When it comes to the primo surf destinations of the world, Australia, California, Hawaii, and even Bali are probably the first that come to mind. But what about Mexico? Down at the very very bottom of Baja California Sur sits Cabo San Lucas (AKA Saint Luke’s Cape), and it’s here that some of the most exciting surf in all of South America can be found.
There’s a lot of great things to see and do in the Cabo San Lucas area, and it’s enjoyed its status as one of the top destinations in Mexico for some time. It’s over the last couple of decades though that Cabo’s surf scene has really blown up, and it’s that that we’re here to talk about today.
So if you’re looking to make the most of any surf trips you have planned in Cabo, or even if you just happen to be going anyway and want to check out the Cabo surf, go grab your board and get your shorts on as we go through our picks for the 5 best surf spots in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
We’ll start the list with Santa Lucia de los Cerritos—offering some of the best surf in Cabo for both beginners and experts alike.
It’s the beginners that’ll get the biggest kick out of this spot though, as its wide expanse with nicely approachable whitewash along its shore make it the perfect spot to start catching your first waves. In fact, it’s likely you’ll find a local surf school or two also taking advantage of the spot while you’re there.
Cerritos point to the north of the strand offers what could be the best log wave in the whole region. Furthermore, the waves can fatten out and get pretty big when winter rolls around; a perfect step up for those just starting out.
There are no signs that point to Cerritos beach, and it’s fairly hidden down at the end of a dirt road. It may be worth hiring a guide, or at least asking for directions from some of the locals.
Costa Azul is one of the very first spots that locals—and those in the know—will want to check out. After all, with its reputation as the surf capital of Mexico, it’s arguably the best break in all of Cabo San Lucas. Things start to perk up especially around summer, thanks to the swells coming in from the south.
Because of the reputation and the popularity of the Costa Azul surf, you’ll be able to find just about everything you need here. The Costa Azul surf shop is just off the beach, ready to cater for anything you may need; including board rentals or lessons for newcomers. There’s also the Costa Azul Surf School itself and the Mike Doyle Surf School too, so any beginners out there definitely won’t be lost for options.
Costa Azul is definitely a place for anyone keen on catching some waves to check out, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro. Make sure you don’t miss it.
Maybe the next location on our list of the 5 best surf spots in Cabo San Lucas is a bit of a cheat, since it’s actually in La Paz, about an hour’s drive north of Cabo. Nevertheless, the village of Pescadero has great surf options for just about everyone, and it’s also being home to the Pescadero Surf Camp—a surf school where anyone can come to learn or hone their skills.
A lot of Pescadero’s surf is reef, and accessing the water isn’t the easiest. That’s why you’ll usually only find locals and clued up tourists who’ve been to Baja a million times before. The reward for finding the place is totally worth it though, and you’ll find just about every swell angle you can think of (besides straight south).
Be on the lookout for rocks and urchins though, as it can get a little treacherous.
A spot for the more experienced, Monuments beach may be the only true surf spot in Cabo San Lucas town itself, and definitely one that’s worth taking a look at if you’re searching for something more exciting.
A couple of decades ago there was nothing much to speak of in this spot—today though, it’s one of the most popular surf breaks in all of Cabo. With a left point break that can be a bit tricky for some, Monuments beach isn’t recommended for beginners or novices. For the more initiated however, this is one that’s definitely a favourite, especially amongst those who know the best spots to surf in Cabo.
In addition to some great surfing, the area is also home to all sorts of other activities, including fishing, diving, boating, golfing, and shopping.
Shipwrecks beach—named for an actual shipwreck that used to call the beach its home—is surfer heaven. Not only are there some awesome waves to catch, but it’s also off the beaten track. Only the locals and surfers who return to Baja time and time again really know its whereabouts, meaning you won’t have to worry about it being overly crowded (although you might want to consider finding someone who can guide you there).
Thanks to its cosy little spot in the mouth of the Sea of Cortez, you can expect some fairly reliable ocean swells. You’ll get some good protection from the summer onshores, however the west and northwest sets will see much less flow-in.
There are actually some 10 breaks in this spot, with Shipwrecks being just one of them. The swell comes in at the same angle across all of them though, so Shipwrecks is as good as any other.
