Punta Mita is a well-known retreat in Mexico for celebrities and jet setters, where you can enjoy diverse vacation experiences in a warm climate. It’s also a beloved surf destination, with many surfers heading south from Puerto Vallarta to ride the great swells that gather here.
Introducing The Punta Mita Surf Experience
Punta Mita often has waves from 1-3m (3-10ft), perfect for surfing with a longboard. The waves are pretty consistent, and you can usually get good surf a few times a week.
Because there’s typically offshore wind in this area, you can bet that you’ll be able to surf most times you visit this area. The town is located on a point, so the surf breaks are on either side.
On the north side, the waves are a bit sandier and smaller. There are a few main surf spots on this side – Punta de Mita, El Faro, and Playa La Lanca. The waves here are varied; some peel slowly, whereas others can be carved out and ridden inside a watery barrel.
These spots are known for being great ones to head to in winter as they’re more sheltered and have Westerly/North Westerly currents.
The south side of the point often has more consistent waves and is home to Stinky’s surf spot. This place is a surfing favorite because it allows people with various wave-riding abilities to enjoy the water. And, you’re often able to get the log out here, which is hard to do in most of Mexico!
Punta Sayulita is the most popular of these spots and the best, but it’s also the most crowded.
Great Places To Surf In Punta Mita
San Pancho is a well-known surf destination, yet not as famous as the nearby towns of Sayulita and Punta Mita. This little town is set on a beautiful bay filled with cobbled streets dotted with art galleries and restaurants. The town itself is charming, and there’s a laid-back vibe here.
The surf here is alright but not brilliant because if you’re not careful, you can injure yourself by stepping on some coral. We recommend heading to San Pancho if you want to relax and enjoy a slower pace of life because it’s super dreamily away from the crowds.
The beaches are lined with palm trees, so your surfing experience is highly likely to feel like something straight out of a paradise fantasy!
Sayulita is a popular surf spot and a great place to stay while you’re in the area. It’s a small town, and the surf suits wide-ranging abilities, so it’s an enjoyable place to hang out, with a great little local surf scene.
In addition, there are so many excellent places to eat and drink. This place is renowned for its delicious fish tacos, which are sure to refuel you before you head out into the ocean again!
However, as this place is so charming and loved by surfers, it is prone to be overrun by tourists. So, this isn’t a great place to go if you want to get away from the crowds and the busy day-to-day.
A great thing about Sayulita is that if the tourists get too much, you can easily travel to Punta de Mita. This will give you another brilliant place to catch waves.
The coastline is a little rocky, and it’s not an excellent place for beginners. But for experienced surfers, the waves can be perfect. The season is super long, with surfable waves throughout the year.
In addition, the swells come from South Western and North Western directions, which means there are often waves here when other areas have none.
You will have to take yourself quite far out on the board to enjoy the surf here. However, once you paddle there, you can enjoy A-frame waves that barrel, allowing you to glide comfortably. Suppose you’re just above a beginner level and desperate to visit this popular location.
In that case, we recommend heading there during the winter. This is because the waves can reach up to 10 feet tall when the tide is low, so it’s not for the faint-hearted!
The strangely named Stinky’s is renowned for being excellent for those that love carving waves. You’re highly likely to experience barreling swells here, which allows you to practice riding in quickly travelling waves.
This area is perfect for all surfing abilities because it has waves that will suit highly skilled athletes right through to amateur bodyboarders.
However, because Stinky’s is made for so many different surfing types, the crowds tend to gather here. So, if you’re looking for a quiet spot to brush up on your skills in the quiet, this place isn’t it!
However, we advise you to head here for those who love feeling like they’re in the thick of a surfing environment. There will be so many like-minded surfers bobbing about in this region.
Lighthouse (El Faro)
The Lighthouse (El Faro) provides offshore winds that allow many people to surf easily at its peak in summer. However, this is a rocky area, so you need to be careful and not attempt to ride the waves here if you’re a beginner.
To make the most of this surfing experience, we recommend you use a board that’s shorter than a longboard. This will allow you to get the little waves from the rocky parts around the head.
To get here, you will need to hike a fair way and make sure you’re able to swim out reasonably far. Definitely only attempt surfing in this location if you are pretty fit!
If you’re searching for a place to go that’s not crowded, we recommend heading over to Litibu Beach. This is because it’s a lot quieter than neighboring surf spots, which allows you to catch some smaller waves without worrying about finding your place.
This shoreline is to the South of San Pancho, which is not known for having stunning breaking waves. The surf here has been called “dumpy,” meaning it lands on the shore and doesn’t provide huge waves. So, if you want to look for a place with barrelling waves, Litibu Beach is not it.
However, if you have transport to get you here, this is a beautiful place to practice your surfing skills if you’re a beginner. You can often really take your time to learn how to balance here.
