Surfing in Oaxaca is a lot of fun and you can ride the waves in Puerto Escondido and Mazunte.

Oaxaca surfing: Top spots and conditions (2023)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I might earn a small commission if you make a purchase through the links in this article.

Surfing in Oaxaca, Mexico is a travel experience like no other. The southern state boasts some of the best surf breaks in the country, with consistent swells throughout the year. The main Oaxaca surf spots are located in the coastal towns of Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, and Zipolite.

Puerto Escondido, known as the Mexican Pipeline, is one of the most famous surf breaks in the world and attracts experienced surfers looking to ride its massive waves. Mazunte and Zipolite, on the other hand, are more suitable for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed surfing experience.

Whether you are an experienced surfer or just starting, surfing in Oaxaca is a must-try for anyone visiting Mexico. With numerous surf breaks to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect wave for your level and have a memorable time in this beautiful state.

Huatulco or Mazunte? Both are popular beach towns along the Coast Oaxaca that have great activities and plenty of charm.

Where is Oaxaca, Mexico? 

The state of Oaxaca is located in southern Mexico. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the south, Guerrero to the west, Puebla to the north, and Veracruz to the east. Its capital city, also called Oaxaca, is located in the central part of the state and is known for its beautiful colonial architecture, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine.

What makes Oaxaca special?

The state of Oaxaca is home to a diverse range of landscapes, including rugged mountain ranges, lush forests, and stunning beaches. Its coastline stretches over 500 kilometers and is dotted by picturesque fishing villages and surf towns.

Overall, Oaxaca is a fascinating and diverse state with a rich cultural heritage and breathtaking nature. It offers a glimpse into the history and culture of Mexico, and some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes.

Where can I surf in Oaxaca, Mexico?

Oaxaca is a popular destination for surfers from around the world. All thanks to its beautiful beaches, warm waters, and consistent surf conditions. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of surf spots in Oaxaca that offer something for everyone.

In this section, you will learn about the top Oaxaca surfing spots, including where to stay, the type of break, the level of difficulty, the best tide and floor conditions, and the best months to surf.

Puerto Escondido is one of the most popular Oaxaca beach towns that are great from q quick getaway from Mexico City

Puerto Escondido

Where to stay: Casa Umi 

There are plenty of accommodation options in the town of Puerto Escondido, ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels. The Zicatela Beach area is popular among surfers, with many hotels and hostels located just a few steps away from the beach.

Type of break: Beach break

Level: Advanced

Tide: Low to mid-tide

Floor: Sand

Best months to surf: April to October

Zicatela is one of the best surfing spots in Oaxaca for experienced surfers
Photo courtesy:


Where to stay: La Playita Beach House

The Zicatela Beach area is popular among surfers, with many hotels and hostels located just a few steps away from the beach. Some of the best areas to stay in include La Punta and Carrizalillo, which offer a more relaxed atmosphere and smaller waves for beginners.

Type of break: Beach break

Level: Advanced

Tide: Low to mid-tide

Floor: Sand

Best months to surf: April to October

Barra de la Cruz

Where to stay: Posada Jaysur

There are several accommodation options in the nearby town of Huatulco, including hotels and vacation rentals. The Tangolunda Bay area is a popular choice for surfers, with many hotels and resorts located just a short drive away from the surf spot.

Type of break: Point break

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Tide: Mid-tide

Floor: Sand and rock

Best months to surf: March to September

Hiking Punta Cometa is one of the most popular things to do in Mazunte


Where to stay: Posada Buda Tortuga 

Home to the gorgeous Punta Cometa overlook, Mazunte has budget hostels and eco-friendly resorts. The Mermejita Beach area is popular among surfers, with many hotels and hostels located just a short walk away from the beach.

Type of break: Beach break

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Tide: Mid-tide

Floor: Sand

Best months to surf: December to April

Check my complete guide on how to get from Huatulco Airport to Mazunte

Puerto Escondido is one of the top surfing spots along the Coast of Oaxaca, Mexico
Photo courtesy:

Surfing in Puerto Escondido 

Puerto Escondido is one of the top surfing destinations in Oaxaca, and it’s easy to see why. With consistent waves, warm water, and a vibrant surf culture, it’s a great place for surfers of all levels to catch some waves.

The most famous spot for surfing in Puerto Escondido is Playa Zicatela, with massive waves and challenging conditions. This spot is NOT for beginners, but experienced surfers will find some of the best waves in Mexico here.

