Surfing in Los Cabos

Riding the Waves in Los Cabos: A Surfer's Paradise

Los Cabos, located at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, has long been a magnet for surfers from around the world. With its warm waters, consistent swells, and diverse breakpoints, it's no wonder that this idyllic destination has become a mecca for wave riders of all skill levels. From the legendary breaks that have attracted surfing icons to beginner-friendly surf schools, surfing in Los Cabos offers an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking to catch the perfect wave. 

Here we look into the history of surfing in Los Cabos, the region’s top surfing spots, when is surfing season in Los Cabos, how to learn to surf in Los Cabos, the best places to Stand Up Paddle (SUP), and what other activities besides surfing are available

What is the History of Surfing in Los Cabos?

Mike Doyle the history of surfing in Los Cabos

The roots of surfing in Los Cabos can be traced back to the 1950s when intrepid surfers first began exploring the region's untapped potential. These early pioneers, mostly from California, were drawn to the area's remote beaches and uncrowded waves. As word spread about the incredible surf breaks, more and more surfers began making the pilgrimage to Los Cabos.

One of the most significant moments in Los Cabos' surfing history came in the late 1960s when legendary surfer Mike Doyle visited the area. Doyle, who was already a well-established figure in the surfing world, was blown away by the quality of the waves he encountered. His enthusiasm for Los Cabos helped put the destination on the map for surfers worldwide.

Mike Doyle's influence on Los Cabos' surfing scene cannot be overstated. Not only did he help popularize the region among surfers, but he also played a key role in developing the local surf culture. Doyle was known for his laid-back, friendly demeanor and his willingness to share his knowledge and expertise with others. He became a mentor to many local surfers, helping them refine their skills and develop a deeper appreciation for the sport.

Over the decades, Los Cabos has continued to attract some of the biggest names in surfing. Kelly Slater, the most decorated surfer of all time, has frequented the region's breaks, drawing inspiration from the powerful waves and pristine natural beauty. Rob Machado, a celebrated free surfer known for his smooth, fluid style, has also left his mark on the waves of Los Cabos, showcasing the destination's potential for creative, expressive surfing.

 

Surfing Spots in Los Cabos

What Are The Top Surfing Spots in Los Cabos? 

Los Cabos boasts an array of world-class surf breaks that cater to surfers of all skill levels. From the Pacific side to the East Cape, there's no shortage of incredible waves to discover and enjoy.

 

Pacific Side:

1. San Pedrito: Located near the town of Todos Santos, San Pedrito is a long, fast right-hander that breaks over a rocky point. This wave is best suited for intermediate to advanced surfers and can offer some truly spectacular rides when conditions align.

2. Cerritos: Located on the Pacific side of the peninsula, Cerritos is a beginner-friendly beach break that's perfect for those just starting out or looking to improve their skills. The sandy bottom and consistent waves make it a great spot for learning and progressing.

Cerritos beach

3. Pescadero: Another Todos Santos area break, Pescadero is a consistent beach break that can offer both lefts and rights. The wave quality here can vary depending on the sand bars, but when it's on, Pescadero can provide some fun, rippable walls.

4. La Pastora: Situated just north of Todos Santos, La Pastora is a long, mellow right-hand point break that's perfect for longboarding and cruising. The wave here can offer rides of up to 200 meters when conditions are right, making it a favorite among stylish, graceful surfers.

 

San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas:

1. Costa Azul: Situated in front of the Costa Azul beach In San Jose, Zipper’s, Old Man’s and The Rock are some of the most popular breaks in Los Cabos. This fast, powerful wave offers long rides and is suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers.

Costa Azul and Acapulquito beach

2. Acapulquito: This is a great spot for beginners, located just south of Costa Azul beach in San Jose del Cabo.

3. Monuments: Closer to Cabo San Lucas, this celebrated wave breaks off the famous landmark granite monoliths. It's a classic Baja beach break setting with some of the biggest, thickest barrels around on a solid swell.

 

East Cape:

1. Shipwrecks: As the name suggests, Shipwrecks is a spot where a sunken ship creates a unique break. This right-hand point break is best for advanced surfers and offers a challenging, rewarding ride when the swell is pumping. The waves here can get quite heavy and hollow, with steep takeoffs and fast sections.

