Surfing in Sayulita: 7 Best Surf Spots in Nayarit

Surfing in Sayulita – A Surfer’s Paradise

Let’s first talk about Nayarit’s most famous surf spot – Sayulita, and then we’ll dive into the more hidden gem locations less tourists know about.

If we’re going to talk about where you can find the best surfing locations on Mexico’s west coast, we have to start with the most popular – Sayulita.

Sayulita is a popular surfing destination located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, in the state of Nayarit. It is known for its vibrant and bohemian atmosphere, attracting surfers of all levels. Sayulita has several beaches that offer different surfing experiences:

  1. Sayulita Beach: Sayulita’s main beach is a great spot for beginners and novice getting their feet wit in the surfing world. It features a sandy bottom and gentle waves, providing a friendly environment to learn and practice surfing skills. Surfing schools and rental shops are available in the area to assist beginners.The beach itself boasts a picturesque setting, framed by lush vegetation and swaying palm trees. Its golden sands extend for approximately 2 kilometers (1.24 miles), providing ample space for beachgoers to spread out and enjoy the coastal ambiance.

The warm and inviting waters of the Pacific Ocean gently lap against the shore, creating a tranquil backdrop for leisurely walks or refreshing dips. Sayulita Beach offers something for everyone, from excellent surfing conditions, to sunbathers and families. Its waves cater to a range of skill levels, making it a popular destination for both beginners and experienced surfers. The consistent swells and favorable wind conditions make Sayulita an ideal spot to catch a wave and experience the thrill of riding the ocean’s energy.

Beyond surfing, visitors can engage in a variety of beach activities. Snorkeling enthusiasts can explore the vibrant underwater world and discover colorful marine life in the crystal-clear waters. Stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking are also popular options, allowing individuals to explore the coastline from a different perspective.

Surfing at Sayulita beach
Surfing at Sayulita beach

Now let’s not forget about all the time spent away from the ocean, particularly at night when the sun goes down. What makes Sayulita so special? For starters, the streets are filled with colorful buildings, eclectic shops, and lively cafes, creating a lively and artistic ambiance. The town embraces a relaxed and carefree lifestyle, where flip-flops and surfboards are the norm.

Sayulita is a place where people come to unwind, connect with nature, and immerse themselves in the rich local culture. The beachfront area of Sayulita is vibrant and lively, with numerous beachside bars, restaurants, and cafes. Here, you can indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine, sip on refreshing cocktails, or simply unwind while enjoying the breathtaking ocean views. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals contribute to the town’s welcoming and bohemian vibe, creating a sense of community and warmth.

Sayulita Beach is not just a place for recreation but also a hub for cultural experiences. Local artisans set up stalls along the beach, showcasing their handcrafted jewelry, clothing, and artwork. Browsing through these markets provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant local culture and bring home unique souvenirs.

More Waves to Surf In Sayulita

  1. Playa de los Muertos: Located just south of Sayulita’s main beach, Playa de los Muertos offers a more advanced surfing experience. The waves here can be larger and more powerful, attracting intermediate and advanced surfers. Here you’ll find a lot of experienced surfers with more long board Additionally, Playa de los Muertos, located in Sayulita, Mexico, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by those seeking a tranquil and picturesque beach experience.

Translating to “Beach of the Dead” in English, this beach may have an eerie name, but it is far from somber.        Instead, it offers a serene and idyllic setting that showcases the natural beauty of the Riviera Nayarit.

As you approach Playa de los Muertos, you’ll find yourself enchanted by its unspoiled charm. The beach is nestled between rocky cliffs, creating a secluded cove that feels like a secluded oasis away from the bustling crowds. The jagged cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop, adding to the beach’s allure and creating a sense of seclusion.

The beach itself is relatively small, but it exudes a tranquil and intimate atmosphere. The golden sand invites you to sink your toes in and bask in the warm sun, while the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean beckon you for a refreshing swim. The gentle waves lap against the shore, creating a soothing soundtrack that complements the beach’s peaceful ambiance.

One of the standout features of Playa de los Muertos is its captivating rock formations. As you explore the beach, you’ll encounter intriguing rock formations that jut out of the sand and water, adding a touch of natural beauty and creating a picturesque backdrop for memorable photos.

Snorkeling enthusiasts will delight in the underwater world that Playa de los Muertos has to offer. The rocky formations near the shore create an ideal habitat for colorful marine life, making it a fantastic spot for snorkeling and observing the vibrant underwater ecosystem.

While Playa de los Muertos offers a serene escape, it’s important to note that there are limited amenities on the beach. It’s recommended to bring your own snacks, water, and shade, as there may not be as many vendors or facilities as you’ll find on more developed beaches.

Sayulita beach
Sayulita beach from above


Punta de Mita

Punta Mita is a luxurious coastal resort area situated on a peninsula in the state of Nayarit. It offers a variety of surf breaks suitable for different skill levels. Located just 20-30 mins (traffic dependent) from Sayulita is the tip of Banderas Bay – Punta de Mita, which has been growing in recent years as another viable option for surfers of all kinds. Let’s start with out favorite beach in the area, La Lancha.

