Many people hear the word Mexico and the thought of poverty, violence, drugs, cartels, and theft come to mind. This is understandable with all the bad publicity the media has been giving Mexico, but is it really that bad? Here are a few reasons, from my personal travels, why I LOVE MEXICO!!! And you should consider it as a destination for your next surf trip.
1. Price - I go to mexico at least once a year, usually in the spring and summer, but this past year I went 4 times. This is because it is so close and convenient for me to get to, being that I live in California, and due to the incredibly cheap prices. I usually fly Alaska Airlines from LAX to either Puerto Vallarta or Huatulco. The flights are either direct or have a short layover in Phoenix or Mexico City. Also as a little insider tip, Alaska Airlines has some of the cheapest board fees in the airline business ($50 each way for shortboards under 50lbs). And once you get there food, drinks, transportation, and rooming are all priced very reasonably. The exchange rate between the Peso and USD is also 13:1 so take advantage of it!
2. People - Despite all the bad publicity, I have never felt a threat of any danger anywhere I have traveled in Mexico. The people are very helpful and if you study up on a little Spanish before your trip it will pay off greatly! Some people feel threatened by the military presence in Mexico, but I feel of it as a protection. There are often military checkpoints where they will ask you where you are going, where you are coming from, and usually have you exit your car as they search it. All they are looking for are drugs. After they see that all you are carrying is surfboard on your surf racks, earplugs, and wax they will realize you are not who they are looking for and let you pass on. If you do this a few days in a row they will start to just wave you through as they begin to recognize you.
3. Waves - Mexico has a wide range of wave styles from long soft reef breaks, to barreling sand and cobble stone point breaks, to the heavy beachbreaks such as Puerto Escondido and Pasquales. If you're a regular foot, southern Mexico is a must! Most perfect, uncrowded, barreling right points I have ever seen. For a family trip I would recommend Sayulita, a small surfing village with a soft right hander out front and a few more powerful beach and reef breaks within driving distance.
Mexico really has a little bit of everything for everyone. Don’t hesitate to take a trip to the tropical waters and explore the wide variety of waves!
P.S. Don’t even get me started on the amazing local food and margaritas!!!