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Mexico

Punta Mita Surf Guide: The Best Spots And Stays

Punta Mita, located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, is a surfer’s paradise. With some of the best breaks in Mexico, it’s no wonder why surfers from around the world flock to Punta Mita for a surf trip. The geography of Punta Mita is what makes it such a surf hotspot. The headland on the north side of the Bahia de Banderas provides a variety of waves that cater to all levels of surfers. From beginner-friendly waves to more challenging breaks, Punta Mita has it all.

punta mita peninsula
source: puntamita.com

Because the area can pick up north/northwest and southerly swells, the surfers can expect consistent waves relatively year-round.  Given its proximity to Puerto Vallarta it can make for a quick weekend surf trip to get away from the cold.  There are also a plethora of surf camps and lessons in this area, making it a popular pick for a first surf trip.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner, Punta Mita surf has something for everyone. With a plethora of surf spots to choose from, surfers can spend days exploring the different breaks and enjoying the beautiful scenery that Punta Mita has to offer.

Punta Mita Surf In A Nutshell:

  • Year-round surf
  • Ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers
  • Lots of surf camps and boats to take to distant waves
  • Some restricted access to certain spots
  • Has become more crowded over the past few years
  • Best surf is during the rainy season

Punta Mita, Punta de Mita, and Punta Mita area

There are a few distinctions to be made between these three similarly named, but different areas.  Punta Mita is the point of land with two luxury hotels (the Four Seasons and St. Regis) as well as two world golf courses.  Because of this, access to the surf spots on this point are tricky.  Punta de Mita refers to the village at the entrance to this resort area.  And the Punta Mita area ranges from Sayulita in the north to Cruz de Huanacastle in the south.

punta mita surf spots
There are many more spots than in this map, but we’ve highlighted a few of the more well-known breaks.

Best Surf Spots In Punta Mita

Knowing the local conditions is essential for a successful surf session in Punta Mita. The consistency of the waves depends on the season, with the winter months from November to March offering the best waves. The summer season from April to October has smaller waves, making it ideal for beginners.

The offshore winds and wind directions also play a significant role in the quality of the waves. The prevailing winds in Punta Mita are from the north, which creates offshore winds for the south-facing beaches. This means that the waves are cleaner and more organized, making it easier to surf.

For beginners, it is recommended to surf at beaches like El Anclote and La Lancha, which offer mellow waves and sandy bottoms. Intermediate surfers can head to Punta Burros, which has consistent waves and a reef bottom. Advanced surfers can challenge themselves at the infamous break known as “La Bahia,” which is a right-hand point break that requires skill and experience to surf.

Surfing in Sayulita and the Punta Mita Area - Epic Surf Break Guide by WildmexSurfing in Sayulita and the Punta Mita Area – Epic Surf Break Guide by Wildmex

The Cove / La Bahia

Many consider La Bahia or the Cove to be the premier surf spot in Punta Mita. The most convenient way to reach it is by water taxi from Punta de Mita. Alternatively, one can walk over the rocks from El Anclote beach, which takes about 30 minutes.

La Bahia boasts a long but sectiony right, making it ideal for shortboard surfing. However, the reef can be quite exposed during low tides, making it unsuitable for beginners. Surfing here is best during medium to high tide.

To reach La Bahia from Puerto Vallarta, it takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Buses or shared taxi vans (colectivos) are available to take you to all the other surf spots in Punta Mita.

El Faro

El Faro is known for its picturesque lighthouse, which gives the break its name. This point break offers a long, rippable right, making it an attractive destination for surfers of varying skill levels.  However, it’s at its best when there’s a healthy dose of west in the swell, and the waves are longer period.

The bottom consists of sand and rock, which contributes to the quality and consistency of the waves. Although El Faro is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers, it may not be the best choice for beginners due to the rocky bottom and potentially strong currents. During peak surf season, the lineup can get crowded, so it’s essential to practice proper surf etiquette and be respectful of other surfers in the water.