What are the best spots for beginner surfers in Puerto Escondido?

Playa Carrizalillo is a great spot for new surfers to practice their skills, with smaller waves and a more relaxed atmosphere. This beach is also home to great restaurants and surf shops, making it a popular spot for surfers and non-surfers alike.

Mexican Pipeline in Puerto Escondido

No conversation about surfing in Puerto Escondido would be complete without mentioning the famous Mexican Pipeline. The Mexican Pipeline in Puerto Escondido is an iconic surfing location that occurs from May through September when the swells are the largest.

During these months, experienced surfers from around the world flock to Puerto Escondido to challenge themselves on the massive waves.

The annual Puerto Escondido Cup, which features some of the best surfers in the world, typically takes place during the summer months when the waves are at their biggest and most consistent. If you’re lucky enough to be in Puerto Escondido during the competition, be sure to check it out!

Puerto Escondido has mena other attractions besides surfing like nesting turtles and some of the best beaches in Mexico.
Photo courtesy:

Best things to do in Puerto Escondido besides surfing

In addition to its world-class surf breaks, Puerto Escondido offers plenty of other attractions for visitors to enjoy. The town has a laid-back vibe and a bohemian feel, with colorful houses and murals lining the streets. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars making it a great place to relax after a day in the water.

If you want to see the local culture, check out the Mercado Benito Juarez, a bustling market where you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.

For a more active experience, take a hike up to the Mirador de la Flor, a scenic lookout point that offers stunning views of the ocean and surrounding hills.

Is Puerto Escondido a good place to surf?

Puerto Escondido is one of the best surfing spots in Mexico. Located on the southern coast of Oaxaca, this town is home to some of the most challenging and exciting surf breaks in the world, including the famous Mexican Pipeline. With waves that can reach heights of up to 30 feet, Puerto Escondido is a destination for experienced surfers looking to push themselves to the limit.

Can beginners surf in Puerto Escondido?

Surfing in Puerto Escondido is not just for the pros. Several surf spots in the area are perfect for beginners and intermediate surfers, including Playa Carrizalillo and La Punta. These breaks offer smaller, more manageable waves that are great for learning and practicing your skills.

Overall, if you are looking for a place to surf that offers a wide range of breaks for all levels of experience, laid-back vibe and plenty of local cultures to explore, Puerto Escondido is worth checking out. 

Best places to surf in Oaxaca: an overview

Barra De La Cruz is one of the best surfing spots along the Coast of Oaxaca
Photo courtesy:

Barra De La Cruz 

Barra De La Cruz is a remote and beautiful beach with some of the best waves in Mexico. Its challenging right-hand point break attracts experienced surfers from all over the world. The waves can reach up to 12 feet, making it an ideal place for experienced surfers. If you are up for a challenge and looking for some of the best waves in Mexico, Barra De La Cruz is the place for you.

Huatulco is one of the most popular towns along the coast of Oaxaca.


Huatulco is a popular beach destination that offers great surf breaks for all levels of surfers. The beaches are not as crowded as some other surf spots in Mexico, making it an excellent place to catch some waves without the crowds. Huatulco is also known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, which make it a great place to relax after a day of surfing. 

Mazunte or Huatuclo? Learn about what Oaxaca beach town to choose for your Mexico vacation.


Mazunte is a laid-back surfing town located on the Oaxacan coast. The beach is surrounded by lush jungles and boasts some of the best waves in the area. The beach is perfect for beginners, with smaller waves that are ideal for practicing.

There are also more challenging breaks for experienced surfers. After a day of surfing, you can relax in the town’s bohemian atmosphere and enjoy the local seafood and mezcal.


Zicatela is one of the most famous surfing spots in Mexico known for its powerful waves that can reach up to 30 feet, making it an ideal destination for experienced surfers.

The waves break over a shallow sandbar, creating tubes that are perfect for barrel rides. The beach can get crowded during peak season, but the waves are worth it. Zicatela is also known for its lively atmosphere, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and surf shops.

Salina Cruz

Salina Cruz is located on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca and is known for its consistent waves, making it a popular destination for surfers of all levels. The beach has several different surf breaks, each with its unique character.

The waves can reach up to 15 feet, making it an ideal place for experienced surfers. Salina Cruz is a relatively undiscovered surf spot, so you can enjoy the waves without the crowds. The beach is also known for its stunning scenery, with palm trees lining the shore and the Sierra Madre mountains in the background.

