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Given that Puerto Vallarta is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, one of the most popular things to do here is surf. If you’re wondering where to go surfing in Puerto Vallarta, this guide has everything you need to know.

There are many places to go surfing near Puerto Vallarta suitable for beginners as well as places for more experienced surfers. Each location has different characteristics that make it unique!

Although the city is surrounded by water, finding the Puerto Vallarta surf spots is not as easy as it would seem, as they are all outside the city center.

Best places to go surfing near Puerto Vallarta


beach in sayulita

Sayulita is among the most popular surfing beach in Rivera Nayarit and is just an hour away from Puerto Vallarta.

The waves here are suited for all levels of surfers, but it can be crowded, so you may want to go to one of the quieter beaches nearby if you’re a beginner.

two girls surfing in sayulita mexico
Surfing in Sayulita

I went surfing at the main Sayulita beach for my first time in Mexico and found it overwhelming because there were so many other skilled surfers – it felt like you had to compete for the waves!

If you’re new to the sport, I recommend hiring an instructor from the beach to help you gain confidence and avoid getting a surfboard thrown at your head, as I did.

Many surf schools, surfboards, and boogie boards are available to rent from the beach.

In addition to surfing, Sayulita is famous for its nightlife and has become a popular spot for digital nomads in Mexico in recent years.

It makes a great weekend or day trip from Puerto Vallarta, with many hotels, hostels, yoga classes, restaurants, and bars to enjoy.

San Pancho

surfing in puerto vallarta: san pancho

San Pancho is just 5 minutes from Sayulita, so the beaches and waves are very similar. However, it has a much more relaxed atmosphere.

If you would rather chill than party, this is the better beach to hang out in! The ocean will also likely be less busy here, giving you more space to enjoy uncrowded surf.

Punta de Mita

Surfer in Punta de Mita

Punta de Mita is one of the best surfing spots near Puerto Vallarta. They even have an annual surf competition here!

It’s just a short drive from Sayulita, but has much fewer tourists making it an ideal place to practice if you’re learning how to surf. You can also do surf lessons here.

If you’re already an experienced surfer, there are many beaches around Punta Mita to catch some of the best waves and surf breaks.

Punta del Burro

A great place widely recommended by locals, but you have to walk through the jungle to get there. Since you will be far from commercial stores and businesses, be prepared with plenty of water, food, and above all, sunscreen.

It is an ideal location to spend the whole day surfing waves in turquoise waters. It is a great place to practice surfing since few people visit.

El Anclote

El Anclote is a spectacular beach full of golden sands and gorgeous sea views. It does not have much depth, so the waves are calm, constant, and slow.

This is the best option if you want to enjoy your stay and surf for a while. It is open for both; relax or dance with the waves. You can even go snorkeling or kayaking. This beach is near the Marietas Islands, and there are boats that will take you there for a fixed fee.

You can find delicious seafood to eat in the surrounding area. It’s an excellent place to satisfy your appetite after surfing!

surfers in puerto vallarta

Playa La Lancha

La Lancha beach is one of the most highly recommended surf spots near Puerto Vallarta.

The beach is characterized by its entrance; you must cross part of a river. It usually is dry, but in the rainy season, you may have to cross over mud. It has white sand and clear warm water, making it a great spot to take pictures and videos.

It is one of the best surf spots in Puerto Vallarta for beginners, as the waves are long and consistent.

You may even spot wildlife in the area, such as sea turtles and pelicans in the winter season.

Los Veneros

Los Verneros is located at kilometers 9.5 on the road to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The waves break in different directions, so it will be a lot of fun. Depending on the weather is the type of waves you can face, but on average, it is accessible to amateur surfers.

The access is through Rancho Banderas, with a little hike, but nothing difficult. Another alternative is through the public beach of Destiladeras.

La Bahia (The Cove)

The Cove is widely considered one of the best spots in Punta Mita. To get to this beach, it is necessary to catch a panga (water taxi) that will take you 40 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll have to walk over rocks from El Anclote, which can be annoying if you’re carrying a surfboard! There are collective options that leave every few hours.

This bay offers long rights and very fast left waves. You will usually find a medium to high tide. It’s a great option for intermediate surfers who enjoy great surfing and have some experience that favors them in different situations.

The reef can be exposed during low tides, making it difficult for beginners.

Puerto Vallarta surfing lessons

There are plenty of Puerto Vallarta surfing lessons around Banderas Bay. Here are some of the best surf trips and surf tours if you want to book your lessons in advance!

The first option is a certified surf and lifeguard school with a lot of years of experience in Mexico, as well as in Europe.

When you book a surf lesson, it includes snacks and water, an air-conditioned vehicle, and all the best equipment you need to learn to surf.

There are also private instructors who can teach you one-on-one, which can be super helpful as a beginner. This is an ideal way to learn the basics and build the fundamentals of the sport while enjoying a more pleasant surfing experience.

Plus, the instructors here are full of local knowledge, so they can give you recommendations to add to your trip.

This private tour with an expert guide includes rash guards, towels, outdoor shower stations, changing rooms, and storage for personal belongings.

You can also book a tour that will take you surfing and show you around the small beach towns of Sayulita and San Poncho with an experienced guide. This is a great way to enjoy both surf towns and the surrounding beaches.

Surf shops in Puerto Vallarta

There are a few surf stores in Puerto Vallarta if you need to pick up any gear before surfing in Puerto Vallarta.

Quicksilver is located in Galerias Vallarta, where you can find shoes, bathing suits, backpacks, and even surfboards.

Coral Surf Shop is located in the Romantic Zone, one of the cutest neighborhoods in Puerto Vallarta. In addition to all the surf accessories, you can find great beach wear here.

Planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta? Check out these posts!

surfing in puerto vallarta pin

 Lora Pope is a travel content creator who’s been wandering solo for over a decade. She lives a nomadic lifestyle and is on a quest to visit every country in the world - always on the lookout for new adventures, hidden gems, and dogs to pet. You can follow her adventures on Explore with Lora</a or any channels below.

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