Baja Mexico Surf Spots

Surfing in Baja began in the mid 1940’s when vacationing
surfers ventured south of the border looking for quality waves.
Since then, surfers have been returning year after year, and season after season, with countless stories of perfect peeling right-hand point breaks, barreling beach breaks and freak, big wave surf spots.

Baja can be divided into two major surf regions: Northern Baja and Southern Baja. Northern Baja is much colder than Southern Baja. There is good surf year-round in Northern Baja, but it really fires during the winter months from large northwest groundswells. It’s not uncommon to need full suits, booties and a hood while surfing in Northern Baja.

Cabo San Lucas in Baja’s southern region is definitely the main draw for most traveling surfers. Cabo San Lucas and Southern Baja can produce good surf year-round, but it really lights up during the summer months when the southern hemisphere swells start to send long-period southwest groundswell into the coast. This is the secret ingredient needed for Cabo’s world-class surf spots to really fire.

Cabo San Lucas was once a warm water getaway for California surfers looking to escape the cold. Today, Cabo San Lucas is a colorful vacation town that boasts 5-star resorts just steps from the world-class surf. However, with high-priced oceanfront resorts come overcrowded lineups. It’s still an amazing place to visit and surf, but if you're looking to escape the crowds and the scene, then you'd better look elsewhere.

Beware: Traveling through Baja is a great adventure, but each region is filled with petty thieves, banditos, drug smugglers, and Federals that are always looking for a bribe. We advise you not tocamp at any location by yourself. Always travel and surf with a large group.

Find a surf school in Baja, Mexico.

Read Our Ensenada Surf Travel Guide.

Surfing in Northern Baja

Northern Baja remains relatively unchanged, as a place where traveling surfers can find perfect waves without the crowds. Some coastal developments and vacation residences have sprouted up in the larger towns of Ensenada and San Quintin. These towns are a good jumping-off point for surfing and exploring the wave-rich surrounding area.

 

Baja Malibu

Surf Location 20 minutes south of the border, just above the Rosarito beaches
Best Swell Direction Northwest
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction Northeast or East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Not named after the original Malibu in California. This spot is a fun beach break that is very consistent year-round. This place picks up a lot of swell and can get very big and hollow.
The Surfers Can get crowded on a good swell. Lots of traveling San Diego surfers check this spot, plus a good number of locals live right in front of the beach.
Boards Shortboard, fish, fun shape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult depending on the swell size
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For... Rips and undertow
Water Condition Dirty/Polluted
 

Rosarito Beaches

Surf Location 30 minutes south of the border
Best Swell Direction Combo swells are the best, ground swells can close out on larger sizes
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Year round, but summer and fall are best
Wave Quality The beach and breaks at Rosarito are numerous and varied. This is a long stretch of coast that is mostly beach break, with the biggest waves on the south end of the bay.
The Surfers Not usually crowded, plenty of room to spread out
Boards Shortboard, fish, fun shape, and longboard
Paddle Out Moderate, but can be tough depending on the swell
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For... Rips, undertows, sharks
Water Condition Dirty/Polluted
 

Mushrooms

Surf Location Just south of Calafia, in front of the big pink tower
Best Swell Direction Southwest, Northwest
Best Tide Incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer and Fall
Wave Quality Right-hand rock reef break. The bay is very shallow and laden with rocks, so it’s pretty dangerous.
The Surfers Not many surfers stop at this spot, but those that do score some really fun wavesk
Boards Shortboard, fish, fun shape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Advanced
Bottom Reef, rocks
Watch Out For... Rocks, sharks, urchins
Water Condition Dirty
 

Calafia

Surf Location Six miles south of Rosarito Beach in front of Hotel Calafia
Best Swell Direction Southwest, West, or a large Northwest swell
Best Tide High
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season Best summer and fall, but consistent all year
Wave Quality Right-hand point break
The Surfers Will get crowded during good swells
Boards Big wave gun, shortboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Advanced
Bottom Rocks and sand
Watch Out For... Sharp rocks, urchins (wear booties)
Water Condition Dirty
 

