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Surfing in Mexico: Your Guide to the Best Waves

by Octavia Drughi

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There’s more to Mexico than sombreros, enchiladas, and tequila. Some of the biggest surfable waves in the Americas can be found on the Pacific coast of mainland Mexico.

Despite being a popular choice among SoCal surfers, when it comes to surfing in Mexico, the third-largest country in Latin America still boasts huge untapped potential. There are classic point breaks, tubing beach breaks, strong offshore winds; you name it! And, the further south you go, the more deserted the beaches become.


Where & when to go surfing in Mexico


With 5,797 miles (9,330 km) of coastline, Mexico is a true paradise for water sports lovers. However, the best surf can be found on its Pacific coastline, which is 4,560 miles (7,338 km) long and dotted with firing point breaks and barreling beach breaks. There are plenty of beginner-friendly beaches, as well as some huge waves to be found here. Overall, Mexico is a great place to get barreled. A lot!

Windy Baja California, with its chilly water, is a swell magnet known for producing some of the best waves in Mexico. Unfortunately, there are no secret surf spots in northern Baja anymore, as San Diego day-trippers have been exploring the area for decades. But, if you go further south, crowds will no longer be an issue.

Surfing in Nayarit means uncrowded line-ups and hardcore breaks, as well as plenty of beginner-friendly and longboarding spots. Surfing at Puerto Escondido is on any surfer’s bucket list and, while you should expect some heavy line-ups at some of the more popular breaks, you will also find beaches without a soul in sight.

The crystal-clear azure waters of Mexico are warm all year round in most regions except the northern ones. Water temperatures stay around 80° F (26 ° C) in Central and Southern Mexico, but they can drop below 70 ° F (21° C) during winter months in Baja California.

Mexico receives consistent swell all year round, with powerful waves being generated by the Southern Ocean. The peak surfing season lasts between May and October, during hurricane season, when the waves are big and consistent. However, you’re bound to find good conditions in most regions throughout the year.


The best surf spots in Mexico

Are you ready to catch a wave in sunny Mexico? From Baja California all the way to Oaxaca, here are the best surf spots in Mexico:


Rosarito, Baja California Norte

Recommended forAll levels


Approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of the US border, the beaches in the Rosarito area are quite easy to get to and are, therefore, quite touristy and crowded. Nevertheless, the exciting breaks here are well-worth the hassle.

Baja Malibu is the most popular in the Rosarito area, home to a punchy beach break with glassy waves that promises the ride of your life. Rosarito Beach is a long and exposed beach break, and further south, Calafia is a right-hand point break that regularly produces head-high to double overhead-high waves.

Let us not forget the spine-tingling breaks at K-38, K-38.5, and K-39. K-38, better known as El Morro (“The Promontory”), is a legendary fast and hollow right that can get quite crowded. On busy days, you still have a chance to escape the crowds at k-39.

Best time to go: Summer and autumn, but you’ll find good conditions all year round.


Ensenada, Baja California Norte

Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced surfers


The unofficial birthplace of Mexican surfing, the beaches at Ensenada were first explored by American surfers in the early 1960s. Only 70 miles (112 km) south of the US border, they continue to be a popular day-trip destination for SoCal surfers.

The best surf can be found at Playa San Miguel, a black-sand surf beach just north of town, where some incredibly long rides await. Playa Hermosa is great for those who are still learning to surf, as well as for those looking to take their skills up a notch. And, of course, we cannot leave Ensenada before stopping at Isla Todos Santos, home to one of the best big wave surfing spots in Mexico, which goes by the name of Killers.

Best time to go: Powerful swells hit the coast during winter months. Even though the water is slightly warmer than in the US, it is still pretty cold so make sure you pack a wetsuit.


Todos Santos & Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur

Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced surfers


The stretch of coastline between Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos is internationally renowned for its quality breaks. What’s more, these are less crowded than the breaks in Northern Baja and the water is warmer.

North of Todos Santos, La Pastora is a right-hand point break that often gets triple overhead, reserved for advanced surfers. Only 20 minutes south of Todos Santos, Playa Los Cerritos is a favorite among longboarders and surfers looking to camp on the beach and enjoy the warm weather both day and night. Playa Pescadero is an uncrowded A-frame reef break for intermediate to advanced surfers.

Near Cabo San Lucas, Monuments is a short and spinning left-hand point break for experienced surfers. But the one that always steals the spotlight is the world-famous Zippers near San Jose del Cabo, a fast right-hander that has been the venue of numerous surfing competitions. Other breaks worth mentioning are Shipwrecks, a punchy right-hander; and Nine Palms, a fun and fast wave for progressing beginners and longboarders.

Best time to go: Summer months offer the best conditions.


San Blas, Nayarit

Recommended for: All levels


Photo credit: netOrX

The legendary break at San Blas’ Matanchén Bay is considered by the Guinness Book of Records to be the longest surfable wave in the world. Las Islitas offers rides that can cover 5,700ft (2,250m). Even better, this one is a mellow wave that is suitable for all levels.

Towards the end of Playa Las Islitas, Stoner’s Point is a classic point break that is recommended for more advanced surfers.

Best time to go: Summer months.


Sayulita, Nayarit

Recommended for: Beginners and intermediate surfers


Photo credit: puntasayulitamexico.com

North of Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita is one of the world’s hippiest surf towns, all thanks to its great vibes and good wave reputation. A paradise for longboarders and beginners, there is a wide variety of mellow breaks to choose from, both lefts and rights, offering long rides and consistent swell.

Best time to go: Between December and April, but you’ll find good conditions here all year round.


Mazatlán, Sinaloa

Recommended for: All levels


Home to some of the best all-rounder surf beaches in Mexico, Mazatlán is a magnet for south and southwest swells. The hollow and fast point breaks in the area offer some incredibly long rides of up to 1,600 ft (500 meters), with numerous barreling sections. There are plenty of A-frame breaks, most of them with sand bottoms, which cater to every level and taste.  

Playa Los Pinos offers excellent surf for beginners, while Playa Olas Atlas, literally meaning “big wave,” is recommended for more experienced riders.

The warm Pacific Ocean on Mazatlán’s coast is a playground for a variety of water sports, including windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Best time to go: Between April and October. Excellent conditions can be found all year-round, and the swell is mellower between November and April.


Cuyutlán, Colima

Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced surfers


Photo credit: Mario Chavez

If you love collecting sunsets, not things, then Cuyutlán should definitely be on your list. This is the home of La Ola Verde, meaning “green wave,” a phenomenon that appears when the sun begins to set and is reflected in the sea. Add to that the stunning black sand beach, hollow waves, the picturesque oceanfront promenade dotted with cafes and restaurants, coconut farms, and a quaint seaside town, and you have your next surfing destination all figured out!

Best time to go: Between May and October, when big waves hit the coast.


Pascuales, Colima

Recommended for: Advanced surfers


In the tiny state of Colima, Pascuales is not for the faint of heart. This monstrous rivermouth beach break has some of the best barreling tubes you’ve ever seen, just begging to be ridden. But this treacherous break has a reputation for breaking boards, so make sure you bring at least one spare.

Breaking both left and right, Pascuales is a lesser-known and relatively uncrowded beach break. Heavy and shallow, with spitting tubes, the waves here can reach 30 ft (9 meters) and more.

Best time to go: Winter is often considered the best time to surf at Boca de Pascuales, but huge waves can be found in summer too.


La Ticla, Michoacán

Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced surfers


An off-the-beaten-path surfing destination in Mexico, La Ticla is a long left-hand point break found at the mouth of the Ostula River, in an ecologically protected area on the southwest Mexican coastline. The year-round consistent swell that hits the coast of the small town of La Ticla produces some punchy and hollow surf that is recommended for more experienced surfers.

Best time to go: Between November and April.


Troncones, Guerrero

Recommended for: All levels


A former fishing village turned surf hotspot, Troncones is the proud home of a number of consistent breaks. Described as one of the best destinations for beginner surfers in Mexico, Playa Troncones is an A-frame beach break 3 miles (5 km) south of Manzanillo. Also, here, Troncones Point is a left-hand point break that all levels of surfers can enjoy.

North of Troncones, The Ranch is widely considered one of the best surf spots in Mexico. This A-frame point break has been a well-kept secret for many years, and remains an uncrowded surf spot to this day, suitable for all levels. Nearby La Saladita is a long peeling left-hand point break, one of the longest in Mexico, that is a favorite among longboarders.

