Mexico is easily one of the best surfing destinations in the world. The country has over 4500 miles of coastline and offers the perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and the perfect relaxed beach vibe for a surfing getaway.
With so much coastline, Mexico is a good place for all surf skill levels to find the perfect wave. Most beach towns cater to both beginners and advanced surfers. The East and West coasts provide some top surfing conditions in some of the most stunning settings in the world.
We will go into everything surfing and Mexico, looking at when the surf is good and all that you will need to keep in mind before heading on your Mexican surf trip. We also look at the top surf spots in Mexico, from the top beaches and lines for experienced surfers to the ultimate learn-to-swim beaches with excellent surf schools and rentals available.
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The Best Surfing Spots In Mexico
Mexico is a land of sun and sea with large swathes of coastline, making it excellent for surf vacations. Be it a newbie or a skilled surfer, there is a Mexican beach for everyone. Let’s take a look at the most pleasant surf destinations in Mexico and what they have to offer.
Located on the Riviera Nayarit, Sayulita is an excellent surfing spot for all surf competency levels.
The town is the quintessential Mexican beach town with cobbled streets and various bars and coffee cafés lining it. Cacti abound, and hotels and surf hostels make for the perfect Mexican surf vacation spot.
The coast in this area provides a fantastic shoreline that offers beginner-friendly stretches of the beach and reefs and point breaks that offer more advanced surfing opportunities.
The best surf spot for the more skilled surfer is located out of Sayulita but still within easy reach, so there is always an option for half day trip to catch the better waves.
While you are unlikely to catch your dream wave in Sayulita if you’re traveling with a group with varying skills, this beach is one of the best spots to allow everyone a chance to enjoy the surfing holiday, particularly as Sayulita is known for its consistent waves in the Sayulita Right.
The town offers well-priced surf schools, relaxed, authentic Mexican beach vibes, warm water, and fantastic weather. On the downside, Sayulita is becoming more crowded and can get super busy during peak vacation times. Hotel prices are also pricey, so surf hostels are your best option for accommodation if you’re on a budget.
Puerto Escondido is the Mexican surfing Mecca. The beach offers amazing waves of a variety that allows for both beginner and professional surfers. Waves are seasonal, with the bigger Mexican Pipeline or Playa Zicatela only being in evidence during summer from May to June.
Zicatela should only be attempted by those skilled and able to handle being barreled, as the waves are large and hollow. Wipeouts can be spectacular at this spot, so you have been warned. La Punta offers a less aggressive set and is excellent for advanced and intermediate surfers.
Carrizalillo is a stunning bay in Peurto Escondido that offers a safe and chilled playground for beginners.
The town is well equipped for surfing vacations and offers many hotels and hostels that are locally owned, as well as beachfront cafés and eateries.
Los Cabos, more commonly called Cabo, is a top vacation town that provides some great swells and a party atmosphere. This is one the best spots to come if you have non-surfers in the group, as they will have endless things to keep themselves busy on the beach while you’re out shredding the waves.
Los Cabos has waves for everyone, from beginners to pros, and the party vibe makes for a vibrant and fun experience. There are nine good spots with varying levels of difficulty. Todos Santos is best for more skilled surfers, with beginners being able to find safer waters in Playa San Pedro.
Costa Azul provides the best breaks in the area, and locals will hang out here.
Found in Notre Baja, Ensenada is located on the North West Mexican coastline and is only 67 miles from the US. The town acts as a home base and jump-off point to various top surf spots that occur along a 40-mile stretch of the coast.
And they are top surf spots, with some of the most consistent wave breaks in the area during the summer and winter months. Calafia offers waves for all skill sets, although it gets crowded thanks to its close proximity to the US.
San Miguel is the birthplace of surfing in Mexico and offers a good lineup of activities for the more experienced, although beginners can still get some practice closer to shore. El-Morro and Las Gaviotas offer a more chilled, mellow wave option and are better for beginner and intermediate-skilled surfers. The best waves come through in winter.
Mazatlán is one of the most scenic towns on the Mexican coastline. It exudes old-world charm, and the town itself is worth visiting to enjoy the Centro Historico’s architecture. The surf is superb, and the swell can be depended upon all year round, although if you’re looking for top-notch waves, you may need to wait for the summer SW swell from June to August.
The beaches are long and offer all three, beach breaks, reef breaks, and point break waves. The town is a bowl on the coast, providing beaches facing North, South, and West so the swells stay intact year-round.
Playa Bruja is the best surf spot in the area and is the favored spot amongst the locals, thanks to its sound waves. Olas Atlas is excellent, although more for its close proximity to the old town; the waves are average, although, on big days, you can expect to be dumped. Olas Atlas is nonetheless a fantastic beach that opens out from the old town suddenly.
Playa Cerritos provides beginners with a long stretch of mush to learn.
Surfing In Mexico For Beginners
Mexico does provide top surf locations, and for those who are still in the beginner stage or who may be looking for a learn-to-surf vacation, it will not disappoint. Many great places cater to beginners, with surf rentals and schools available.