Shipwrecks beach Los Cabos

2. Nine Palms: Located further north along the East Cape, Nine Palms is a fun, uncrowded right-hand point break that's perfect for longboarders and intermediate surfers. The waves here can offer long, mellow rides and is a great spot to escape the crowds. The remote location and scenic backdrop make Nine Palms a true surfing gem.

3. Punta Perfecta: This secluded spot is located near the town of Los Barriles and offers a long, perfect right-hand point break. The waves here can be quite powerful and are best suited for advanced surfers, but when conditions are right, Punta Perfecta can offer some of the best rides in the region. The crystal-clear waters and stunning desert landscape only add to the allure of this incredible break.

4. Middles: Located just south of Shipwrecks, Middles is a fun, rippable wave that breaks over a rocky reef. The left and right peaks here are suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers and can offer some great opportunities for performance surfing. The consistency and quality of the waves at Middles make it a favorite among local surfers and visiting pros alike.

5. La Fortuna: A favorite among locals and expats, La Fortuna is a consistent beach break that offers both lefts and rights. The wave here is suitable for surfers of all levels, and the laid-back vibe and beautiful surroundings make it a great spot to spend a day surfing and soaking up the sun. The nearby town of El Cardonal offers a range of amenities and accommodations for those looking to stay close to the action.

 

La Fortuna

 

6. Punta Colorado: Situated near the town of La Ribera, Punta Colorado is a powerful left-hand point break that's perfect for experienced surfers. Expect big and hollow waves, with long, fast sections that allow for high-performance surfing. The rugged, remote setting and consistent swell make Punta Colorado a must-visit spot for serious wave riders.

7. Los Frailes: Named after the nearby town, Los Frailes is a scenic spot that offers a variety of waves for surfers of all levels. The main break here is a fun, peeling right-hander that's perfect for longboarding and cruising, while the outer reefs can offer some more challenging waves for advanced surfers. The beautiful, unspoiled beaches and laid-back atmosphere make Los Frailes a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy some quality surf time.

 

When Is Surfing Season in Los Cabos?

Surfing season in Los Cabos

While it's possible to surf in Los Cabos year-round, the best conditions typically occur during the summer months (June to August) when southern swells from the Pacific are most consistent. This is peak season for spots like Zippers and Monuments, which can see waves north of 15-20 feet on the biggest days.

The East Cape also enjoys great conditions during summer, although waves tend to be smaller and mellower than on the Pacific side. The warmer waters of the Sea of Cortez and jaw-dropping ocean vistas make the East Cape a popular choice for beginners and intermediate surfers.

Fall (September to November) brings a shift in swell direction, with the season's first major swells from winter storms in the Gulf of Alaska hitting both coasts of Los Cabos. This is peak season for East Cape spots, which catch the brunt of these groundswells and see an increase in size and power.

Winter (December to March) is somewhat overlooked as a prime surf season, despite the potential for huge swells from North Pacific storms. The best spots on the Pacific side light up with long-period west swells, delivering some of the best barrels and most hollow waves of the year. The East Cape also sees consistent head-high to triple-overhead conditions during this time.

Spring (April to May) serves as a transition period, with residual northwest swells slowly backing down and giving way to milder conditions more suitable for beginners. The East Cape beach breaks are particularly inviting during this time, offering fun, smaller swells in the shoulder to head-high range.

 

 

Are There Surf Schools for Beginners In Los Cabos?

Surf schools for beginners

For those new to surfing or looking to improve their skills, Los Cabos offers a variety of surf schools and camps that cater to beginners. These schools provide expert instruction, top-notch equipment, and a safe, supportive environment for learning.

 

Some of the most reputable surf schools in Los Cabos include:

1. Mike Doyle Surf School: This school carries on the legacy of legendary surfer Mike Doyle, offering comprehensive instruction for beginners of all ages. Experienced, CPR-certified instructors prioritize safety and fun, ensuring that students have a positive and rewarding experience.

2. Costa Azul Surf School: Located just steps from the famous Zippers break, Costa Azul Surf School offers private and group lessons for surfers of all levels. The school's experienced instructors focus on technique, ocean awareness, and surf etiquette, helping students build a strong foundation for a lifetime of surfing enjoyment.

