Huanchaco, Peru to Join Iconic Global Sites as the Fifth World Surfing Reserve

Huanchaco, Peru to Join Iconic Global Sites as the Fifth World Surfing Reserve

Huanchaco, Peru to Join Iconic Global Sites as the Fifth World Surfing Reserve

Much Anticipated Dedication Ceremony to be Held Saturday, October 26th

October 5, 2013– Huanchaco, Peru – Huanchaco, Peru will be officially dedicated as a World Surfing Reserve Saturday, October 26th in a series of beachfront celebrations and ceremonies. The heralded Huanchaco surf zone joins just four other sites to claim such status—Malibu in California, Ericeira in Portugal, Manly Beach in Australia, and Santa Cruz in California. Huanchaco will represent the first World Surfing Reserve site in Latin America. The dedication ceremony will officially establish the Huanchaco World Surfing Reserve, covering approximately five miles of surf-rich, environmentally diverse coastline.

Huanchaco received its approval as a World Surfing Reserve in October 2012.  Its application ranked highly on all World Surfing Reserve’s criteria: wave quality and consistency, unique environmental characteristics, surf culture and history, and community support. Most impressive is Huanchaco’s strong ocean heritage, which spans over 3,000 years. The strong ocean culture of Huanchaco is credited with being the birthplace of Peru’s “caballito de totora” – one of humanity’s earliest known surf crafts used to ply the waves for both work and pleasure. Caballitos de totora are still an integral part of local community life, both for fishing and for recreation.

Fernando Aguerre, a member of the World Surfing Reserves Vision Council and president of the International Surfing Association, stated: "Huanchaco is surfing’s equivalent to the great pyramids, an ancient cradle for surf culture. I am excited to watch Huanchaco continue to evolve its surfing heritage as a World Surfing Reserve." 

The local stewardship council, which oversees the World Surfing Reserve in Huanchaco, has spent the past four months working with Save The Waves Coalition in developing a stewardship plan to guide the conservation efforts within the reserve boundaries. This stewardship plan outlines clear strategies to help them achieve their two stated objectives: improve the coastal environment and maintain their local traditional culture. 

Felipe Pomar, the 1965 World Surfing Champion, who continues to be a prominent ambassador and elder statesman for Peruvian surfing culture, said: “I am excited and very pleased with this news regarding the Huanchaco World Surfing Reserve.  Huanchaco has a wave-riding tradition that dates back thousands of years. I commend World Surfing Reserves and all Peruvians for moving to preserve and protect this unique and historic beach.”

The Huanchaco World Surfing Reserve dedication ceremony will kick off on Friday, October 25th with an evening cultural exhibition showcasing the caballitos de totora, and live traditional music.

The official dedication will take place on Saturday, October 26th and will culminate in a traditional cultural re-enactment, the introduction of the Huanchaco Local Stewardship Council, remarks from invited dignitaries, and the unveiling of the Huanchaco World Surfing Reserve plaque and booklet. A private reception for invited guests, dignitaries and press will take place at Club Huanchaco following the enshrinement ceremonies.

At the afternoon event, the members of the Local Stewardship Council will sign a plan that has been drafted to guide the management of the newly established Reserve. The plan includes how to address coastal threats affecting the beaches of Huanchaco, how to educate others about the tremendous value of local surfing resources, and how to continue and foster ongoing stewardship for the area.

“Save The Waves is proud to be part of the team helping to conserve the surf resources within the Huanchaco World Surfing Reserve and protect traditions that date back millennia. It is truly an honor,” said Save The Waves Coalition Executive Director, Nik Strong-Cvetich.

The Friday and Saturday festivities are free and open to the public. Residents and visitors are cordially invited to attend this historic occasion.

About World Surfing Reserves

World Surfing Reserves (WSR) proactively identifies, designates, and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments, around the world. WSR is an initiative launched by Save The Waves Coalition in 2009 in conjunction with National Surfing Reserves Australia and other partners.

For more information: