Surfing Boca de Pascuales
Pack your bag and get the board waxed,
you’re going to surf Pascuales…
If you’re going to surf Pascuales, be ready to break a few boards and maybe even a few bones. The younger, better looking but less well known little brother of Puerto Escondido, Pascuales offers a super heavy beach break at just about any size and handles huge clean swells. Our first experience at Pascuales was a memorable one. We remember the sound of pounding waves waking us up all night, only to see at first light 10ft+ pipeline like waves breaking along the beach. We didn’t catch much that trip but just to be there and watch on at some of the biggest barrels we’ve ever seen was incredible to be a part of. Just Google Image Pascuales to get an idea!
Boca De Pascuales is located on the pacific coast not far from the township of Tecomán in the state of Colima. Around Pascuales there isn’t many other breaks worth checking-out, so if big and aggressive wave surfing isn’t your thing then we suggest you just kickback and enjoy the show.
Crowds here can be varied depending on the swell, so as a result of its sheer power and aggression, this keeps most surfers at bay – Pascuales takes care of itself. Many surfers tend to stay for long periods at a time and even for the entire season to perfect their barrel riding skills. The long stretch of sand means you will often find uncrowded banks along the beach just down from the main peak, so you can take your pick of surfing alone or back up the beach with the crew. Though be prepared for the crowds when you know a swell is coming as many surfers will fly in from around the world to score Pascuales at its best.
If you are bringing along a partner who doesn’t surf, take note that this is by no means a safe beach to swim at. The strong currents and shallow sand banks produce dangerous swimming conditions. The beach is setup purely for keen surfers and so too is it’s small township. Other than eating tacos, sleeping in hammocks and getting pitted, there isn’t a whole lot more you can really do in Pascuales. Although we’d be surprised to hear of anyone who doesn’t enjoy watching guys and gals getting barrelled on 10ft plus waves. Here you will truly experience the power of good old Mother Nature.
LET’S MASTER THE BREAK
Pascuales is fairly consistent all year round and winter tends to attract larger crowds with wave size around chest to head height. The smaller winter swells generate from the west and hit the banks hard and fast. Summer is when the crowds begin to fade as solid south swells roll through sending massive waves to the beach. Even if you don’t paddle out you will still be in awe watching on as the pros do their thing.
Boca De Pascuales is completely a beach break. The long stretch of beach means that there are plenty of breaks around and surfers can spread out in the line-up. The main peak is right out front of the hotel on the beach, Hotel Real de Pascuales. The waves here hit the biggest and hardest. If you are looking for slightly easier waves, walk down the beach about 10 minutes towards the river mouth. Here the waves are a little more forgiving and don’t beak as heavy. On the smaller days during winter this is a good spot to practice surfing for beginners.
Being a beach break the paddle can be easy as the waves generally don’t break too far out. When it’s big, sit on the beach for a while to watch and observe the duration between sets. Wait it out, chose your timing carefully and then paddle hard and don’t look back. Trust us you don’t want to cop one of these sets on the head.
Locals Name: Pascuales
Skill Level: Expert
Best Season: Summer
Wave Type: Punchy Beach break
Wave Direction: Rights and lefts
Wave consistency: Very consistent
Bottom Type: Sand
Best Tide: Any tide
Wind Direction: North
Best Swell Direction: South and West
Water Temperature: Warm
Location: Easy to locate
Access: Good all vehicle access
Road Type: Paved road
Parking: Plenty, Free and Safe
LET’S GET PREPARED
Boca De Pascuales is not a secret spot and more details can be easily found on the web or any travel guide of the region. There are still plenty of secret breaks to be explored and once you arrive there, the local surfers will more than likely share these with you as long as you are friendly enough - and maybe shout them a taco or two. At s u r u n c l o u d, we just would like our friends and families to enjoy our discoveries and at the same time why not let others share in the same experiences as us. We were nervous at first and found it hard to blog about our favourite spots without feeling guilt of giving up ‘secret’ locations and names in fear of the wave becoming known and also out of respect for local surfers. But it occurred to us that if you dig deep enough, all this information is already out there and available online anyway, just without these personal experiences. So here it goes…
Boca De Pascuales is about a 20 minute drive from the city of Tecomán (refer below for getting to Tecomán). Once you arrive at Tecomán follow the road to the coast where you will see the signs going to Boca de Pascuales. This will lead you down a paved road past beautiful tall palm trees and into the small village of Pascuales. When you arrive at the end of this stretch of road veer towards the right, the first hotel to the left is Hotel Real de Pascuales right on the main break. Local buses and collectivos run regularly between these towns also.
