Huanchaco, a charming corner of the Peruvian coast, is not only known for its perfect waves, but also for its rich history and culture dating back to pre-Columbian times. In this article, we will take you on an exciting journey through the centuries to discover the ancestral roots and vibrant traditions that have shaped Huanchaco’s unique identity.

Pre-Columbian Origins and Ancestral Cultures

The origins of Huanchaco go back to ancient times, when the region was inhabited by pre-Columbian cultures that left their indelible mark on the cultural fabric of the area. The proximity of the city to the remains of the Moche and Chimú civilization has greatly influenced its identity.

The Moche culture, famous for its intricate pottery and elaborate constructions, left a legacy that can still be seen in the local art and crafts. They also built the magnificent Temples of the Sun and Moon, that can be visited just in the outskirts of Trujillo. The Chimú, for their part, built the Temple of the Rainbow and Chan Chan city, an iconic archaeological site that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Traditional Festivals and Ancestral Celebrations

Huanchaco is home to traditional festivals that celebrate the rich history and culture of the region. One of the most outstanding events is the Fiesta de San Pedro, patron saint of fishermen. From June 18 to 30, fishermen decorate their boats and carry out processions at sea in honor of San Pedro, asking for protection and abundant catches.

Local Crafts and Living Traditions

The local crafts of Huanchaco reflect the authenticity and ingenuity of its people. The handmade fabrics are a manifestation of artistic skill passed down from generation to generation. The colorful garments woven with traditional techniques are a way of preserving cultural identity and honoring roots.

Keeping Traditions Alive

Over the years, Huanchaco has shown a remarkable ability to preserve its traditions and keep its cultural heritage alive. The locals continue to practice ancient fishing and weaving techniques, keeping the essence of their history alive.

The fusion of pre-Columbian cultures with more contemporary influences has created a unique identity in Huanchaco. The city has managed to find a balance between the past and the present, allowing traditions to remain an integral part of everyday life.

Huanchaco is much more than a beach destination; it is a cultural treasure that holds the secrets of past civilizations and celebrates its heritage with pride. By exploring the history and culture of Huanchaco, you will immerse yourself in a world full of mystery, creativity and authenticity. This seaside city awaits you with open arms to share its fascinating heritage and vibrant traditions.

If you want to learn to surf safely, do not hesitate to join us in Huanchaco, Peru. The Urcia Surf School team awaits you to take you out to sea.

Caballito tour

For thousands of years local fishermen have been using Caballitos de Totora (reed surfboard-like boats) to navigate the ocean and surf the waves. It’s how surfing in Peru started! During our Caballito tour, Santos Urcia – father of Juninho – will show you how a caballito is made and will explain about this tradition that is still very much alive today. Of course you will have plenty of opportunity to try riding one yourself and catch some fish! Afterwards we will have a traditional Peruvian Ceviche lunch where we will prepare the catch of the day together. The tour takes about half a day in total.

Caballito de totora tour by Urcia Surf School in Huanchaco


After some days of intense surfing a massage can pep you up again! Massages last 1 hour and take place at our masseurs. Let your masseur know which muscles you prefer to be treated.


Start or end your day with a relaxing yoga session! The sessions take 1 hour and take place at the beach. Your yoga instructor will adapt the exercises to your level.


Our hearty and healthy surfer breakfast includes coffee or tea, yogurt, cereals, fresh fruits, bread, cheese, ham and eggs. 

We cater for vegetarians, vegans and or alergies. Please indicate this in the comment area.

Breakfast at Urcia Surf House

Spanish Lessons

Combining surfing with learning Spanish
If besides surfing you are up for another challenge, we also offer Spanish lessons as an option for all our surf camp packages. It’s not uncommon for the friendly locals of Huanchaco to start a conversation or give you surf tips while waiting for the next set of waves. Thus you can directly put your new Spanish skills to practice. What better and more relaxed way of learning Spanish than doing so while surfing?

Spanish Lessons
For the Spanish lessons we work together with Manuel, a local spanish teacher with a lot of experience. In 1-hour lessons in small groups he will help build your confidence speaking and understanding Spanish, so that in no-time you will be able to chat with the locals, be it in the line-up or at the bar. The first Spanish lesson your current level will be assessed and based on that the focus for the rest of the course will be determined. At the end of every class you will receive some homework to continue learning in between classes at your own pace.