La Lancha is the perfect place to go surfing in Nayarit, Mexico. The state of Nayarit has nearly 200 miles of pristine coastline with sandy beaches and good waves ideal for surfing. Not to mention, the jungle and mountain backdrops make for a nice view while you surf!
As for La Lancha, it’s where both surfing pros and beginners go to ride the waves for hours on end under the Nayarit sun. Plus, according to all our local friends, La Lancha is the best place for beginner surfers (like me!).
Unlike some of Nayarit’s other surf spots, La Lancha is rarely crowded, but you can always expect to see other surfers here. The beach is generally family-friendly as well, with silky-soft sand and gentle-crashing waves.
After living in this part of Mexico for going on two years now, I can say with confidence that La Lancha is our favorite surfing destination in Nayarit.
Here’s everything you need to know about surfing in La Lancha!
La Lancha Surf Guide
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Where Is Playa La Lancha & How to Get There?
La Lancha is the name of the beach which is located right outside Punta de Mita, a luxurious resort town on Nayarit’s southwestern tip.
How do you get there? To get to La Lancha from Puerto Vallarta it takes 45 minutes to drive. Take Highway 200 north and take the Punta de Mita exit.
- PV to La Lancha: 45 minutes
- From Sayulita: 25 minutes
- Punta Mita: 10 minutes
Note: Driving is the fastest way to reach La Lancha. If you take the local bus, it might take longer. Look for the local green buses with the destination “Punta de Mita”. You can pop your head in and quickly ask the bus driver “La Lancha?” and they’ll either nod yes or say no and refer you to another bus or shuttle.
Accessing the trail to Playa La Lancha
There is no big sign on the highway pointing out La Lancha. But it’s pretty easy to find nonetheless. Just look for the WildMex surf shop and gas station right off the highway.
Park (it’s free) or hop off the bus and then carefully run across the highway directly in front of you. You’ll see the trailhead. Follow the walking path through the jungle (10-15 minute walk).
There are no amenities at La Lancha. So you must carry out everything you carry in, including your trash! The locals and surfers here do a great job of keeping La Lancha fairly clean. Let’s keep it that way! 🙂
On another note, there’s not much shade at La Lancha, except for some bushes at the back. The last time we went there were horrible black fuzzy worms that stung us and dropped from one tree. Some people bring a beach umbrella.
Theft normally isn’t a problem here, but just in case, be sure to secure any valuables in your bags and keep them in a visible location. Or leave them with a friend!
How to Rent a Surfboard for La Lancha
If you’re just in town for vacation, it’s unlikely you’ll have your own surfboard to take with you to La Lancha. But no worries! You can rent one at the WildMex surf shop just in front of the trail. You can’t miss it. These guys rent out all types of boards for newbies or pros.
WildMex also has a board washing rack outside, a shower, and a spacious indoor shop with surf merch.
The handful of times we went surfing in La Lancha, we’ve either borrowed a board from a friend or rented a soft board at WildMex. The prices are decent and the boards are well-taken care of!
Tip: You can change into your surf gear inside the shop.
La Lancha Wave Report
From what I know from our experiences at La Lancha, and the advice from our friend who goes basically every day, there are two main places to surf:
- Medium-bigger waves (main surf break) are front and center of the beach
- Smaller waves for beginners is a little more off to the right
If you’re not sure where to put your board in, just watch what others are doing. There can be some wave hogs on a crowded day, but mostly everyone is super friendly.
You can also take surf lessons through WildMex or hire a local surfer. Every time we go we see trainers and their surf students.
Typical surf conditions in La Lancha
- Mellow surf break
- Good for both short and longboards
- Light offshore wind
- Low tide exposes rocks
- Is warm but can get cold in winter
- Check the current surf report
La Lancha is a gorgeous spot to surf in Nayarit and has the most consistent swells.
Where to Get Food Near La Lancha
Hungry? Remember, there are no facilities on La Lancha beach (no vendors, bathrooms, showers, etc). So make sure to pack a snack!
Otherwise, right next door to WildMex is the Makai seafood restaurant (Hours: 12-6 PM). We’ve eaten here once and it was super fresh and good! The prices are higher than local prices.
Next to WildMex is also a Pemex gas station where you have public restrooms and snacks/beverages.
Otherwise, if you have a car, use it to head toward the town of Sayulita. Along the way is the Kilometro 5 restaurant that is popular among locals and surfers. Everybody knows about it and loves it. They have awesome burgers and pizzas with a sweet outdoor and rooftop patio.
Have you ever been surfing in La Lancha in Nayarit, Mexico? Drop your questions below!
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