Salsipuedes

Surf Location 51 miles south of the border
Best Swell Direction Needs a good size swell to start breaking, best from southwest to northwest
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer and Winter (??)
Wave Quality Perfect peeling right-hand point break. This is a heavy wave that races down the point. Definitely one of the best waves on the west coast.
The Surfers Gets crowded. Traveling California surfers have this place wired.
Boards Shortboard, longboard
Paddle Out Difficult, these spots only break on large swells
Skill Level Experienced surfers only
Bottom Rock and sand
Watch Out For... The cliffs and rocks
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

San Miguel

Surf Location San Miguel
Best Swell Direction West, Northwest
Best Tide Mid to high
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Very fast right-hand point break. Consistently, one of the best waves in northern Baja. San Miguel is fast, powerful, and hollow.
The Surfers This place gets crowded
Boards Shortboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult; watch out for the sea urchins
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Rocks
Watch Out For... Sharks, urchins
Water Condition Dirty/Polluted
 

Todos Santos (The Killers)

Surf Location In the town of Ensenada. Todos Santos Island is only accessible by boat or jet ski.
Best Swell Direction Northwest, West
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Consistently produces some of the biggest waves in the Pacific during the winter months. There are a variety of breaks around the island. Isla Natividad: World-class beachbreak. Killers: one of the original big wave surfing spots. Chicken’s and Thor’s Hammer are nearby and provide smaller waves for those not interested in large surf.
The Surfers There are definitely crowds at these spots, mostly professionals and experienced surfers
Boards Big wave gun, tow board and equipment, big wave shortboard
Paddle Out Difficult
Skill Level Experienced surfers
Bottom Rock and sand
Watch Out For... Sharks, rocks
Water Condition Clean
 

Shipwrecks (Chainsaw Point)

Surf Location 120 miles south of the border just past Colonet at the shipwreck “Maria de Carmen”
Best Swell Direction Southwest and Northwest
Best Tide Incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction East and Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer through Winter
Wave Quality Mushy right-hand point break that can produce rides over 100 yards long. Good longboard wave. Generally smaller here than other area surf spots.
The Surfers There is a resort on the point by the break, so it depends on the season
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard, stand-up paddle board
Paddle Out Easy to moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand and rock
Watch Out For... Getting tangled in the kelp
Water Condition Clean
 

The Seven Sisters Region

Surf Location This area stretches from Punta Cono to Punta Rosarito. About 400 miles south of the San Diego border.
Best Swell Direction West to Northwest. Most of these waves need a good-sized swell to start breaking.
Best Tide Low - Mid
Best Wind Direction East or Northeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A series of awesome right-hand point breaks that peel perfectly. This stretch of coast resembles Morocco in terms of the numerous perfect right-hand point breaks available.
The Surfers The water isn’t too crowded, unlike the beach which can be filled with campers at times
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard, stand-up paddle board
Paddle Out Easy to moderate most days
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Flat rocks and sand
Watch Out For... Terrible roads, Mexican development destroying the waves, kelp
Water Condition Mostly clean
 

Surfing in Southern Baja

Southern Baja surf spots are very different from those in the Northern regions. Geographically, everything looks pretty much the same: dry desert mountains and cliffs that spill dramatically into the Pacific Ocean. However, water and air temps are generally much warmer in the south. Heavy wetsuits are not needed - a 3/2 at most during January/February when water temps drop to around 65 degrees. Plus, Southern Baja surf spots are more reliant on south to southwest swells to produce the best waves at area breaks.

 

La Bocana

Surf Location About 12 miles off of the main highway, Mexico 1
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide Incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction Offshore from the northwest
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Fun beachbreak waves
The Surfers Nnot very crowded
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For... Rips, some rocks
Water Condition Clean
 

Scorpion Bay

Surf Location San Juanico; requires off-road driving to access
Best Swell Direction Large southwest or west swells
Best Tide High tide; low tide exposes the lava reefs and makes wipeouts brutal on your body
Best Wind Direction East or Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Legendary right-hand point break. Scorpion Bay is actually a series of 6 point breaks that can all connect on bigger swells. Third point is the main draw – it’s fast and more hollow and peels for over 100 yards. Watch where the crowd sits to determine which point you want to surf.
The Surfers Very crowded, surfers camp for days and weeks waiting on Scorpion Bay to come alive
Boards Shortboard, fish, fun shape, longboard, stand-up paddle board
Paddle Out Long but fairly easy
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sharp reef with sand
Watch Out For... Sharp volcanic rock
Water Condition Clean
 

