Puerto Vallarta is located in the Bay of Banderas, and Xinalani gets a pretty reliable wave due to its privileged geographical location and northwards orientation
Enjoy our Surf & Yoga Retreat in a tropical weather!
Puerto Vallarta is located in the Bay of Banderas, the second biggest bay in North America. Most people think that there’s never good surf inside a bay, they could not be more wrong. Xinalani gets a pretty reliable wave in the winter season from early November to late March. Its privileged geographical location and northwards orientation allows Xinalani to be hit by northern swells.
What’s the spot like?
It’s immediately accessible from Xinalani, you just have to walk out of your room, down to the beach, paddle out, and you’re on the point. The wave is a left breaker, pretty mellow, not too fast, not too slow, it’s great surf. On an average day, you will get 4-7 ft waves. On a very good day you can get some pretty serious over head surf. Even on a bad day, there is enough swell to surf, beginners and intermediate surfers enjoy themselves a lot here. The beach is wide and sandy with palm trees. To get frequently updated surf reports and swell statistics, please visit www.buoyweather.com, surf-forecast.com any other qualified swell forecast website.
Rocky or sandy bottom?
There are a few rocks on the right hand side of the spot, when facing the beach from the point. Definitely not too dangerous though, because they are not in your way if you follow the wave. If you are a complete beginner, and fall off your board in the area with a rocky bottom, make sure you do not step on the bottom, but swim back to your board. It may make you feel safer and more comfortable to wear surf booties or water shoes so you avoid any risk of feet cut.
Must be crowded?
Surprinsingly not. Perhaps because it’s only accessible by boat. There’s been an international surf contest that locals ran two years in a row, but they don’t anymore. Week-ends (Saturdays and Sundays) are a little busier with up to 10-15 people on the water, depending on the forecast, mostly guys coming from old town PV (Puerto Vallarta). On a typical week day, there’s 2-5 people on the water. The atmosphere is very laid back, no localism, nor territorial BS. You get to hang out with a lot of local kids from Quimixto who run to the beach with their boards under their arm right after the elementary school bell rings.
Mac and Randy, two gringos that have surfed Quimixto for more than 20 years are always there. Mac’s from Santa Cruz, CA but he’s lived in Mexico his whole life. Randy works in the fire department in Lake Tahoe. They both have a lot of free time to enjoy the good life. They rent a house right on the beach, and always have great beach music on. Mac will tell you about epic double over head days at Quimixto with a sparkle in his eye, and he will show you where to wait for your wave, where you’re sure to be right on the point. He’s done a great job educating local kids with solid surfer values such as taking turns, respecting one another, and taking care of the environment.
Any board rentals and surf instructors available?
We have the following board inventory immediately available on property:
3 short boards for intermediate and advanced surfers
• one 6. 1 feet short board
• one 6. 2 feet short board
• one 6. 6 feet short board
4 long boards
• two 9.2 feet long boards
• two 8.4 feet long boards that can also be used as paddle board
The cost of board rental for 2 hours is $35 USD. For a whole week, it is $200 USD.
To guarantee the best surf experience, we recommend you bring your own board. A private english speaking surf instructor is available upon request, he’s an external purveyor, so you need to book him ahead of time. Should you require a specific board size or shape, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks before arrival so we have time to look for it with our usual providers.
Why does it work in the winter but not in the summer?
That’s the typical conversation most surfers have while standing on the beach after an epic session.
During the winter, most storms and weather phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean are located in the northern hemisphere, but during the summer, it’s the other way around, all storms take place in the southern hemisphere of the planet. Big storms mean strong winds, that generate movement on the water. The swell travels fast, and if it does not meet an obstacle, it will hit the shore a few days after the storm. So it’s easy to forecast surf conditions.
When facing north from Xinalani beach, there is no geographical obstacle to let the swells enter the bay in that direction. Punta Mita, the northern point of the bay could be an obstacle, but Quimixto is a little bit west of the northern axis that intersects with Punta Mita. However, Xinalani is protected from south swells by Banderas Bay south point: Cabo Corrientes. So, no surf after March, but there’s still plenty of yoga and other things to do. See our Activity list.