Palmitas is renowned for having gnarly waves that are perfect for adrenaline seekers. The G-force can reach 11 here, which means it’s ideal for those that love shortboarding.
To get the most from this area, we recommend waiting until winter because a Northern current will create some stunning waves.
You surf on the right and left sides on the riptide, which allows you to zoom into shore. However, please beware that there might not be any waves if you visit in the summer. So we advise heading to another beach if this is the case.
If you want to learn how to surf with a trained instructor, La Lancha is where to go in this region. La Lancha is a stunning place to figure out how to catch a wave as the ocean here is light blue-green and framed by magnificently tall cliffs.
In addition, palm trees fan out in this area, making many vacation dreams come true!
For those at a beginner or intermediate level, there are wavy areas that suit these skill sets. The benefit to these nice breaks is that you can practice popping up onto your board because you’re unlikely to be battered around by large barrelling waves.
Perhaps the main reason why La Lancha is home to many surf schools is that it lends itself to being a place where people can quickly learn to paddle. The waves don’t carry for a long time too, which allows you to hop off and swim back when you fall off a break.
However, beware that the waves can get pretty intense in the summer. To stop you from getting caught up in a dangerous situation, we recommend only entering the water with a trained instructor.
This ensures that someone with experience is on the lookout for you as you navigate the bold surf and guide you into safer spots.
For those that have outgrown the beginner swell channels, we advise you to consider heading to Burros. This is because the waves from the South are super powerful here in the summer, which allows you to carve their hollow forms.
The waves here wedge and can quickly carry surfers into the shore when they catch them. To enjoy a less intense experience, head here from December to January. This is because, during this time, the waves will reach just above your waist and are much more manageable than in summer.
You have to walk through some woodland to get here, which means that Burros is often not overcrowded. So, if you’ve been craving a secluded spot with stunning natural beauty, why not head here?! If nothing else, Burros is made for taking enviable Instagram pictures.
Places To Stay In Punta Mita
The town is set up to be a resort destination, with many lovely places to stay, including condos and resorts. The condos are stunning, and many have ocean views, so you can truly immerse yourself in this vacation paradise.
Punta Mita is a great place to stay a few days and relax – the beaches are beautiful, and the weather is perfect.
If you want a more adventurous holiday, we advise basing yourself here while you explore the surrounding area. Whether you’re a surfer on a budget or someone who’s saved up a big wad of money, there are ideal retreats for you.
This place is a favorite amongst the rich and famous, so even if you don’t feel like you fit into this category, you can for sure get a taste.
In fact, Punta Mita is made for those seeking out a luxurious Mexican experience! Hiring out your own ocean villa with sea views is possible here, so you can pretend you live here all year round.
Finding the best place to stay with all the options on offer can be an uphill task. And who wants to do more work in planning out their vacation?! We believe this labor defeats the point of booking a holiday!
So, to make this situation more accessible, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. So, sit back, relax and take in the fantastic accommodation options we’ve laid out for you below.
If you take a vacation because you want to be allowed to do your own thing in a beautiful place, we recommend booking a condo. The Punta Mita Luxury Beachfront Condo is a stunning place that will enable you to cater to yourself and your family.
This means that you can happily stroll in after soaking up the sun and rest your legs in your home away from home.
This dreamy condo with a jaw-dropping infinity pool facing the azure ocean. We adore that it’s not far from the airport so that you don’t have to wait long before hopping off a plane before checking in.
The rooms are designed with relaxing and enjoying yourself in mind, which is perfect for those who like a laid-back holiday.
Every room in this hotel has a handy high-tech TV, there’s a restaurant that serves up delicious dishes, too. So, even if you don’t want to go fully self-catered, you can enjoy someone else making the meals for you every once in a while.
The Dreams Bahia Mita Surf and Spa is beloved by so many customers that have stayed there. This is a vast hotel facing the ocean, which also has a diving center within the complex so that you can learn to scuba dive.
And if that wasn’t enough water-based opportunity for you, this hotel has no less than three pools!
For those keen on surfing and can afford to stay in this comfortable place, we recommend booking here. The close proximity to the sea means you can roll out of bed, grab your surfboard and run into the ocean! That sounds like heaven to us.
And this isn’t just a place to sleep and brush up on watersports! There are eight different restaurants, which cater to so many different tastes. For example, the Coco Cafe & Gelato is ideal for stopping by after a day catching waves in the sun because it serves ice cream that will cool you down.
As if this wasn’t brilliant enough, there is also a theatre and a fun disco. This means that when the sun has gone down, and it’s not safe to ride the waves, you can still enjoy yourself in Punta Mita!
For those aching after a long day paddling and popping up on their boards, we recommend visiting the Dreams Spa by Pevonia. This relaxing spot offers hydrotherapy, saunas, steam rooms, and many treatment rooms. This means it’s an ideal place to recuperate and put your feet up.
