With its 5,797 miles (9,330 km) of coastline, excellent swell consistency and weather conditions, vibrant cultural life, and reasonable prices, Mexico is one of the world’s hottest surf destinations. Whether you are someone looking to try the sport for the first time while on holiday or a surfing veteran in search of new climes, Mexico’s got you covered.
One of the country’s greatest surf strengths lies in the variety of experiences it offers, from popular tourist spots offering ideal waves for beginners to some of the biggest waves found in the Americas on stretches of coast that only surfing aficionados know about.
At High Tide Los Cabos, we organize Surf Lessons at Cerritos and Surf Lessons at Costa Azul, experiences based in some of Baja California’s best surf spots and ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers alike. But we’re often asked by our guests about conditions and surf culture elsewhere in Mexico, so we thought we’d put together a helpful guide.
Join us and learn all about the surfing opportunities that await you in Mexico! If you have any questions, please get in touch.
When to Go Surfing in Mexico
You should find consistent swell throughout the year in Mexico, with good surfing options to choose from in most regions. From late April/early May through to October is the prime surf season with warm water temperatures, consistently pleasant weather, and excellent waves.
Where to Surf in Mexico
Baja California: A Surfing Paradise
Okay, maybe we’re a little biased, but let’s begin with Baja California! When speaking of the Baja California peninsula, it’s common to divide the territory into north and south: Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur, respectively. You’ll be pleased to know that there are awesome surf destinations across the entire region.
In the north, try the Rosarito or Ensenada areas. Rosarito is a popular surf spot with American surfers, only a short drive from the US border. There are waves for those at all levels, with Rosarito Beach being the ideal choice for beginners – a popular choice, Rosarito Beach offers good surfing and a great atmosphere. To the south of Rosarito, La Fonda is an excellent intermediate destination. While Las Gaviotas, Calafia, Popotla, and Teresas & Km. 38 are perfect for surf veterans.
If in the Ensenada area, beginners should head to Playa Hermosa, while those wanting to ride more ambitious waves should consider Tres Emed Beach, close to the Saulzal Cliffs.
If you’re heading south to our neck of the woods in Baja California Sur, we recommend the coast between Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos. When surfing in the south, you can expect less crowded beaches because fewer border-crossing US surfers. Browse our Adventure Tours in Los Cabos and learn about our guided surfing excursions. If you’re looking for a more individualized experience, consider our Private Los Cabos Excursions.
If traveling solo, we suggest advanced surfers set their sights on Playa Pescadero or La Pastora (north of Todos Santos) during the winter season. Meanwhile, Nine Palms is a good basic option located in East Cape for the summer season.
Another Pacific Coast paradise! Nayarit is a region famous for its Aztec ruins and unparalleled beaches. This area is a massive draw for tourists, and you can always expect a warm welcome and fantastic food.
For surfing, the number one spot has to go to San Blas and its beach Playa de Matanchen, which became famous for having the longest surfable wave in the world. Although conditions have changed the waves available here, this is still a top-class surf destination. Nearby, there is also Sayulita, a bustling surf town where beginners and intermediates can feel right at home. Sayulita consistently delivers a variety of breaks and excellent swell.
Puerto Escondido (the “Hidden Port”) is one of Mexico’s optimum surfing locations in Oaxaca. Puerto Escondido is one of the surfing hotspots that first brought attention to the Mexican scene.
The area is popular with backpackers, local families, and many surfers. The most renowned spot is Zicatela, a beach break regarded by some as the best in the world. Known in the surfing fraternity as the “Mexican Pipeline,” Zicatela favorably compares with more famous surfing destinations such as Portugal and Hawaii. This choice, though, is best left to experienced surfers.
For those in the early stages of their surfing life, try La Punta to the south of Puerto Escondido.
Barra de la Cruz
Another Oaxaca surfing destination, Barra de la Cruz will be enjoyed by intermediate to advanced surfers. Having established itself over the years through a couple of famous championship events coming to town, Barra de la Cruz offers visitors a laid-back coastal atmosphere and some epic point breaks.
Colima and Michoacan
Our final destination of choice is the neighboring Mexican states of Colima and Michoacan.
Colima offers a range of waves perfect for intermediate and advanced surfers, such as Cuyutlán and Pascuales, serving up some of the best barrels you’ll ever encounter!
In Michoacan, La Ticla, Ixtapa, Rio Nexpa, Boca de Apisa, and Playa Linda are some of the standout choices awaiting you. A left-hand point break at the mouth of the Ostula River, La Ticla would be our top choice: exciting breaks in a breathtaking location.
Safety While Surfing in Mexico
We’re often asked about safety when traveling in Mexico and the number one piece of advice is always the same: research your destinations and follow local guidance. Your home government’s website should offer travel advice on any current situations within the country.
When driving between territories, stick to main roads and know in advice where you are going. Once at your destination, remember to watch your possessions. Like any country with high numbers of tourists, opportunistic crooks can target unsuspecting outsiders – following best practices can ensure you are no the victim of such a crime.
In regards to surfing, research the spots you’re visiting in detail and don’t attempt to surf waves above your skill level. All surfers start off as beginners, don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk by taking on dangerous challenges.
This brings to a close our guide to surfing in Mexico. If you have any questions, please get in touch.