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Surfing Panama

Surfing Panama – A Surfers Paradise

Panama links Central America to South America, officially called the Republic of Panama (more here from wikipedia).

Panama has some of the best surf breaks in all of Central America. Whether you like point breaks, beach breaks, hollow tubes, or long peelers, Panama has a variety of surf breaks to accommodate your style.

Surf-Camp-Bocas-Del-Toro-Panama-Playa-Paunch-Surf

Bocas Del Toro Panama

Panama is still virgin and you can catch most of the best surf spots by yourself with your buddies. Few people know about its surfing potential, which is a big plus for surfers who visit.

[box type=”info”] Panama has started gaining popularity among the surfers around the globe but is still a wonderful surf travel destination and is nowhere as crowded as its northern neighbor Costa Rica.[/box]

Advantages of Surfing in Panama

Panama’s roads are of the best in Central and South America, with 4 lane highways all over the country for quick access to the surf breaks. The transportation system is very good, and buses and taxis are readily available from the international airport.

Panama is also one of the safest places in the world. In general, you can surf, roam the streets, party, or shop care free, at any time day or night.

Panama also has an excellent communications system so you can easily call your girlfriend, family or business back home at any time without any hassle. You can even rent a cellular phone for your surf trip, so you can be always in communication.

Panama’s hospitals are of the best in Central America, so in the event that you got beatings on the rocks or reef while surfing (God Forbid), you can be guaranteed that you will be assisted by well-trained health care professionals.

Panama is still inexpensive. At the beaches, you can generally get a great meal for under $4, and budget hotels range from $20 to $50 per room per night, depending on your style. Bus transportation can cost anywhere from $0.30 to $15 depending on where you are going.

Best time to Surf in Panama

seasons

The Pacific side is best in the months between April and November. The Caribbean side is best between December and March, but can get swells any time of the year except the time between September and November.

Panama Surf Spots Chart

Panama Surf Spots

Panama Surf Spots

The Surf spots in Panama are scattered across the Caribbean Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Panama City, Los Santos, Veraguas, Chiriqui.

Let’s check the forecast right now . . .

Pacific



Caribbean


Caribbean Ocean

On the Caribbean side the surf breaks are all spread out around the islands of Bocas del Toro, Bastimientos and Carenero. You can get to the breaks on the main island by taxi, and to the breaks on Bastimientos Carenero by boat taxi. You don’t have to worry about tides for these spots since the Caribbean ocean does not have much fluctuation of tide. One of the most famous spots is Bocas del Toro.

Isla Bocas del Toro 

The islands of Bocas del Toro on the northern Caribbean side of Panama have some of the best surfing in Panama, with a wide variety of surf breaks. The best surf period is from December through March which is dry season.

The surf here is island/reef surf, similar to what a surfer might find in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean. Great qualities about Bocas are:
  • Consistent Swell
  • Quality and Powerful Surf
  • A Tropical Surfing Experience
  • Scalable

Bocas del Toro has great surf spots for everyone from Beginner to Advanced skill levels and  there are places to surf alone without much crowd.

Pacific Ocean Panama

Starting from the beaches in the province of Darien, travel along the coast through Panama City, then the Panama Bay Area beaches, then the Peninsula area of Los Santos and finally the provinces of Veraguas and Chiriqui. The Pacific side has so many beach breaks which would suit all skill levels.

Panama City

Panama City has a few different surf breaks, however, it is not hugely recommended due to the city pollution that has gone into the ocean and the government is in the process of cleaning it up. Also, there must be a really big swell for these spots to break.

Los Santos: Pedasi / Tonosi

The province of Los Santos has some of the best surf in Panama, as it is located out on the peninsula of Panama. That is the part of Panama that looks like a boot that sticks out in the Pacific ocean.

To get there, you go down the Pan American highway, then take a left at Divisa, then go through Chitre, then through Las Tablas, then to Pedasi.  At Pedasi,  the beaches begin, and run all the way through Tonosi to the end of the road at Cambutal. There are dozens of unexplored beaches in this area.

Veraguas

The province of  Veraguas has some of the best surf known to Panama and Central America for that matter. This is the area around the back (west) side of the Peninsula. The main breaks are all close to the town of Santa Catalina.

Veraguas Panama

Veraguas Panama

Chiriqui: Islas

The province of Chiriqui  has several islands in the Pacific that have really good surf. These islands are very remote and generally only those who have access by sail boat or yacht can get to them. However, there are some tour operators that offer specialized tours to these exclusive surf locations.

