Baja first became a popular surf spot in the 1940s, when American surfers decided to venture south of the border in search of incredible waves. They most definitely found this in Baja, and, to this day, the area is known to be one of the ultimate surf destinations in Mexico.
When it comes to surfing, Baja can be split into two main regions; northern and southern. While there has of course been some degree of development in northern Baja, it remains relatively untouched, and is where you should go if you want to avoid the majority of the crowds. San Miguel is in northern Baja, and is considered to be one of the best surf spots in all of Mexico, with powerful waves that are fast and hollow. Baja Malibu is located just twenty minutes south of the border, and is a surf spot that is quite consistent all year round. However, due their swell and strong undertow, these waves are not recommended for beginners.
While southern Baja may not visually seem any different from the northern areas, the water and air temperatures are where you will notice a big change, and, with the extra warmth, surfers have the added bonus of not needing heavy wetsuits. Shipwrecks, located in front of Rancho Rocas del Mar, is a spot that is quite a challenge to find, but, once you do, you are rewarded with minimal crowds and clear, clean water. Nine Palms in Cabo San Lucas is a great surf spot in the summer for all abilities, with a fun right-hand reef break, as is La Bocana, situated about twelve miles off of Baja’s main highway. Scorpion Bay is another legendary surf spot in southern Baja, and is actually a series of six point breaks that all connect together on bigger swells. However, the downside to Scorpion Bay is that it can get extremely crowded, as surfers camp here for weeks waiting for the magic to happen. It also requires off-road driving to access, so be sure to have the appropriate vehicle before setting off for Scorpion Bay.
Crime and Travel Warnings
While the security situation in Baja has significantly improved over the last few years and the rate of crime has drastically dropped, surfers still need to take some precautions when traveling to the region. Camping in northern Baja should only be done in established camping areas, and, under no circumstances, should you ever camp alone, as this makes you a prime target for criminals. Problems also arise when surfers find themselves stranded in a desolated area for hours at a time, as they have not prepared their vehicle with the necessary tools or parts to deal with any breakdowns or other transportation issues. However, as long as surfers are careful, use common sense and travel with a positive attitude, they should encounter no problems.
Whether you are just learning how to surf or are a seasoned surfer in search of some of the best waves in the world, Baja will have what you need. A stunning year-round surf destination, Baja is definitely worth traveling to, and you will soon find yourself wanting to return time and time again.
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