Punta Mita Surf Spots
My family has been coming to the Mexican State of Nayarit surfing for years and have always found quality surf. Understand that I have been surfing since 1958 non-stop and my 29-year old son started when he was 4 years old. Having been in the travel industry my entire life and having worked as a sales manager for Aloha Airlines in Hawaii for a 12-year stint back in the 1970s, I have been fortunate to have chased waves all over the world. My best memories go all the way back to the late 1950s when we only surfed the premier point breaks in California. There were so few surfers at that time that we looked forward to seeing other guys that surfed in the line-up. It was not uncommon to have an entire break to yourself and enjoy wave after wave of perfection. Unfortunately, surfing has become so popular that it is not uncommon for my son and I to surf our home break in San Diego with tons of other guys no matter when we go out for a session.
Nayarit is the state that lies between Sinaloa to the north (Mazatlan) and Jalisco to the south (Puerto Vallarta). Other than the town of Tepic, Nayarit is made up of small fishing villages and farms. It is basically a jungle with a dry season and enjoys unbelievably excellent weather. It also enjoys quality surf. What do I mean by quality? I mean Southern California reef and point like surf. Long well shaped walls that one can rip apart on a short board or cruise on a long board. In fact, I can’t imagine there is a better location on Earth for long boarders. Now, if you are looking for bone crushing hollow beach breaks with stand-up barrels, you won’t find them here. Go to Puerto Escondido. But, if you want high quality point surf and high quality reef breaks, then Nayarit is for you. The best thing about Nayarit is that it is not uncommon to have a break entirely to yourself. On numerous occasions I have surfed a quality break named Los Veneros (like Malibu, only shorter) all by myself and simply watched wave after wave peel along the reef go un-ridden.
Here is a short video that my son shot while visiting last year. This is typical of the surf in front of the condo and on a small day at El Faro (First two waves). Note the lack of people in the line-up. Believe me, the surf gets much better!
PuntaMitaCondoRentals.com Surf Video HD from Andy Ogg on Vimeo.
The barrier to getting to the surf in Nayarit is access. Virtually all of the breaks require effort to get to, but this is why they are not crowded. Nayarit has breaks that work on all swells. In my opinion, I like the summer months the best. You are guaranteed surf and no crowds. Yes, it is hot and will storm virtually every afternoon, but the excellent surf and lack of people make the weather more than worth it. From November until April, the weather is absolutely perfect (much better than Hawaii where it may rain) and the surf is too. Southwest, west and northwest swells consistently pound the coast. Just to give you an idea of the surf, the picture of the break in front of the El Anclote condos on the left hand side were taken in spring of 2007. Summer months see it more consistent, but it breaks year around. Note that the pictures were taken with a long lens and the break is actually quite a ways off shore and is a super long wave as you can see in the video above. To get to this break all that you do is leave the condo, walk across the skybridge, down the stairs, walk up to the next jetty and paddle out. That said, here is a description of the breaks that you will find in the area.
But, don’t take my word for it. Surf legend Gerry Lopez (Mr. Pipeline) visited Punt Mita. HERE is a video of what Gerry said about the surf.
Punta Mita Surf Spots by the Condos
The Waves of El Anclote
El Anclote: This is the reef break directly in front of the condo. It is an excellent right and a great wave for beginners and long boarders.
Lines Pouring into El Anclote
It is very similar to Canoes in Waikiki only with long easy rides and perfect shape most of the time. Once the break hits about 4 feet, it becomes a much more challenging wave with long, long walls and plenty of juice. There is an inside break east of the north jetty that is an absolutely perfect place for beginners to learn how to surf.. The normal breeze here blows directly offshore. This break receives virtually all swell directions, so it breaks year around.
The Wave at La Lancha
La Lancha: About a thirty minute walk to the east (left when you hit the beach) along some of the most beautiful beaches in the world is the break at La Lancha. This is a classic right reef break with a consistent peak followed by a long wall. The left on the peak can also be long and fun.
Panga Surfing at La Lancha
There can be some fun sections, but for the most part, this is a long board wave. One can also hire a panga to take them to La Lancha and either drop you off and come back later, or stay with you while you surf.
La Lancha Wall
Note that the houses that you pass along the way are the houses movie stars and the like stay in. When you hear about this movie star or that one staying in Nayarit, this is one of the spots. The houses are incredible and the beaches extremely private. You could walk all the way to La Lancha and back and never see a soul.
