Surfing in Mexico
Mexico is bordered by the USA to the north and Guatemala to the south. The country is known for the exotic Mayans temples, amazing local food, tropical beaches and big variety of waves. Located just above the equator line, Mexico is exposed to all directions of swells and no matter what time of the year it is, there are always waves. Surfers started to explore Mexico in the 60s, coming down from California in their vans and since then this road trip is one of the most classic surfers itinerary of all times. In the same way as Australia has Indonesia, the USA has Mexico. There is a constant feeling of adventure that makes you think you can do whatever you want at any time you want. After all, you are in Mexico.
Climate in Mexico
The country has many types of different climates, but the temperature always stays in between 17-30° Celsius in the majority of the territory. In the deserts of Baja California, the days can be extremely hot and the nights freezing cold. In cities on the coast, like Puerto Escondido and Punta Mita, the weather is more mild with less variation of the temperature. The summer is from April through September and there is almost no rainfall at all. This is when consistent swells start to come from SW. At this time of year be prepared for tropical storm swells which can be quite powerful. Winter season is from October to March. Winter is typically humid and hot and the southern pacific has less activity. During this period it’s better to visit the northern coast where there are consistent W and NW swells coming from the north Pacific. The only difference is that the late afternoons can be glassed by the occasional rain. Keep in mind that hurricane season is from June to November.
Best surf spots in Mexico
Located right below the border with the US, the Baja California peninsula has miles of empty beaches full of line ups ready to be surfed. There are two main highways on each coast which makes this destination perfect to be explored by car. Going on a road trip like this has been a part of the surfing culture since the 60s. These are the most famous surf spots in Baja California: K38, Shipwrecks, Rosarito, San Miguel, Cerritos, Punta Abreojos and Los Cabos.
The city of Oaxaca is probably the most famous surfing area in the country. The heavy waves of Puerto Escondido and the perfect point breaks of Salina Cruz makes this area very popular among surfers from all over the world.
Last but not least you have the beautiful Riviera Nayarit where you will find extremely beautiful lush green jungles, amazing scenery and perfect waves. The pristine coastline has reef breaks scattered around the beaches. All you have to do is find the perfect one for your level of surfing.
Main Surfing areas in Mexico
Located right below the border with the US, this peninsula has miles of empty beaches full of line ups ready to be surfed. There are two main highways on each coast which makes this destination perfect to be explored by car. Going on a surf trip like this by car is a part of the surfing culture since the 60s.
K38: This surf spot is one of the best in the area. The break faces to the south but will capture swell from any direction. The bottom is made of cobblestones. The best waves are to the right but there are also lefts to be surfed. If you go left be careful with the shallow sections on the inside.
Shipwrecks: This reef break next to a shipwreck has consistent waves because it’s fairly exposed to lots of swell directions. During the summer the offshore winds will blow from the northwest making it the best time to surf this break.
Baja Malibu: This long stretch of beach has many waves breaking on top of a sandy bottom. The offshore wind coming from the east groom the waves making some amazing barrels. Surf is pretty consistent here, but the best time of the year is during the summer. The proximity to the city can make the water dirty when there is a lot of rain.
Los Cabos: This fun beach break host many surf competitions along the year. The waves can be small and fun or also get huge when a hurricane swell approaches the coast. Beautiful crystal clear water and surroundings make this beach a perfect spot for a family vacation.
This is probably the most famous surfing area in the country. The heavy waves of Puerto Escondido and the perfect point breaks of Salina Cruz makes this area very popular among surfers from all over the world.
Puerto Escondido: This surf spot Is probably the most famous in the country and is also known as “Mexican Pipe”. The wave range at this beach is huge and waves can get up to 20 ft high. The bottom is sandy and produces some of the hollowest barrels you will ever see. Bellow 6ft the waves closeouts in a shorebreak. Best conditions are in between 6ft-8ft.
Barra de La Cruz: After the world tour made a contest at this mechanical right, flock of surfers chase the perfect barrels of Salina Cruz. The sandy bottom next to the rocks produces a magnificent point break that will make any surfer happy for days.
This part of the coast it’s extremely beautiful with lush green jungles, amazing scenery and perfect waves. The pristine coastline has reef breaks scattered around the beaches. All you have to do is finding the perfect one for your level of surfing.
Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita
Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: These places are is known for mellow reef breaks, perfect for those who want to learn or just have fun. These surf spots are mostly uncrowded making it perfect for beginners to feel comfortable in the water.
Sayulita: The south end of the beach is better suited for longboarders and beginners seeking smaller waves. At the center and to the north of the beach there are reef breaks with larger waves for those who want to push their limits. The beach has a lively atmosphere with an exotic scenery to be appreciated while surfing some tropical waves.
What is you traveling style?
