Looking for some of the best places to surf in Mexico? You've come to the right place. In this article, Tavik will take a look at some of the best spots for surfing in Mexico, as well as what makes each of them so special. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, you're sure to find a wave to your liking in one of these amazing locations.
About Mexico Surf Travel
Northern Baja is not a secret spot. It's too close to the surfers of Southern California that it has remained a superstore destination. It was probably first ridden in the 40s by day-tripping San Diego surfers. In '63, Mike Hynson and Bill Fury scored the first surf score. Two years later, the Windansea Surf Club headed out to Todos Santos. Baja's first surfing contest, the Baja Surf Club International was held at San Miguel from '66 to '69. Most of the top California surfers were there to witness the contest organized by Ignacio Nacho Cota, a local surfer. Northern Baja was less appealing to "hardcore" travelers, who were more interested in camping in the dirt in order to catch long point waves such as Scorpion Bay or Abreojos lower down. But Northern Baja's proximity to the border, consistent surf and consistent waves ensured that it would not be overlooked.
It's easy to surf in Cabo San Lucas. The waves are consistent and warm. There is plenty of beer and tequila available. It's a bit more dusty, but it's still fun. The lines to ride the rides are much shorter if you're already on it. Cabo can be divided into three areas: The south-facing East Cape is located east of San Jose Del Cabo. It is best known for its fickle right pointbreaks. The southeast-facing Costa Azul is just southwest of San Jose Del Cabo. These three best surf towns are very different. San Jose Del Cabo is the location of the airport. It is a small, charming colonial town with lots of restaurants, shopping, and affordable hotels. Cabo San Lucas is located 20 miles west. It's a party/port town with drunk tourists walking the streets at 10 AM and neon signs encouraging them to drink more. Todos Santos is located about an hour from the Pacific Coast and is known for its small galleries and many ex-pat conveniences.
Riviera Nayarit Area
One of the most popular and easily accessible tourist spots in Mainland Mexico is the stretch of coast that runs from Puerto Vallarta to just north Mazatlan. Its close proximity to the States, consistent good summer surf, and laid-back lifestyle make it a popular destination for surfers of all skill levels. It is easy to reach the area, to find a hotel or a place to stay, and most waves in the region are easy to surf. It's not Indo death bars, but after a long session at one of the region's left point breaks and a cool beer in your hand while watching the sunset, life can seem like a pretty good thing.
Mexico's Jalisco and Colima areas contain numerous beach breaks, river mouths and coral reefs. They stretch from Puerto Vallarta to the border with Michoacan in the south. It is home to many high-quality waves such as El Paraiso and Campos Manzanillo. But the real star of the area is Pascuales. Pascuales, a thumping beachbreak with waves up to 25+ feet, is what Puerto Esondido was to Oaxaca. It is dangerous, hollow and only for professionals if there is any Southern Hemi.
Lazaro Cardenas Area
Michoacan is the first thing people think about when they think of Mainland Mexico. The southwest-facing coast runs for nearly a hundred miles, passing dense jungle, deserted beaches, small fishing villages, and along the coast of MEX 200. This stretch was one of the last to be built, and it is missing high-rise hotels or time-share hawkers. Although it is now a quiet, slow-moving, hot place, it was once populated by drug runners, angry natives, and corrupt Federales. However, it has become safer, more accessible, and easier to visit than ever before. However, it is important to be cautious when traveling at night.
Guerrero boasts a wide range of surf spots, from Tecoanapa to Lazaro Cardenas, but none are truly world-class because of the construction of Petacalco's port. This was the place that killed the state’s best wave. Although the area is best known for its party/vacation scene that revolves around Acapulco and Zihuatanejo, there are many surf spots for those who want to get away from the family. You'll find many different surf spots, from reefs to beaches to points, but a four-wheel-drive vehicle is required to access them all.
Puerto Escondido Area
Oaxaca, in Southern Mexico, is the home of what might be the most famous beach break in the world. It's called Zicatela Beach or Puerto Escondido. Many people don't realize the potential danger of surfing a huge wave. However, the area is surrounded by amazing surf spots. Local knowledge is crucial to truly enjoy the area. Many of the biggest waves in Mexico can be found miles away from the highway, at sand-bottom right points.
Where & When To Surf In Mexico?
