Curious about La Saladita Surf? You’ve come to the right place!
Over the past decade, La Saladita has become an increasingly popular surf destination for surfers of all skill levels, due to its friendly point breaks, amazing Mexican cuisine, and chilled out vibes.
It has become one of my favorite spots to visit over the years and seems to be quickly evolving into an eclectic little surf town.
The La Saladita surf break is primarily known as a longboarding wave due to its mellow shape and slow cruisy sections, although there are plenty of punchier waves in the surrounding areas that often call for smaller boards, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Below, I will give you a first hand run down of the town, the surrounding waves, and where to stay and eat during your future trip to this dreamy spot.
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How to get to La Saladita
To get to La Saladita, you will fly into Zihuatanejo airport in Guerrero, Mexico. From there, your best bet is to either rent a car or take a taxi.
If you plan on staying in the beach town of La Saladita, you won’t need a car to get around as everything is located within walking distance.
However, if you plan on checking out the surrounding surf breaks and exploring other towns, a car is much needed.
It will take you about 40 minutes to get from the airport to Saladita and usually costs $40-$50. Once there, there’s not a whole lot to do except surf, eat, sleep and repeat, which is sort of a dream if you consider yourself a beach bum like me!
La Saladita Surf Overview
La Saladita surf town is home to one of the best and longest left hand point breaks in Mexico.
Ideal for longboarding and working on that fancy footwork, you will be in awe of the quality of local surfers that this wave has produced. Whether you’re just getting into surfing or have been at it for decades, there’s plenty of opportunities to catch some of the longest rides of your life.
Mellow take offs and slow peeling sections make this wave super forgiving. If you consider yourself to be a beginner surfer, you can sit on the inside break closer to the shore and catch the smaller reforming waves. The more comfortable you get during your stay, you can start inching slowly closer to the main peak crowd once you hone your skills.
Unless you feel comfortable paddling out and catching waves on your own, I recommend hiring one of the locals to give you a lesson. Most instructors are also La Saladita surf legends and will help you take your surfing to the next level!
In terms of paddling out, be sure to take advantage of the large channel that sits to the North end of the break and be mindful of the locals – they run the point. Often, taking off a lot deeper than everyone else, riding all the way to the beach, just to paddle right back and reclaim their seat at the main peak (because they have earned it).
Due to this break’s growing popularity with longboarders traveling here from all over the world, the wave can get quite crowded and you will often see collisions. Therefore, be aware of other surfers already on the wave, wear a leash if you aren’t fully comfortable holding on to your board, and be respectful of the locals who have been surfing this wave before any of us knew it existed.
You can surf La Saladita Point all day; from dawn till dusk, as long as the wind stays light or offshore. The tides don’t affect the wave too much, although lower tides obviously make the wave a little faster than when there is more water filled in.
While you will be surfing your brains out, you will definitely need to take a couple breaks to eat some food! There are plenty of little spots to eat right on the beach, which is incredibly convenient as you can always keep an eye on the waves.
Some of my favorites include Ilianet’s, Paco’s, Bennys, and Mareta which are owned by a lot of the local surfers you will encounter in the water.
If you are interested in nightlife, Mareta often has musicians or Dj’s playing.
Barracuda’s, a local bar, hosts music nights once a week, and Lorde’s / Loot does a pizza night with live music once a week as well. It’s a small town, so it’s fairly easy to make friends and accidentally run into familiar faces every single day of your stay, which is what makes this place so special.
There are zero grocery stores or markets in town, so make sure you do a large shop in Zihuatanejo on your way in from the airport, or prepare to be eating out every day, which is relatively reasonable in this area.
Los Llanos is a 10 minute drive away from the beach and offers small markets for basics, but you would need to Taxi or drive your own car as it’s too far and usually way too hot to walk.
The different La Saladita surf breaks
La Saladita Point
Straight out front of the main beach, sits the point. It’s walking distance to most of the little cabanas and hostels where you will most likely be staying.
Your best and safest option is to paddle in and out using the large channel just to the north of the break as the bottom is sandy there and you will avoid most waves breaking over the reef.
If you paddle out at the right spot, I can almost guarantee you will reach the point with dry hair!
If you find yourself too far south when the tide is low, you’ll have to bare a slow walk over the sharp reef back to the beach, often finding little cuts and scrapes on your feet once you get home.
I will often bring a log and midlength with me in case we got a bit of swell. However, if you don’t want to deal with hauling boards and dealing with airlines mishandling your quiver, there’s a couple spots right on the beach to rent for $15-$20/day depending on the type/condition of the board.
The Ranch is an incredible reef break offering many different peaks about a 30-45 minute drive north of La Saladita.
