A country from South America, named Peru, is not only famous for its mighty landscapes like Machu Picchu, delicious food like ceviche or lively dances but also famous for its popular sports. The Peruvians are a sport-loving nation and love watching and playing different sports. Hence, we compiled a list of popular sports in Peru.
List of 10 Most Popular and Famous Sports in Peru:
- Soccer/ Football
Now, we will briefly discuss all these famous and favourite sports in Peru:
An assumed year of the introduction of Soccer in Peru is the early 1900s. Football was introduced in Peru by English immigrants at the start of the 20th century.
The most famous Soccer player from Peru is Teófilo Cubillas.
If we talk about the most popular sport in Peru, then it surely is Soccer or Football. The Peruvians are crazy about soccer or football. They treat football like religion and it is a part of their culture and tradition. Moreover, the Peruvian Football Federation runs all the administration related to football or soccer in Peru.
In FIFA rankings, Peru’s national soccer team stands at 21st position. Their national football team has played the FIFA World Cup 5 times, in 1930, 1970, 1978, 1982, and 2018. Unfortunately, they were not been able to win any World Cup titles since 1927 ( In 1927, the people in Peru started playing football), but they reached the quarter-finals twice in 1970 and 1978.
The top 5 most famous, renowned, and successful domestic football clubs in Peru are:
- Club Universitario de Deportes (Universitario)
- Club Alianza Lima (Alianza Lima)
- Sporting Cristal (Sporting Cristal)
- Club Deportivo Toluca (Melgar)
- FBC Melgar (Melgar)
These clubs have a rich history and large fan bases. Moreover, they have achieved significant success in Peruvian football, including multiple national titles and participation in international competitions.
Most Popular and Famous Football or Soccer Players in Peru:
- Paolo Guerrero
- Teófilo Cubillas
- Jefferson Farfán
- Claudio Pizarro
- Yoshimar Yotún
- Nolberto Solano
- Héctor Chumpitaz
- Hugo Sotil
- Teodoro Fernández
- Juan Manuel Vargas
- Roberto Palacios
The estimated year of the introduction of basketball in Peru is 1936.
Basketball is also a popular sport in Peru, but its popularity has declined in recent years. In the 1970s, Peru’s national basketball team was among the best teams in the South American Region. In contrast, the victories in basketball are like pie in the sky at international levels, nowadays. The only major achievement in basketball that Peruvians enjoyed last time was a bronze medal at the American Basketball Championship in 1973.
Unfortunately, the International Basketball Federation has not recognized the Peruvian Basketball Federation that put their national team and players on the back foot. Moreover, the Peruvian basketball players have no professional basketball league in their country.
Most Popular Basketball Players in the History of Peru:
- Guillermo Ahrens
- Oscar Benalcázar
- Antonio Oré
- Armando Rossi
- Rolando Bacigalupo
- Manuel Arce
- Rodolfo Soracco
- Manuel Valerio
- Juan Carlos Navarro
- Ricardo Duarte
The Peruvian government hired American educators. They brought changes to education and introduced new sports to the locals. One of the sports that they introduced was volleyball. Hence, the year of the introduction of volleyball is the 1920s.
The most popular volleyball player in Peru is a female named Cecilia Tait and the most famous volleyball league in Peru is Liga Nacional Superior de Voleibol.
Volleyball is not as famous as soccer and has the same status as basketball in the country. It is more popular among Peruvian women as compared to males. Peru’s National Volleyball team was among the best teams in the region in the 1980s.
Their women’s National Volleyball team achieved a lot in the 1980s and won a silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Seoul in 1988.
Most Popular Volleyball Players in Peru:
- Cecilia Tait
- Raffaella Camet
- Natalia Málaga
- Cenaida Uribe
- Paola García
- Ana Cecilia Carrillo
- Katherine Horny
- Leyla Chihuán
- Gabriela Pérez del Solar
- Ángela Leyva
Our fourth sport on the list is also one of the most popular sports in Peru with tremendous fan following. The Peruvian Tennis Federation organizes different national and domestic tennis competitions and events in the country.
The supposed year of the initiation of tennis in Peru is the 1900s.
The most famous tennis player in the country is Jaime Yzaga.
Moreover, the most famous female tennis player in the country is Laura Arraya.
In the ATP Rankings, he has reached the top 20 tennis players and represented the country at many international tennis tournaments and competitions.
An annual tennis event – Lima Challenger- is also hosted by Peru’s Terrazas de Miraflores Club.
Most Famous Tennis Players in Peru:
- Luis Horna
- Jaime Yzaga
- Laura Arraya
- Pablo Arraya
- Alex Olmedo
- Carlos Di Laura
- Patricia Kú Flores
- Bianca Botto
- Matías Silva
- Alejandro Aramburú
- Nicolás Álvarez
Cycling was introduced as a sport in Peru in the late 1800s.
The most famous cyclist in the country is Magno Prado Nazaret. He has participated and represented his country in the Pan-American Games and the Giro d’Italia.
Cycling has become popular in Peru as both a mode of transportation and a competitive sport. The country’s diverse terrains, such as the majestic Andes Mountains, scenic coastal routes, and lush Amazon rainforest, provide an excellent setting for cycling enthusiasts and professional riders.