We advise considering staying at the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa for those searching for five-star accommodation. This stunning hotel even has its own private beach, allowing keen surfers to avoid the crowds.
On this beach, you can ride on your own waves without having to worry about bumping into other people in the water.
This resort offers specialist babysitting services if you have children and want to tackle more giant waves without them. So, you can enjoy your vacation, safe in the knowledge that your little ones are having a good time, too!
This resort has many more facilities, including a fitness center, restaurant, pool, and a diving area. This means that if you want to spice up your surfing vacation, you can easily take a break from paddling to try something different.
This resort is so unique that it does come with a hefty price tag. However, if you can afford it, we believe that staying here is worth it!
The Surf Season In Punta Mita
Like most places, there are two different seasons to choose from when you’re thinking about going on a surfing vacation.
Winter (From October To March)
Suppose you’re a beginner or intermediate surfer. In that case, we advise you to head to the surfing spots in Punta Mita during the winter season. This is because there are many days when the waves are smaller than in the summer.
In addition, the swells come mainly from the North West Pacific. This means that they curve around Punta Mita’s southern parts.
So, the waves from October to March don’t reach very high. Typically, you can expect the surf to reach up to your chest, which means they’re super manageable for those relatively new to the spot. Some waves can run for over 140 meters, allowing you to have more choice as to where you ride your board.
Summer (From April To September)
For those who consider themselves professional surfers or knowledgeable in the area, tackling the waves is fulfilling this season. In addition, the swell comes from the South, which allows the waves to come more powerfully into the region.
To fully use this current, we advise you to head to Lighthouse and Bahia because the rocky sections and reefs allow you to work with the water a lot easier.
However, suppose you’re going to Punta Mita during the summer season. In that case, we strongly recommend that you exercise caution because the waves can be dangerous for those that don’t have enough experience.
Surf Shops In This Region
This is an undeniably good surf shop, which offers lessons for surfers with ranging experience. However, suppose you don’t want to know more about surfing.
In that case, you can book spearfishing, scuba diving, go whale watching, take an ocean safari, practice stand-up paddleboarding, or organize a boat trip from here!
As if that wasn’t awesome enough, you can also buy any essential surfing gear you need to enjoy your vacation on the waves. By shopping here, you’re supporting the local economy and can access employees who know the area well.
Best Restaurants In Punta Mita
There are a few restaurants in town, with various cuisines, which means that no matter your budget and taste, you can enjoy yourself here.
This is an excellent spot if you’re keen to sample some local dishes. Located near the beach, it has an atmosphere that’s hard to beat. Try the quesadillas, tacos, tostadas, or stuffed potatoes for an authentic experience.
Located right next to the beach, the Arena Surf Cafe is an ideal spot for those that want a quick bite to eat before heading back into the ocean. This is a super affordable option with snack food and coffee, which has excellent reviews from customers.
The advantage to heading here is that it has an authentic and laid-back vibe, making it a favorite place for surfers to hang out. So, if you want to meet other like-minded people, we recommend getting yourself down to this cafe. In addition, the staff is a lovely bunch!
If you’re on a small budget and love hearty food, we advise you to head to Teresa’s Tacos. While the roadside restaurant doesn’t look fancy, the food is delicious. It’s worth visiting for the authentic vibe and because it’s so close to beloved surf spots.
Other Activities In Punta Mita
Punta Mita is a small beach town with a handful of restaurants, hotels, and boutiques. It’s also the yachting capital of Mexico, with many large yachts anchored offshore. So, if you fancy a break from surfing, why not hire a little boat to explore the coast?!
Golf is a popular activity in this part of Mexico, so there are a lot of golf courses in the area. However, the spots here are usually super expensive, so you may want to head to some of the cheaper courses in the nearby Puerto Vallarta.
How To Get To Punta Mita
Punta Mita is easily accessible from the Puerto Vallarta airport and is only short to Punta de Mita. The paved highway is easy to navigate, and there’s the main road through town, making it easy to get around.
You can get to Puerto Vallarta by plane for those coming from the United States. However, if you come from Europe, you may need to stop in Mexico City.
If you hire a car, you can comfortably get around the region. Good highways are running throughout the area. If you don’t want to drive yourself, some trips run a few times a day, which will take you to surfing spots away from Punta de Mita.
To find these lifts to San Pancho or Sayulita, ask the workers in a surf shop because they’re likely to know about when they’re running.
The great thing about vacationing in this area is that the buses run approximately 15 minutes from Punta de Mita to Puerto Vallarta. These trips are super cheap and stop in many different places, so you can hop out and explore if you want to.
Surfing in Punta Mita is a fun way to spend your well-earned vacation. The towns in this region offer many surf shops, beaches suiting different surfing abilities, resorts, fun activities, and stunning scenery.
So whether you are new to popping up on a board or love carving through a hollow wave, there’s water that will suit you here.