Surfing in Mexico
Mexico is bordered by the USA to the north and Guatemala to the south. The country is known by the exotics Mayans temples, amazing local food, tropical beaches and big variety of waves.
For being 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. This road trip is one of the most classic surfer's itinerary of all times.
Most of the tourists that are attracted to Mexico are searching for cheap and good food, cheap accommodations, exotic scenery, and warm weather.
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.
Why surf in Mexico?
The variety of breaks in Mexico makes the country suitable for any kind of surfer. If you want big hollow waves you will find them in Puerto Escondido. There you can catch the best barrels of your life. If you want to relax in front of the beach and surf mellow head high waves, you will find your heaven destination at Punta Mita. The regular footers heaven is located at Salina Cruz. Every regular footer has to make a stop there and surf the best and longest right-hander barrels in the Americas.
There are waves in this country all year round. During the summer 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.
For Americans, Australians and Europeans it’s relative cheap to travel to Mexico. Depending on where you are, the ticket can be fairly cheap. Also, the cost of living in the country is considerably lower than in the first world countries.
Climate in Mexico
The country has many types of different climates, but the temperature always stays between 17-30 degrees 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. From October to March it’s winter. This time of the year is typically humid and hot. Most of the time it only rains late in the afternoon.
Keep in mind that the hurricane season is from June to November.
Best time to go
Surfing in summer in Mexico
During the summer (April to September) there are consistent swells coming from SW. Be prepared for some tropical storm swells at this time of the year that can be quiet powerful. There are many options of reef breaks, sand bars, and point breaks in Mexico. No matter what level of surfing you are in, there will be a surf spot suitable for you.
Wind patterns are the same all year round.
Surfing in winter in Mexico
In this period of the year, the southern pacific has less activity. From October to March it’s better to visit the northern coast where there are consistent W and NW swells coming from the north Pacific. Wind patterns are the same the whole year-round. The only difference is that the late afternoons can be glassed by the occasional rain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This fun beach break host many surf competitions throughout 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 of all over the world.
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 shore break. The best conditions are in between 6ft-8ft.
Barra de La Cruz
After the world tour made a contest at this mechanical right, a flock of surfers chases 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
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.
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 exotic scenery to be appreciated while surfing some tropical waves.
What is your traveling style?
Luxury / Nice / Upscale Surfing 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 natural beauty and exquisite scenery. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar, and a heated infinity-edge swimming pool. All the facilities of the hotel are designed 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 in the area. At this accommodation, 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 by having a barbecue and taking a couple of shots of tequila with your mates. Ariba, ariba hermanos!
Mexico Travelling Guide
Packing and equipment: what should I pack for a surf holiday in Mexico
Mexico has a diversity of weather. If you are just going to the beach you shouldn’t worry about heavy clothes. If you, on the other hand, want to explore the mountains after your week of surfing, you should think about bringing your poncho and your boots hermano since the temperature gets lower the higher you go above the sea level. It can get really cold in Baja California’s deserts as well.
The days are usually crazy hot and during the nights the temperature drops drastically.
Travelers coming from Australia or Europe will need an electrical adaptor. Mexico’s electrical standards follow US standards with two flat parallel pins.
Basic Info about Mexico
Mexico is a Latin American country known to have a strong religious population. Most of the Mexicans are Catholics and they go to church every Sunday. Siesta is a national tradition, so be patient in the afternoons if you have to get something done. The national language is Spanish but English is largely spoken in touristic areas and larger cities. The currency is Mexican Peso and the rates are 1 USD = 20 MXN.
Before Going to Mexico
Visa / Documents
- Australians, Europeans, and Americans do not require a visa to enter Mexico as tourists for a period of fewer than 180 days.
- You can find a list of countries that don’t need a visa to enter Mexico on this link: https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/washington/index.php/visas/15-informacion/182-visas-english
Vaccines / Health
- There are no vaccinations required to enter 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)
Getting to Mexico
Mexico has a few gateways to enter the country. If you are from California it will be the easiest trip of your life getting to Mexico. Just pack your car, go across the border and go south on the highway into the desert.
If you are flying into the country you should carefully choose which airport to arrive in with consideration of your final destination. There are three main international airports that will make your life easier: Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Puerto Vallarta International Airport.
If you are going to Salina Cruz or to Puerto Escondido we recommend you to go to Oaxaca International Airport. If Punta Mita is your final destination it’s better to fly to Puerto Vallarta Airport.
