Punta Luna Surf Lodge – Northern Peru 7-17 September 2021
Who’s up for a spontaneous wave kiting dream trip away from it all? (was the header of Marc’s email and news post in August..)
After having canceled two years worth of epic trips and much seeked wave clinic coachings – we’ve had enough… we’re going to check-out the new private dream spot in Northern Peru next month.
The first trip there was scheduled for May 2020 but has since then been corona-canceled twice. After having talked to Martin Vari, an old friend of Marc and legend in the early years of kitesurfing who is running a surf lodge in a protected natural reserve with a exclusive wave in northern Peru – the spontaneous wave kiting dream trip was going to happen. Time to escape and personally check out the latest addition to the very few wave spots at such exclusive and high quality level, and also part of the new Kitesurf Wave Clinic line-up.
It’s only really supposed to be a reunion among friends and a scouting trip, but there has been a few spots available to join Marc and explore this magic place, paired with some of his wave coaching.
About Marc, Martin and the Punta Luna Surflodge:
Marc Ramseier started to kitesurf in 1998, turned professional two years later and has ever since dedicated his life to Kitesurfing. After a number of years on the freestyle tour, Marc has since then been devoting his focus on riding waves and to push that side of the sport.
Originally from Switzerland, Marc has been spending most of his life abroad close to the ocean, getting familiar with surf breaks all over the world. He’s had a home base in Fuerteventura where he started to kitesurf 23 years ago all by himself – being the first one on the island to venture into the new sport. After that he’s spent some winters in Maui/Hawaii, before moving his base to Indonesia where he belonged to the first group of pros that discovered one of the best kitesurfing wave spots still to this day.
This is actually where Martin and Marcs paths crossed a last time, belonging to the group of pro riders that went out to find this jewel in the Indian ocean. Marc then kept going back there, built a house and spent most of his time abroad over there, whereas Martin went on and focused more on his life back in South America.
The two originally met in 2001, both taking part on the first world tour in the then new sport of kitesurfing. They then traveled the world together with the first generation of kitesurfing athletes to compete at kitesurfing events all around the globe, showcasing the new water sport discovery of the 20
th century back then. Martin and Marc are sharing a lot of memories and experiences from these memorable times, further because they both set off into their professional careers by being in the same team around Hawaiian water man Pete Cabrinha.
After more than a decade of riding, competing, and also being involved in the industry, Marc got into coaching other kiters that were keen on improving their waveriding game. The combination of his extensive experience within kitesurfing and the instructing and coaching skills previously learned in other sports was a great match. It started with the first venue in Bali in 2012 and evolved quickly into his coaching business that has expanded into holding Kitesurf Wave Clinics for advanced riders at prime wave spot destinations worldwide.
Martin Vari from Argentina is kitesurfing since 1999. He made it to Oahu at the early age of seventeen. The primary goal of his stay initially was his studies. He quickly learned the new sport of kitesurfing in his off time in Kailua. This lead to winning his first kiteboarding event he took part in two years later and in becoming two times PKRA freestyle world champion (2001 and 2003). His passion then expanded into kiting in waves and he was one of the pioneers pushing the sport this way. In 2007 he won the first PKRA wave contest, in 2009 he founded his own label ‘Vari Kites’.
On one of his trips he met Wawa:
Fernando “Wawa” Paraud was a famous and legendary Peruvian surfer, kitesurf pioneer and well known for his charm, good vibe and charger spirit in everything he endeavored – an authentic waterman. Wawa always had an intense spirit of adventure and exploration. This is how, on one of his trips along Northern Peru he discovered a treasure. He named it Punta Luna. His friends Kai, Gallo and Martin followed. Wawa and Martin were partners in this secret for more than 15 years, keeping secret the treasure Wawa had found. Years went by, surfing perfect waves with no one else around. Astounded with the nature of the place, Wawa fell in love with it and decided to build a house. Martin was with Wawa in all the process of building the roads and house. They shared many epic swells in Punta Luna.