Some Other Notable Surf Spots to Consider
Right by Shipwrecks on the north side of La Fortuna on the East Cape is Nine Palms. This top surf spot offers some great point breaks, especially as strong swells come in from the south after seasonal storms.
Todos Santos (not to be confused with the Isla de Todos Santos) is another spot worth considering. Just up the road of the Baja California Sur, this spot has a real mix of breaks on offer, and is definitely one that the more seasoned surfers will get a kick out of. Beginners may want to check out Playa San Pedro slightly to the south, which is another great surf spot.
Those looking for a year round spot will dig Migrino, which, thanks to its spot on the Pacific Ocean side of Cabo, enjoys a wide 180 degree swell window that keeps the action going no matter the season. It also has the distinction of being one of Cabo San Lucas’ closest surf breaks, so you can expect it to be fairly busy. You can expect a few peaks along the sand when it comes to the waves, but it’s the right point break that really sells this surf spot.
Finally, Zippers Beach is another popular surf break, although it’s maybe best left to the more experienced. Lessons are available though, and board rentals are available at the Costa Azul Surf Shop. Furthermore, the Zippers Bar & Grill has a huge reputation of its own, and is definitely worth stopping at for a bite to eat while you’re at the beach.
When is the Best Time for Surfing Cabo San Lucas?
Spring is when the hotels around this part of Baja start to get a little cheaper, thanks to US visitors heading back home after their winter vacations.
Once April hits the swells also start to die down, so if you’re planning a surf trip out to Cabo San Lucas around this time it may be best to wait until at least the end of May. There’ll be a few OK waves to catch around then, if you’re lucky.
June to August is the prime time to get surfing in Cabo San Lucas. The south-southwest swell system comes into play around this time, bringing in waves from the Sea of Cortez.
Cerritos and other west coast areas tend to struggle a bit during these months, but there are still plenty of impressive waves to be conquered from the swells.
The southwestern summer swells start to fade away come September, with the west and northwest channel coming into play. September and October usually see a dip in travellers after the summer, so things are nice and quiet and the hotels are that little bit cheaper.
The biggest downside with the autumn months is the possibility of cyclones. This can ruin the chances of any good surf, although it can do wonders for some spots deeper into the Sea of Cortez.
November through to March sees north winds and north swells brought to Baja, which is great news for breaks like Cerritos and Todos Santos on the Pacific Ocean side of the city. These waves can be pretty big and intimidating though, so it’s probably best left to surfers with a little more experience.
While the waters can be pretty cold during the winter months it’s still peak season, especially for Americans looking to escape the winter chill. You can therefore expect the hotels to be at their peak cost, and to find plenty of tourists around.
Where are the Best Places to Stay when Surfing Cabo San Lucas?
Cabo Surf Hotel
One of the best places you can stay when coming out to surf Cabo San Lucas is the Cabo Surf Hotel. With balconies opening up straight onto the Costa Azul break, it’s no surprise that this is one of the best and most popular spots in the area.
Built with a California-style beach house theme, the hotel has 36 rooms, their own restaurant (the 7 Seas Seafood Grill) a spa, and the Mike Doyle Surf School. Cabo Surf Hotel is one of the most popular hotels in town, so make sure you get booking early.
Cerritos Surf Town Beach Front Hotel
The Cerritos Surf Town Beach Front Hotel is great for surfers looking to keep things simple down on the southern end of Baja California Sur, where rooms range from the comfy to the luxurious.
Cerritos beach is a perfect spot year round for expert surfers and newcomers alike, and the Cerritos Surf Town Beach Front Hotel is perfectly situated right on the beach. Board rentals are available to guests onsite, and guests will definitely enjoy sitting by the pool while watching the sunset over the ocean each night.
Surf Hostel Cabo “The Riptide”
Don’t ask us why they’ve named it like that, but regardless, Surf Hostel Cabo “The Riptide” in San Jose del Cabo is a great choice for anyone looking for somewhere cheap and cheerful to stay with a classic hostel atmosphere.
Each dorm at the San Jose del Cabo hostel comes equipped with a balcony and a patio, in addition to your own dining area. All sorts of activities can be arranged on site, including surfing, and free parking is available (you’ll need a car to reach several of the spots on our list).
Some of the best surf spots in the area are only a short car ride away from Surf Hostel Cabo “The Riptide”, like Shipwrecks and other East Cape spots.