Playas de Tijuana is the first surfing spot that you’ll come to after crossing the United States border and heading down into Mexico. In fact, the border fence actually runs down the Northern part of the beach and into the water. Because it is so close to the border (and thus the surfing mecca of San Diego, California), most serious surfers skip over it and continue south to more well-known spots. They seriously don’t know what they’re missing though! Playas de Tijuana has some of the best surf in Northern Baja.
The first thing that you need to understand about Playas de Tijuana is that it is a beach break. Simply put, the waves are going to be a little bit smaller than those at some of the beaches with reef breaks farther south in Baja. However, if you come at the right time, the waves will still be very enjoyable. In addition, Playas de Tijuana makes a great daytrip from Southern California (you can even make it down after work) and an even better start to a Baja surfing road trip.
The beach at Playas de Tijuana is such a great Baja surf spot because it never gets very crowded. Sure, you get your occasional handful of locals and a sprinkling of tourists, but compared to other top-notch beaches it’s remarkably empty! The relative emptiness of the waters at Playas de Tijuana gives you first pick at the waves and makes for a perfect surfing session.
The surf at Playas de Tijuana suits anyone from beginners to pros. It’s a good place to learn to surf and a great place to spend the day if you already know what you’re doing out on the water. The waves come in consistently, are about head-high (five feet), and are surprisingly fast and powerful. Luckily, if you get knocked down, you don’t have to worry much – the bottom is entirely sand. There aren’t any rocks to get banged up on.
While Playas de Tijuana is definitely a great Baja surf spot, it can have a pretty strong rip. For this reason, it is best to practice caution (even more than usual) while you’re out on the water. It also pays off to check the weather report in Tijuana before heading down for the day. The waves never really falter depending on the weather conditions, but after a big rain, there can be a lot of pollutants gathered in the water. However, Playas de Tijuana is working on fixing the pollution issue and the beaches (and the surfing) will only get better in the future.
If you’re looking for a great and easily accessible beach in Baja, then look no further than Playas de Tijuana. It has good-sized swells, a great overall feel, and is located only a walk away from some great bars and restaurants (for some post-session relaxation). To access the beach just follow the highly-visible signs on your way to the coastal toll road (M-1 Cuota). You won’t regret stopping by!