Mexico has 5,797 miles (9.330 km) of coastline. It is truly a paradise for surfers. The best surfing is found along Mexico's Pacific coast, which measures 4,560 miles (7.338 km), and is filled with barreling beaches and firing Mexico point breaks. You will find many beginner-friendly beaches and huge waves here. Mexico has a lot of barrels and is an excellent place to surf. There are many! Windy Baja California is known for its cold water and producing some of Mexico's best waves. There aren't any secret spots in northern Baja, since day-trippers from San Diego have been visiting the area for decades. However, crowds won't be an issue if you travel further south. Nayarit is known for its uncrowded breaks and hardcore spots, but also has plenty of longboard and beginner spots. The dream of surfing at Puerto Escondido should be on every surfer's bucket list. While you can expect heavy lines at some of the most popular breaks, there are also beaches that have no one in sight. Mexico's azure waters are warm throughout the year, except in the northern regions. The water temperature in Central and Southern Mexico is around 80 degrees F (26 degrees C), but can drop to 70 degrees F (21deg Celsius) during the winter months in Baja California. Mexico experiences consistent swell throughout the year, with strong waves generated by the Southern Ocean. Peak surfing season is between May and October during hurricane season when waves are consistent and big. You'll find great conditions throughout the year.
Best Places To Surf In Mexico
1. Best Spots for Beginners:
Playa La Ticla, Michoacan
Michoacan, Mexico's western state, has a mixed reputation. It is stunningly beautiful, and it is far less developed than in other states. However, there are virtually no tourists. Michoacan is a small, undeveloped resort or city. It has miles of beautiful beaches and authentic, natural beauty. Playa La Ticla, which is the ultimate surfer's paradise, has basic facilities that allow for eco-friendly and back-to-nature travel. The focus is on surfing and refueling over fish tacos, then crashing out at night to get up early to rinse and do it again the next day. Michoacan has had its fair share of problems with drug cartels and gangs. The coast is safer than ever, but it's best to stay at the hotels and not to travel at night. This is not the place to go into the unknown.
East Cape, Baja California Sur
The East Cape, located in the Baja California peninsula's far south, is known for its right-point breaks. It is where the calm Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific. You can expect to wait to be able to spot them, especially during December-April when they are most popular. The best surf is from June to August, but it's quieter with more condos and an ever-growing expat population.
Salina Cruz, Oaxaca
Southern Mexico's Oaxaca coast, just south of the famous surfer town of Puerto Escondido, has some of the most year-round consistent waves in North America, thanks to a prevalent southern Pacific swell. You can expect fantastic waves all over the region, and even on the beaches surrounding the large port city of Salina Cruz. Expect flawless long point breaks with barrels and rippable walls. Punta Conejo is a better option than the busy, industrial Salina Cruz.
Rosarito, Baja California Norte
Calafia is named after the mythical native Queen of California, immortalized by Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo. But it's far from what you would call royal. This settlement is located south of Rosarito and is a mere huddle of homes on a rocky outcrop. If you are a surfer, there is a good reason to go to this settlement. It's the perfect spot to surf the right point break which runs onto the rocks. The spot is very popular and there are only a few hotels, but Rosarito is the best place to stay.
The hippie-friendly town of Sayulita, Nayarit is well-known for its beachside parties and charming charm. It also ranks among the top surfing spots in the country. You will find stalls selling lessons and rentals of surf equipment along Playa Sayulita. This is the ideal spot for all levels of surfers. Playa Sayulita is the best surfing in Mexico for beginners. Pros should head to Playa Carricitos. The best surf here is from December through April.
The Ranch, West Guerrero
This exposed point break is next to the river mouth and has a strong swell. It's rarely crowded even during high season. Autumn and early winter are the best times to surf for beginners. Beginners can enjoy the waves at any time. You will find basic accommodations just outside the village of Los Cuches. There are also many hotels located 25mi (40km) west in Lazaro Cardenas, which offers flights to Mexico City.
You are looking for a beach that is accessible from Puerto Vallarta's international Airport? La Lancha is a 45-minute drive north. It has a gentle right-hander on soft sand that is suitable for absolute beginners and a slightly faster left-hander for those who are just starting to learn how to ride. Punta Mita, a beachside resort to the west, offers the most affordable accommodation. We recommend that you visit Sayulita village (30 minutes north) to find more affordable options.
2. Best Spots for Expert Surfers
Ensenada, Baja Norte
Ensenada, a stalwart in the Mexican surf scene, is located just outside Tijuana, not far from the US border. It attracts surfers all over the globe. Although the water is quite cold, the waves are great, especially in winter. Playa Hermosa is the best beach for beginners, while pros should head to San Miguel and Todos Santos. San Miguel beach is best for professionals because of its consistent breaks as well as reliable swells. Todos Santos can also be a great place to go.
Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca
Some of the most beautiful surf in Mexico is found along the coast of Oaxaca. The best surf spots in Mexico are all within 12 miles of Huatulco. This spot was first discovered when the Rip Curl ProSearch annual competition took place in 2006. It was barely visible before that. Only a few surfers would camp out on its shores to catch the morning waves. The unique thing about "Barra," or as it is known by locals, it that it can't be seen from the surrounding beaches. It's hidden on both sides by hills. Access to it is only possible via a dirt road. This helps preserve its "secret" charm. Barra is a small town with few amenities and accommodations. You should bring all your belongings with you. The village is well-known for its legendary point break. The town is home to only one beachfront cantina and surf bungalows. This makes it a place for true surf enthusiasts.
Colima, a state that is less well-known in Mexico, is far from the tourist trail. Manzanillo is its main coastal city. This is where you will find southern Jalisco's wild, south coast, also known as the Costalegre. The state of Colima has plenty to offer surfers, especially the Boca de Pascuales which is known for its spectacular breaks and beautiful tubes. Attention beginners: Pascuales is only for professionals because the waves can reach 25 feet. This wild and unspoiled part of Mexico's Pacific Coast is the best time to hang ten. Pascuales is a popular beach break on the Pacific Coast. However, it is difficult to reach and is not easily accessible. The rewards for those who work hard are some of the most stunning waves in the country.
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
Playa Zicatela, Puerto Escondido's most famous beach break, is undoubtedly the most iconic. Puerto Escondido is located on Oaxaca's coast. Here, surfers from all around the globe come to ride the incredible waves. This spot is renowned for its crashing waves and beautiful conditions. However, there are many other Mexico surf spots that beginners can enjoy. The Mexican Pipeline, located just off Playa Zicatela, is a great spot for surfers with advanced skills. The best waves can reach more than 30 feet in May and July. Despite this, pumping surf is still possible all year round in this semi-secret, laid-back area of the Mexican coast. Puerto Escondido has everything you need to make your stay memorable. There are many options for lodging, including beachfront restaurants and hotels owned by locals.
Punta Mita, Nayarit
Punta Mita, north of Puerto Vallarta marks the northern boundary of the Bay of Banderas. There are many best surf resorts in Mexico along the coast, including the Four Seasons Resort and St. Regis, but there is also Punta de Mita where you can find affordable hostels and hotels along El Anclote Beach. To explore the best surfing spots, you will need a car. However, if you stay at a larger resort, it is easy to arrange lessons or transportation to nearby breaks such as La Lancha and Punta Burros. Renting an apartment at Punta Mita Surf Lodge is another option that's budget-friendly. You can also arrange lessons or tours.
San Blas, Nayarit
One of the most beautiful stretches of surf in Mexico is located about 80 miles north from Puerto Vallarta. It runs along the Riviera Nayarit coast. San Blas, a small fishing village, is the center of activity. For those who want to surf paradise, the beaches of San Blas offer a remote stretch of coastline. Stoner Point Break is one of the most popular breaks in San Blas. Amateurs need not apply here. This break is located at Las Islitas beach and was once called the longest in the world. It's a challenge for intermediate-to-advanced surfers. Santa Cruz de Miramar, another spot close to San Blas, is also a great spot for surfing. However, be aware that it can be dangerous, especially for beginners. Experts will enjoy extreme thrills and challenges while navigating the crashing waves within one of the most picturesque settings in Mexico.
San Pancho, Nayarit
San Pancho, located just 15 minutes north of Sayulita is another popular surf town. This beach breaks is ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers and offers a smaller, more intimate vibe than Sayulita. Even though the waves aren't ideal for beginners, there are many surf schools such as Wildmex that offer shuttles between San Pancho and Playa La Lancha. The town has many wonderful restaurants, cafes and galleries that line the busy street leading to the beach, even if you aren't ready to surf San Pancho. Nayarit will find it a more affordable place to surf, and the location on the coast ensures beautiful sunsets when the sky is clear. There are many options for accommodation, including comfortable and modern hotels such as Ciye or nature-inspired concepts such as Marcia. In addition, there are plenty of bed-and-breakfasts and hostels that cater specifically to backpacking surfers.
Colima, a state that is less well-known in Mexico, is far from the tourist trail. Manzanillo is its main coastal city. This is where you will find southern Jalisco's wild, south coast, also known as the Costalegre. The state of Colima has plenty to offer surfers, especially the Boca de Pascuales which is known for its spectacular breaks and beautiful tubes. Attention beginners: Pascuales is only for professionals because the waves can reach 25 feet. This wild and unspoiled part of Mexico's Pacific Coast is ideal for hanging ten. Pascuales is a popular beach break on the Pacific Coast. However, it is difficult to reach and is one of the best. The rewards for those who work hard are some of the most stunning waves in the country.