Oaxaca has several good spot for beginner surfers like Playa Carizalillo and La Punta, both located in Puerto Escondido.
Photo courtesy:

What are the best spots for beginner surfers in Oaxaca?

If you’re a beginner surfer in Oaxaca, you might want to head to Playa Carrizalillo in Puerto Escondido. The waves are smaller and less powerful here, making it a great place to practice your skills. Another option is La Punta in Puerto Escondido, where the waves are more forgiving for beginners.

Another good spot for beginners is Playa Principal in Huatulco, where you can find smaller waves that are perfect for learning. Finally, Mazunte and Zipolite offer some good beginner waves, but it’s important to be aware of the strong currents and rocky bottom.

Overall, there may not be a lot of options for beginner surfers in Oaxaca, but with a little research and caution, you can still find some great spots to catch your first waves.

Oaxaca surfing seasons

Oaxaca has a year-round surf season, but the best time to surf depends on what type of waves you’re looking for.

Best season for experienced surfers in Oaxaca

From November to April, you can expect to find bigger swells with offshore winds, making it the best time for advanced surfers. During this time, the weather is mostly sunny and dry, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (around 23-30 Celsius). However, be prepared for occasional rain showers during this time of year.

Best season for new surfers in Oaxaca

From May to October, the waves are smaller and more consistent, making it a great time for beginners and intermediate surfers. The weather is hotter and more humid, with temperatures ranging from the high 80s to the low 90s Fahrenheit (around 30-33 Celsius). However, be aware that this is also the rainy season, so thunderstorms and occasional hurricanes are possible.

Rainy Season in Oaxaca – May through November

During the rainy season in Oaxaca, which lasts from May through November, the weather is hot and humid. The average temperature during this time is around 85°F (29°C), and it can feel even worse due to the high humidity level.

Surfing conditions during the rainy season in Oaxaca

The surfing conditions during the rainy season in Oaxaca are generally good, with consistent swells and moderate to strong winds. But occasional storms and hurricanes can disrupt surfing and cause dangerous conditions. Check the weather forecast regularly and be aware of any potential storms.

One of the challenges during this season is the increased presence of jellyfish and other sea creatures that can cause painful stings. It’s recommended to wear a wetsuit to protect against stings.

Dry Season in Oaxaca – December through March

During the dry season in Oaxaca, which lasts from December through March, the weather is generally mild and pleasant. The average temperature during this time is around 80°F (27°C), with cooler temperatures in the evenings. The humidity is also lower than during the rainy season, making for a more comfortable experience.

Surfing conditions during the dry season in Oaxaca

The surfing conditions during the dry season are also ideal, with consistent swells and offshore winds that create good conditions for surfing. The waves are usually larger and more powerful during this time, making it a great season for more experienced surfers.

One of the challenges during the dry season is the increased number of tourists who flock to Oaxaca for good weather and surfing. This can lead to crowded beaches and more competition for waves. It’s important to be respectful of other surfers and follow proper etiquette in the water.

Oaxaca has many surfing schools and surf camps perfect for newbie surfers
Photo courtesy:

Best surfing schools in Oaxaca

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced surfer looking to improve your skills, taking lessons from a qualified instructor can help you make progress and enjoy your time in the water better. In Oaxaca, several reputable surf schools offer different lessons and packages to suit different skill levels and budgets. In this section, I will highlight some of the top surf schools in Oaxaca and what they have to offer.

Oasis Surf Academy

Located in Puerto Escondido, Oasis Surf Academy offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced lessons for surfers of all levels. They also provide video analysis of your surfing technique and offer surf trips to nearby breaks. Prices start at USD 50 per lesson.

Zicazteca Surf School

Based in Playa Zicatela, Zicazteca Surf School offers lessons for beginners and intermediate surfers, as well as surfboard rentals. They also provide transportation to and from the beach. Prices start at USD 35 per lesson.

Salina Cruz Surf Camp

Located in Salina Cruz, Salina Cruz Surf Camp offers lessons for beginner and intermediate surfers, as well as surfboard rentals and surf trips to nearby breaks. They also provide accommodations and meals. Prices start at USD 65 per lesson.

Surf Las Palmeras

Surf Las Palmeras is a surf school and retreat located in Mazunte, Oaxaca. They offer beginner and intermediate surf lessons, surf camps, and retreats. Their prices vary depending on the services you choose, but a single group lesson costs USD 50 per person, while private lessons cost USD 100 per person.

These surf schools offer a variety of options for surfers of all levels and provide a great way to improve your surfing skills while in Oaxaca.

