Considering Mexico surfing holidays for your next surf trip? In this guide to the 11 best Mexican surf spots we explore the land of tequila, burritos, siestas, fiestas and some of the best surf on the planet!
Why consider Mexico surfing holidays?
Mexico’s Pacific coast is a haven for travelling surfers looking to score warm water barrels. While there are spots still waiting to be exposed to the mainstream surf communities, the best ones are already well known.
Which is not a bad thing as Mexico is a top surfing destination. Surfers from the US head way south and cross the border looking for fresh breaks, while tourists and travellers from all over the world fly in for the sun and fun.
11 best Mexican surf spots
Check out our list of the top 11 surf spots in Mexico. Please note, when they are firing these breaks are for experts only, however in most areas beginners and intermediates will also find more mellow waves to cut their teeth on.
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
Known as the Mexican Pipeline, Zicatela Beach doesn’t disappoint its Hawaiian cousin. Powered by mighty south swells and firing all summer long, this spot demands full commitment.
With gnarly rips and plenty of water churning around, you’ll need something a lot meatier than your 6’1” squashtail. Both the left and right can maintain shape at triple-overhead height. This ensures enormous heaving barrels – humbling paddles and leaving plenty of broken boards in it’s wake.
Offer reverence to locals, demonstrate you’ve got the mettle to make the drop, and you might just find yourself getting spat out of the most perfect, meanest barrel of your life.
A powerful beach break that draws comparison to Puerto Escondido for good reason. Sandy peaks here convert southern swells into picture-perfect barrels. More size does little to hurt the shape and a big day can see tow crews and 20-foot faces.
More often it’s working at a reasonable 8-10 feet and generously renting shady caves of water from May to October. Not for the inexperienced at any height, a blown drop probably means you’ll need a new board so be sure you’ve brought a quiver of step-ups in the van.
Drive north from Cabo at the tip of Baja for about an hour. You’re no longer in a resort town sipping margaritas and wading into room-temperature water.
Air and ocean temperature can drop significantly in just those sixty or so kilometres, so if you are looking for warm waters for your Mexico surfing holidays then this isn’t for you. But the upside is a thinner crowd and plenty of waves.
The consistency that Los Cerritos enjoys is a Mexican anomaly. Wintertime sees northern swells create a peeling right that wraps around the headland to the north. Summer sees southern energy liven up the peaks along the beach below the point. A-frames abound.
You probably won’t find perfect stand-up barrels here, but you will find plenty of waves to quench your thirst.
Killers, Todos Santos, Baja
You’ll definitely need a suit here. And a 10-foot gun. A loose screw or two wouldn’t hurt either! Todos is Mexico’s Mavericks and not just one of the best Mexican surf spots but a top big wave spot globally.
It’s a break that many have observed in awe, but few have conquered. An underwater trench ushers northwest swell directly down the point of Isla Todos Santos.
The rocky reef below can double up already nonsensical wave heights and detonate them with thundering results. It’s not so much surfing at Killers as it is outrunning death. Conquer this wave and the next thing you eat will be the best food you’ve ever tasted.
Not for the faint hearted or anyone but experts as a destination for Mexico surfing holidays!
Zippers, Cabo, Baja
Not far east from the vacation epicenter of Cabo San Lucas, Zippers is perhaps the most playful wave south of the border.
Don’t bother stopping by in winter, but time your Mexico surfing holidays in Zippers from April to September. Do this and you’ll have a chance to catch a wave that will remind you why you started surfing in the first place.
A mellow takeoff gives way to a racing right-hand wall that culminates in a makeable barrel section doubling as a launch ramp. The downside of Zippers is the crowd. Easily visible from the road with abundant parking and greedy locals, the intense enjoyment of the wave here is mirrored by its popularity.
All in all, Zippers certainly deserves a place on our 10 best Mexican surf spots list!
The closest wave to the US border on this top 10 and perhaps the biggest hassle to reach. Previously accessible by a steep escarpment from the road above, the cliffs are now fenced by a development company and the only way arrive is by boat.
Providing you have access to a watercraft that can make the trip, wait for a powerful long-period winter swell with more west in it than north. This right point setup only comes alive with perfectly angled energy and a low tide, but when it does a hollow, fast, and powerful wave is the result.
Easily one of the best Mexican surf spots and possibly one of the timeop breaks in all of the Americas. But Salsipuedes isn’t a huge secret so you certainly won’t be the only one in the water.
Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca
The eponymous break of a small village offers speedy, long rights off a rocky point. Previously unsurfed by the international crowd and unheard of for Mexico surfing holidays until the mid 1990s, Barra’s reputation for perfection precedes it these days.
Expect a generally relaxed atmosphere in town and a less friendly, although not terribly agro, mood in the lineup. The locals who dominate the point know how to surf and know how to keep you from surfing when it’s firing at double-overhead.
Just smile and wait your turn. Picking one off here is well worth the wait as it is easily one of best Mexican surf spots.
Rio Nexpa, Michoacan
Not surprising located at the river mouth of the Nexpa River, this left hand point comes to life in midsummer. When a good south swell and fading tide aligns, so do the ridgy sections.
A combination of pumping as it walls up and cutting back as it slows down will you get a seriously long, 200 metre ride down the beach. The other side of the point in front of the river month is known to hold some peaky perfection as well.
Salina Cruz, Oaxaca
The archetypal Mexican right point. Breaking off a jagged, boulder strewn headland this wave starts unnaturally slow and then speeds up as you head down the line. The lip is literally thrown over your head and there’s little you can do to avoid getting barreled.
The place would be exceptionally crowded except for a local coalition that acts to protect the spot from hoards of surfing tourists. To surf here you’ll need to hire a local surf guide registered with the coalition.
Once in the water the waves are for everyone. Just do your homework before taking a Mexico surfing holidays here as if you arrive unannounced you might not be able to get a guide.
About an hour north of Zihuatanejo is the former sleepy fishing village of Troncones. The point, jutting out into Manzanillo Bay attracts south swell like no other. Waves wrap around the point with stubborn consistency in the summer months.
Although occasionally getting huge with a powerful southern hemi, this spot is generally little more than a few feet overhead with some mushy sections to boot. A long ride here is hampered by the rocks which pop up inside.
Our list of 10 best Mexican surf spots wouldn’t be complete without Mazatlan. Directly across the Gulf of California from Cabo is the old port city of Mazatlan. North of the city stretch countless rocky points and bays including the recognizable left-hand point of Cannons.
If Baja wasn’t blocking winter swells from the north, this area would light up year round. Instead, wait for the summer to explore in a jeep and find forgotten lefts to satiate any goofy footer.
Remember, when firing the breaks listed above are not suitable for beginners or intermediates. But most of the destinations also have novice friendly waves where you can learn your trade!
I hope you found this list of the 11 best Mexican surf spots useful.If you are planning Mexico surfing holidays be sure to check out our surf discounts as you could save a fortune on your next trip.