3. Best place for all
Todos Santos, Baja Norte
Todos Santos, the town, has earned a reputation as an artistic haven from the tourists in Los Cabos. It was once a paradise for surfers before it became a cultural oasis. This area of Mexico is suitable for all levels of surfers. Cerritos Beach is ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers. San Pedrito, however, is for more experienced wave-riders. The best waves can be found in winter and summer for serious surfers. Bahia de Todos Santos was chosen as the sixth World Surfing Reserve due to its high-quality waves and environmental characteristics. It also has a strong community passion for surfing. Todos Santos is home to many surf schools and retreats. These places highlight other treasures such as the boutiques, culture and dining.
Apart from surfing, there isn't much else you can do in Troncones Guerrero. It's also a popular spot for wave-chasers. This quiet seaside community is not far from Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, which are both popular Mexico surf resorts. There isn't much to do in the town, but you are here to surf. Lessons and rentals are available at local shops. Many activities are concentrated around Troncones Surf Club & Hostel, one of the most popular spots to stay. Although it isn't a luxurious hotel, it is a step above the traditional hostels. After a hard session, it's not unusual to see a group surfing here. Troncones is close by Punta Saladita. This is even more sleepy than Troncones and is well-known for its wave "Ubilam", which is a favorite among longboarders.
The western state of Sinaloa has Mazatlan which is a paradise for all levels of surfers. There are many waves to choose from, including the beginner-friendly Playa Los Pinos and the more advanced Olas Alta waves. Mazatlan is more than just a surfing spot. It is a truly unique and beautiful tourist destination. It is one of the few colonial cities that can be found on the coast. There are beautiful colonial buildings and churches, as well as tree-fringed plazas. There is a historical theater and a baseball stadium. There are also plenty of shops. Landlubbers and surfers alike will enjoy the historic downtown, which features cobblestone streets and boutiques as well as restaurants and a relaxed beach vibe. Mazatlan has the longest Malecon in Mexico. This is where you can catch the fiery sunset in Mazatlan.
Although it is not the most accessible spot in Mexico, Chacahua Oaxaca offers surfers a great spot to catch waves. This calm stretch of pristine beach, north of Puerto Escondido is ideal for longboarders. However, you may also find some impressive swells. To reach Chacahua travelers will need to take a water taxi through Lagunas de Chacahua National Park in order to reach the point where the lagoon empties into the Pacific. Wave heights can vary from five to seven feet. The waves are long and smooth with a right-point break. Basic to rustic accommodation is the best. Small, intimate bungalows and beach camping are the most sought-after (or only) options.
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur
To find the best surfing in Mexico, you don't have to go far. Some of Mexico's most famous resort towns were actually founded as simple surf spots. Cabo San Lucas is a great example of a casual surf town that has become a popular tourist destination. Although the resorts have evolved from humble surf accommodations, the surf has not lost its authenticity. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is a great place to enjoy a luxury vacation. Luxury travelers also love to surf and can be found at Zippers. It's undoubtedly the best wave in the area and has been a top pick for Mexico surfers since the 1980s. This spot is one of the most popular spots in Mexico, due to overdevelopment and mass tourism. Other popular Cabo surfing spots are located nearby, such as Old Man's and The Rock. September is the best month to surf Cabo San Lucas. Although crowds tend to recede, swells still run.
1. Is It Safe To Surf in Mexico?
It is safe to surf Mexico. Nevertheless, be aware of strong currents and rips. Before you go surfing, it is a good idea to speak with locals. A lesson is better than independent surfing if you are feeling unsure or underconfident about a new spot.
2. Is The Surf in Mexico Good For Beginners?
Mexico's surf is great for beginners and professionals alike. The variety of waves available to beginners will allow them to push themselves and learn slowly. You can also find smaller waves that will help you build your confidence.
3. What Is The Best Time To Surf in Mexico?
The quieter months to surf in Mexico are October through March for beginners. These months have smaller waves, which means that surfers are less common. The most popular season is March to December, which has bigger swells that are suitable for advanced and intermediate surfers.
The Mexican coastline offers some of the best surfing in the world, with a variety of locations to suit every level of surfer. From the beginner-friendly waves of Sayulita to the challenging breaks of Puerto Escondido, there's a perfect spot for everyone. And with its sunny weather and stunning scenery, Mexico is the perfect place to enjoy the waves.