We have already established that Sayulita is a top surf spot. Still, it’s also one of the best beginner surf spots in Mexico, thanks to its calm surf conditions that provide just enough swell and perfect learning conditions.
Playa Sayulita is the best learn-to-surf beach. Taking the lead from the conditions, many surf schools and rental stores have popped up and offer everything you need, from gear to lessons. The cost of classes is very reasonable, and you can get one-on-one or group lessons, with the group lessons being more affordable. The average price ranges from $40 to $75.
Winter is the best time for smaller waves, but the sandbar area is well-protected year-round, which is why it’s a popular beginner spot in summer; the only downside is that the beach gets crowded come summer.
With Los Cabos offering something for everyone, it is also a good place for beginner surfers. Acapulquito Beach, situated in Los Cabos, provides good beginner wave sizes year round as the beach is relatively well protected from the large swell. Los Cabos also has many good surf outfitters and schools, so renting a board or purchasing a lesson is easy.
Cerritos Beach provides a nice beach break that is good for learning, and you can also find various surf schools in this area. Prices range from $40 to $190, with the area pricier than Sayulita.
Playa del Carmen
Playa Mamitas is the top beginner-friendly beach in Playa del Carmen. The waves are easy, and the ocean is calmer, allowing beginner surfers to find their feet.
The town has many good surf schools and, of course, several surf rentals as well. The long white sanded beach is perfect for learning to surf, and the nearby restaurants and amenities offer the perfect way to end off a day spent in the surf.
Surfing In Mexico: Season And Weather
Mexico has terrific weather year-round; however, when it comes to surfing, certain seasons will provide better waves. Avid surfers will only care a little about the weather, provided there are good swells and better waves, so let’s look at when it’s best to head to Mexico for a surf.
May through to September is considered the surf season in Mexico, with the hot summer months being August and September. If you are keen to chase big swells, June and July are when the waves get big and are the best months to visit.
Not all Mexican beaches have good swells in summer; a few beaches like Ensenada, see their best waves in winter.
- Summer temperatures will range from around 95/97°F, although it can get hotter, while winter temperatures are very mild, with an average sitting at about 68°
- Summer water temperatures can be pretty warm, so you won’t need to worry about wetsuits as they range from 75°F to 86°F.
- Winter water temperatures are slightly cooler, with temperatures reaching about 60°F.
A vital note about Mexican weather is to keep updated on the hurricane season, which runs from June to November. Hurricane season can seriously affect surf conditions on both the East and West coasts; between September and October, hurricane season is most likely to have higher hurricane activity due to the heat.
Always check the news and weather forecasts before planning a trip, and even when on vacation, check with the locals on the weather conditions if you are uncertain. When staying at hotels, always listen to the hotel staff as they have proper training and experience keeping guests safe.
Surfing In Mexico: Other Important Information
Thanks to its fantastic beaches and surf breaks, Mexico is a top tourist destination, so there is a bit to consider before booking your trip:
- Certain areas will be busy and crowded, so pre-book where possible, as you can only find a little once you are there. This goes for accommodation, transport, and surf lessons.
- Despite being a popular destination, Mexico still needs to be fully stable, and some areas still have a certain level of crime. Stay within the tourist areas and preferably explore with an accredited guide. Safety should always be a priority. Thankfully most of the surf beaches are tourist friendly.
- As a top surf location, there are loads of surf camps, both privately run by small outfitters, as well as those offered by hotels and resorts. While group lessons may not give you the intensity of a one-on-one surf session, they provide a fun way to meet others and have a good laugh. It’s about what will work best for you, your time, and your budget.
- Not all beach towns in Mexico are surf towns. We recommend sticking to our list or getting further information from locals and surf shops about other good surf locations. Cancun may be a famous top-party destination and offers excellent beach experiences, but it does not have the swells needed to be a surfing spot.
- One of the easiest things about a beach vacation is the clothing. Swimsuits, shorts, dresses, sandals, flip-flops, and loafers are all you will need. We suggest packing a light rain jacket as simmer is also the wet season, but it’s so warm you will dry off quickly and likely welcome the cool respite of the rain.
- Sun lotion and sun hats are a must at the beach; sunburn and sunstroke are not fun when surfing.
- As there are many rentals at most Mexican beaches, you can hire boards and suits if needed; otherwise, taking your rash vest along is a good idea.
Mexico provides the perfect setting for all levels of surf skills. Mexican beaches offer something for everyone, be it a beginner, where you’re still learning to get up on the full-on board professional, taking barrels in your stride.
Torsten Bird is a talented and adventurous waterman from Western Australia, passionate about surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, hydrofoiling, skimboarding, snowboarding and skateboarding. Torsten has spent countless hours mastering his skills and his dream is to one day represent Australia as an Olympic athlete. Follow Torsten’s adventures on Instagram.