There is also excellent fishing in this area, and there is one particular spot in the area called “Hannibal Bank” that is world-famous for catching marlin and sail fish. Most of the big fishing charter yachts in Central America go there to fish. The surf breaks are relatively unexplored.

Chiriqui: Islas Panama

Chiriqui: Islas Panama

Chiriqui: David

The city of David has several spots that are worth mentioning and they get the same swell direction of Chiriqui Islands and the Peninsula waves. This area is also relatively unexplored.

Getting There Panama

International flights arrive at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City. Services arrive daily from the US (most are routed through Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston or Miami) and other Central and South American cities; KLM and Iberia fly from Amsterdam and Madrid, respectively. Flights from San José, in neighboring Costa Rica, often stop in David before continuing on to Panama City. The recently upgraded airport in David is expected to see direct international flights from and to the US at some point.

You can cross into Panama by land from Costa Rica, but due to security concerns it’s not possible to do so from Colombia. Instead, backpackers are increasingly booking passages by boat.

Where To Stay in Panama Surf Trip

Hotel Oasis Panama

Hotel Oasis Panama

Hotel Oasis Panama

Hotel Oasis is located on Caranero Island just a $1 water taxi ride away from the main island. It has been described as the cleanest place in town. The staff seems to be super friendly and accommodating.

One couple missed breakfast by 30 minutes and they still insisted on feeding them and giving them coffee.

A few other reviewers said that they had been able to check in way earlier then the hotel’s scheduled check in time because their flights arrived early.

Jose and his wife (the owners) are very helpful and will go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. They know every tour guide in town by name and will hook you up with the best deal they can. All rooms come with A/C and cable TV.

The rooms with balconies and hammocks are $10 more per night but totally worth it since they’re right on the water. They also have an outdoor deck area above the water to chill and read a book. No toiletries are provided other than soap so bring your own shampoo! And make sure you bring a lot of dollar bills. No not for the strip club this time 😉 for the water taxi rides back and forth. Oh and the hotel only takes cash as well so hit up an ATM on your way there.

Hotel Caribbean View Panama

Surfing Panama Hotel Caribbean View Panama

Hotel Caribbean View Panama

Hotel Caribbean View is located on Isla Bastimentos. It’s more of an affordable, basic or maybe even rustic type of place. The food is excellent! Cooked by Luis and assisted by his wife, daughters and grandchildren.

In one of the reviews one person stated that it was “The best Lobster I’ve had in Central America” and she was from Maine so that says a lot. The lobsters even arrive in the same boat as you. The restaurant also offers a very good breakfast including pineapple pancakes and a decent cup of coffee.

The rooms like I said are pretty rustic. Nice and clean but basic and the bathroom was described as small and dark. All of the rooms come with A/C and free WiFi. When you’re ready to head to the main island you can grab a water taxi right from the dining room on dock over the water.

The owner’s son is also available to take you out on boat trips at our convenience. There is no ATM on Isla Bastimentos so stop in Isla Colon before you get there.

Hotel Villa Romana Panama Surf Trip

Hotel Villa Romana

Hotel Villa Romana

Hotel Villa Romana is an oceanfront hotel in Puerto Escondido (Pedasi), Panama. Pictures just don’t do it justice it’s a very beautiful hotel as the reviewers on tripadvisor.com said over and over again.

They have 21 Ocean view suites that are simple yet comfortable. A nice pool with a separate shallow pool for the kids and chairs under wooden framed covered vines so they don’t get sunburnt.

Villa Romana has an amazing restaurant that has a 180 degree view of the ocean and you might even see some whales pass by if you are there just after whale season starts.

Jessica the manager and Anna are very helpful and friendly. Nothing is too much trouble for them. They have cool night shows and even a children’s mini disco! Reviewer tip: Look for discounts or deals before you book you just might luck out.

Where to Eat Panama Surf Trip

Capitan Caribe

Surfing Panama

The Captain Caribe

Capitan Caribe is a food truck located in Bocas Town. Don’t let the term “food truck” scare you off though.

The Captain Caribe burger is described as being the “Best burger in all of Central and South America!” and their burritos are even better! Luigi the chef and the rest of the crew are really fun, friendly guys that love their job.

The food is super delicious, affordable and made with fresh and local ingredients. They even have vegetarian options that aren’t listed on the menu if you just ask.

There’s outdoor seating or you can just order it to go and take it back to your hotel. Just make sure you get there before 7 or else the lines will be crazy long or they might even run out of food. Try the Bocas Love Smoothie while you’re there too!