It’s possible to walk here, but it’s a pain in the neck.  You’re better off hiring a boat to get to the break.

El Anclote

El Anclote, located near Punta Mita, is a popular surf spot known for its gentle, long, and rolling waves, making it an ideal location for beginners, longboarders, and stand-up paddleboarders. The break is characterized by its slow, forgiving waves and a sandy bottom, creating a friendly environment for those new to the sport or looking for a more relaxed surfing experience.

The best conditions for surfing at El Anclote occur during a south or southwest swell, accompanied by reliably light winds from the north or northwest. The break is less sensitive to tides compared to other surf spots, but mid to high tides generally provide the most enjoyable rides.

El Anclote’s easy-going atmosphere and consistent waves make it a popular destination, so it can get crowded during peak surf season. It is crucial to practice proper surf etiquette and respect fellow surfers to maintain a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone in the water.

To access El Anclote, head to the town of Punta de Mita, where you’ll find ample parking near the beach. The break is conveniently located just a short walk from the parking area, making it easily accessible for surfers of all ages and experience levels.

 

La Lancha

La Lancha is one of Mexico’s most iconic surf spots, cherished by many locals who learned to surf there. It is located a ten-minute walk through a mangrove forest, with a stream that serves as an ecological preserve. The beach is pristine, with waves up and down the shore and a family-friendly atmosphere.

The surf at La Lancha is mellow and easy to catch, with two distinct peaks, one slightly easier than the other. Most surfers ride longboards or boards with more volume, and it has recently become a popular destination for some of the many surf camps and lessons. The bottom is a mix of sand and reef, with some exposed reef pockets during low tide that are easy to avoid.

Burros

Punta Burros, a favorite surf spot in the Bahia de Banderas Bay, offers up more challenging and fun waves for intermediate and expert surfers. While not the most ideal for first-time surfers, the rock bottom reef break generates primarily rights, with occasional lefts. The waves at Punta Burros are slightly bigger, faster, and more powerful than those at La Lancha or El Anclote, opportunities for barrel rides when the conditions are right. The left wave near the beach is more suitable for stand-up paddleboarding and beginners. The best time to visit Punta Burros is during the winter as the spot likes more west in the swell direction, but summer’s big south swells can also create some punch. Waves here typically range from head to chest high, occasionally reaching heights of 7 feet.  Hit this wave at high tide for best shape.

Sayulita

Sayulita is a charming and vibrant beach town located about 30 minutes north of Punta Mita. It’s known for its bohemian vibe, colorful streets, and great surf. Sayulita has a variety of surf breaks suitable for all levels, from beginner-friendly beach breaks to more challenging reef breaks. The town is also home to several surf schools and rental shops, making it a great place to learn to surf.  Sayulita is home to several professional longboard contests, including the Mexi Log Fest.

When To Travel To Punta Mita

You’ve got two seasons – Winter and Summer.  Honestly, either will do, although you’ll find more consistent and punchier surf if you wait for some west in the swell.  Bring your longboard or fish, as the waves here are fun but on the mushier side.

Winter is better for the breaks south of Punta Mita, in the Banderas Bay area as the northwest swells wrap around the ponit and clean up.  Summer is peak season for the points north of Punta Mita, as the lefthand breaks north of Sayulita light up.

Bring a spring suit as the water here isn’t always super tropical unless you’re in the peak summer months.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temp (°C) 24 24 25 26 27 28 29 29 29 28 27 25
Temp (°F) 75.2 75.2 77 78.8 80.6 82.4 84.2 84.2 84.2 82.4 80.6 77

Where to Stay in Punta Mita

Hotels and Resorts

There are several hotels and resorts in Punta Mita that cater to surfers. One of the most popular options is the Dreams Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort, which offers access to some of the best surf spots in the area. The resort also has a spa, restaurants, and other amenities that make it a great choice for those who want to relax after a day of surfing.

