Mainland Mexico is one of the most consistent, swell-rich coasts in the Pacific, and the state of Oaxaca has a variety of waves and wave types to choose from. Add to that relatively mellow crowds, warm water, cheap cost of living and delicious food, and it is easy to understand why this has been a surf-trip staple for West Coast wave riders since the early ’70s.

Surf Charters, Baja
Surf Charters, Baja. Photo thanks to Infinity Surf Charters

The Surf: Famous for its next-level beach breaks and mind-numbing sand-bottom righthand points, Oaxaca is an intermediate to expert surf zone.

Five Waves Worth Surfing:

Five Waves Worth Surfing:

The Season: The great thing about Mainland Mexico is that it pumps year round, picking up swells from the north, south and even west during tropical storm events. South swells are typically biggest and come between May and August, but you are just as likely to score in winter.

The Vibe: The waves surrounding Puerto Escondido can get very crowded, but most people are pretty friendly. Other areas see few to no surfers, so if you are looking to score empty waves, take a side trip off the beaten path.

Things To Do: You know those postcards that show beautiful people lounging on beautiful beaches, soaking up the sun and eating mangoes? They are all shot in Mexico—or at least they could be. This is about the best place on earth for beach bumming, so lounge to your heart’s content.

Where To Stay: This stretch of coast is set up for tourists and surfers, so whether you are looking for a surf camp, a hostel, a hotel or a fully-equipped and staffed villa, you’ll find it.

What To Bring: A bag full of shortboards and step-ups built for barrels, plus a rhino chaser if you are coming for big Puerto. A car with good 4×4 capabilities if you intend to explore. A book and some powerful sunscreen. A taste for spicy food and tequila. DO NOT bring, buy or attempt to transport drugs—you’ll either end up in jail or get killed by competing drug runners.

Getting There: Puerto Escondido now has it’s own international airport, which typically sees flights routed through Mexico City. Oaxaca houses the main airport in the region, and you can easily catch a bus from there to Puerto (six hours). Another option is to fly into Acapulco and travel overland from there (five hours). Visa’s available upon arrival. Airport codes: PXM (Puerto Escondido), OAX (Oaxaca) and ACA (Acapulco).

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