There’s a 15-year secret unwinding in the northwest corner of Peru. Amongst coastal desert scrub with flocks of condors circling overhead and one of South America’s largest sea lion colonies packing the beaches, there’s a little-known wave capable of unloading its southern hemi energy in a quarter-mile breathless taper along the dry, sandstone cliffs of a federally protected ecological reserve. Like any valuable resource, the challenge is how to avoid the inevitable race to the bottom when so many want a piece of the action.Having visited Peru back in 2009 during the heyday of kitesurfing discoveries in this region, world-class waves like Lobitos were practically empty with no one around. Back then wave after wave went unridden, but 10 years later the exploitive power of the internet and social media have spawned small surf villages dotted with hostels and guiding services that have filled those once empty lineups with packs of surfers and kitesurfers fighting for waves. Northern Peru, once a frontier, has become the crowded surf destination that, these days, I spend my time avoiding.

Over the years, I had heard rumors of other waves tucked off the map a few hours south, but last year I received a coded message from my old friend, Martin Vari, which suggested there was some kind of truth to the whispers. After almost a decade out of the kite industry limelight, Martin called me up and invited me back to Peru, specifically to a new surf lodge located on a natural reserve on the southern end of Peru’s northwest surf knob. It didn’t take much more than an email with a forecast link along with a few teaser photos to persuade me to book a ticket to inspect Martin’s unknown treasure…. To read the rest of The Secret of Illescas subscribe to Tkb Magazine.


Tkb’s Vol. 17, No. 2 fall 2020 digital issue is available now. The print issue will be landing in mailboxes soon!
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