Los Pibes

Surfing Panama

Los Pibes

Los Pibes located in Santa Catalina is open for dinner and late night. They are an Argentinian grill but from what I can tell from the reviews the steak is thin and overcooked.

The burgers and fish on the other hand are outstanding! The Chimichurri sauce is so good you’ll ask for seconds and they serve yummy sangria and have great wine.

Don’t expect anything fancy, this is a laid back place with smashed surfboards for decor. Great place to go with your surf bros when you want a good burger. Oh and they don’t take credit cards so bring cash.

 The Sea Monkey Restaurant and Bar

surfing panama

The Sea Monkey Restaurant and Bar

The Sea Monkey is located in Isla Bastimentos just a 10 minute water taxi ride from Bocas Town. It’s one of the highest recommended places I’ve seen in Panama and for good reason.

Ryan and Stacey are the owners and are some of the most friendly welcoming people you will ever meet. They treat each guest like royalty.

They have a very user-friendly menu varying from International, Fusion, Mexican and Asian dishes. Try the “famous” ravioli and curry while you’re there.

The only complaints I’ve seen were they should have “finely chopped the salad more” and “the portions should have been bigger cause it was so good I would’ve eaten it all again”. Enjoy some fun cocktails under the fairy lights while listening to music at this very yummy yet affordable establishment.

Surf Camps in Panama

Morro Negrito

Surf Camps in Panama

Surf Camps in Panama

Located on a pristine island off the Pacific coast of Panama, you will have wave after wave to just you and your friends. Multiple islands surround Morro Negrito and each one provides its own unique wave.

From fast hollow point breaks to sand bottom beach breaks, everything is covered. Morro Negrito surf camp is a wonderful place for almost anyone to go. The surf breaks range from a beginner level to a professional level.

Oasis Surf Camp Panama

Oasis Surf Camp Panama

Oasis Surf Camp Panama

Oasis is sheltered by coconut palms and other shade trees, on the long sandy beach of Playa Estero.

This public beach  is great for families, beach picnics, and offers the best spot for beginners to practice surf lessons. “La Punta”, which breaks 0.5km offshore, has a sharp lava reef and is as powerful as it is dangerous.

Surfcamp Guanico Inc.

Bocas Surf School Panama

Surfing Panama Bocas Surf School Panama

Bocas Surf School Panama

Bocas Surf School is located in the thriving island town of Boca del Toro. The warm waters and numerous surf breaks provide the perfect environment to experience a full range of surfing curriculum.

BSS  has established courses and can also custom design a course for individuals, couples, families or groups. Manuel the instructor is very patient, speaks perfect English and is 100% dedicated to getting you up and surfing.

He always knows where to get good waves even if the other surf schools are closed he’ll take you in his own boat to get there. If you decide to stay in the hostel which is very very clean and not a party hostel at all but only a 5 minute walk to midtown where all the parties are they’ll give you $5 off your surf lesson.

Beach Break Surf Camp Panama

surfing panama

Beach Break Surf Camp Panama

Beach Break Surf Camp and Hotel is located beach front in the beautiful bay of Playa Venao.

  • Safe and consistent sand bottom surf break in front of the surf camp;
  • World class wave something for every level of surfer;
  • Clean and Comfortable beach front accommodations;
  • Abundant fishing straight from the shoreline;
  • Full quiver of rental boards to choose from.

Riomar Surf Camp Panama

RMSC is located at Playa Rio Mar in the town of San Carlos, Panama, 1 hour from Panama City.  In this region of Panama,there are more than 18 different surf spots within 20 minute drive from our camp RMSC.

Riomar Surf Camp Panama

Riomar Surf Camp Panama

RMSC is a great starting point for surfing trip in the uncrowded waves of Central America. The beach break is a 2 minute walk and the right point break a 10 minute walk.

Maps (google maps)

political-map-of-Panama

pma_05_Surf-Map

Surfing Panama Maps

References:

1

Surfing in Oaxaca

oaxaca wave

oaxaca wave

About Oaxaca

The state of Oaxaca (pronounced: wah-HA-ka) in Southern Mexico is home to what could be considered the most-famous beachbreak in the world: Zicatela Beach, aka Puerto Escondido.

But few realize that the potentially fatal monster of a wave is flanked on both sides by incredible surf spots, many of which are well-kept secrets guarded by the kinds of people you don’t want to piss off.

