Best Surfing In South America

Best Surfing in South AmericaWhere is the best surfing in South America?  South America is the fourth largest continent in the World, so, that may not be an easy question to answer.  South America consists of 12 independent countries and 3 dependent territories.  The countries of South America are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The dependent territories of South America are: Falkland Islands, French Guiana and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.  Brazil is the largest country in South America with the largest population.  The Amazon Rainforest is located in South America and is the largest rainforest in the World.  South America is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the West and the Atlantic Ocean to East, with this in mind, there should be a lot of great surf spots in South America.

Argentina

Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, and the second-largest in Latin America.  Argentina’s capital is Buenos Aires and its official language is Spanish.  Playa Union is one of the best surfing spots in Argentina.  It is a little less than 4 miles from the city of Rawson.  The best months of years to surf this spot are February – April.

Bolivia

Bolivia is named after Simón Bolívar, a leader in the Spanish American wars of independence, it is a land locked country so it has no surf spots.  Bolivia’s capital is Sucre and its official languages are Spanish and Aymara.

Brazil

Best Surfing In South America

Punta de Lobos

Brazil is the largest country in South America and also has the largest population.  Brazil’s capital city is Brasilia and its official language is Portuguese.  Brazil has some of the best surfers in the World.  The current and defending World Surfing Champion is Adriano de Souza and he is from Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The first Brazilian World Surfing Champion is Gabriel Medina and he won the championship in 2014.  World Surf League aka WSL has held a contest in Brazil for many years and since 2011 the contest has been held at Rio de Janeiro were there are many surf spots.

Even though Rio de Janeiro is the stop for the WSL, the reported best wave in Brazil is on the island of Fernando de Noronha.  The best months of the year to surf there are November – March.  Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 220 miles offshore from the Brazilian coast.

Chile

Chile is located on the Western side of South America and the Pacific Ocean hits its shores.  Chile’s capital is Santiago and its official language is Spanish.  Chile is considered one of the most stable and prosperous countries in South America.  Chile has a coast line of approximately 4,000 miles and waves hit this coastline year round.   Chile has beach breaks, points breaks and reef breaks and experiences the types of waves those breaks create.

Chile has a lot of great surf spots and there is no consensus on which is the best spot, but here is a list of some of those spots: Punta de Lobos, El Claron, Papagayo, Ritoque, Renaca, Puertecillo, Pichilemu and Infiernillo.

Colombia

Best Surfing In South America

Fernando de Noronha

Colombia has the fourth largest economy in Latin America, its capital is Bogota and the official language is Spanish.  Colombia has surf spots located on its Pacific Coast and Caribbean Coast.  The Pacific Coast side has better waves but they are not easily accessible.  The Caribbean coast side is more accessible and is geared more for the beginner.

Surf spots on the Pacific Coast are: Juan Tornillo, El Valle, and Pico de Loro are great spots, but they are isolated and have strong currents.  Punta Roca is a good surf spot on the Caribbean Coast side of Columbia.

Ecuador

Ecuador’s official language is Spanish and the capital is Quito, the Galápagos Islands are considered part of Ecuador.  Ecuador has approximately 1,400 miles of coastline which is hit by the Pacific Ocean.  Ecuador has beach breaks, points breaks and reef breaks and experiences the types of waves those breaks create (click here to read my post “Type of Waves to Surf” to learn more).  Some great surf spots in Ecuador are: Playas, Salinas, Montañita, Manta, Galapagos and Mompiche.

Guyana

Guyana coastline is hit by the Atlantic Ocean, its capital is Georgetown and its official language is English.  Guyana is not known for surf spots.

Paraguay

Paraguay’s capital is Asunción and its official languages are Spanish and Guaraní, it is a land locked country so it has no surf spots.