Best time to go: Summer months, between May and October. Good waves can be found all year round.


Acapulco, Guerrero

Recommended for: All levels


A hotspot when it comes to nightlife on the Pacific coast, Acapulco is often associated with hedonism and a lively party scene. But what most people do not know is that the calm water in Acapulco Bay offers ideal conditions for surfing and windsurfing.

The best waves can be found at Playa Revolcadero, an A-frame beach break for all levels. Experienced surfers looking for bigger waves will not be disappointed with Playa Pie de la Cuesta, while Bonfil is an A-frame beach break with some long waves that are just perfect for practicing.

Best time to go: April through September.


Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Recommended for: Advanced surfers


Photo credit: Bryce Bradford 

Surfing in Mexico would not be what it is today were it not for Zicatela, a legendary beach break that pinned the country on the surf map. The low-key fishing village of Puerto Escondido is home to a spectacular barrel that is widely considered the world’s best beach break. Better known as the “Mexican Pipeline,” Zicatela is often compared to Hawaii’s pipelines.

Frequent offshore storms and hurricanes produce waves that can reach 30 ft (9 meters) or more during peak surfing season. Hollow and fast, this pounding beach break offers some unbelievably round barrels, and is known for snapping surfboards. Therefore, it’s best to leave this one for the advanced surfers, who’ll be in for a treat and quite a challenge.

South of Puerto Escondido Bay, La Punta is a left-hand point break that’s just perfect for beginners thanks to its easy take-off and slowly peeling walls. The waves here are a bit smaller than the ones at Zicatela, and therefore easier to ride. They are, however, still hollow and fast, but usually less crowded.

Best time to go: The official surf season lasts between March and December, which is longer than the average in other surf spots in Mexico. However, the best waves can be found between May and July.


Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca

Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced surfers


Photo credit: surfer.com / Woodworth

In 2006, Barra de la Cruz hosted the ASP World Tour, thus cementing its place on the international surf map. The surf community, chilled-out vibe, and the world-class right-hand point break here are what make the spot so famous among barrel-chasing, advanced surfers. This is a deserted beach, with the nearest accommodation being a 30-minute drive away, in Huatulco. But that’s a small price to pay for such beauty.

Best time to go: You will find reliable swell between March and October, but the best waves fire up in June and July. Beginners can find friendlier conditions between November and February.


Top-rated surf camps in Mexico

Note: BookSurfCamps offers a flexible cancellation policy. Should you not be able to travel as scheduled, we’d be happy to help you alter your booking with the same organizer or a different organizer.


8 Days Spanish and Surf Camp in Puerto Escondido


  • AvailabilityJuly till December
  • Skill levelAll levels
  • PriceFrom US$540

Looking for a relaxing, exhilarating, and empowering vacation? Immerse yourself in the Mexican culture, discover magnificent beaches, and enjoy the most popular activity in Puerto Escondido – surfing.

This surf camp in Puerto Escondido is tailored to your own needs and surfing level. You’ll get five days of semi-private surf lessons, with only two students per instructor. The team will take you to the best surf spots of the day for your level, a great opportunity to ride many different waves, thus enhancing your skills.

You’ll also receive an additional, free-of-cost surf coaching session supervised by pro surfer Roger Ramirez and captured by a professional photographer. 

During your stay, you’ll enjoy five private Spanish lessons of 1.5 hours each, as well as fitness group classes every evening from Monday to Friday.


7 Days Progressive Surf Camp in Sayulita, Nayarit


  • AvailabilityJuly till January
  • Skill level: Beginners and intermediates
  • PriceFrom US$710

Improve your surfing and have the time of your life on this surf camp in Sayulita. Enjoy five days of exciting surf trips, three to four hours each. You’ll be taken to the best surf spots for your level and ride the best waves in the area. 

There will be one instructor for every four adults, in order to maximize personal attention and overall surf experience. The instructors will continuously assess your level to make sure that the lessons are as safe and fun as possible. All the necessary surfing equipment is provided during the lessons. You’ll also have access to the camp’s surfboards and paddle boards during your stay.




*Prices are subject to change depending on the date of arrival.

*Cover photo credit: Bryce Bradford

Explore the country’s best surf spots on an intermediate surf camp in Mexico!

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