If there’s one activity that is synonymous with the tropical paradise destinations that surround the Pacific Ocean, it’s surfing. Invented in Hawaii, and spread around the globe to everywhere with a great break, the sport is both extreme and laid back. Los Cabos is the home of surfing on the Baja Peninsula, and one of the world’s biggest surfing events is held right on the shores of our beautiful beaches.
As Cabo is a meeting point of two major bodies of water – the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez – the movement of water and distinct weather systems can create unique and exciting conditions in the surf. The beauty of the destination means that you can go from the Pacific side to the Cortez side in just over an hour’s drive in some places, so you can experience completely different beach conditions. It’s also very unlikely that you’ll face bad conditions on both sides at the same time, so you’re almost never left high and dry with an unexpected bad day’s swell.
As a general rule, the best spots for surfing are the East Cape, around San Jose del Cabo, and around Todos Santos. The East Cape, northeast of the tourist strip towards Cabo Pulmo is home to some incredibly picturesque spots, with shipwrecks, reefs, and hundreds of species of marine life filling the water. The slightly longer drive is totally worth it for the view, and make sure to pack a snorkel to explore the reefs in the middle of the day when the stronger winds make some of the sets less appealing.
On the other side of the peninsula, Todos Santos is a town that packs great surf, a laid-back vibe, and some incredible traditional Mexican food into a small package. Book a night at THE Hotel California (yes, that one), and get your fill on the great cuisine from the locals. The Pacific side of the peninsula picks up great breaks coming in from the north, and, after a few sets, the small cantinas in town serve up just the right kind of refreshments.
To the south, San Jose del Cabo’s beaches are probably the most accessible to the short-stay traveler. Zippers and Old Man’s are located just east of the town, within a half-hour drive of the airport, and no more than an hour from any of the hotels in San Jose or Cabo San Lucas. If Zippers is ringing a bell for you, it is the host beach for the Los Cabos Open of Surf, one of the most prestigious women’s and amateur events in the world surfing calendar. These local breaks are best accessed if you’re staying at properties like El Ganzo, Hyatt Place, Krystal Grand, Posada Real, and One & Only Palmilla (which actually offers surfing lessons with current professional surfing champions).
Thankfully, if you’re not huge on traveling too far from your hotel, you’re in luck. These are just the main surf breaks along the peninsula’s coastline, and there are great beaches in every part of the region! Properties like Montage, Villa La Valencia, Solaz, Paradisus, The Cape, Esperanza, and Hacienda Encantada are all within short distances to some of the best surfing spots along the tourist corridor.