Best Surf Towns in Mexico
Mexico is known for its long, white beaches, beautiful weather, and amazing landscape. Along with a pristine coast, you’ll find some great waves for surfing.
Mexico is one of the best places in the world to surf and if you get the chance to do so, you absolutely must! Whether you’re a novice surfer or an expert rider, you’ll find the right beach and surf town in Mexico for your lifestyle.
With almost 6,000 miles of coastline, you’re bound to find the perfect waves nestled into the perfect surf town.
When is the Best Time to Surf in Mexico?
Mexico has pretty consistent waves year-round which makes it a very attractive place to surf. The best time to surf in Mexico, however, is from April to September when the swells are the largest and the weather is warm.
Mexico has the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico on its coasts, but the Pacific Ocean is the best coast to surf in Mexico due to its great breaks and swells.
If you are wanting a more consistent wave, you will want to head to the Pacific side of Mexico.
Characteristics of a Surf Town in Mexico
A surf town always has great waves for surfing because that’s the number one most important thing.
Surf towns are hubs where surfers hang out, vacation, and come to visit to try out the surfing waves of the area.
They usually have a small oceanfront downtown with shops, restaurants, and various accommodations.
Some surf towns are well-known and sought after by tourists and others are word-of-mouth must-visit towns near some gnarly waves.
Even if you aren’t a surfer, most travelers still enjoy surfer towns. They are laid back and usually full of ex-pats.
They are always beautifully situated along the coast and have pristine sandy beaches, quaint establishments, and culture that make them unique and highly praised.
Surfer towns have a great bohemian vibe to them, and you are also likely to find surfers hanging ten.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the best surf towns in Mexico.
If you get the chance to visit one (or more) you won’t be disappointed!
They’re all great and offer something a bit different which makes each of them intriguing in their own way.
11 Best Surfer Towns in Mexico
Sayulita is located in the Mexican state known as Nayarit on the Western side of the country. It’s located on the Pacific Ocean and has some great breaks right downtown.
You can also travel just outside Sayulita for some larger waves where you’ll also find fewer people.
The town itself is quaint and isn’t as commercialized as some larger cities.
You can enjoy a relaxing and low-key vacation filled with authentic restaurants, cute shops, and a low-key environment.
The great thing about Sayulita is that it’s great for all surfing levels.
On the main beach, Playa Sayulita, the left side is great for beginners and the right side is better for more experienced riders because of the point break.
There are also various surfing schools in the area where you can rent a board, learn to surf or work on your skills, and stay during your time in Sayulita. Sayulita is a great surf town to visit.
Besides surfing, there are plenty of awesome things to do in Sayulita to keep you busy during your vacation.
It is a great laid-back town that should be added to your Mexico list.
|Stay Here: Hotel Vogue is right in the center of town just a few steps from the beach. They have an awesome staff and a great pool. I highly recommend it|
2. Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is in the state of Oaxaca in Southern Mexico.
It’s definitely one of the best places to surf in Mexico with 20-foot wave curls. If that sounds a bit scary for you, don’t worry there are still plenty of other great spots for all levels of surfers.
Playa Zicatela is the most well-known beach in Puerto Escondido for surfing.
It is recommended for more advanced riders who can handle some large waves. There are also great spots for beginners in the area.
The waves and conditions are quality and consistent, what more could you ask for?
Puerto Escondido is a cute surf town worth checking out. There are surfing schools that you can stay at to work on your skills or you can rent a board from various places in the area and try it yourself.
You’ll find excellent bars, restaurants, and shops and it’s definitely a surfer’s paradise.
Need advice on how to get from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido?
If you are looking for a slower pace vibe while traveling, this is your place.
Located not too far from the US border on the Baja California peninsula is Ensenada. Which is known for having some great waves.
For SoCal people, it’s only 70 miles from the border and could make for a great weekend or even day trip.
Playa Hermosa is the best beach for beginners and San Miguel is an awesome beach for experienced riders.
All in all, the breaks and swells are reliable and great.
Ensenada is a bit more touristy because it’s so close to the US and it’s easy to travel to. But still worth checking out.
If you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife and other things to do besides surfing, this is definitely the place to visit.
You’ll find plenty of options in Ensenada after you’re done surfing for the day!
4. Punta Mita
Located on a small peninsula in the Nayarit state of Mexico, Punta Mita is a gorgeous surf town.
There are some great breaks with its only downfall being it can get pricey since it’s in such a remote location.
However, if you’re looking for more of a luxurious Mexican surfing vacation, this is the place to be.
There are some gorgeous accommodations that overlook the surf break in Punta Mita. If you want an easy-to-access wave, right outside your window.
This is your place!
There are great waves within walking distance of the town which makes it very accessible.
Also, if you’re hoping to get away from the crowds, this is the perfect place to be!
|Be sure not to forget these essential items for Mexico|
Rosarito, I am sure you have heard one or two songs written about this surfer’s paradise.