You will need solid directions and a vehicle to get there as it can get a little confusing for first timers. The other option is to hire a local to take you by boat straight from Saladita beach.
Once there, there is nothing except a few expat homes and a local restaurant/shack on the beach that serves a killer breakfast.
Bring everything you need if you’re going to surf for the day; including plenty of sunscreen, snacks, water, extra leash, etc. Straight out front of the little restaurant you will see most people surfing the left, but if you walk south along the pebble lined beach towards the river mouth (make sure to bring shoes or sandals), you will encounter additional peaks and often nobody else in the water.
Troncones is a super mellow up and coming surf town that lies about 15-20 minutes south of La Saladita surf break.
Its 2.5 mile stretch of beach is known to host perfect waves for all skill levels.
This part of the coast has a mixture of sand, rock, and reef bottoms and loves a south/southwest swell. The best time for waves here is from the beginning of March to the end of October.
It works best on low to mid tides pushing, and is a perfect spot to ride all sorts of boards (longboard, shortboard, mid length, etc.) Aside from the solid waves, there are also plenty of places to stay and eat close to the beach!
Manzanillo Bay is an absolutely stunning area that lies just north of Playa Troncones.
It features several trendy little beachfront hotels and restaurants.
It can be a very fickle wave and needs a lot of swell from the Southwest to really do its thing; but when it does, it forms a solid left off a rocky point.
The take off can get quite tricky as the wave initially bowls up near exposed rock. It’s important to make this first section or else you can easily be in a gnarly situation with jagged rock and reef all around; therefore, it is a better spot for more advanced surfers.
On the bright side, the paddle out is fairly easy as there is a large channel to the north of the point, so you will be able to conserve some energy!
Las Escolleras is close to 45 minutes south of Saladita and just 7 miles from the Zihuatanejo airport in the Ixtapa region near the hotels.
The wave is described as a wedgy right hand beachbreak that can get very hollow and is popular among the bodyboarder crowd. It works best on southwest swells and can work on all tides depending on the size of swell.
Playa Linda is about 30-45 minutes south of La Saladita and offers a user-friendly left and right point break style wave near a river mouth that’s perfect for beginner to intermediate surfers.
The bottom consists of sand and rock and can work on all tides. A great place to ride all types of boards with a pretty friendly crowd.
Where to stay for a surf trip to La Saladita
There are various lodging options in La Saladita. It’s best to reserve something online before you arrive, as spots can fill up quickly due to the growing popularity of the town.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option and want to be close to the point, Chucho’s hostel is a great spot to check out as it’s right in front of the main peak and offers a plethora of longboards to rent if you choose not to bring your own.
There are a few spots to tent or van camp along the beach. However, due to the hot climate, I would try to stay away from camping and look for something with air conditioning or a fan.
A few years back, I lived in La Saladita for over a month and found a spot walking distance to the beach for $400 a month. This type of price may not be available
anymore, but it is still Mexico; things are cheaper. You can always find deals if you plan ahead and want to stay for a while!
If you’re traveling with a group of friends, renting a house will often be your best and cheapest bet. You can split the costs and take advantage of having a full kitchen and extra space.
Stock up on groceries while in Zihuatanejo or Los Llanos, cook your meals, and save a lot of money by not eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Best swell(s) for La Saladita:
Summer southwest swells will produce the best and longest waves for this area.
La Saladita surf seasons
The best season is during “Summer” which is early April into October. The “Winter” season here begins in November and continues until March, bringing in swells from the northwest. This is a better time for beginners as the waves are usually smaller with a lot less energy behind them.
La Saladita surf FAQ’s
How long is the La Saladita wave?
If you get it right, this wave will offer over 100 meter rides.
What is the water temp in Saladita?
The water temp sits at a lovely 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Everyone is usually trunking it with either a t-shirt or wetsuit top to help block the sun. Pack your surf hat if you own one, as the Saladita sun is not very forgiving.
What are the best conditions for surfing in La Saladita?
There’s fun surf year round, but the main season is late April into October, which provides consistent and often bigger waves coming from the southwest.
Other tips for La Saladita surf
The sun is hot and the vibes are high!
Bring plenty of reef-safe sunscreen, wax and a bit of extra foam. If you’re riding a small board on this wave, you’re most likely not getting the wave count you could if you were riding something with more volume.
90% of the people out in the lineup will be riding longboards so plan accordingly or rent something when you get there!
La Saladita surf guide- final thoughts
You’re stoked! La saladita is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited during my travels; both geographically and culturally.
It is why myself, as well as many others, often make their way back to this spot. So be sure to enjoy and welcome everything and everyone Mexico and this town has to offer, you won’t regret it!