Even though Puerto Vallarta and the entire Banderas Bay is stock-full of beautiful sandy beaches, the real surf action is on the North side of the bay, even beyond Bucerias in places like Lo de Marcos and Sayulita.
Warm water, a variety of surf breaks, and gentle winds that are usually offshore, make the Punta de Mita area an ideal surf destination.
If you use our Vallarta beach guide, you can easily find the surfing favorite, Punta de Burros and Playa Burros, by Grand Palladium, halfway between Bucerías and Punta Mita.
You’ll find over 20 breaks from Bucerias to the end of the point. Take your choice from zippy little reefs to the perfect point breaks to fun beach breaks. The option of boat use usually ensures that there are uncrowded waves somewhere on the coastal area.
(From North to South)
You'll find many great locations from Lo De Marcos in the north to Quimixto in the south (there are more places even further south for adventurers).
La Caleta is just north along the coast from Chacala. On good days it 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.
La Caleta, Nayarit: great surfing spot
Caleta is well known by surfers all over Mexico, and slowly also the rest of the surfing world! More on La Caleta.
If you hit it right, the south end of the main beach at Chacala offers a rideable barrel (left and right), but only available at the beginning and the end of a swell period. It is not so good at a peak swell because they close out quickly onto the sandy bottom.
Surfing at Chacala Nayarit
This is a great place for beginners and always good for boogie boarders. More on Chacala.
Lo De Marcos
The surf break at Lo De Marcos can range from lake calm to large angry breakers. The southern end of the beach, close to the peninsula is suitable for surfing, and it's not uncommon for the local kids to show up with their boards after school.
Surfing in Lo De Marcos
Most of the surf break at Lo De Marcos are large breakers that crash quickly and produce a long, strong churn, very suitable for boogie boarding by people of all ages.
San Pancho (San Francisco)
Has fairly consistent open reef surfing conditions, as well as left reef breaks. San Pancho is 10 minutes north of Sayulita off Highway 200.
You can catch point breaks off the headland at either end of the beach and there is a beach break in front of the lagoon closest to town, always remember the strong undertow.
San Pancho surfing
Check with San Pancho's Surf Shop on Calle America Latina as to where and when it is safe to surf locally.
Known for it's friendlier surf breaks. There are two surf spots in the area; a right (longboard) break in front of the village and a left (faster) break in front of the campground (north).
Surfboard rentals can be found at a variety of locations on the beach, plenty of surf shops to choose from.
Surfing at Sayulita
If you are learning to surf, then the waves of Sayulita are excellent because they are not too big, fast, or heavy. Sayulita consists mainly of exposed and beach break conditions, as well as a left reef break. The surf here is relatively consistent.
Surfing at La Bahía Punta Mita, Nayarit
La Bahia is north of El Faro in the Punta Mita area. From El Anclote, you can walk along the edge of the beach some 20-25 minutes past the Four Seasons Resort, or take a rental boat too. La Bahia is right in front of the Four Seasons Golf club on the Punta Mita peninsula.
El Faro (The Lighthouse) is a point and reef break with very reliable surfing conditions. Once you get to El Anclote you can walk along the beach some 10-15 minutes to the area in front of the Four Seasons Resort or hire a panga to sail you there. W and NW swells wrap in and create lined-up perfection, ranging from slow peeling waves for 75-100 yards on smaller swells to hollow, barreling waves that will get your heart pumping on medium to large swells.
El Faro, Punta Mita
A longboarder friendly surf and for beginners, you get there by following the Highway 200 North past Bucerías and taking the Punta Mita - La Cruz exit left. There you drive west past La Cruz de Huanacaxtle until you get to Punta Mita, follow El Anclote Av. (Avenida El Anclote) and park in the restaurant area.
El Anclote, Punta Mita surf
La Lancha offers both an ideal place for beginners to learn to surf as well as fun waves for people who can already shred. The vibe on the beach is always laid back and peaceful, attracting local surfers, visitors, and local families just looking to picnic on the beach. This spot features a right reef break.
La Lancha, Punta Mita
The area seems to recently have been fenced off, so access might not be possible.
Veneros offers well shaped slow rolling reef break. It is a nice wave but can be difficult to predict when it is working. To get to Veneros, take the coastal highway north toward Punta de Mita, past La Cruz and Destiladeras.
At kilometer 8, you'll find a trail just before the Costa Banderas Development Park. Follow the trail through the jungle until you hit the beach.
Getting to Punta Burros is not that obvious. You drive north of Vallarta and take the road that goes to Punta Mita/La Cruz, once you get to the Palladium Vallarta Resort (ex-Viva Vallarta). You drive in as if going to the resort and before the gate, you'll see a dirt road going off to the left, park in this area and walk/hike to the beach (read more our in beach guide)
Surfing at Punta Burros
Punta Burros is a reef break that's most consistent in the winter months. Burros is sometimes crowded.
A small village in Cabo Corrientes, south of Puerto Vallarta, there is no access by land, so the only way to get there is by water taxi (panga), home of some of the best surfing in the area.
Quimixto is a spot that has a beach break, unlike the rest of Banderas Bay, it is most consistent in the summer months. Quimixto offers both lefts and rights, and is remote enough that it's rarely crowded.
Quimixto Surf Championship
To get to Quimixto, take a water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan or the "Los Muertos" pier. Water taxi operators in this area are accustomed to surfers.
Read more on Quimixto beach and town.
Surf rentals and schools
- Coral Reef Surf Shop
Héroe de Nacozari 114, Bucerias, Nayarit
- Coral Surf Shop
Insurgentes 322, Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
- Green Lagoon Surfing
- La Onda Surfboard Repair
Mar de Caribe Oriente 50, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit
- Lunazul Surf School and Shop
Marlin 4, Sayulita, Nayarit
- Mictlan Surf School
Av. Anclote S/N, Centro Comercial Local 2, Punta de Mita, Nayarit
- Mita Aventuras
Av. Las Redes, Punta de Mita, Nayarit
- Punta Mita Expeditions
Av. El Anclote 200 Nuevo Corral del Risco, Punta de Mita, Nayarit
- Sayulita Surf Camps
Cell: (045-33) 138-13000
- Surf House San Pancho
Tahiti 109, San Francisco (San Pancho), Nayarit
- Surf N Roll Sayulita
Las Gaviotas, Sayulita, Nayarit
- Tortuga Surf Clinic
Primavera, Sayulita, Nayarit
- Tranquilo Surf Adventures & Surf School
Calle Pez Vela #130, Nvo. Corral del Risco, Punta de Mita, Nayarit
(329) 291-5114 or (329) 291-6475
- Vallarta Surf Guide
Río Papaloapan, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
- Vallarta Surf N Dive School
- Wildmex Surf Camp
Pelicanos 7, Sayulita main beach next to the river, Sayulita, Nayarit
(322) 107-0601 or (322) 100-7070