- North America
- Lauren Cocking
Ensenada, Baja California
A stalwart of the Mexican surfing scene, Ensenada is just outside up-and-coming travel destination Tijuana and not far from the US border, meaning it attracts surfers from all over the world. While the water is cold on the beaches in Ensenada, they do have some of the best waves around, especially in wintertime. For those with some experience under their belt, the famed San Miguel beach is probably the best place to check out, with its consistent breaks and reliable swells. Todos Santos is up there too.
Best beach for beginners: Playa Hermosa
Best beach for pros: San Miguel or Todos Santos
Ensenada, Baja California, México
While Mazatlán has undeniably developed a negative reputation in recent years, it must be said that the surf potential makes it still worth the trip. In the western state of Sinaloa, Mazatlán has perhaps the best all-rounder beaches for surfing in Mexico. From the family-friendly, excellent for surf newbies Playa Los Pinos to the crashing break of Olas Altas, whichever beach you choose, keep in mind that the Mazatlán surfing season runs from April to October.
Best beach for beginners: Playa Los Pinos
Best beach for pros: Playa Olas Altas
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México
A local favourite and well-known amongst hippie travellers as the best destination for beachside raves, the quaint and colourful town of Sayulita in Nayarit is also one of the best surfing destinations in the country. Right along the beautiful, if fairly petite, stretch of Playa Sayulita sand you can find numerous classes offering surf rental and lessons, making it the perfect place for surfers of all abilities. December to April sees the best swell.
Best beach for beginners: Playa Sayulita
Best beach for pros: Playa Carricitos
Sayulita, Nayarit, México
Moving down the Mexican coast and into the tiny state of Colima, whose surf potential is sometimes overlooked. Easily the most famous beach is Boca de Pascuales, which is legendary for its towering breaks and tubes that come from all directions and should only be taken on by experts. However, there are still plenty of spots for newbies to give surfing a go in Cuyutlán, well-known for its ola verde (green wave).
Best beach for beginners: Cuyutlán
Best beach for pros: Boca de Pascuales
Cuyutlán, Colima, México
La Ticla, Michoacán
La Ticla is a small Nahuatl village in Michoacán, the state which has sadly garnered a poor reputation for drugs and violence over the last few years. However, if you’re just looking for great surfing then this is definitely a spot to consider, on the southwest Mexican coastline. If you think this (relatively) quiet surf destination might be the one for you, head there in summer and make the most of the waves, although they’re pretty good all year round.
La Ticla, Michoacán, México
This former fishing village turned surf hotspot has a reputation amongst those in the know for crashing waves at Troncones Point, yet you can also find great spots to start your surfing journey in and around Troncones, Guerrero too – in fact, it’s been described as one of the best spots for beginner surfers. The amount of surf stores and classes attest to that! While you’ll get decent waves all year round, the spring to summer months are preferable.
Best beach for beginners: Playa Troncones
Best beach for pros: Troncones Point
Troncones, Guerrero, México
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
The Puerto Escondido zone as a whole is world-famous for crashing waves and excellent surf conditions, as well as a wealth of surfing pros who come to try their hand in the southern Mexican seas. As a rule, we recommend this spot for more advanced surfers who’ve had some experience on the board; however, that’s not to say that there aren’t beaches in the area suited to beginners. If Puerto Escondido sounds like the beach for you, we’ve written a more comprehensive guide to Mexico’s worst kept secret here.
Best beach for beginners: Playa Zicatela
Best beach for pros: La Punta
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, México