Surfing Scene Around Punta Mita
Article courtesy of puntamitasurf.com
Punta Mita Surf – The state of Nayarit has some of mainland Mexico’s best surf.
Seasons: Winter season (November-March), and Summer season (April-October). We are located within 1 hour of all of the areas best surf, all of it accessible by combination of overland transport as well as pangas and/or speedboat. The expeditions are led by keen local surf guides. The areas are uncrowded. This is due to several factors, the lack of any city or town based locals, and inaccessibility, many spots requiring boats and local knowledge to access.
Winter season enjoys great conditions: light or offshore winds mostly, sunny, not too hot, around 76-82 F air temps, water temps 75-78F. The best surf in winter is found around Punta de Mita and inside the Bay of Banderas on the sheltered reefs such as Burros, Playa La Lancha, and El Faro, where 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. The rights are particularly good this time of year. Surf during this time of year can be anywhere from 2ft-10ft+ depending on swell conditions. Recommended quiver is a longboard or fish, a thruster, and potentially a mini-gun. The fact is, the conditions can be often small and perfect, often medium and semi-juicy, and sometimes big and scary. About 40% of the time it is small (2-4ft), 50% of the time it is medium (4-7ft), and about 10% of the time it is big (8ft+) On a big true W swell there are offshore reef breaks that can go 2-3 times overhead, although admittedly this is somewhat rare and there are only about 5 of these swells on average each season. If you’re lucky enough to get one of these, you’ll have the waves of your life! Otherwise, count on generally fun waves, and at the minimum, great longboarding if it stays on the small side. (During my last trip I rode a 10-0 on a 2 foot day at Lanchas on 75 yd rights. One of the best days I have ever had in Mexico).
April is sometimes a bit windier and a transition month between seasons, though swells can still come in at this time from any direction.
Summer season generally commences in late April or May with the first true Southern Hemisphere swells of the year. These long period swells come in from a broad SW to S direction from 220-180 degrees, and generally last 3-4 days in duration, with 1-2 days of peak intensity. Average size on these swells is 3-5 ft with bigger days possible. During this season, you can expect somewhat more consistent surf than in the winter season with not quite as much fluctuation and unpredictability in swell height. The SW and S swells that occur from late April- October and sometimes into early November bring perfection to the lefthand breaks around Punta de Mita, Chacala (1 hr. north), and Santa Cruz (2 hrs. north).
Warm water, a variety of surf breaks, and gentle offshore breezes make the Punta Mita peninsula a premier surf destination. Only 35 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta airport, along the northern coast of the Bay of Banderas is really where the magic starts! With 10 surf spots around the peninsula, there are secluded beaches, tide pools, some with safe swimming for the kids. You will be staying in the sleepy little beach village of El Anclote, central to all of the surf breaks. There are 15 restaurants to choose from right on the beach. From your condo you can see and walk 1 minute to the famous Anclote surf break. It is renowned for its consistantly long rides, which can go on for up to a half mile! You’ll be totally stoked….so paddle out, and surf some of the most fun breaks anywhere! Then join your friends for lunch while you scope the surfing action. There just isn’t any better way to spend a day! 3/4 of a mile north is El Faro. Great reef breaks here. Nearby to the south are the sheltered reefs Burros and Playa La Lancha, where 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. Around the north side of the point is Sayulita , with two good breaks, a slow right great for longboards in front of the city and a faster left in front of the campgrounds. This is a great learning spot. Surfing seems to be an unofficial theme of this town, as surfboards and surfing seem to dominate every sight. This is a very popular spot and will be the most active beach this side of Puerto Vallarta, for surfing and beachgoers alike. North of Sayulita is San Francisco also known as Panchos which can be great during some seasons. This is a very untouched town; it has a true Mexican feel. This area offers everything an accomplished surfer could want and at the same time is a great place to pick up the board for the first time!