Some local knowledge is key to really enjoying the region, as many of the best waves are sand-bottom right points located miles from the highway down little more than bike trails.

Crowds
Puerto Escondido has some pretty intense crowds, complete with their own homegrown locals who rival the guys on O’ahu’s North Shore, so mind your Ps and Qs in the water, and be humble. As the swell increases in size, the men are separated from the boys, so if you’re the former you might find it manageable.

The points to the east used to be empty, but recent publicity and stories of perfection on the scale of the Superbank have caused an influx of visitors. Get it before it has Kirra’s crowd.

Hazards
Thievery is probably your biggest concern, as Mexico is infamous for rip-offs and corrupt police. It’s also a very hot, muggy place, so heat exhaustion is possible, but if you’re gonna paddle out into 20-foot Puerto Escondido, losing your wallet or getting prickly heat are the least of your worries.

The Seasons: Surfing in Oaxaca

Summer
The prime surf season, summer is also the rainy, muggy season, beginning in June and lasting until October. Water temps are in the 80s; air temps in the 80s and 90s. Most surfers visit Mexico in summer.

Fall
This is when the booming south swells begin to taper off, but there is still plenty of action, especially at the beachbreaks. Temperatures cool a bit, the rain eases, the tourists go home … but the surf is still there.

Winter
The “coldest” time of year, with air and water temps hovering in the 70s. It’s pretty dry, too, and south swells are nonexistent, so the Mexican surfer instead must focus on spots that catch northwest and west swells. Not a bad time of year, but not the best.

Spring
We reckon that spring is the best time to visit Mexico because it’s still dry, temps are warming up but not too much, the tourist masses have yet to arrive, and you get those early-season south swells creeping up the coast.

Surf Spots

oaxaca

 wave tribe oaxaca better map

When to Go

Oaxaca has consistent, year round surf, but many consider summer (April-Oct) as the prime surf season. Quality swells are generated from lows off New Zealand and these provide regular 3-10ft (1-3m) SW swells.

Add the heavy action of the tropical storms or “Chubascos”, generated off mainland Mexico, which churn up swells of 6-15ft (2-5m) between June-Oct. Many of these hurricane swells are just too unruly and closeouts are common.

Double overhead days are far from rare and during the height of the swell you will often see waves getting to triple overhead. Some of the time the combination of wind and swell is far from ideal. Between Nov and Feb, there will be lots of glassy or N wind days, but less of the strong swells. When the summer swells are pumping, there’s more chance of onshore, due W winds, blowing from 39% of the time in April to 17% in July. Afternoon seabreezes are an almost daily occurrence.

The summer rainy season brings winds from all directions, but mainly a mild W-NW or a better E-SE. Tidal range is minimal and has little effect on most spots.

SURF STATISTICS
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
dominant swell NW S SW S SW S W S W NW
swell size (ft) 3 4-5 5-6 7-8 6-7 3-4
consistency (%) 70 85 90 90 90 70
dominant wind W NE W NW SW NW W NW W NW W NE
average force F3 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3
consistency (%) 64 57 56 34 39 61
water temp (C) 27 27 28 28 28 27
wetsuit boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts

Let’s check the surf now . . .


Oaxaca Soul Surf:

Surf Lessons in Oaxaca, Mexico

Oasis Surf Academy

Oasis Surf Academy is rated the “Best Surf School in Puerto Escondido”wave tribe oasis surf team They have a very warm, familiar and relaxed atmosphere.

You can just get lessons or you can stay in one of their apartments and enjoy some tacos at Juan’s Fish tacos right out front. Oasis has great quality surf equipment and Roger (one of the instructors) is even a shaper so if you damage your board he can repair it for you or just give you a new one to use.

All of the instructors, Roger, Roger Jr., Sebastian, Enrique, Julio and Tito are fun, speak good English, bond great with kids, patient with beginners and those that don’t speak Spanish. They even offer Spanish lessons! Impresionante!

Surf Camps in Oaxaca, Mexico

Las Palmeras Surf Camp

Las Palmeras Surf Camp  is located in the town of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, approximately 2Wave tribe Las Palmeras surf camp.5 hours south of Huatulco, Oaxaca, where your plane will land. Hautulco is located in the central (coastal) part of Oaxaca, approximately 4 hours south of Puerto Escondido and about a 1.5 hour flight from Mexico City.

The house features air conditioning in the bedrooms, hot water, high speed Internet with WiFi, cable television and all of the comforts of a modern home. They offer surf sessions, 3 meals a day and alcohol (extra $).