Peru’s hilly and mountainous landscape and iconic locations like the Sacred Valley and the Colca Canyon, are particularly well-suited for mountain biking. Moreover, these landscapes attract the attention of both locals and tourists from around the world.
The Peruvian National Cycling Sports Federation oversees the sport in the country. They organize various competitions, including track, road, mountain biking (MTB), BMX, and e-cycling. Additionally, two prestigious races, the Inca Divide Race and the Camino del Inca Race, traverse challenging terrains and highlight Peru’s cultural heritage.
Most Famous and Popular Cyclist in Peru:
- Alonso Gamero
- Jorge “Coco” Cárdenas
- Alonso “Pipo” López
- Yuri Luján
- José “Pepe” Serpa
- Royner Navarro
The other most popular sport is Surfing and its year of introduction in Peru is the 1940s.
The most popular surfer in Peru is Sofía Mulánovich. She inspired many surfers in the country by winning the World Surfing Title in 2004. Moreover, she becomes the first female from South America to win this title.
Peru takes pride in its remarkable stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline, spanning an impressive distance of 2,414 km or 1,500 mi. Hence, Peru has a rich history of hosting many national and international surfing tournaments and competitions.
Additionally, Peru’s beautiful coastline offers a diverse range of attractions. Peru is blessed with stunning cliffs, picturesque beaches, and breathtaking landscapes that attract an abundance of locals and tourists who revel in various water sports.
Notably, surf enthusiasts flock to renowned spots such as Chicama, known for having the world’s longest left-hand wave, and Máncora, with its consistent breaks and vibrant beach town atmosphere. Other popular surfing destinations along Peru’s coastline include Punta Rocas, Cabo Blanco, and Playa Hermosa, each offering unique experiences for wave riders and creating unforgettable memories.
Most Famous Surfers in Peru:
- Sergio Barreda
- Lucca Mesinas
- Daniella Rosas
- Sofía Mulánovich
- Miguel Tudela
- Piccolo Clemente
- Analí Gómez
In our list, we also add rugby as one of the famous sports in Peru. Its estimated year of introduction in Peru is the 1950s. It is slowly gaining popularity and becoming a favourite sport in Peru.
The most famous Rugby player in Peru is Nicolas Rouzaud. He is a well-known rugby athlete in Peru’s Rugby Community. Furthermore, 600 rugby players registered themselves in the Rugby Union and 6 rugby clubs are functional in the country.
Both Male and Female Rugby Union national teams are present in Peru.
Most Famous Rugby Union players in Peru:
- Luis Aita Falconi
- Thanasis Fotinias
- Luis Monier
- Juan Pablo Del Pino
- Joshua Carnero
- Lucas Barrio de Mendoza
- Carlos Armas
- Christian Santome
- Alejandro Vargas
The eighth most popular and famous sport in the country of Peru is Marathon. The estimated year of introduction of the marathon in Peru is the 1970s.
The most popular Marathon player in the country is Inés Melchor. He has participated in the Olympics and Pan-American Games and has the prestige of representing his country at many international Marathon competitions.
It has gained popularity in the country in recent years. Additionally, More and more people are taking part in marathons due to the numerous health benefits. Moreover, Marathons improve fitness, boost endurance, aid weight management, enhance mental well-being, instill discipline and goal-setting skills, and provide a profound sense of accomplishment.
Most Popular Marathon Players in Peru:
- Inés Melchor
- Raúl Pacheco
- Gladys Tejeda
- Christian Pacheco
- Clara Canchanya
- Wilma Arizapana
In the late 1970s, Byon Oh Park introduced Taekwondo in Lima, Peru. After him, Jon Hye contributed to increasing the popularity of it in the country.
Taekwondo is basically a combination of self-defense techniques, dynamic kicks, and punches, as well as mental discipline and physical conditioning.
The most popular Taekwondo athlete in Peru is Julissa Diez Canseco. He won several Taekwondo titles for Peru and represented his country in the Olympics.
Furthermore, there are different clubs and dojangs in Peru that provide a golden opportunity for Taekwondo enthusiasts to learn and practice this sport and represent their country.
Most Famous and Popular Taekwondo Athletes in Peru:
- Peter López Santos
- Julissa Diez Canseco
- María Espinoza
- Paul Romero
The last most famous sport in Peru is boxing and the estimated year of introduction is the early 1900s.
The most popular boxer from Peru is a female, Kina Malpartida. She is regarded as a commanding boxer in the country who has represented her country at international levels and raised the status of boxing in the country.
Most Popular Boxers in Peru:
- Alberto Rossel
- Kina Malpartida
- Jonathan Maicelo
- Linda Lecca
- Carlos Zambrano
- César Cuenca
- What is the most popular sport in Peru?
Soccer or Football is the most popular sport in Peru.
- What are the least popular sports in Peru?
The least popular sports in Peru are Curling, Lacrosse, Handball, Field Hockey, Fencing, and Badminton.
- What are 2 popular sports in Peru?
Soccer and Basketball are 2 popular sports in Peru.