The Secrets to a Successful SUP Surf Trip in Northern Baja

SUP surfing in Northern Baja

Northern Baja offers countless amazing places to enjoy a SUP surfing adventure. From Rosarito to Ensenada, you will discover some of Baja Mexico’s finest surfscapes. Grab some friends and experience the cultural beauty that is Northern Baja.

Before you head off to paradise, there are a few important things you’ll need to know before crossing the border. Traveling through Mexico isn’t a walk in the park, especially if it will be your first time. Remember when your mother told you to ‘be smart’ before you left your house for the weekend? Well, the same goes for when you’re traveling around Mexico. Use your head and your trip will be smooth sailing.

Below are a few guidelines and tips for you to digest to ensure that your SUP surf trip to Northern Baja is safe and memorable.

Paddle board adventure Baja Mexico

The best surf spots for SUPing in Northern Baja 

      1. K38

  • Right hand point break
  • Intermediate (watch out for rocks)
  • Plenty of parking on the side of Route 1 (always lock your car!)

Paddle board surfing Baja Mexico K38

      2. La Fonda

  • Beach break
  • Beginner to advanced
  • Camping on the bluff
  • Plenty of parking on the side of Route 1
  • Local to downtown La Fonda

    3. Rosarito Beach

  • Beach break
  • Beginner to intermediate
  • Plenty of parking areas on the sand
  • Local to downtown Rosarito

SUP surfing Baja Mexico

      4. San Miguel

  • Right hand point break
  • Experienced surfers
  • Parking on the side of the road

Best places to stay in Northern Baja

Northern Baja offers so many amazing places to stay or camp on the beach.

Here’s a list of our favorites:

best hotels SUP surfing Baja Mexico

Don’t drink the tap water

One of the easiest ways to ruin your paddle board adventure in Mexico is to drink the tap water. The last thing you want on your trip is to be stuck inside, sick to your stomach the entire time. Also, ask for no ice in your drinks at restaurants because sometimes restaurants will use tap water to make their ice. Once you arrive at your spot, go to the local grocery store and pick up a giant case of bottled waters, or if you’re driving across the border, pack water in your car before you cross the border.

KM38 Taco Surf 

If you don’t make a pit stop at KM38 Taco Surf after a super fun SUP surf sesh — you’re doing it all wrong. Located on the street side of the well-known surf break K38 is arguably one of the best local taco’s in the area. Carne asada tacos and tortas for days. If you’re lucky, they will be cooking up some El Pastor.

KM38 Surf Taco Rosarito

Bring the right equipment

For any paddle board trip you go on, it’s important to plan and pack ahead so you don’t forget important gear back home. Create a checklist a week before your trip of things you’ll need. Use our list below as a resource.

Northern Baja SUP surf essentials:

  • A good paddle board for flat water – Classic Surf
    • Our all-around surfing paddle board with a classic longboard style outline is designed for small to mid-sized surf. With generous width and volume, the Classic provides incredible stability for surfers of all sizes and abilities.

Paddle board SUP surfing Baja

  • A good paddle board for sizable surf – Diamond Tail
    • This performance constructed surfing SUP is ideal for someone looking to paddle in mid to oversized surf while still maintaining a responsive ride. Tested and perfected, the Diamond Tail’s progressive design has stability and incredible maneuverability for everyday wave conditions.

SUP surfing Rosarito Mexico

  • Leash (lots of rocky shores, especially at point breaks)
  • Paddle (extra paddle too)
  • Extra set of fins
  • Wetsuit
  • Bathing suit
  • Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Cash (some places are cash only)
  • Passport
  • Cell phone charger

Be with someone who knows some Spanish

If this will be you and your friends first time traveling through Northern Baja, it’s important to have at least one friend who can speak and understand a little bit of Spanish. Mexico is a Spanish speaking country so don’t expect the people to understand your strange Spanglish when looking for directions. Ultimately, knowing Spanish could get you and your pals out of some sticky situations.

Visit Los Arenales sand dunes

Just 20 min. south of downtown Rosarito (off the toll road) is the epic sand dune playground, Los Arenales. Witness golden sand dunes and the Pacific Ocean in one spectacular view. At the entrance, you have the option to rent ATVs or you can decide to take your car for a joy ride. However, your car will need to have four-wheel drive to properly drive through the thick sections of golden sand. No matter which option you choose, there is a $5 entrance fee per person. We recommend visiting Los Arenales to watch the sunset. Sit up on the tallest peak of the wispy dunes and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Los Arenales Sand Dunes Rosarito Baja Mexico

Winter months you will still need a wetsuit

Just because its Mexico doesn’t mean you will be paddle boarding in tropical waters. In the winter months, Northern Baja’s ocean temperature sinks to just below 60 degrees and only maxes out at around 70 degrees in the summer. Check out this seasonal weather chart to help you pack appropriately!

SUP surfing Baja Mexico

Get insurance

If you’re driving across the border, we recommend you buy insurance from Baja Bound for your vehicle. In Mexico, they will only recognize Mexican company issued insurance.  Better safe than sorry! Baja Bound offers daily, monthly and yearly plans at an affordable price ($15-30 a day depending on the plan). You have two options:

  • Liability only
  • Full coverage

Mexico car insurance surf trip baja

Posted in Travel, Paddle Board Lifestyle
Doug Robichaud - Marketing Coordinator at ISLE Surf and SUP. Originally from New England, secondarily from Encinitas, CA. I enjoy surfing, shooting film photos and driving my Volvo wagon on the weekends.

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