Punta Chivo Surf Camp

Punta Chivo Surf Camp located in Salina Cruz offers everything from airport pickup and dropoff, access to secret spots via hummer, they avoid crowds as much as possible and even have drone photography to get some rad shots of you riding those waves.

Where to stay in Oaxaca, Mexico

Hotel Santa Fe

Hotel Santa Fe  is located in Puerto Escondido right on the beach. They havewave tribe hotel santa fe a very friendly staff and a restaurant with yummy food including vegetarian cuisine but you are also in easy walking distance to all of the restaurants in Zicoleta.

The rooms have AC’s and are old school Mexican style. Hotel Santa Fe has 2 pools and  beautiful grounds to explore! Check out their Facebook page.

Hotelito Swiss Oasis

Hotelito Swiss Oasis is also located in Puerto Escondido about a blockwave tribe hotelito swiss oasis oaxaca from the main drag and beach. If you get a downstairs room you get your own hammock, upstairs you get your own balcony.

Rooms come with a fridge stocked with beer for a small fee like 15 pesos or something and the hotel is known for awesome customer service and is very clean! What more could you ask for?

The only thing that might be an issue is finding the place, I guess some cab drivers don’t know exactly where it is? So just make sure you have the correct address and you’re ready to go!

 

One Salina Cruz

One Salina Cruz is of course located in Salina Cruz, Mexico. Nothing wave tribe one salina cruz hoteltoo fancy just a descent place to stay and within walking distance to Walmart, where you should apparently stop at on the way to grab some bottled water since that seems to be a rare commodity at this hotel.

Reviews include: “Average, but one of the best is Salina Cruz” and “Excellent Value”

Where to eat in Oaxaca

La Olita

La Olita is located in Puerto Escondido. Their fish and shrimp tacos/wave tribe la olita puerto escondidoburritos are awesome made with fresh ingredients Baja style. They have yummy guac, gold beer and mojitos. The establishment is small and unassuming with a “hip ambiance”.

The owner is a super cool local surfer that goes out of his way to make your experience enjoyable. The only issues I see is that the hours of operation are a little scattered. So make sure you give them a call or check out trip advisor to make sure they’re open before you head their way!

 Cayuco Mezcal y Cocina

Cayuco Mezcal y Cocina is located in the sand at the west end of Zicatela beach in Puerto Escondido. Enjoy the relaxed ambiance while you watchwave tribe cayuco mezcal y cocina the beautiful sunset and eat their amazing ceviche! (Seriously people say it’s the best they’ve ever had).

Some of the other favorites are their Mahi-mahi, seared tuna and cold tomato soup with mussels. The location is ideal if you have little ones with you or you just want to stick your toes in the sand while you eat since the tables are at grade on the beach.

They have live music on Thursdays but that’s their busiest day so expect delays receiving your food or drinks since they only have one server as of February 2015. Hopefully they’ve hired one more person since then so you can get that ceviche más rápido!

 La Ola

La Ola located right on the beach in San Augustinillo looks like a great Surfing Oaxacaplace to just relax have a couple of shrimp tacos, some tuna tartar and some fresh squeezed tangerine juice or a clamato while you watch the waves. If you’re lucky you might run into the crazy lady with “the lord’s chips” they sound delicious.

Things to do in Oaxaca

Laguna de Manialtepec

Laguna de Manialtepec is a natural habitat made by a sand reef which separates the lagoon from the sea. The best time to go is right before sunset, at dark the water turns phosphorescent just like in the movie “The Life of Pi”. You can rent a canoe of your own or take a guided tour (if you’re staying at the Hotel Santa Fe they will hook you up with an awesome tour guide) Don’t forget your bug spray!

wave tribe laguna de manialtepec

Maps

mapaoax

full-oaxaca_l

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Surfing Nayarit Mexico

surfing nayarit mexico

Surfing Nayarit Mexico

Located in western Mexico on the Pacific Ocean, the State of Nayarit is an extremely scenic area, with lush tropical jungles, mangroves and deciduous forests lining the coast.

Mostly undeveloped, the coastline of Nayarit has attracted hardcore surfers since the late ‘60s. For those early surf pioneers, the chance of scoring an epic session at San Blas, known as being the longest right in the world, was worth the suffering inflicted by the “jejenes” (local sand flies) & mosquitoes.

But things have changed with the fast rise of Puerto Vallarta, once a tiny fishing village in the neighboring state of Jalisco, now attracting 500,000 tourists each year and boats (literally) full of people.

Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit spans 100 miles of pristine coastline, from Nuevo Vallarta all the way to San Blas. The highest concentration of quality surf spots in this region is around the Northern tip of the Bay of Banderas—not banditos—there are over a dozen pristine surf breaks with crystal clear tropical water within easy striking distance.

One of the most popular events of surf in Riviera Nayarit is organized in Sayulita amid of March, where the surfers from all over the world arrive to the coast of the Pacific seeking the best waves. For those who want to incursion in surfing during the holidays, several places teach to dominate the waves in short or long board and in stand-up paddle board.

Surfing Specifics Nayarit Mexico

Surfing Rivera Nayarit

Rivera Nayarit

Surfing in Nayarit is such an overwhelming experience. Some of the most famous spots for surfing in Riviera Nayarit are:

  • The Cove
  • El Faro
  • El Anclote
  • Punta de Mita
  • La Lancha
  • Punta Burros

At the south of El Anclote; Sayulita, at the north of El Anclote; Los Veneros (or Dinosaurs), Las Albercas, Las Playas and others.

In San Francisco surf can be strong with powerful currents—other places are La Caleta, reached in boat from Chacala, The Bay of Matanchen, famous for its manageable and long waves and Las Rocas, to the north of the same bay and Lolas—at the north of San Blas.

surf spots nayarit

Punta de Mita-El Anclote Beach

Punta de Mita-El Anclote Beach

Surfing Punta de Mita Mexico

In the heart of the Riviera, Punta de Mita is an impressive 1,500-acre pear-shaped peninsula surrounded by the Pacific on three sides—and home to one of the most awe-inspiring coastlines in the entire country.

The villas and resorts that have sprung up along these golden shores are nothing short of spectacular, and offer visitors an elite combination of championship golf, trophy game fishing, gourmet dining, and top-drawer service in an extraordinary setting.

At the same time, all the development of this region has created access complications to the surf breaks, making it very difficult to access the majority of the breaks by car.

It is necessary to utilize the panga boats as the everyday transportation from your accommodations to the surf spots, with overland transportation a secondary option when necessary to access the few breaks outside the bay that depends on swell conditions.

The surf in this region of Mexico is generally 1/2 to 1/3 the size on South swells of more powerful breaks to the South such as Pascuales, Nexpa, or Puerto Escondido.

For average surfers, long boarders and SUP this is welcome news considering mainland Mexico’s surf can reach 20-30ft at the most exposed spots. It is unusual to see surf over 6-8ft face heights in this region.

What is lost in size is compensated for in quality, the spots inside the bay well protected and offshore in the dominant afternoon Westerlies.

The SW swells are most common from April to October and the WNW swells from December to March. Tropical swells from storms passing to the West provide another source of swell from June-October. Overall the surf is very consistent for long boarding and SUP and less consistent for short boarding. For this reason, this is a great destination for long boarders, SUP, beginners and intermediates, while potentially disappointing Alpha short boarders seeking larger, hollower surf on a daily basis, although it is possible to luck into some bigger surf maybe 60 days of the year or less.

The breaks in this region are a mix of coral reef and rock bottom with a few beach breaks. There are both right and left breaks, but rights are dominant by about 2 to 1. A-frame peaks, long walls, rippable sections, and perfect lines are typical of this region, not so much big tubes, but there are opportunities to get barreled including a few ledges and reefs. The dry season is from November to April and the wet season is from May to October, although both can be lovely. The dry season is cooler and less humid, while sultrier tropical weather prevails in the wet season.

Surfing La Caleta Mexico

La Caleta is just north (some 2 miles) along the coast from Chacala Beach and some 8 miles from Las Varas, Nayarit. On good days La Caleta offers waves that are the length of a football field, as well as being situated to hold any size of swell.

The bigger it gets, the cleaner the ride. Caleta is well known by surfers all over Mexico, and slowly also the rest of the surfing world!

You can get there by panga, it’s a short trip from the little marina in Chacala, by land you’ll need a 4 wheel-drive vehicle (rough terrain) and if you’re very energetic, as some of the younger local surfers, you can walk through the jungle, though it is a fairly long hike, at least an hour, carrying your board, so think it over before you start off.

From La Caleta, 400 yards to the South, toward Chacala Beach is yet another break, called Colorine, and this is one of the best wave rides in Nayarit, another left with fast waves over fairly shallow water.