Located in the state of Baja California on the peninsula, Rosarito is a magical town.
Since it’s super close to the US border, it’s popular as a weekend and even day trip from the US as it’s only a 30-minute drive from San Diego.
It has a large nightlife scene and lots of things to do.
If you’re looking to visit a surf town in Mexico, where you can do more than just surf, this is a great place to consider.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet some cool people and eat delicious food.
Rosarito is also known for getting great barrels. Go on get in that green room!
As well as many different beaches to explore.
The best break in Rosarito is Baja Malibu which has consistent breaks. Rosarito Beach is another great spot but it can get busy at times.
If you’re looking for a place close to the US border with lots to do and good waves, Rosarito is definitely your place.
6. Salina Cruz
Salina Cruz located in the southern state of Oaxaca has been attracting surfers for years.
What used to be a secret spot, is not a common destination for surfers.
Probably because of the consistency of the wave and the enticing warm water.
Be sure to follow proper surf etiquette when in the waters here, as locals aren’t too fond of the stream of tourists coming in.
The town itself is full of restaurants, bars, shops and just about anything else you can think of. Plenty to keep you busy on your vacation.
Mazatlán is not often thought of when you think of surfer towns in Mexico.
It is not so much on the radar as far as Baja California and Oaxaca go.
However, Mazatlán is pumping with epic waves and should be considered for your next holiday.
It is known as the land of the left-hand waves and although Mazatlán is on the larger scale of places to visit in Mexico, it still has a lot of charm and is worth checking out.
Pascuales is a surf town in the Mexican state of Colima. It’s not normally known as one of the best surfing regions in Mexico but it’s definitely underrated and has some great spots.
Since it’s not very touristy, the beach isn’t crowded and you’ll enjoy some great waves to yourself. Which is all the better.
Pascuales has some amazing breaks, but they’re more on the advanced scale.
Definitely consider this if you’re a novice or intermediate rider as the waves can reach more than 25 feet.
If you’re experienced, however, you may love this off-the-beaten-path location in Mexico.
The waves are some of the most visually appealing in Mexico with their rolls and barrels. If you want the picture-perfect experience, this is the place.
There isn’t much to do here besides go to the beach and surf, so if you are looking for some nightlife in your surf town, this is not the place.
This is for serious surfers only!
Located in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Zihuatanejo has great beaches including Playa La Ropa and Playa La Saladita being two of the most popular.
You’ll find palm trees, restaurants, and a lot of wildlife in this area.
It’s the perfect surf town to explore, enjoy wildlife, visit surrounding areas, and relax.
The town is small and is dedicated almost entirely to surfing which truly makes it one of the best surf towns in Mexico.
The breaks at Playa La Saladita is great if you are looking for a longwave.
Also known as the Wave Machine, because this beach has a great long, slow, rolling wave that people dream of.
It’s one of the longest left waves in Mexico and rides can last over a minute. All skill levels can enjoy this wave and join in at different positions.
The town itself is also full of great reggae beach vibes that you will surely fall in love with.
10. Puerto Vallarta
Located in the state of Jalisco on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is a great surf town to check out. It has beautiful beaches nearby with great waves for surfing, a nightlight scene, and many things to do.
The central downtown area has cobblestone streets, a quaint church, and many restaurants, bars, and shops.
It’s the perfect little area to stay and explore during slow mornings and afternoons in between sessions on the water.
El Malecón is a popular promenade where you’ll find a lot of things to do.
Puerto Vallarta is more bustling and lively than some of the other surf towns on this list.
So if you’re looking for a bit more of a city feel and lots of things to do, this is the spot for you.
As for the waves, they’re good in the city, but even better if you go out of the city a bit and get away from the crowds.
Puerto Vallarta is great because it’s such a versatile place to stay. You can explore neighboring cities to surf and have a great time in Puerto Vallarta itself.
11. La Saladita
This off-the-beaten-path secret surf spot in Mexico is becoming more and more popular with the long-boarding community.
It hosts Mexico’s longest wave, it has remained somewhat of a secret spot, due to its location. Besides surfing there is not much to do in this small surf town, so if you are looking for nightlife you might want to skip this spot.
However, if you are a hard core surf or inspiring to be one, this might be the perfect spot for you to practice your skills.
Final Thoughts on the Best Surf Towns in Mexico
Hopefully, this list has helped you consider some new surf towns you may want to check out.
There are so many unique places in the world that deserve to be seen and there are definitely other great surf towns in Mexico but this list includes some of the best.
For beginners to advanced riders, there is something for everyone. Go out there and get surfing!
2 thoughts on “11 Best Surf Towns in Mexico | Where to plan your next vacation”
What a list! Surfing towns are the bomb! They are so simple yet amazing destinations especially when you travel to surf! I’m sure you will also enjoy this list of surfing destinations around the world.
Sayulita and Puerto Escondido are my favorite surf towns in Mexico