El Faro (Taken From the Condo Swimming Pool with a 40X Lens)
El Faro: El Faro is the point break that you see at the very western most point of Punta Mita from El Anclote. While you can walk to the break (about 25 to 30 minutes), it is much more advisable to take a panga because there is no real beach once you are past the initial bay.
Another El Faro Wall
This is a high quality right point break very much like Malibu or Rincon Point in California. The normal afternoon wind blows directly into the barrels making these waves extremely hollow and fun!
Inside El Faro After a Long Ride
There are several take off spots, so even if there are others in the water, you can always find your own wave here. If you catch El Faro on the right swell, it is an epic session. HERE is a YouTube video of El Faro breaking about 4 feet. While it is low tide, the normal offshore wind is not blowing, which makes this place really rock. But, you can get an idea about the break by watching the video.
Bahia: Bahia is further around the point from El Faro and is actually a deep water peak followed by a long and exciting right wall with several sections. This is a high quality wave that resembles Swamis in San Diego and can put on some size. It is an excellent short board wave, but can also be enjoyed on a long board too. A panga is the best way to surf Bahia, but one can walk it, as after you round El Faro, it becomes a sandy beach once again. Those staying at the Four Seasons Hotel can drive right to the break. Because the break is directly exposed to the Pacific swells, it is normally much larger than the breaks inside Punta Mita. The best time to surf Bahia is in the morning, as the normal breeze blows across shore here and will affect the quality of the wave.
Other Punta Mita Surf Spots
Punta Burros Doing its Thing
Punta Burros: Right next to the Palladium Hotel, Punta Burros is an excellent right point/reef that is a lot of fun. It has enough power so that short boarders can rip it, yet is forgiving enough to be tons of fun on a long board too. This is the wave most people think about when they think about surfing on Punta Mita.
Burros on a Typical Day
I found a surf video on YouTube that shows the spot on about a 5 foot day on a bumpy swell that isn’t lined up very well. But you can get the idea about the break. Click Here to watch the video. This is so typical of the surf on Punta Mita.
My Son Andy on the Inside at Los Veneros
Los Veneros: Also known as Dinosaurs, this is a classic reef break with a long right that pitches when the wind is offshore (usually every morning). It is a great short board wave, but long boarders enjoy it too. The wave is very much like Malibu Point, only more hollow.
Los Veneros, Small and Bumpy
While I don’t have any pictures of it, there is a guy that rents a house on the bluff that over looks the break and has a couple of shots of it breaking. If you want to check it out, Click Here. Note that these waves are very typical of the breaks on Punta Mita. Long point surf with high quality. There are actually some 21 different points that break on Punta Mita.
Swimming Pools: Just north of Los Veneros is another point (you can see it break from the line up at Los Veneros) called Swimming Pools. This is a fast hollow right that pitches big time and is tons of fun for short boarders. Long boarders will like Los Veneros much better. The easiest way to get to the break is to simply paddle over to it. Note that the reef is razor sharp and there are urchins, as well so wear hard sole booties and try not to hit the reef.
The Beach Break Setup
The Beach Break: About 200 yards to the left from Los Veneros (looking at the ocean) is an excellent beach break with an outstanding wide open left that is perfect for getting barreled. It breaks over a sand bottom and has all the juice you need to do some hard core tube riding.
The Beach Break has Plenty of Juice, Even When its Small
This is also a great wave for Boggie boarders looking for some lips to have fun with. There is a fair right on the same peak, but the left is what it is all about.
Punta Pelicanos: I have heard that Punta Pelicanos is the best wave on Punta Mita. We rented a house that sat right on the break, but it failed to go off. A guy that lives there said it was 8 feet the week before and I just can’t imagine it that size. Punta Pelicanos is a long, perfect, hollow right point that breaks just like Rincon. It takes a large south or southwest swell to get it going, but when it is firing, it is the stuff of legends.
Other Spots: There are numerous other breaks on Punta Mita, but these are the best ones. On the walk from the condo to La Lancha, as an example, one walks by several high quality beach breaks, a deep water peak (Like the Ventura Overhead) and a small left point. No one surfs them simply because La Lancha is rarely crowded and is a better wave. If you walk out to El Faro you pass several high quality peaks offering perfect shaped rights. No one surfs these peaks because El Faro is such a high quality break. You can be guaranteed that you will score high quality surf if you never leave Punta Mita, but there is more.