Cozumel is Mexico’s Caribbean island, a glittering jewel sitting just off the coast of the gorgeous Riviera Maya in easy reach of the luxury resorts of Cancun, the vibrant nightlife of Playa del Carmen, and the bohemian eco-charm of Tulum.
Most tourists visit the Mexican Riviera by cruise or travel to Cozumel to see its glorious unspoiled natural beauty and head beneath the waves for some of the best scuba diving in the world. However, what many people do not know is that Cozumel is also a surfing oasis, one of the best places on Mexico’s Caribbean coast to catch awesome breaks, and a wonderful place for surfers of all levels.
How to get there:
You can reach the island of Cozumel by flight to Cozumel International Airport (CZM) or by ferry from Playa del Carmen.
What to know about surfing in Cozumel
While there are plenty of awesome surfing destinations elsewhere in the Caribbean, most of Mexico’s Riviera Maya offers little in the way of surf spots (except in hurricane season!). However, Cozumel has the best of both worlds, with soft, rolling waves and turquoise water on the protected west side of the island, as well as wilder, more adventurous spots on the unprotected east side. This makes it a fantastic option for beginners looking to learn to surf, as well as for more experienced wave riders.
The best beaches for surfing in Cozumel
Where you go to surf in Cozumel depends on whether you are new to the waves or an experienced surfer, a grommet or a veteran. Most beginners, younger surfers, and anyone just learning will stick to the smaller waves on the protected west coast, while veterans will head over to the ‘Other Side’, where the breaks are larger and the wind wilder.
A great all-round beach which, depending on weather and wind, offers both beginner and advanced waves. There are plenty of surf schools based here, and it is one of the best places on Cozumel to learn!
A true local favorite, this is one of the most popular spots on Cozumel for the island’s serious surfers. It gets the full blast of the famous north wind, with shallow water and a rocky bottom, which all adds up to exciting but challenging breaks.
Chen Rio offers a good range of waves, but tends to be avoided by less experienced surfers due to the strong currents to the south of the beach.
As its name suggests, it is one of the prettiest beaches on the island, and the best beach for beginners, with soft, gentle waves and little wind. Perfect waves for practicing and beginning your Cozumel surf adventure!
Where to learn how to surf on Cozumel
The two best beaches for surf lessons on Cozumel are Playa Bonita and Punta Morena. Most of the surf schools are based on these beaches, and thanks to the gentler waves and sandy sea floor, they are the perfect spots for total beginners or anyone not 100% confident in their board skills.
Cozumel is the perfect location to really get to grips with the art of surfing. With gentle waves, warm water, and plenty of spots that are free of crowds of other surfers, it’s a great place to start. Cozumel might not be as well known as some of the other surf destinations in the Caribbean, but that’s what makes it such a brilliant place to start your surf journey!
Cozumel Surf School
Cozumel Surf School is actually based on ‘the other side’, the wilder, eastern coast of the island, but surf champion Nacho Gutierrez and his professional team take their charges to the best spots all around the island, depending on how quickly the lessons go and what your base level of experience and ability is. You can take private lessons, couples lessons, family lessons, or group lessons, and everyone starts on a real board from the off – no foam or plastic here!
Machito Surf has been in business since 2009, helping everyone from youngsters to adults enjoy the wonderful world of surfing for over twelve years. Based off Punta Morena beach, they are a fantastic option for true beginners, as the waves on Punta Morena could almost have been designed for learning! As well as lessons, they organize surf tours and board rental.