Luxury Surf Accommodation in Mexico
In Sayulita, only 45 min from Puerto Vallarta International Airport, there is a hotel that will take your breath away. Nestled at the south corner of the picturesque Sayulita Bay, this hotel has 26 oceanfront villas facing the Pacific ocean. The place has a rhythm of organic architecture mixed with a natural beauty and a exquisite scenery. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar and a heated infinity edge swimming pool. All the facilities of the hotel are design to have comfort combined with style and luxury. The area is known for amazing black and white sand beaches and for amazing surf conditions. Most villas have stunning views either from the coastline or the lush green jungle hillsides.
Price per night can be around 150-300 USD.
Budget Surfing in Mexico
From free camping zones to amazing hostels, you can find any kind of accommodation in Mexico. If you are on a budget you can find something in between that will suit your pocket perfectly. You will be able to have a nice getaway to surf some perfect waves without spending a fortune. And after all, the waves are already for free. At Puerto Escondido you can stay in a charming Surf Camp Beach House located near the most famous surf spots of the area. At this accomodation they offer many sorts of activities, including surf camps and spanish lessons. This place is perfect for those who want to learn how to surf or for advanced surfers who want some coaching to improve their skills during their vacations, while learning some spanish.
1 WEEK SURF CAMP AND STAY – 420 USD/pers (60 USD/day)
Kids and Teen Surf Camps
There is a surf paradise in Mexico in Punta Mita. It’s located at the picturesque Riviera Nayarit. What makes this place so special for learning how to surf is the uncrowded mellow reef and sand breaks. The Surf Camps programs, with the all inclusive packages, will provide everything you need in order to learn how to surf in a secure and exciting way. You can choose to stay in a luxury hotel in front of a white sand beach that will provide you all the comfort you will need to relax and surf as much as you want. Or, if you prefer a young and exciting environment, you can stay in a hostel just a couple hundred meters from the beach.
Prices range between $650 USD to $1,215 USD for a standard 6-night Surf & Stay Vacation.
Surf trip to Mexico with the boys again? Why not? Mexico has some amazing long beach breaks that can spread the crowd around you making it easy to find a surf spot to surf just with your friends. The variety of waves you can find in the same region makes it suitable for any level of surfer. The advantage of traveling in a group is that if the surf is not pumping, you can always let time pass with having a barbecue and taking a couple of shots of tequila with your mates. Ariba, ariba hermanos!
Meal price range
Simple meals at local restaurants cost around $4-5 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $10-15 USD. Mexico has good beers and the price for a bottle of local beer is $1 USD. Imported beers usually are around $2-4 USD. Bottles of mineral water cost $0.50 USD
Board rentals run anywhere from $20-30 USD per day..
Prepaid SIM cards
A sim card in Mexico costs around $12 USD including $6 USD worth of calls and SMS. There are also multiple data packages that you can buy and they can be valid for a day, a week or a month.
Public transportation is available in larger cities but not reliable, so not recommended. Uber operates in the big cities to help you get around. If you want to travel around by car a rental can be from $30-75 USD depending if you get a normal car or a SUV 4x4.
Gas in mexico cost around $1 USD per liter
Types of risks
Is Mexico a safe country to travel around? Yes! As long as you stay aware and follow a few tips you will be perfectly fine. The government has been putting a lot of effort and resources to fight against the violent drug cartels. For example, Mexico City has a very good ratio of police per citizen at 1:100. But like any other big city, also Mexico City has parts that should be avoided, especially at night. Always research the area you are visiting. The well known tourism areas for surfers are normally very safe. Oaxaca, Baja California and the Riviera Nayarit are the safest ones. Avoid traveling at night in big cities like Tijuana. If you are on the road and it’s getting late it’s a good idea to find a nice hotel to spend the night in. Be aware of any kind of scams like fake callings or credit card cloning. Always go to safe ATMs at shopping malls or gas stations. Avoid taking a cab from the street at night. Uber on the other hand works fine in Mexico. Pickpockets are most common in crowded areas. Never leave any belongings unattended, especially your cell phone, your wallet or your backpack. Always camp in an established camping area where you are not alone or unprotected.
How to prepare
Australians, Europeans and Americans do not require a visa to enter Mexico as tourists for a period of less than 180 days. You can find a list of countries that don’t need a visa to enter Mexico here.
There are no vaccinations required for entry to Mexico. If you want to be extra careful we recommend you to receive vaccination for Tetanus (childhood booster), Typhoid (food and water-borne) and Hepatitis A (food & water borne)
Things to know
Language & Currency
The national language is Spanish but English is largely spoken in touristic areas and larger cities. The currency is Mexican Peso.
Best time to go
There are waves in this country all year round but during the summer (April to September) the south swells are the most constant and they send waves from Oaxaca all the way to Baja California at the border with the US.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Dial 911 for all cases of emergency.
Check surf pictures of Mexico at #mexicosurf.