Baja Mexico is a favorite area for surfers because of its variety of surfing spots. Each spot is different and suits a different surfing style and skill level. While there are plenty of beaches that work well for beginners, Volcanoes is not one of them. Because of its ferocious and unpredictable waves, it is best used only by surfers of the highest caliber.
Volcanoes is located just north of San Quintin. It is a reasonably well-known surfing spot but not that many people actually stop to check it out. Its waves are treacherous and most people, certainly most beginner and intermediate surfers, opt to visit the mellower beaches in the near vicinity. The beach at Volcanoes has an almost myth-like quality to it.
If you are an experienced surfer and work up the nerve to check Volcanoes out, you’ll find a beach stretching south from the village of to the north end of the village of El Playon. A small, but imposing ancient volcano rests at the end nearest El Playon.
The waves at Volcanoes are about head high (five feet) to overhead high (ten feet), and come in from the right-hand side off of one of the most unique surf breaks in Baja – a beach break made of volcanic rock from the volcano. They are very fast and powerful, and their shape tends to become rougher and choppier as the day wears on.
Though it has already been mentioned several times, the ocean at Volcanoes is very dangerous. It is worth mentioning multiple times to really beat it into your head. In addition to its unpredictable waves, there is an incredibly strong undercurrent that is amplified by the fact that you have to paddle a long ways out to catch a wave. To make matters even sketchier, the bottom is littered with extremely sharp fragments of volcanic rock. If you’re planning on surfing at Volcanoes, wear booties to protect your feet. You should also only go out when you are completely rested since you’ll have to work so hard to stay put against the current’s pull. And, it shouldn’t even really need to be mentioned, but bring a friend along. Never surf at Volcanoes alone.
Volcanoes isn’t all about the surfing though. It is home to one of the finest beaches around. It’s a great spot to camp (with plenty of friends), and a quick, if grueling, hike up the side of the volcano offers an unmatched view of the sunset over the ocean.
If you’re prepared to face the hazards of Volcanoes, then you can get there by exiting Highway 1 near the big military facility near Cabo San Quintin. There is a yellow sign that says “Entrada y Salida De Vehs Militares” and a white sign that says “Zona Turisticas De Atractivos Naturales Bahia Falsa Parque Volcanico” at the turnoff. Follow the dirt road that leads past these two signs – but be careful. It is a dirt road and is known among locals to be one of the bumpiest in the region. However, once you make it to the beach and see the ocean, the bumpy ride will be well worth it.