When To Go Surfing Nayarit

The state of Nayarit receives consistent, reliable swells most of the year. Winter (November-March) is the best season for Banderas Bay, when W and NW Aleutian swells will wrap into the bay, losing some size but cleaning-up with the northerly off-shores.

Occasional W swells will provide the biggest conditions on most spots. The summer surf season will start after the transition months of March and April, which are usually windier than the rest of the year. South Pacific activity and seasonal hurricanes push-in long period swells from SW to S directions, although Nayarit seems to lack a bit of size and power compared to southern Mexican states.

For northern breaks, summer is a more consistent time than winter, with regular swell in the 4-8ft (1.2-2.5m) range and excellent direction for the lefthand breaks north of Punta de Mita. Northerly winds prevail in the winter season before progressively shifting to a W-NW direction that will continue all summer. The tidal range hovers around 3ft (1m) and there are usually 2 tides daily.

SURF STATISTICS
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
dominant swell NW NW NW SW NW SW NW W NW W NW NW
swell size (ft) 3 3-4 4 5 4-5 3-4
consistency (%) 65 75 80 80 80 65
dominant wind NW N W N W NW W NW W N NW NE
average force F3-F4 F3 F3-F4 F3 F3 F3
consistency (%) 71 86 73 49 60 82
water temp (C) 23 23 25 28 28 26
wetsuit springsuit springsuit boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts

Let’s check it . . .



Weather Nayarit Mexico

Located right under the Tropic of Cancer, Nayarit is blessed with warm temperatures year-round. Abundant rains in the summer, mixed with intense sunshine, regularly take temperatures beyond 30°C (86°F).

The mountains generate cooler breezes at night, making the climate more bearable than further south. The tropical rainy season starts mid-June and stretches to the end of October bringing heavy rain and humidity, particularly in August and September.

Winter sees daytime temperatures around 27°C (80°F), but nights get cooler, down to 15°C (59°F). Hurricane Kenna’s hit this coast in October 2002 – the first in 74 years. Hurricanes usually stay out at sea, tracking northwest towards Baja, or west towards Hawaii. Water temps range from 28°C (82°F) in the summer down to 22°C (73°F) in the winter, when a spring suit is advisable.

Nature, Hazards & Hints

Sayulita is a laid-back city. San Blas is Nayarit’s tourism centre and starting point for jungle river boating to La Tovara springs. Check out remote beaches, or snorkel/dive around Islas Marietas. Along the Malecón (downtown PV), a strip of restaurants, bars and clubs will provide all night entertainment.

Unlike other Mexican breaks of bone-crushing fame, these are more adapted to intermediate level surfers. Locals don’t always see the influx of surfers positively, but crowd levels are low on spots requiring a boat. San Blas surroundings are infested with jejenes (tiny sand gnats) that come out at night and provoke intense itching.

Avoid Puerto Vallarta’s polluted waters. Recommended quiver includes a longboard or fish rather than a gun. Equipment and rentals are available at Coral Reef Surf Shop in Bucerias or Acción Tropical Surf Shop in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco State) is 1h ahead of Sayulita and Punta de Mita (Nayarit).

Getting To Nayarit Mexico

Flying to the Riviera Nayarit is easy and convenient for national and international travelers.

The Tepic International Airport and the Puerto Vallarta International Airport both await you with exceptional customer service and all the amenities required that ensure your arrival and departure will be pleasant experience.

The Tepic International Airport (TPQ) is located just 1 hour east of the resort coastal area of San Blas in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico’s Pacific Coast’s oldest sea port.

Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) is located just 10 – 15 minutes from Riviera Nayarit’s southern most resort areas of Nuevo Vallarta/Flamingos, 30 minutes from the resorts of Punta Mita, and Litibu, and approximately 1 hour from the area of Guayabitos.

With both National and International arrivals, this modern facility offers much for the traveler.

Where to Stay in Nayarit Mexico

Where to Stay in Nayarit MexicoBungalows Unelma

If I was going to Nayarit I think I would choose this place to stay out of all of the different options. There’s only 3 rooms so you need to make sure you make your reservation ahead of time.

Bungalows Unelma looks amazing. Private, every room comes with a outdoor kitchen and there’s a beautiful garden to chill in. From the reviews that I’ve read it also seems to be a real well kept place (very clean) and the back gate heads straight to the ocean 🙂 Trying to pick one good photo to post was hard because there was so many to choose from! This place is beautiful!