Playa Pescadero

Surf Location South of Todos Santos near Km. 60
Best Swell Direction South or Southwest
Best Tide Low to incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality A right-hand reef break with excellent form
The Surfers Crowd-free
Boards Shortboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Sea urchins on the reef
Water Condition Clean
 

Playa Los Cerritos

Surf Location South of Playa Pescadero near Km. 64
Best Swell Direction Southwest or Northwest
Best Tide Low to incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Summer and Winter
Wave Quality Very consistent right-hand point break that is good for all ability levels. Waves are pretty mellow so it’s a good beginners spot. But when a big swell hits, it’s for experienced surfers only.
The Surfers Very crowded, this is the most consistent spot in the area
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Rock reef
Watch Out For... Reef, the crowd
Water Condition Clean
 

Monuments - Cabo San Lucas

Surf Location East of Cabo San Lucas off Highway 1, near the Mission del Cabo Hotel
Best Swell Direction West-Southwest, South
Best Tide Low incoming tide
Best Wind Direction Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Very consistent and powerful left-hand point break. Monuments gets hollow at lower tides, but is safer to surf at high tide.
The Surfers Can get crowded - this is one of the only left point breaks in the region
Boards Shortboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Rocks, boulders
Watch Out For... Urchins, jellyfish
Water Condition Mostly clean
 

Old Man’s (Acapulquito) - Cabo San lucas

Surf Location In front of the Cabo Surf Hotel in the Costa Azul area. It’s the first break as you head into the Costa Azul area.
Best Swell Direction South or Southwest
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Long, mushy right-hand reef break that is perfect for beginners or chill longboarders
The Surfers Plenty of surfers frequent this spot. Lots of travelers.
Boards Fish, funboard, longboard, stand-up paddle board
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Reef and rock
Watch Out For... The crowds
Water Condition Clean
 

The Rock - Cabo San lucas

Surf Location Located between Playa Acapulquito and Zippers. The second breaks in the Costa Azul area.
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Incoming
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Awesome right-hand reef break
The Surfers Very crowded with territorial locals, so mind your manners
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Reef with exposed rocks
Watch Out For... Reef and rocks, this wave breaks in very shallow water
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

Zippers - Cabo San lucas

Surf Location Just west of Cabo San Lucas
Best Swell Direction South to Southwest
Best Tide Incoming
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Awesome right-hand point break
The Surfers Very crowded, everyone surfs here and accepts the madnesse
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Crowds
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

Shipwrecks - Cabo San lucas

Surf Location Very hard to find. Shipwrecks is located in front of Rancho Rocas del Mar.
Best Swell Direction South
Best Tide Incoming
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Awesome right-hand point break. There is also a left at the other end of the bay. Stunning coastal scenery.
The Surfers Not too terribly crowded since it’s so difficult to get here. Typically more experienced and well-traveled surfers are here escaping the crowds.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Getting lost or stuck in the sand
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

Nine Palms - Cabo San lucas, Sea of Cortez

Surf Location Look for a group of 9 palm trees around Rancho Santa Elena
Best Swell Direction Needs a strong south swell to break
Best Tide Incoming
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Fun right-hand reef break that is good for all ability levels
The Surfers Not too crowded due to lack of consistency
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Nothing
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

Punta Perfecta - Cabo San lucas

Surf Location South of Vinorama
Best Swell Direction Needs a strong south swell to break
Best Tide Incoming
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Summer, May-October
Wave Quality Powerful right-hand point/reef break that is best for experienced surfers. Punta Perfecta does throw down some power and produces some great tubes.
The Surfers This place doesn’t break too often, but when it does it gets very crowded
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Advanced
Bottom Reef
Watch Out For... Crowds and strong wipeouts
Water Condition Clean and clear
 
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