With its relatively easy, consistent, warm-water waves, an unending beer and tequila supply, beautiful desert landscape coupled with comfy condos and shopping malls and its proximity to ever-growing Southern California, it’s no wonder the area around Cabo San Lucas has become a kind of surfing Disneyland. A bit dustier, sure, but no less fun. And if you’re on it, the lines for the rides are way shorter.
Cabo is generally divided into three main areas: the south-facing East Cape, which lies to the east of San Jose Del Cabo and is most famous for its proliferation of fickle, silky right pointbreaks; the southeast-facing Costa Azul, just southwest of San Jose Del Cabo, right on the tip of the peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, which is known for its reasonably consistent – and crowded – rock reefbreaks; and the west-facing Pacific Coast, northwest of Cabo San Lucas, which is known best for its dependable beach and rock-reef breaks.
June-August is Southern Baja’s busiest and best surf season. Infrequent hurricane swells (called chubascos) can send perfect southeast swell up to the East Cape’s nooks and crannies. (Of course the hurricanes can just as easily come ashore and blow everything all to hell, so it’s important to monitor their progress on Hurricanetrak.) Meanwhile solid New Zealand and other Southern Hemi swells send waves to the East Cape, the Cabo area and the Pacific Coast, spreading out the madding crowds and offering everything from punchy beachbreak to perfect, silky pointbreaks. The weather is fricken hot and sticky — often in the 100s on the East Cape and 90s elsewhere – and the water is warm on both coasts, though the Pacific is usually from 5 to 10 degrees colder than the East Cape due to upwelling and suchlike. It’s a good idea to bring a spring suit.
September-November can be the best time to visit Southern Baja for a few reasons: the kids have gone back to school and the Christmas vacationers haven’t yet invaded. South swells are still reasonably common, bringing slightly infrequent surf to the East Cape and Costa Azul, and west swells have started in earnest, causing pretty consistent surf on the Pacific coast. Water temps are starting to cool down, but are still way warmer than SoCal; bring a springsuit and a 3/2mm, just in case.
December-February tends to be the most popular time for tourists to visit the Tip. Prices go up, traffic can get bad, and the lineups can get crowded with novice and intermediate surfers as thousands of folks fly south to escape winter’s icy grip on North America (lots of Canadians here, too). The East Cape is pretty much flat. Costa Azul isn’t much better, but the Pacific Coast spots that are exposed to west swell can light up for days on end, with superclean conditions. Again, you may need anything from a springsuit to a 3/2mm fullsuit, depending on the year.
March-May, like anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, is a transition time. Keep in mind, though, according to Surfline’s detailed records, May is actually the most consistent month for south swells, so it could be a good transition. Winds can be bad during this time, though, as the howling springtime northwesterlies on the Pacific side blow right into the northeasterlies on the East Cape. But the swells are reasonably frequent and the crowds are nowhere near what they are during the summer or winter school holiday season, so springtime is actually a good time to plan a visit. –
www.Surfline.com (wealth of knowledge at your one stop surf site)