  1. La Lancha is a renowned surf spot near Punta Mita that caters to more experienced surfers. It features a long, peeling right-hand point break that can provide excellent rides when the conditions are right. The wave is fast and powerful, making it suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers. Surfboards can be rented at Wild Mex, which is within walking distance to La Lancha.
La Lancha beach
La Lancha beach

2. El Anclote: El Anclote is another popular beach break in Punta Mita. It offers a mix of sandbars and reef breaks, providing options for different skill levels. Beginners can find smaller, more manageable waves closer to shore, while more experienced surfers can paddle out to the outer breaks for larger and more challenging waves.

When the waves become too large and unsurfable at La Lancha and Punta Burros, it’s time to head over to El Anclote beach. Situated at the far western end of Punta de Mita beach, El Anclote offers the easiest access to a surf break in the area. With just a short two-minute walk from the parking area, you’ll find yourself ready to hit the waves.

One of the advantages of El Anclote is its proximity to various bars and restaurants along the Punta de Mita beach. This makes it an ideal spot to bring your family along, as they can enjoy plenty of activities while you indulge in surfing. You can also take breaks between rides to relax and refresh.

El Anclote’s wave is not known for its consistency. It requires a substantial summer south swell to break, although occasionally, big winter north swells can also ignite the wave. The mellow and long right-hand point break over a rock bottom makes it perfect for long-boarders. In fact, it boasts the longest ride in the bay, stretching well over 500 meters and lasting close to a minute on good days.

Due to its wave quality and length, Punta de Mita is often referred to as the Mexican Malibu, although with one significant difference—the crowd. While you won’t be alone when El Anclote is breaking, the number of surfers is never overwhelming, and waves are typically not scarce. Wave heights at El Anclote usually range from head to chest high, occasionally reaching head to overhead (7ft), although such rare occurrences are infrequent.

El Anclote
El Anclote

3. Stinky’s: this surf break is situated in Punta de Mita as well, offering another exciting spot for surfers to explore.

To reach the beach access point, you’ll need to make your way to La Quinta del Sol Hotel. Follow the signs that are prominently displayed throughout the town, guiding you to this hidden gem.

When the swell rolls in and the conditions align perfectly, you’ll have the opportunity to catch some truly enjoyable waves at this break. While the waves here are typically fast and not exceptionally long, they present a fun challenge for surfers seeking an exhilarating ride.

Prepare yourself for an exciting surfing experience at this break in Punta de Mita, where the combination of favorable conditions and the thrill of catching fast waves will leave you with lasting memories.

This beach is close to the few hostels in Punta de Mita as well, so its closely located to many accommodations. Additionally, if you’re not looking to surf per se, a table with umbrella and chairs is always available for rent if you dont have your own beach supplies. Roughly 300 pesos for the full day.

For those looking for a surf lesson, I will link you to Stinky’s Surf School.

Surfing in Sayulita: 7 Best Surf Spots in Nayarit

San Francisco (San Pancho): San Francisco, commonly known as San Pancho, is a charming coastal town located in the Riviera Nayarit region. It has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, and the nearby beaches offer diverse surf conditions. For more information on San Pancho, that can be found here. For now let’s talk about the beach in this wonderful town you can surf at:

San Pancho Beach: San Pancho Beach has a sandy bottom and generally mellow waves, making it suitable for novice and beginner surfers. The beach offers a great environment to learn and practice surfing skills in a more peaceful setting. Its a large beach great for surfing and just lounging. Here’s the local surf school on the beach if you are interested in lessons. For more in depth information about surfing spots in San Pancho, click here.

As you approach San Pancho Beach, you’ll be greeted by a wide expanse of golden sand that stretches for approximately 2.5 kilometers. The beach is flanked by verdant palm trees and lush vegetation, creating a serene and natural backdrop that evokes a sense of tranquility. The pristine shoreline provides ample space for visitors to relax, unwind, and soak up the sun.

mexican tropical beach 2021 09 04 07 54 35 utc 1
San Pancho Beach

The crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean gently lap against the shore, inviting you to take a refreshing dip. The calm and inviting waves make San Pancho Beach a popular destination for swimming, especially for families and those seeking a more relaxed ocean experience. The gradual slope of the seabed ensures that the waters remain shallow near the shore, making it suitable for individuals of all ages and swimming abilities.San Pancho Beach is not just a place to bask in the sun and swim; it also offers an array of recreational activities.

The beach is also home to several palapas (thatched-roof structures) that provide shade and a place to relax. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas to ensure your comfort while enjoying the breathtaking views and gentle sea breeze. Various vendors stroll along the beach, offering snacks, refreshing beverages, and local crafts, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the area.

San Pancho itself is a charming and laid-back town with a bohemian vibe. After enjoying the beach, take a stroll through the cobblestone streets and explore the local shops, galleries, and cafes. The town is known for its thriving arts scene, and you’ll find a range of unique artwork and crafts created by local artisans.

san pancho
San Pancho

Refer to this map as a guide for where each surf location in conjunction to one another. This map is found at the website greenlagoonsurfing which has more information on surfing in Punta de Mita so check it out.

It’s important to note that surf conditions can vary based on factors such as tides, swell direction, and time of year. It is recommended to check with local surf schools or experienced surfers in the area for the most up-to-date information on surf conditions and safety guidelines. For more suggestions and information on these beaches – reach out to us anytime at Palmara.co.

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