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Surfing in Northern Baja

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Baja Surf Links: 
Pacific Beach - Surf Cam
(Sorry, that's the closest surf-cam to Baja)

While in Mexico or Stateside...
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  • Available in $2500, $5000 or $7500 reimbursement per accident

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    Click here for the full details ( )

Surfing Baja comes with a whole feast of extra goodies, such as nice swells, good cheap tacos, Mexican beer and the warmth of the Mexican people.  Just be sure to buy the insurance at the border (or online here), make sure your car is well fueled and in good working condition.  And be sure to bring a  friendly mellow attitude.

Heavy winter swells travel from northwest to southeast daily along the entire Pacific coast of the Baja peninsula. With the exception of Hawaii and San Francisco, the waves at Islas Todos Santos off the coast of Ensenada are said to be the biggest in the winter Pacific. Unless you're ready to join the pro circuit, you're better off heading to one of the following five surf spots

Content by Mark Johnson, Sidewalk contributor

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Baja's abundant point and reef
breaks are less crowded the
farther south you go.

Baja Malibu Wallow in connect-the-dots tube rides at this beach break 15 miles south of the border. Drop in, watch the lip heave, and fly out to the hoots of your buddies on the shoulder. Not for beginners, this potent wave works summer and winter, and it's best at medium to low tide. Take the Baja Malibu exit from the toll road and park on the dead-end street on the north side of the Baja Malibu housing development.

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Calafia Six miles south of Rosarito Beach on the free road (Old Highway 1), this right point reels on a south. It's worth checking during a big north, too. Booties will help you painlessly navigate Calafia's sharp rocks. You'll surf beneath the terraces of the Calafia Resort, which offers ocean-view dining and lodging. To reserve a wave-front room for approximately $55 per night, call 011-52-66-121581.


Salsipuedes Salsipuedes, which boasts a right point and a bowly reef peak, has the best camping and gnarliest access road north of Ensenada. Both waves break on any swell direction, but the point needs 6 to 8 feet to work. Five bucks a night gets you camping in a grove of olive trees that feels like it's a million miles from the nearest fax machine. Located 51 miles south of the border on the toll road, take the Salsipuedes exit onto the tortuous dirt road to the beach. Leave if you can (sale, puedes) when it's raining. It's not worth checking if the surf is small.


San Miguel
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A surfer gets ready to ride a righteous swell at San Miguel. This rare photo op features a background full of yachts finishing in the Newport Beach to Ensenada International Yacht Race.
A crowded, thrillingly racy point break, San Miguel is one of Baja's premier waves. This right-hander is best during a west or northwest swell. It's more hollow but more sectiony at low tide.

The San Miguel turnoff is immediately after the last toll booth before Ensenada, 61 miles from the border. Pitch a tent on the beach for eight bucks a night. For a few more dollars, RVs can plug into one of 30 hookups. Hot showers take the grunge out of camping here. Call 011-52-61-746225 for information. There's also a restaurant on the point, but it's worth driving the eight miles south for Ensenada's culinary riches. But be sure to check out the San Miguel Bar, which used to be frequent hangout for Jim Morrison.

San Miguel Surf Break, by drone


K38 Enjoy this great video of K38

Punta San Jose True Baja begins south of Ensenada. To taste its desolate beauty, spend a few days at Punta San Jose, a series of reef breaks that becomes one sweeping right when a swell fires. It's best on a south or a huge west swell, when the prevailing wind is offshore.

To get there, drive south from Ensenada through the verdant Santo Tomas wine-growing valley. Twenty-nine miles beyond Ensenada, turn west onto a dirt road at the town of Santo Tomas. (If you need food or water, buy it here, because there's nothing but surf and star-filled skies at Punta San Jose.) Fourteen miles from Santo Tomas, bear right at a fork in the road and drive 10 miles to a lighthouse. Local fishermen collect $5 to camp, and will sell you fresh lobster for about the same sum.


Why stop at the border?
Buy your Mexican Auto Insurance here.



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