Moving Around Mexico
As said before, road trips to Mexico have always been a part of the surfing culture. Surfers from South California used to cross the border in search of perfect waves and empty line ups. Baja California has two amazing highways straight at the coast that makes it easy and safe to explore it well by car.
Mexico is the 5th biggest country in America, so if you want to move long distances in the country you definitely need to fly. From these above-mentioned airports, you can easily find transfers to Punta Mita, Puerto Escondido or any other destination of your choice.
- A cheap local restaurant meal will cost around 5 USD per person
- A fancy cafe will cost around 8-15 USD including a bottle of beer
- 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 0.5 USD
- Depending on your accommodation you can spend from 60 to 600 USD
- A Simcard 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
- If you want to travel around by car the rental can be from 30-75 USD depending if you get a normal car or an SUV 4x4.
- Average price for a surfboard rental is 20-30 USD per day
- Gas in Mexico cost around 1 USD per liter
Other things to do while Surfing in Mexico
Eat local food and discover Mexico’s famous national dishes
Forget what you think you know about Mexican food. It’s way better than you ever imagined. The local Mexican food is all about spiciness and exotic flavors. You can have vegan burritos in the morning to keep your energy high during the day. After coming out of a surf session you can have some seafood fajitas while sipping on a margarita. Beef tacos for dinner and a couple of tequila shots watching the sunset. A perfect day! Mexican food will never be the same after you go back home.
Sightseeing - Culture in Mexico
Mexico has stunning scenery with green lush tropical forests and huge Mayan and Aztec temples and ruins, especially at the Yucatan Peninsula near Guatemala. The most famous and impressive temples are:
Chichen Itza, near Cancun. Easy to make it a day trip.
Palenque in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Coba is open for the public and you can climb the 130 steps up to the top of the pyramid.
Teotihuacan is probably the most impressive temple in Mexico. It has two enormous pyramids called the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the moon.
Tulum is an incredibly beautiful city on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s known for perfect white sand beaches and extremely well conserved Mayan temples.
If you have a day in Mexico City you should visit the historic center. It has some beautiful old constructions full of stories to be told. Other activity in the city is to watch the Lucha Libre traditional fights.
Type 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 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 or your backpack.
Always camp in an established camping area where you are not alone or unprotected.
How to Prepare
If you are going to charge on some seriously big waves in Puerto Escondido, all we can wish you is luck. If you want to have an easy-going surf trip we can give you some tips on how to make the most of it.
It’s a good idea to pack a first aid kit with lots of band-aids and betadine. Minor injuries usually happen while surfing and it’s always good to be prepared.
Before a surf trip, it’s important to get yourself paddle fit. Remember that the wind usually picks up at midday and that you enjoy the best surf conditions every day in the morning.
Before going on a trip you can check the forecast to see what the waves are going to be like. This way you can pack the most suitable boards for your trip. Here are some links to check the surf in Mexico:
A medical emergency can be a serious problem on your vacation. If you plan ahead and are prepared for anything, you can save a lot of time and stress. Private hospitals can be very expensive, especially if you don’t have travel insurance. The good news is that the hospitals are very well equipped and have great doctors and specialists.
If you are going to travel a lot by car you should make sure you give your vehicle a good check before taking off. A flat tire or a dented rim in the middle of the highway is never pleasant.
Here are some helpful contacts for your trip to Mexico:
Hospital Salina Cruz
Hospital in Salina Cruz, Mexico
Address: Virgilio Uribe N/A, Heroes de Nacosari, 70902 Salina Cruz, OAX, Mexico
Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone: +52 971 714 0740
Punta Mita Hospital
Ramal Carretera Federal 200 KM 19 No. 1
+52 329 688 0068
Open 24 hours
Servicio Médico De La Bahía Punta Mita
5.0 (4) · Medical Center
Carretera Federal la Cruz de Huanacaxtle - Punta de Mita Km 18, Punta de Mita
Open 24 hours
SANATORIO MEDICO MARIA DE LOURDES
Hospital in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Address: 1 PONIENTE SIN NUMERO SECTOR JUAREZ, entre 1a y 2a Norte, 71984 Puerto Escondido, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone: +52 954 582 0425
HOSPITAL ÁNGEL DEL MAR
Address: Sexta Norte Esquina Primera Oriente, Sector Reforma, 71980 Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Open 24 hours
Phone: +52 954 104 2270
Baja California Highways Emergency Toll-Free Numbers:
* 01 800 990 3900: Tijuana - Ensenada & El Hongo - La Rumorosa Toll Roads
* 01 800 888 0911: Tijuana - Tecate Toll Road
Baja Crime Hotline: 866-201-5060 -- To report a crime or if you need help.