Best surf camp in Oaxaca

If you’re looking for a comprehensive surf experience in Oaxaca, enrolling in a surf camp might be your best choice. These camps offer a mix of surf lessons, accommodation, and activities to help you improve your skills and have fun. Here are some of the best surf camps in Oaxaca:

Oasis Surf & Language School

Located in Puerto Escondido, this surf camp offers surf lessons for all levels, from beginner to advanced. They also provide accommodation, airport transfers, and Spanish lessons for those interested. Prices start at USD 470 for a one-week surf package.

Surf Olas Altas

This surf camp is based in Mazunte and offers surf lessons and accommodation right on the beach. Their surf packages include daily surf lessons, breakfast, and yoga classes. Prices start at USD 560 for a one-week package.

La Punta Surf Camp

Situated in Puerto Escondido, La Punta Surf Camp is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers looking to improve their skills. They offer personalized surf lessons, accommodation, and airport transfers. Prices start at USD 700 for a one-week package.

These surf camps are great options if you’re looking for a complete surf experience in Oaxaca. Prices may vary depending on the length of your stay and the type of package you choose.

Renting a car in Huatulco is a great way to explore the Oaxaca coastline and visit some of the beaches in the region without relying on public transportation.

How to get around Oaxaca

If you’re planning to surf in Oaxaca, it’s important to know the transportation options available to get around the area. Here are some of the options:

Public transportation

There are buses and “colectivos” (small shared vans) that run between the main towns and cities in Oaxaca. They are an affordable option but may not always be the most convenient or comfortable. You can catch a colectivo between most popular destinations like Puerto Escondido and Huatulco or Mazunte.


Taxis are widely available in Oaxaca and are convenient if you need to get around quickly. They are generally more expensive than public transportation but offer a more convenient and comfortable option.

Car rental

Renting a car can be a good option for those who want to have more flexibility and independence in getting along the Oaxaca coast.

The best place to find rental cars in Huatulco is DiscoverCars, an online car rental platform where you can find dozens of rental cars at affordable rates. 

Car rental insurance is required in Mexico for all drivers. You can also purchase your car rental insurance for a low price through DiscoverCars.

DiscoverCars offers a great way to save money, as you can buy car insurance when you book your vehicle. When you arrive at the car rental office, all you need is to sign the paperwork and pick up your car. 

I’ve rented a car with DiscoverCars several times, and always had a great experience with them. 


Visiting Monte alban ruins is one of the most popular things to do in Oaxaca.

Other cool things to do besides surfing in Oaxaca

If you’re looking for something to do besides surfing in Oaxaca, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some popular activities to consider:

Visit the ancient ruins of Monte Albán

 A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Monte Albán was once the capital of the Zapotec civilization and provides impressive pyramids, temples, and tombs.

Explore the town of Oaxaca

Oaxaca town and region are a must when making travel plans to Mexico! This charming colonial town is known for its colorful architecture, delicious food, and vibrant culture. Stroll through the markets, visit the museums, and sample the local cuisine.

The best way to get to Oaxaca from Puerto Escondido or any other town along the Oaxaca Coast is by taking ADO bus.

Take a mezcal tour

Mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, is a specialty of Oaxaca. Take a tour of a mezcal distillery to learn about the production process and sample different varieties.

Visit the petrified waterfalls at Hierve el Agua 

These unique rock formations resemble frozen waterfalls and offer stunning views of the surrounding valley.

Take a cooking class

Oaxaca is known for its delicious cuisine, so why not learn how to cook some of the local dishes? Take a class with a local chef to learn about the ingredients and techniques used in traditional Oaxacan cooking.

Hike in the Sierra Norte 

The Sierra Norte mountain range is located just outside Oaxaca and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring the beautiful natural scenery. Remember to bring the most important hiking essentials to enjoy the day to the fullest. 

Participate in turtle conservation 

Oaxaca has a strong conservation program for sea turtles, and there are opportunities to participate in helping to protect them. Visitors can help release baby turtles into the ocean, participate in beach cleanups, and learn about the conservation efforts in the area.

Go Dolphin Watching 

Oaxaca’s coastline is home to several species of dolphins, and there are tours available for visitors to see them in their natural habitat. These tours typically involve a boat ride with a knowledgeable guide who can help spot the dolphins and provide information about their behavior.

