In Spanish, saladitos are delicious plum candies and translate as “little salty treat.” So it’s no surprise that one of the best surf spots in Mexico would be named La Saladita. This never-ending left break—known as ‘the wave machine—certainly is a little salty treat, and offers some of the best rides for surfers of any ability. So say sayonara to Sayulita, because the real waves are much further south.
Fly into the resort towns of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and rent a car to reach the beaches. You could take a bus, but with so many great surf spots and places to stay and eat, you’re going to want to take charge of your playa vacation.
If you’re only looking for waves, you can get a cabina right on the beach at La Saladita. You’ll be in good company with a whole slew of other gringos drinking Coronas at night and surfing all day. But for a more authentic Mexican vacation, stay in the small seaside town of Troncones just 20 minutes to the south.
Troncones is the perfect tranquilo Mexican vacation. With gorgeous oceanfront rental houses, surf shops, and on-the-beach taquerias, Troncones offers a getaway for those who want nothing more than a longboard, a swimsuit, and some fish tacos and margaritas. Troncones is a really small town, with only one main road and a whole lot of beach, so you can get to know it really well in just a few days.
Where to Stay: Casa de Oro is one of the most beautiful houses in Troncones, and a perfect base for your surf vacation. Situated on the beach, just steps from one of the best swimming beaches, this large stucco home is a great getaway for a group of friends. I stayed there for a full week and could have easily hunkered down for much longer. “The house of gold” has an infiniti pool and rooftop bar. But the real feature, in my opinion, is the palapa-covered kitchen and dining room—it’s indoor/outdoor living at its best. Take a break from surfing to just enjoy the gorgeous house and read a book by the pool. Because Troncones is still relatively undiscovered, prices are still really low. In the low season, you can rent Casa de Oro for $900 per week; in the high season, $1500. Book your vacation at casadeoromex.com.
Where to Eat: Troncones is a fishing town, so almost every restaurant will offer fish caught earlier that day. La Costa Brava offers delicious authentic cuisine. Their margaritas are strong and made with fresh juice, and fish tacos and ceviche are perfect after a long day of surfing.
Where to Play: Surfing is where it’s at, in and around Troncones. Many of the beaches have a strong rip current, so be very careful if you’re swimming. Start your surf trip at La Saladita, with its more gentle waves. Then build up your surf legs at Troncones Point, right in front of Troncones Point Surf Club. You can rent surf boards many places in and around Troncones. Ask the locals for directions to the surf spots; they’re all within a few minutes of the Troncones strip. Lourdes Bar & Grill in La Saladita offers day rentals, or grab a full week rental from one of the surf shops in Troncones. In the low season, Glen at Casa Delfin Sonreinte will rent you one of his boards, even if you don’t stay at his spot.
Directions to Troncones: From Ixtapa/Zihuatenjor airport, drive North on Highway 200. Follow the signs for Lazaro Cadenas and turn right at the top of hill. Continue on this road for 20 minutes, past a series of small towns. Three miles past Buena Vista, you’ll see the small sign for Troncones. Follow that into town—it dead ends at the beach, naturally.
Directions to La Saladita: Highway 200 past Troncones. In 20 minutes, you’ll pass over the Los Llanos River bridge, go up the hill and immediately make your first left (it’s easy to miss). Stay on the paved road and in ¼ mile, turn right (there’s a surfboard mounted on an internet café) and follow this road to the end. Park at Lourdes and check out the waves from their deck.