From 134 $/night • max. 150+ people - 30 Rooms • REF. # 353888
Sayulita is renowned for its rare black and white beaches and amazing surfing conditions. Perfect for all skill levels, waves break in the bay all year round. Sayulita Surf Hotel and Private Surf Villas is an inspired collection of 30 oceanfront villas, each uniquely designed and decorated. Oceanfront restaurant and bar, heated infinity-edged pools, an open-air yoga studio and a meeting space. Enjoy "La buena vida" at Sayulita villas.
From 150 $/night • max. 13 people - 5 Rooms • REF. # 377419
Salina Cruz Surf House is a family business providing full service all inclusive epic surf tours in Salina Cruz, Mainland Mexico. The house sits on top of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Port of Salina Cruz and three of the major point breaks. The house has quick access to a barreling beach break right out front, an ocean view infinity pool, patio with hammocks and shade along with a sauna called a “Temascal”. High internet is provided along with an X-box 360. Our activities are surfing, surf explore, visit the ruins and nightlife tours.
From 250 $/night • max. 60 people - 40 Rooms • REF. # 386326
Come to our Playa Sayulita Surf Camp in Mexico and learn to surf with our friendly local Surf Instructors, improving day by day in beautiful Sayulita. We have different surf camps and options to suit everyone, whether you’re a beginner surfer or you’ve been surfing for years, and options for every budget too. With year-round waves, a dozen surf breaks to choose from, quality equipment and qualified staff, this is by far the best beginner and intermediate Surf school in Mexico. For beginners and intermediate surfers, the long mellow waves are perfect for learning, while the long green waves will allow more advanced surfers to perfect their technique.
From 650 $/night • max. 60 people - 30 Rooms • REF. # 386317
Punta de Mita Surf Camp offers 2 option accommodation for all budgets, over than ten different beaches to surf, hike or just relax, eat and drink! A young and friendly hotel, with an unrivaled rooftop terrace with a BBQ, hammocks and a 360-degree view of the sea and the mountains. The second option for our guests to choose from is a boutique hotel. All of the studio style rooms come with equipped kitchens and incredible ocean views. Surf lessons for all levels with experienced and patient instructors. A variety of activities available guarantee nobody will get bored: SUP lessons, Sport fishing / Spear fishing, Snorkeling at the Marietas Islands, Mountain biking, Hiking and Whale watching.
From $/night • max. people - Rooms • REF. # 394237
A perfect place to hang out right on the beach. Puerto Escondido Surf Club is a perfect destination for surfing lovers, here you will have the opportunity to improve your surfing skills or just learn with our Professional Coaches. Surfers of all levels welcome! From seasoned pros looking to improve their speed and control to newbies just hoping to stand up for the first time. Our instructors are professional, experienced surfers who will help you get the most from your surf experience.
From 228 $/night • max. 26 people - 9 Rooms • REF. # 250508
The coolest surf trip combo packages in Mexico! For experts or beginners. We offer heaps of services at low prices.
For experts surfers: 2 BOAT-TRIPS A DAY + HOTEL + FOOD + RENTAL + PARTY + MORE!
For beginners: SURF CLASSES + HOTEL + TRANSPORT + FOOD + PARTY + MORE !
From 38 $/night • max. 150 people - 126 Rooms • REF. # 275369
The Hotel is 20 minutes from the most famous surfing beaches.
This comfortable, modern hotel also boasts free daily breakfast and free local shuttle service.
Each room here is totally air-conditioned and includes a cable TV, a desk and a private bathroom with a shower and toilet.
From 29 $/night • max. 32 people - 15 Rooms • REF. # 359030
All students booking a 1 week all-included package or more, we’ll benefit from free of cost : Fitness for Surfing enjoyable sessions, Spanish Culture excursions and personalized advanced surfing coach training and photo and video review to improve more technical skills required for advanced surfers. NEW - Special summer surf trip to Barra de la Cruz!