Go Snorkeling or diving 

Oaxaca has some incredible snorkeling and diving spots, with a diverse range of marine life to discover. Visitors can explore coral reefs, underwater caves, and even shipwrecks. Several tour operators in the area offer snorkeling and diving trips, as well as equipment rentals for those who prefer to explore on their own.

Where to stay in Oaxaca

When it comes to finding a place to stay in Oaxaca, you can find plenty of accommodations in some of the most popular places along the Oaxaca Coast like Puerto Escondido, Huatulco and Mazunte.

Puerto Escondido

Budget option: La Punta Surfhouse: Located in the heart of Zicatela, this hostel offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for surfers on a budget. They have shared private rooms, an outdoor pool, and a communal kitchen. 

Mid-budget option: Selina Puerto Escondido: This trendy hotel and hostel is located just a few minutes walk from Zicatela beach. They offer private rooms and dorms, an outdoor pool, yoga classes, and a bar/restaurant. 

Luxury option: Hotel Escondido: This stunning beachfront hotel is perfect for those looking for a luxurious surf getaway. They offer private villas with plunge pools, an outdoor infinity pool, a spa, and a restaurant serving fresh seafood. 


Budget option: Casa Losodeli: This budget-friendly hostel just a few blocks from Zicatela Beach offers shared dorms and private rooms. The hostel has a communal kitchen, pool, and garden area. The hostel also offers surf lessons and board rentals for an additional fee. 

Mid-budget option: Hotel Rockaway: This modern and stylish hotel is located in Zicatela, just a few steps away from the beach. The rooms are spacious, decorated with contemporary Mexican artwork, and offer modern amenities such as air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and private balconies or patios.

Luxury option: Villas Carrizalillo: This hotel is located on a cliff overlooking Carrizalillo Beach, which is a popular spot for beginner surfers. They offer both villas and rooms, all with ocean views and some with private plunge pools. The hotel also has a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool.  


Budget option: Posada Ziga Playa: This budget-friendly hotel is located in the heart of Mazunte, just a short walk from the beach. The rooms are simply decorated with traditional Mexican touches and offer basic amenities such as ceiling fans and private bathrooms. Some rooms also have a balcony or terrace with views of the ocean or the surrounding hills.

Mid-budget option: El Copal: This charming hotel is located in a tranquil setting just a short walk from Mazunte Beach.The hotel features an outdoor pool surrounded by lush gardens, a restaurant serving delicious Mexican cuisine. Guests enjoy massage services and yoga classes. 

Luxury option: Zoa Hotel: Zoa Hotel offers a comfortable and stylish stay for surfers in Mazunte. Located just a short walk from the beach, the hotel features elegant rooms with balconies or terraces overlooking the ocean. Guests can also enjoy a pool, restaurant, and bar on site. 

Puerto Escondido is a town along the Pacific Coats of Mexico known for the Mexico Pipeline which attracts surfers from all over the world
Photo courtesy:

Surfing in Oaxaca: FAQ’s 

If you’re wondering about surfing in Oaxaca, the state is known for its great waves and beautiful beaches that attract surfers from all over the world. With surf spots like Puerto Escondido, Zicatela, and Mazunte, there are plenty of options for all levels of surfers.

Is there surf in Oaxaca? 

Yes, Oaxaca is home to some of the best surf spots in Mexico. From the powerful waves of Puerto Escondido to the long point breaks of Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca offers a variety of surfing experiences for surfers of all levels.

Where can I surf in Oaxaca Mexico?

There are several popular surf destinations in Oaxaca, including Puerto Escondido, Zicatela, Barra de la Cruz, and Mazunte. Each of these spots offers unique surfing experiences, from the challenging barrels of Puerto Escondido to the more mellow waves of Mazunte.

Where is the best surfing in Mexico?

Mexico has many excellent surf spots, but the best surfing is found in the southern part of the country, particularly in Oaxaca and the state of Chiapas. Puerto Escondido is often considered the best surfing spot in Mexico, thanks to its powerful waves and consistent swells. Other top surf destinations in Mexico include Sayulita, Punta de Mita, and Los Cabos.

Surfing in Oaxaca: Final word

In conclusion, Oaxaca is a true surfing gem with its pristine beaches, warm waters, and consistent waves. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there’s a spot for everyone in this beautiful region of Mexico. Don’t hesitate to plan your next surfing adventure in Oaxaca and experience the thrill of riding some of the best waves in the world.

This blog post was contributed by Josephine who writes travel guides and travel tips from places she has visited on her blog,

You can follow Josephine and her journey on Pinterest and Instagram.