Peru

Best Surfing In South America

Mancora

Peru is located on the Western part of South America, its Capital is Lima.  One of the official languages of Peru is Spanish.  Since Peru is located on the Western side of South America its coastline is hit by the Pacific Ocean.  Peru has over 1,400 miles of coastline made up of beach breaks, point breaks and reef breaks.  The famous Incan citadel, Machu Picchu, is located in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

Here is a list of some well know surf spots in Peru: El Hueco, Cabo Blanco, Organos, Mancora, Bayovar, Centinela, Huanchaco, Chicama and Pacasmayo.  Peru big wave location is in Punta Hermosa, which is south of Lima, Pico Alto is has the largest waves in South America.

Suriname

Suriname’s capital is Paramaribo and its official language is Dutch.  Suriname is located on the North East part of South America and its coast is hit by the Atlantic Ocean.  Suriname is not known for surf spots.

Uruguay

Uruguay’s capital is Montevideo and its official language is Spanish.  Uruguay has legalized the sale, production and consumption of marijuana.  Uruguay has also legalized same-sex marriage and abortion.  Uruguay is located on the South East Coast of South America so its coastline is hit by the Atlantic Ocean.

La Paloma in Uruguay was named by National Geographic as one of the World’s 20 best surf towns.  Winter is the best time to surf in Uruguay and these are the spots to hit: Punta del Este, Jose Ignacio, La Paloma and La Pedrera.

Venezuela

Best Surfing In South America

Cuyagua

Venezuela is on the North coast of South America and its capital is Caracas, the official language is Spanish.  If you’ve viewed the Viceland television series “State of Undress” you’ll know that Venezuela is famous for producing beauty pageant winners and also that its economy is in a state of turmoil.

Venezuela has over 1,700 miles of coastline and these are some of its surf spots: Playa Pantaleta, Punta Care, El Rio, Anare, Fido Point, Puerto Azul, Los Cocos, Tanaguarena, Mamo, El Playon, Cuyagua and El Malecon.

In Conclusion

The answer to “Where is the best surfing in South America?” seems to be practically everywhere there is surf in South America, the answer is subjective and will really be based on your personal preference.  South America is a large continent and as such there are hundreds of surf locations, I have tried to provide you with the most well-known and in some cases what the some consider the best spots.

Check out my post: “Surfing Lessons on Oahu.”

Thanks for dropping in and should you have any questions or comments, please post it in the comments section of this page.


10 thoughts on “Best Surfing In South America

  1. Hey thank you for this best surfing place in South America. I like the how your article is so informative and enjoyable to read. I’m interested learning surfing this summer. And I like to travel. I’ll travel that every place to surf. But I have some questions. Which one is the best for you?

    • Hi John, I’ve never surfed South America but based on my research, I would choose Chile as the first place I would like to surf in South America. Chile has one of the largest coastlines in South America plus it has a stable economy.

      Thanks for the comments and dropping in!

  2. Oh yeah. Nice. I have never been to South America but I definitely intend on visiting there sometime in the not too distant future. Although I am not a surfer per se I am a big beach goer so this post is of help to me. Funny I would not have thought that South America as the best place for surf beaches. I always think of it as great for cuisine, people, dancing and rain forests so there you go. I know that we have many nice beaches for surfers here in Australia too,,,!

    • Hi Ben, I knew South America had surf based on the surfers coming from Brazil but I didn’t realize it has so many surf spots. Australia has some of the best surfers in surfing history (check out my post “Famous Australian Surfers“) and is definitely a place I’d like to surf one day.

      Thanks for the comments and dropping in!

  3. Hey awesome article! I have always enjoyed watching people surfing and wished to join them, but in most countries that I lived in the waves are not high enough. But maybe someday if I went to one of these countries (hopefully Brazil) I would love to take a couple of lessons in surfing and try my luck.

  4. El Salvador didn’t make the list then? I met some surfers there once from Australia looking for some waves. Oops my bad, the title does say “Best surfing in South America” not Central America.
    I guess you’re going to have to do another post on Best surfing in Central America 🙂

    • Hi Dinh, I’ll do a post on surfing in El Salvador, thanks for the idea :)!

      Thanks for the comments and dropping in!

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