Mike Doyle Surf School, located in front of the Acapulquito break, is one of the best surf schools in the area. // © 2016 Michelle Rae Uy
Feature image (above): Monuments Beach in Cabo San Lucas is a popular spot for seasoned surfers. // © 2016 Los Cabos Tourism Board
The tip of Baja California Sur has long captured the hearts of vacationers, honeymooners and partygoers alike. But over the years, it has established itself as a world-class surfing destination as well, with both amateurs and pro surfers frequenting its shores.
What makes Los Cabos an incredible location for surf trips? It’s simple, says Gabriella Calero Capderila, project manager for Cabo’s Costa Azul Surf Shop.
“The water in Los Cabos is amazing,” she said. “You can find so many different break points and so many different places to surf.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by many surfers and surf instructors in the area, including 37-year surf veteran Miguel Roxas, who has been teaching the sport at Mike Doyle Surf School for 16 years.
“There are so many spots to surf, from the East Cape to the Pacific,” Roxas said.
Roxas is referring to the 20 or so point breaks along the Los Cabos coastline — from the shores of the Sea of Cortez all the way to the town of Todos Santos on the Pacific Ocean.
According to Luis Palacios, commercial director for the Los Cabos Tourism Board, the area also offers excellent breaks for all levels and skills, from 20-foot-tall swells that attract professional surfers from all over the world to gentle, beginner breaks that make for optimal surf lessons.
One of the more gentle spots is Acapulquito (also known as Old Man’s), which is located right in front of Mike Doyle Surf School just outside San Jose del Cabo. It’s basically every local surf instructor’s go-to spot for teaching beginners. Here, the waves break very close to shore and are calm enough that even 4 year olds have taken up the sport at this beach.
Other mellow breaks include Los Cerritos, on the Pacific, which is popular with beginners thanks to its beach break and sand bottom, and Nine Palms on the Eastern Cape, with its easy waves that Capderila says are ideal for all.
Intermediate surfers, on the other hand, will find The Rock, located right next to Acapulquito, to be the perfect middle ground. The waves here gain a bit of speed and can produce nice barrels. Punta Lobos, a favorite of Roxas, is also a good spot for advanced surfers.
Within paddling distance from The Rock is the world-famous Zippers, where the Los Cabos Open of Surf is held and where speed waves are frequented by experts.
La Bocana is also known for its fast beach break waves, while Monuments Beach is famous for its tricky break.
Then there’s La Pastora, located along the Pacific coast north of Todos Santos. It’s one of Capderila’s favorites, as well as where she and other locals go for overnight surf trips. It’s also where Alex Olea, owner of Costa Azul and creator of Olea surfboards, took on an 18-foot-tall wave — a moment that is forever immortalized in an epic photo hanging on the wall at the surf shop.
It’s far more than these spots that draw surfers to Los Cabos, however. One surfer, visiting from San Diego, told me that he prefers surfing here more than in his own hometown.
“Surfers here are less aggro [surf speak for aggressive] and more open to sharing the waves with everyone,” he said.
Indeed, there’s a positive vibe and a very supportive surfing community in Los Cabos, so that even newcomers — both to the sport and to the area — are welcomed with open arms. And with surfing being such a challenging sport to learn and master, that support system may be as vital as the breaks themselves.