Even surfers haven’t entirely sussed out Peru’s 1,500 miles of coastline and year-round ocean surf. Add to that a preponderance of rivers and Peru is an obvious homing point for stand-up paddle surfers. Candice Appleby would start in Iquitos and travel up the Amazon in style on the Delfin Amazon Cruise, a swanky passenger boat.
“Here we can swim and paddle with pink dolphins, hug century-old trees, and experience pure nature at its finest,” she says. From there, she’d drive or boat to the Colca River, where she’d surf through Class III rapids, pass tumbling waterfalls, spot Andean condors, and ogle a canyon that at points plunges more than 10,000 feet. Then it’s off to the coast: “After some big-wave SUPing [stand-up paddleboarding] at Pico Alto”—the famed big-wave surf break south of Lima—“we will end the Peruvian SUP Expedition surfing Chicama, the longest left point break in the world.”
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Candice Appleby is a three-time women’s elite champion of Battle of the Paddle, largely regarded as the world championships of stand-up paddleboarding. She has won dozens of events across the country, making her one of the most decorated stand-up paddlers to date.