Puerto Vallarta Surfing Guide
The Suite Marine Puerto Vallarta surfing guide is a detailed look at the main surfing locations near Puerto Vallarta.
With the exception of Quimixto in the south, most of the good surf action is on the north side of the Banderas Bay. If you look at the Suite Marine Top 15 Puerto Vallarta beaches guide you can see that the best beaches are generally in the south of the Bay. So it’s fair to say it’s surfing to the north, beach life to the south.
Close to Punta de Mita, there is usually warm waters, a mix of different surf breaks, and gentle winds which all make for amazing surfing destinations.
There are more than 20 breaks from Punta de Mita to Bucerias. Having a boat helps to get those uncrowded waves along the coastal area.
Chacala is a good place for boogie boarders, beginner surfers and those trying out stand up paddleboarding.
In the south end of the main beach, there is a surfable barrel going left and right. You have to hit it correctly at the beginning and end of a swell.
Just north of Chacala is La Caleta (not on the map above but worth a mention). Depending on the day it has long waves and can hold any size of swell. The bigger the swell, the better the ride. Caleta is becoming increasingly recognized by surfers all over Mexico, and you should try it out!
Lo De Marcos
The surf break at Lo De Marcos is varied and ranges from timid to large angry breakers.
Most of the surf break at Lo De Marcos happens at the southern end of the beach, close to the peninsula. Suitable for everyone, younger boarders and dedicated surfers enjoy large breakers that crash quickly and produce a long, strong churn.
San Pancho (San Francisco)
San Pancho is a popular spot because it has consistent open reef surfing conditions and left reef breaks. Located just 10 minutes north of Sayulita, it is not difficult to find. At either end of the beach, you can catch point breaks. There is a beach break close to the lagoon. Also, be mindful of the strong undertow.
San Pancho’s Surf Shop on Calle America Latina will have accurate information about safe places to surf.
If you visit Puerto Vallarta chances are that the town of Sayulita will be mentioned either as a fantastic day trip, for it’s shopping or for the amazing surfing. It’s often referred to as a “surf town” with a hippy vibe but that’s not quite accurate.
Sayulita is well-known for friendly surf breaks.
There are two main surf spots in the area. In the picture below, there is the right surf break in front of the village and a left break in front of the campground, towards the north. The right surf break is faster.
You will be able to rent surfboards and surfing equipment for many rental shops along the beach.
Sayulita is great if you are learning to surf. The waves are good because they are not too big, fast, or heavy. Sayulita has mostly beach break conditions and a left reef break. The best thing about Sayulita surf is that it is consistent.
Surfing in Sayulita is essential and works for everything. It has excellent waves for shortboard or longboard, and in 2015 hosted the Stand Up Paddle World Championships.
Read more about surfing, stand up paddleboarding in Sayulita and the famous Todos Santos mythical wave.
Surfing spots around Punta Mita
El Anclote is popular with longboard surfers because of a slow, gentle swell. This makes it suitable for beginners also.
El Faro (The Lighthouse) has very reliable surfing conditions. It is a point break and reef break. Walk along the beach from El Anclote about 15 minutes to the area in front of the Four Seasons Resort. You can also hire a panga boat to get you there. Swells from the north and northwest create perfect lines, ranging from slow peeling waves on smaller swells to large barreling waves that will get your adrenaline going with medium to large swells.
Many of the locals say that The Cove is the best place to surf in Bahía de Banderas. It comes highly recommended at high tide. Low tide is considered much easier to surf, but that is a good option for beginners.
The best way to get to The Cove is by boat.
La Lancha has a right reef break and is popular with beginners and seasoned surfers. The beach atmosphere is relaxed with local families and holidaymakers often picnicking on the beach.
Los Veneros typically has slow rolling reef breaks. The waves can be unpredictable sometimes which will attract certain surfers. 8 kilometers on the north highway towards Punta de Mita, there is a trail just before the Costa Banderas Development Park. Follow the trail through the jungle until you get to the beach.
Punta del Burros
Punta del Burros is close enough to Los Veneros. there is a flat, natural and somewhat secluded beach to enjoy.
Punta del Burros is a popular, sometimes crowded reef break and more consistent in the winter months. The waves here are suitable for both shortboards and longboards and you can practically surf here all year round. The beach is easy to access which also adds to its popularity.
Quimixto is the only surfing spot south of Puerto Vallarta in our guide. It is also a very unique location and can only be accessed by boat or a water taxi. There is no access by land. Quimixto is uniquely a beach break and quite consistent in the summer months. It offers both left and right breaks and because of its remote location is not often crowded.
To get to Quimixto, take a water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan or the “Los Muertos” pier. Water taxi operators in this area are suited to transporting surfers.
Learn to surf in Puerto Vallarta
Teaching yourself and/or the kids to surf could be a great activity for the family when on vacation in Puerto Vallarta. As the guide above shows, there are plenty of good places to test the waters.
For surfing lessons, surfing information and local guides and rental equipment, check the links below.
For all other activities and best things to do in Puerto Vallarta see our complete page