Cabo Blanco is the point where the frigid Humboldt Current collides with the lukewarm El Niño Current from the equator. The result is a dazzling fishing ground and, for surfers, a welcome break from wet suits and chilly coastal waters. There are some beautiful, lonely beaches around Cabo Blanco, but the hillsides are unfortunately marred by pumping iron horses.
It was once known internationally for the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, which attracted a range of stars through the 1950s and 1960s, including Ernest Hemingway and Nelson Rockefeller. Now, it’s a worldwide surfer destination.
In June, and again October–January, Cabo Blanco has a monstrous, and dangerous, pipeline wave that reaches up to 3.5 meters (12 feet) and travels nearly 70 meters (240 feet) before closing out in a giant spray. The Cabo Blanco wave forms over sand but crashes in front of large rocks, which have left many surfers badly scraped and broken.
The only place to stay is Hotel El Merlín (tel. 073/25-6188, US$36 d with ocean view, US$29 d without), a clean, white building on the oceanfront with stone floors and a cool, dark interior. The bathrooms have not been renovated since the hotel was built in the early 1980s, but the atmosphere is pleasant enough.
The best restaurant in this one-street village is Restaurant Cabo Blanco, which is only open for lunch. While Cabo Blanco does have a few services (Internet and telephones), you’ll find yourself going to the larger town of El Alto for ATMs, groceries, etc.
To get to Cabo Blanco, take a colectivo or bus from Tumbes  or Piura  to El Alto. There you can catch a US$3 mototaxi for the 3-kilometer drive on dirt roads to Cabo Blanco. Most visitors, however, come for the day and make the 31-kilometer drive (about 30 minutes) from Máncora .
To get to the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, pass the dirt turnoff for the town of Cabo Blanco and look for a run-down, whitewashed building on the left.