Trip Advisor reviews include: “Ideal hideaway on the beach” and “Private Paradise”

Playa Escondida

playa escondida nayarit

Playa Escondida Nayarit

#1 of 8 Hotels in Sayulita Mexico and a Certificate of Excellence on  Trip Advisor . This place seems really really nice but is probably really really expensive. They do offer discounts like the “Summer Romance Special” though. I wonder if that counts for bromances?

Reviews include: “Magical is not too strong a word for this place” and “Hidden Paradise A great place to shipwreck away from the rat race of life.”

Hotel Eden Sayulita

If you’re just looking for a good place to crash that won’t put you in the poor house then this is the place for you!! And there’s a surf shop right next door!

Trip Advisor  reviews include- “Good clean hotel” and “Nice place for the money!”

hey cocina nayarit Food in Nayarit

Hey Cocina Nayarit

Tiny little place with some yummy Mexican food and fish 🙂

Trip Advisor  reviews include: “HEY!! This restaurant is a gem!!” and “Love this place, cute off the beaten track”

Hey Cocina’s Facebook page

Orangy

Not in the mood for tacos? Try Orangy, they serve juices, smoothies, healthy snacks and “power bowls”.

Trip Advisor reviews include: “Beautiful people, Beautiful food :)” and “Refreshing and Welcoming!”

Orangy’s Facebook page

wave tribe orangy

Casa Del Pintor- Punta de Mita

This place is off the beach so it’s more affordable. Apparently their chilaquiles are to die for and there’s a cat named “Midnight” running around that everyone loves!

Trip Advisor reviews include: “Good value, Nice ambiance” and “Great little bar restaurant”

Casa Del Pintor’s Facebook page

Surf Camps Nayarit Mexico

Stoners Surf Camp Nayarit Mexico

Stoners Surf Camp is located in San Blas Nayarit, Mexico!

Surfing being the most popular inquire at Stoners Surf Camp where beginners to advanced surfers can find gratitude in 7 different surf spots ranging from front cabin beach breaks to minuets away point breaks. Stoners Surf Camp gets its name from renowned photographer Ron Stoner, who surfed and captured this now called “Stoners” surf break that has been ridden by surfers all over the world.

Stoners Surf Camp is owned by former Mexican surf champion Jose Manuel Cano “Pompis” who has traveled to many countries making surfing a big part of his life. Pompis being the main instructor at the camp makes certain your ambition for surfing is strongly met and strides to comfort and guide each and every guest.

Lunazul Surfing

Lunazul Surfschool & Shop is a family business located on the main beach in Sayulita, Mexico. They provide  surf lessons, organize surf camps and have the broadest selection  of surfboards and paddle boards for rent in Sayulita and Punta de Mita. Friendly staff, the best location and excellent surf instructors are but only a few things that set them apart from their competitors.

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 WildMex Surf and Adventure

WildMex looks pretty legit. They have everything from transportation to boards to wet suits to lessons and they even have insurance! So you know you’re covered. “If you are staying in Punta de Mita, Nuevo Vallarta or Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita Surf. Lessons interests you, do not worry we pick you up and returned at the end of the lesson.”

wildmexpicfornayaritblog

Things to do in Nayarit Mexico

Splash of Glass

Splash of Glass is located on the corner of Lazaro Cardenas and Calle Morelos in the beautiful wave tribe splash of glasstown of Bucerias. They offer classes in lamp work beads, beginning stained glass, fused glass, sun catchers, fused glass jewelry, and glass mosaics! They also carry many beautiful products handmade right there in Mexico. On a hot summer day if you need a break and want to get inside this is place to do it.

 

Rancho Manuel

Rancho Manuel is located in Sayulita, Mexico. The owners Manuel and Adawave tribe rancho manuel pelicanlberto offer guided horse and boat tours. Apparently they are two of the nicest people you will ever meet!

“Manuel is a real character with enough charm for 10 men!” and Adalberto has been known to go out of his way to make these tours spectacular especially for children. If you have some spare time and you’re in the area I would definitely check out Rancho Manuel!

 

 Punta Mita Expeditions

Located in the Punta Mita resort Punta Mita Expeditions offers Marine Safari, Stand Up wave tribe punta mita expeditionsPaddleboarding, Surf, Scuba Diving, Whale Watching, Snorkeling, Kayaking, Hookah Diving, Wild Dolphins Adventure and much more! “Booking was simple and they were responsive, all of the gear worked great, and their whole crew were fun to be around.”

 

 

 

Maps Nayarit Mexico

Nayarit Mexico Map