offshore along much of Peru’s 1600 mile long coastline, with a concentrated scattering of high-quality and hugely varied setups around the nation’s capital, Lima. However, the real surfing highlights go down far away from civilisation, on the country’s barren north coast.
We recently caught up with native photographer Andres Schwalb to tell us a more about shooting in the area and show us some of his favourite images from there. Here’s what he told us:
“I am a 25 year old photographer from Lima, Peru. When I was 19 years old my dad gave me my first camera and at the same time I moved to Sydney, Australia.
“I would pick my camera and take a couple of shots before or after I surfed.
“Then I realized that lot’s of people got stoked with the shots, so I guess it felt good being able to transmit a bit of my world through my lens and that’s how I started to get into photography.
Lima is not the best for underwater shots. The water is really green and murky, you can hardly see through it
“My passion grew tremendously while I was in Australia and after this I went back to Peru to start my career as a freelance photographer. Now I mainly work shooting outdoors, landscapes, nature and sports.
“Lima is not the best for underwater shots. The water is really green and murky, you can hardly see through it. But I still love shooting here because I know each wave very good and I feel really comfortable.
“My favourite place to shoot in Peru is the north. Here the water is much better color and the waves get epic. There are waves almost all year long and it can handle any kind of swell. Sometimes currents are really strong so you have to have those legs working hard all the time. It also get’s really packed and hostile sometimes. For me shooting from the water is not a problem, but for surfing it is.
“Right now I am in New York for two months, studying documentary filmmaking and out of the water for a bit. But I’m really looking forward to jump back in the salty ocean to start shooting again. I just bought a new waterhousing and can’t wait to try it out on the big swells coming in Winter.”