Some destinations experience the peak of the surf season during July, whereas other destinations have a year-long surf season that produces quality waves no matter what time of year.
If you’re looking to get away and rip up some waves during the height of summer (or winter in some places), then we’ve got you covered as we’ll be showing you the 10 best places to surf in July to guarantee you some waves that are suitable for both beginners and more advanced surfers alike.
1. Baja California, México
The Baja California peninsula has been a surfing hub since the early 1940s, regardless of where you go north or south, you’ll be guaranteed some good swells.
The northern waters are slightly more chilly so if you’re still looking to comfortably enjoy your sessions then head further south as you’ll be treated to water temperatures of around 80 degrees.
There are a few beaches that are recommended in Baja such as Rosarito that is a great all-level surfing beach and is only 20 miles from the US border so sees plenty of North American road-trippers passing through.
However, if you’re looking for some real testing swells then take a 20-minute drive south down the coast to Calafia where you’ll catch some double overhead waves.
If you’re out for some less crowded beaches but still great quality breaks then try out the stretch of coastline between Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos.
2. Sumbawa, Indonesia
If you’re looking for a consistently warm surfing vacation then you’ll need to hit up Sumbawa in Indonesia where they boast water temperatures of around 85 degrees and average wave heights of around 6 foot, ideal for those still finding their feet on their boards and also those more confident with heading out to catch some breaks on their own.
Be warned, the weather is almost always sunny so make sure to slather on the sunscreen even if you decide to wear a wetsuit whilst out in the water.
Lakey Peak is one of the most famous surf spots on the island and is considered to be some of the best waves in the world. If you’ve never been on a board before, then we’d recommend trying some more mellow waves before trialing out gnarlier waves at Lakey Peak.
3. Peniche, Portugal
Portugal is not normally considered a go-to surfing destination for more advanced surfers in the summer months due to the less reliable waters, however, it’s great for beginners and intermediate surfers. One of the best places to go is Peniche, which is considered to be Portugal’s surfing capital.
The water can get pretty cold in Peniche, so you’ll need a wetsuit even in the mid-July heat as it can feel colder when the sun disappears behind the clouds.
There are plenty of surfing facilities along the Peniche peninsula that will allow you to both buy and rent equipment and even join a surf school for the duration of your vacation.
4. Playa Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Santa Teresa in Costa Rica attracts surfers of all skill levels all year round due to the hollow low tide waves and the long sandy beaches that are perfect for lazing around during your breaks in the water.
If you’re planning on traveling to Santa Teresa then you can leave your wetsuit at home as the water temperatures can rise to 86 degrees during the midday sun.
Even during the height of surf season, the beaches remain pretty quiet allowing less experienced surfers to find their confidence.
There are so many surf schools within the vicinity of Playa Santa Teresa, so regardless of if you’ve never ridden a wave before or if you’ve traveled all that way to enjoy the Pacific Swells, you’ll be in good company.
5. Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa
Jeffrey’s Bay is up there in the top 5 surfing destinations in the world, so we couldn’t not include it within our 10 best places to surf in July list.
The area hosts the World Surf League (WSL) during the month of July so this is actually one of the best times to go if you’re looking for some inspiration in the water.
You’ll be able to watch the best of the best rip up some insane waves and then enjoy them for yourself once the crowds from the event have dispersed. Don’t overestimate your abilities in J Bay as some of the waves can be incredibly unpredictable even for the most experienced of surfers.
J Bay is considered to have one of the best right-hand point breaks in the world, so if there’s one flight you should book ASAP then it’s one to South Africa.
6. Bells Beach, Australia
Bells Beach is also another host location for the World Surf League every year where average wave heights go up to around 8 feet.
Due to the opposite season, Australia’s surfing season peaks during the height of their winter in July which is when you’ll find the most consistent and rewarding waves.
As it’ll be the middle of winter, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a full wetsuit with you to keep your body warm when the waves will have you thrown into the water.
The beach gets huge swells from the Southern Ocean that is protected by the cliffs encompassing the beach which can look pretty impressive, but those unfamiliar with the waters should stay wary as they are difficult to manage even for the pros.
7. Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
If you’re looking to surf and enjoy beautiful scenery, then you need to check out Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka. Despite only having a population of a few hundred people, the Bay is considered one of the best surf spots in Asia.
The sun is strong in Sri Lanka, so if you’re planning to head out in July you’ll need to bring your SPF 50 as well as a rashy because you’ll find it impossible to leave these beautiful waters.
The beauty and waves of Arugam Bay are no longer a hidden secret and can get crowded from not only die-hard surfers but also tourists lazing around on the beach and surfing beginners who are learning the basics of being on a board.
If you’re an advanced surfer, you can make your way to the south to the wild breaks of Okanda where you’ll find fewer tourists and more hardcore surfers just looking to rip up some waves.
8. Mentawais, Indonesia
If you haven’t heard of Mentawais already then you may have seen the displays of the islands in numerous surfing movies over the years.
If you’ve never surfed before, then you’ll want to stay clear of the islands and try somewhere else as most of the waves break over shallow waters where sharp coral reefs are present.
The breaks can only be accessed by a boat ride as they’re offshore so if you’re not a strong swimmer or don’t like the idea of spending all day in the water then this may not be for you.
There are tons of surfing camps and spots along the island, so even if you’re traveling alone you’ll be sure to find some new friends whilst out in the water or even within the resorts.
9. Oahu, Hawaii
If you’re a surfing beginner and looking for a more chilled vacation to improve your skills, then the north shores of Oahu in Hawaii is a good contender as it offers gentler and smaller waves than it does in the wintertime.
Make sure to visit Waikiki Beach, as it’s one of the best spots for beginners and lots of surf schools to choose from.
In the winter months, waves can swell up to 30 feet but don’t worry the summer months offer more tranquil waters but you’ll still be able to have plenty of opportunities to catch some thigh-burning waves.
The summer Hawaiin weather offers low rainfall levels so you’ll be able to enjoy clear blue skies and consistent temperatures for the entirety of your surf trip.
10. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
San Juan del Sur is a coastal town in the southwest of Nicaragua known for its strong waves as well as its party reputation that attracts young travelers looking to build their surfing skills in the day and party all night.
There are several beaches in San Juan del Sur with constant swells that are suited for both beginners and advanced surfers.
You won’t be surfing on the waves in the town as it’s not the best spot for surfing, so you’ll need to travel out to beaches such as Playa Maderas and Playa Hermosa where you’ll have plenty of space to score some great waves throughout the day.
Surfing camps and lessons are pretty cheap so if you are looking to stay on a budget then this is a go-to destination.
Some beaches can be more difficult to get to than others, so if you’re looking for an easy vacation we recommend looking into staying nearby a surf beach rather than in the center of town.