3. Mario Surf School: Situated on the beginner-friendly shores of Cerritos Beach, Mario Surf School provides personalized instruction in a safe and supportive environment. The school's founder, Mario Becerril, is a former professional surfer who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his teaching.

 

In addition to these established schools, many of the surf shops and hotels in the area also offer lessons and rental equipment, making it easy for visitors to get out on the water and experience the thrill of riding waves.

Whether you're a complete novice or an experienced surfer looking to take your skills to the next level, Los Cabos' surf schools and camps provide a welcoming and supportive environment for learning and progression. With expert instruction, top-quality equipment, and access to some of the best waves in the world, these schools are an essential resource for anyone looking to experience the magic of surfing in Los Cabos.

 

Where can I SUP in Los Cabos?

SUP in Los Cabos

 

While surfing may be the primary focus for many visitors to Los Cabos, the region also offers incredible opportunities for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). This popular water sport has gained a dedicated following in recent years, thanks to its accessibility, versatility, and the unique perspective it provides on the ocean environment.

Los Cabos' calm, crystal-clear waters and stunning coastal scenery make it an ideal destination for SUP enthusiasts of all skill levels. From gliding across glassy bays to exploring hidden coves and rocky inlets, there's no shortage of breathtaking paddling routes to discover.

 

Some of the best spots for SUP in Los Cabos include:

1. Medano Beach: Located in the heart of Cabo San Lucas, Medano Beach offers calm, sheltered waters that are perfect for beginners. Rent a board from one of the many beachside vendors and spend a few hours exploring the bay and taking in the stunning views of Land's End.

2. Chileno Bay: Situated along the Tourist Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, Chileno Bay is a pristine, crescent-shaped beach that's ideal for SUP. The clear, turquoise waters and abundant marine life make this a popular spot for snorkeling and paddling.

3. Costa Azul: While primarily known as a surfing hotspot, Costa Azul also offers great conditions for SUP when the waves are small. Launch your board from the sandy beach and explore the rugged coastline, keeping an eye out for dolphins, rays, and other sea life.

4. East Cape: The East Cape's sheltered bays and coves provide endless opportunities for SUP, with stunning desert landscapes and remote beaches to discover. Rent a board in Los Barriles or La Ventana and spend a day paddling along the Sea of Cortez, taking in the natural beauty and serenity of this unspoiled region.

5. Palmilla Beach: Located just south of San Jose del Cabo, Palmilla Beach is a beautiful, sheltered bay that's perfect for SUP. The calm waters and gentle waves make it an ideal spot for beginners and families, while the stunning scenery and luxury resorts nearby offer a touch of glamor to your paddling experience.

 

Many surf schools and shops in Los Cabos also offer SUP lessons and guided tours, making it easy for visitors to learn the basics and explore the region's top paddling spots. Whether you're an experienced paddler looking for a new challenge or a first-timer seeking a fun, low-impact way to enjoy the ocean, Los Cabos has something to offer.

 

What Can I Do Besides Surf in Los Cabos?

While surfing is undoubtedly the main draw for a select group of visitors to Los Cabos, the region offers a wealth of other activities and attractions that complement the surfing lifestyle. From exploring the vibrant art scene in San Jose del Cabo to indulging in the fresh, local cuisine, there's no shortage of ways to immerse oneself in the rich culture of Los Cabos.

For those seeking adventure beyond the waves, the region offers world-class sport fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The Sea of Cortez, which Jacques Cousteau once called "the world's aquarium," is home to an incredible diversity of marine life, including whale sharks, sea lions, and manta rays. Exploring this underwater wonderland can provide a welcome respite from the sun and surf.

Scuba diving in Los Cabos

Back on land, visitors can explore the rugged desert landscape by hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. The Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, which runs along the spine of the Baja Peninsula, offers stunning vistas and a chance to disconnect from the bustle of modern life. Guided tours and excursions can help visitors make the most of these outdoor adventures.

For those looking to unwind and recharge, Los Cabos' thriving wellness scene offers a variety of options. From yoga classes overlooking the ocean to luxurious spa treatments incorporating local ingredients, there are plenty of opportunities to prioritize self-care and relaxation. Many surf camps and hotels offer on-site wellness services, making it easy to integrate these practices into your surf trip.