Wawa was convinced that Punta Luna should be a protected area and he was able to accomplish the designation of all the Illescas Peninsula as a National Protected Area, and it became a legend of environmental care amongst other things.
During his mission of preservation of this area, Wawa had an accident and died in the year 2012. His legacy continues. Today his longtime friend Martin together with his wife Ana Matera are in charge of maintaining the Lodge.
Through Martin and Ana Wawa´s legend is still alive.
Martin and Ana spend the winter months at Punta Luna, in the summer they live in Uruguay where Martin has been running his farm being one of the licensed hemp producers in the country.
So after around 15years Marc and Martin’s path would cross again with Marc’s first ever Kitesurf Wave Clinic that takes place at Punta Luna. Here we go to explore this magic place with a small group of people.
Flights are booked and PCR Tests are negative, ready to takeoff. Once landed at Piura Airport the adventure starts right away. The Lodge is about a 3h drive away, only accessible by 4×4 as a third of the trip is leading through the reserve, access only with permission. What a ride through a stunning desertlike landscape.
The bay in which Punta Luna is located is breathtaking and the first glance at the lodge amazes us. What was created here is magic.
After a warm welcoming from Martin and Ana, we were treated to an excellent lunch prepared by Juana and Maria. The 2 Ladies are in charge of our well-being at the Lodge and preparing all the incredible meals that we were spoilt with every day during our stay. They cook up all sorts of Peruvian dishes from Aji de Gallina (Creamy Chicken) over Tiradito (Peruvian Ceviche) to Causa (one of Peru’s best dishes). Not to forget the homemade cakes we were spoilt with for desserts on a daily basis. While having our first lunch on the open terrace we could watch the waves from above and could already guess what to expect in the following ten days – pure bliss.
The other half of the crew at the lodge are Jhonny and Wilmer. They are both Expert Fisherman and they provide the fresh fish for the Lodge and are also maintaining and taking care of the place. Besides that, they are the most eager caddies, helping us to pump kites or wings, and they are always on the beach with the quad for our safety should you end up further down the beach.
The swell forecast was looking good, real good. Already before we even set off to this trip we could see a huge storm that has started working the southern pacific ocean next to New Zealand. As this storm was sticking around for some time it would create a solid south swell heading for Northern Peru. We were going to be very lucky with the wave conditions.
On our arrival day the sky was a bit cloudy what made the wind light and offshore. Good enough to jump in the water for short arrival wing and surf sessions. After a long trip to get there, it was nice to have some sort of a quiet start to arrive and to process the first impressions. Marc was delighted not only to catch up with Martin, meeting his wife, but also with a first tow-in foil session in which Martin would tow him into some first waves at this new spot for him. Ideal to get to know the place, plus important getting it together for the bigger days to come.
It turned out that besides swell we also had sun and wind every day for the entire time we spent there.
There are no words to describe how it feels to wake up after the first night with this view over the bay and the waves lined up just perfectly out the front. You also see Pelicans airsurfing the waves and Flamingos strutting across the beach. The diversity of animals and nature are impressive here. Therefore mornings are great for walks and to see all kinds of birds and marine life. In the area you will also be able to see Andean Condors, Bluefoot Boobies, Penguins, Dolphins, Fox and more than fifty types of birds. However, nature is as cruel as it is beautiful. To our astonishment, many animals end their lives on the beach in this remote place. A whale stranded not far from the lodge and had died on the same day. Sad and beautiful at the same time. That’s life, nothing is infinite. There is also a large sea-lion colony, one of the biggest in South America just closeby.
Around noon the sun comes out and the wind starts to blow. The fun little waves from the first days looked very inviting and we were excited to hit the water. Looking at the swell forecast Marc decided to use the first couple days for kite coaching. This means morning theory lessons, us trying to put it into practice on the water and then personal video coaching sessions in the evening…
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Words: Bea Wüthrich