Another great option is the Punta Mita Surf Lodge, which offers a range of accommodations, from apartments to villas. The lodge is located close to some of the best surf spots in the area, and it also has a pool and other amenities that make it a great choice for surfers.

Our friends recently stayed at the Secrets Bahia Mita Surf and Spa all-inclusive resort, which has a surf spot right out front so you can go there straight from the airport and you don’t need a car.



Booking.com

Punta Mita Surf Towns

In addition to hotels and resorts, there are also several surf towns in the Punta Mita area that offer accommodations for surfers. Sayulita is one of the most popular surf towns in the area, and it has a range of accommodations, from hostels to luxury villas. The town also has a lively surf culture and plenty of surf shops and schools.

Another popular surf town in the area is San Pancho, which is known for its relaxed atmosphere and great surf spots. The town has a range of accommodations, from small guesthouses to larger hotels, and it also has plenty of restaurants and bars.

Surfing Equipment and Instruction

Punta Mita has a variety of surf shops where you can rent or buy surfing equipment. Some of the popular surf shops in the area include WildMex Surf School & Adventure Center, Tranquilo Surf, and Stinky’s Surf School. These shops offer a wide range of surfboards, wetsuits, and other surfing gear.

WildMex Surf School & Adventure Center, located in Sayulita and Punta Mita, offers surfboard rentals, surf lessons, and surf camps. They have a team of experienced surf instructors who provide personalized instruction to surfers of all levels.

Tranquilo Surf, located in Punta Mita, offers surf lessons, surf guide and tours, and whale watching. They have a large quiver of boards and all the equipment you need.

Stinky’s Surf School, located in Punta de Mita, offers individual or group surfing lessons for all levels. They have a variety of surfboards and all the necessary equipment.

 

Local Grinds: Where To Eat In Punta Mita

Punta Mita offers a variety of excellent dining options, ranging from casual street food to upscale restaurants. Some of our favorite places to eat in Punta Mita include:

  1. Tuna Blanca – By Thierry Blouet: A stylish and elegant restaurant situated right on the beach, Tuna Blanca offers a fine dining experience with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. The menu features Mexican and international dishes, including a variety of seafood options.
  2. MINA (formerly Si Señor): A popular choice among both locals and visitors, MINA serves traditional Mexican cuisine in a vibrant, colorful setting. The menu includes favorites such as tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas, as well as a selection of seafood dishes.
  3. La Cabana: This laid-back beachfront eatery offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes, including ceviche, fish tacos, and grilled shrimp. Enjoy your meal with a cold beverage while taking in the beautiful ocean views.
  4. Hector’s Kitchen: With a focus on farm-to-table cuisine, Hector’s Kitchen serves up innovative dishes inspired by Mexican and Mediterranean flavors. The menu changes frequently to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients.
  5. Margarita’s On The Hills Restaurant: A casual dining option, Margarita’s offers a variety of Mexican and international dishes, as well as an extensive margarita menu. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly service make it a great choice for a laid-back meal.

Hayley Gordon

Hayley Gordon has been surfing for over 20 years. Riding both shortboards and longboards, she's traveled the world to surf but mainly sticks to her two home locations of San Diego and Long Island.
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Marco Pereira
11 months ago

I extend sincere gratitude for the brilliant article highlighting Punta Mita’s surfing marvels. The vivid description of its stunning waves, diverse surf spots, and vibrant local culture was deeply captivating. The enchanting imagery provided an irresistible glimpse into this Mexican paradise. As an ardent surfer, this piece has fanned the flames of my wanderlust and cemented Punta Mita on my travel itinerary. I eagerly anticipate experiencing its mesmerizing waves and the serene charm firsthand. A heartfelt thank you for bringing Punta Mita’s splendor to the forefront.

Surf’s up, Punta Mita!

Marco Pereira, Porto Surf School

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