A Guide to Surfing in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a great city for water sports and boasts of some of the best beaches in Mexico. If you’re an adrenaline chaser who enjoys the thrill of surfing, you may want to learn whether the surfing scene at Playa del Carmen makes it worth the visit.

Surfing in Playa del Carmen is an amazing experience for beginners and intermediate-level surfers. However, the waves are weaker since the Playa del Carmen sea sits across a reef barrier. On average, the wave height sits at around two to three feet, which isn’t too thrilling for experts, but enough for surfing novices.

Although we know that you can surf in the Playa del Carmen sea, there are still several factors to consider when it comes to deciding if the experience is worth the trip. To help you better understand the surf scene at Playa del Carmen, let’s look into this incredible city in detail.

Surfing in Playa del Carmen

Introduction to Playa del Carmen

To learn about surfing in Playa del Carmen, it’s essential to first look into what type of place Playa del Carmel is and why it is the ideal place for certain water sports.

Playa del Carmen is a city smack-dab in the middle of the Riviera Maya and has some of the most scenic beaches and cerulean waters. Traveling across the Playa del Carmen is relatively easy, with plenty of different options for transport, including buses, taxis, and vehicle rentals.

One thing that makes the Playa del Carmen sea perfect for surfing is that it is usually warm enough for you to be able to wade into the water all year round. For example, the water temperature is stable at around 79 °F during spring. Moreover, between the end of summer and the start of fall, the temperature reaches 84 °F, which is still quite warm.

You can also go scuba diving. Check out this article: Top Places to Scuba Dive in Playa del Carmen

Can I Surf in the Playa del Carmen? (In Detail)

Although we know that you can surf in the Playa del Carmen sea, where exactly are the best places to surf, and how large can you expect the waves to be?

A Guide to the Playa del Carmen Surfing Scene

For those who are entirely new to surfing, certain companies in Playa del Carmen offer surfing lessons to help you get and stay on top of the waves. Such lessons are typically around $70 to $90 per person and last two hours. In addition, there are also plenty of surfing tours available.

Playa del Carmen Surfing Conditions

There are several conditions that can make surfing a great experience, and Playa del Carmen meets several of those conditions. For example, surfing requires offshore winds that are not too strong. Offshore winds are winds blowing from land and towards the wave face. Playa del Carmel has relatively weaker offshore winds, resulting in better waves.

For better surfing conditions, the weather should be warm and sunny. While these aren’t necessary conditions, they will make your trip more enjoyable. Playa del Carmen beaches generally meet these conditions, with warm temperatures and sunny weather almost throughout the year. The months between March and May are typically the sunniest.

How Big Are the Waves in Playa del Carmen?

The wave height in the Playa del Carmen sea differs each day. Playa del Carmen’s shortest wave height that you can still surf is around two to three feet, which is perfect as two feet is a practical height for beginners with very little surfing experience.

For intermediate-level surfers, you can typically expect the tallest wave heights in March, with the shortest waves closer to winter. If you want to surf higher waves at around seven feet, going during summer is your best bet, with the best month being in March.

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Best Places to Surf

There are a lot of beautiful beaches in Playa del Carmen, many of which are ideal for surfing. In this section, let’s cover the most suitable places to surf in the area.

Playa Mamitas

Playa Mamitas beach is free to access and has beautiful and clear waters. It is a wide, uncrowded, and easily accessible beach with plenty of amenities nearby.

It has turquoise water and golden sand and even has parking nearby so you can easily bring your surfboards. The Playa Mamitas beach is usually very calm, though you can still see weak waves that are appropriate for novice surfers.

Punta Esmeralda

Punta Esmeralda beach is one of the more unknown beaches in Playa del Carmen. However, it is incredibly beautiful and has some of the best perfect swimming conditions. You can gain access to Playa Esmeralda for free and can also reach the area by driving or on foot from downtown Playa del Carmen.

Punta Esmeralda beach provides excellent conditions for surfers through its semi-high waves and serene water. There are also a few restaurants nearby and food vendors if you’re feeling hungry after surfing the waves. If you plan to go, try to avoid visiting Punta Esmeralda on Sundays, as locals tend to visit the beach on Sundays. 


Overall, if you are a surfing novice who is planning to head to Quintana Roo, Mexico, any time soon, then check out the surfing scene in Playa del Carmen. Bring all of your gear, follow surf etiquette, and have a great time riding the waves. If you want to go a step further, then use the guide above to learn the best places to surf.

Also, you can check out other places like Cancun to surf. Check out this article: Can You Surf in Cancun? (Best Places)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Seaweed a Problem in Playa del Carmen?

In 2015, there were record-breaking levels of seaweed on the Playa del Carmen beaches. Although seaweed is a natural and organic material, it can be inconvenient and unsightly. While this was the case previously, Playa del Carmen has done an excellent job controlling seaweed levels for its beaches, so now it is not as large of an issue.

Do I Have to Worry About Sharks When Surfing in Playa del Carmen?

There are rare seasonal sightings of whale sharks in the northern part of Playa del Carmen. Moreover, there are also sightings of bull sharks a few meters away from the sandy beaches. However, these sightings are rare, and disturbances or attacks from sharks are even more infrequent.
If you still are worried, Check out these Shark Repellent Bands.

Is the Sea Rough in Playa del Carmen?

The sea at Playa del Carmen is usually calm throughout the year, with softer waves and more tranquil waters. However, Playa del Carmen occasionally gets storms that make the sea much rougher. The hurricane season in Playa del Carmel falls between June and November, so try not to visit during those months.

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