WAVES believes that surf travel should benefit the local people, therefore they built up a best-practice example in community-based tourism. Learn more about this attractive volunteer-trip option …

  • Organization & Mission

    WAVES for development | Peru – Community-based tourism

  • Volunteering & Internship

    Various opportunities, depending on your interest and skills: teachers for English classes, environmental education, entrepreneurship, sports or many others

  • Requirements & Costs

    Language skills, online application – costs available on request and as a package (around 295$/week + 395$ on-time contribution)

  • Surfing & Offers

    For all levels, everything provided – costs for surfing are included in the package

  • Location & Infrastructure

    Lobitos, Northern Peru


Through community-based tourism and grassroots initiatives WAVES empowers community members to pursue educational activities. In particular they work with children and young people, however they also mentor adults to generate economic activities through social minded micro-enterprises. Besides the organization runs an environmental health program,  supports sustainable construction and recycling.

The idea for WAVES originated on the beaches of northern Peru and expended within the years into an international organization with branches in Mexico and Nicaragua.

(c) Gary Parker


Depending on your skills and experiences you can involve yourself in various programs like teaching English, environmental education, surf & swim classes, social entrepreneurship or community outreach.

Specific projects can also be organized, based on your interests and the needs of the community at the time of your visit. Examples here are community beach clean ups, music classes, participatory documentary film-making and photography, construction of a surf shack, educational movie nights or recycling art projects.


For your participation you have to apply online and pay for the package. For detailed information about the current costs, please contact the team of WAVES via email (info@wavesfordevelopment.org) or online. You can expect around 295$/week + 395$ one time contribution  [last update: 2018].

The packages include accommodation and food (in a homestay with other staff and volunteers), surfboards and classes, excursions, health and safety management, project management from local and international staff, contribution to local staff salaries and last but not least internet access.


WAVES is located in a Peruvian surf-paradise which is both for experienced and beginner surfers: Lobitos is uniquely positioned to receive swells from both directions, it is rarely flat, often pumping and you get barrels, quality lefts and easy waves for beginners due to the different spots. Moreover northern Peru offers near constant offshore winds and few crowds!

With the packages you will have access to a selection of surfboards, weekly surfing classes as well as camping surf-trips (every two weeks).

Beautiful beach of Lobitos (c) sumabeachlifestyle.com


Lobitos is a small fishing and surfing town on the coast of Northern Peru. The town is frequently described by traveling surfers as one of the safest and cleanest places they have visited in Peru. The closest town to Lobitos is Talara, where you can get from Lima, Piura or other cities of Peru via bus (recommended, because it’s environmentally friendly) or via airplane. Depending on your distance and travel style, please check high level bus services (especially for overnight buses), from Talara to Lobitos you can then take a small combi-bus or taxi.

You will find a dry desert climate with hot summers and warm winters in Lobitos. The water temperature ranges from 16°C, 61°F in July up to 24°C, 75°F in February.


Although Peru is a very tourist-friendly and welcoming country, safety issues (pick pockets etc.) and environmental problems effect many places. Keep an eye on your belongings and try to contribute to a better waste-management (e.g. not using plastic bags). If you learn as well some Spanish, you will definitely have a great time there 😉

Painting classes for the kids (c) Gary Parker


For more information about this nonprofit organization, please visit their website or our articles about the two other branches of WAVES for development: WAVES in Mexico and WAVES in Nicaragua.