By Air – The closest airports to Tecomán are at Manzanillo (1 hour drive south), Guadalaraja (5.5 hour drive south west) and Zihuatanejo (6.5 hour drive north). A recent Skycanner search found round-trip flights from Mexico City to those airports, direct flight only, starting at around US $100 round trip for travel in 3 months – from the major cities of the United States, direct flight round try are around US $300. Detailed information about flights and flying to/from Mexico coming soon.
By Bus – The bus trip to Tecomán is a long and slow journey depending on where you are leaving from. Buses run all up and down the coastline and leave from each of the major cities mentioned above (By Air) to Tecomán. Durations vary depending on origin.
By Ferry – If you are coming from Baja California, there are a number of ferries available daily. Ferry times will vary depending on the service and can take anywhere from 3 hours up to 18 hours each way. Visit ferrytmc.com for the timetable and pricing.
By Car – If you are keeping the #vanlife dream alive then keep following the main highway that runs parallel with the coast north-south, depending on the direction you are coming from and look out for the signs to Tecomán. If you are in no rush the drive along the coastline (not the highway) is a little slower but far more scenic. We have driven the coast from Zihuatanejo to Pascuales a number of times and find it easy and breathtaking. Be respectful when passing through smaller villages on the coast and NEVER drive at night or before sunrise.
Once in the Tecomán Area, the following options may be considered for easier and more efficient means of getting around.
By Rental – If you want to make the most of your surf trip and Mexican experience then you’re going to need a car. This gives you more flexibility and allows you to surf the breaks you want and on your own time. From our experience as much as the local bus is a great adventure, sometimes it’s difficult to access all the spots you want to go via bus. Read our guide to Car Rental in Mexico Coming Soon to learn all there is to know about car rental. Connect now to Skycanner to compare all the rental company available and get the best price.
By Taxi – Taxis are familiar to picking up surfers in these areas and most come equipped with roof racks and tie downs – beware you might want to handle your precious sled as some taxi drivers will have little care for your surfboard. If you can speak a little Spanish this will also go a long way to negotiating a good price which we recommend you do upfront as no meter is available. Generally speaking in comparison to most major countries, the taxis here in Mexico are reasonably priced and it’s not uncommon for your taxi driver to wait at the break while you surf then drop you back home after.
By Local Bus – For those on a tight budget or even just looking for a good local adventure, the local buses are for you. The local bus operates between Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo and all other major destinations. Unfortunately the services are limited and will simply not allow you to see everything there is to see on this incredible coast line.
The water temperature in this area of Mexico is generally warm all year round except for two months from late March to May when you may need a wetsuit top or spring suit. Other than this the water is always warm and boardshorts or a swimsuit is all that is needed. Weather wise the area has a pleasant, temperate climate for most of the year. The later winter months of March to May see cooler warm temperatures. The summer months of June to August are hot and can be wet with August receiving the highest average rainfall throughout the year.
Hotel Real de Pascuales SurfShop offer board rental. They can also shape you a new custom board and provide ding repair services. A new, handmade board costs between M$2500 and M$3000 pesos | surfingpascuales.com
At the time of our stay there were no yoga studios on offer in Pascuales. If you need someone to practice yoga with, ask around a few of the traveling surfers and we are sure you will come across a yogi willing to offer their services for a small fee or may even just be happy to have a yoga buddy to practice with.
Restaurante Tsunami This place is a surfers dream: it is the restaurant at the Hotel Real de Pascuales, and the center of the surf scene. They offer both local Mexican as well as American style food. Meals are cheap and are a good size to provide the perfect fuel to keep you in the water. – vegan options are available | www.hotelrealdepascuales.com/restaurante
Las Hamacas Del Mayor Good food plus views from the ocean deck. This place is hard to go past with great service and some of the best food around. Worth a look if you want a change from the hotel | www.lashamacasdelmayor.com
Hotel Real de Pascuales AKA Edgar’s Place, offers good, clean and cheap surf accommodation in either private or shared rooms or camping for those who are on a tight budget. Tent or hammock fetch for about MX $30 per person per night whilst a room without/with air-con is MX $250/350 per night | hotelrealdepascuales.com
Paco’s Hotel is the second and final hotel in town. It is a tad more expensive and a touch fancier than Edgar’s. This hotel is more suited to couples travelling or for those looking for a little more comfort than your standard surf accommodation. Paco’s daughter has added a nice touch throughout all the rooms with her lovingly artistic creativity to make you feel more at home. As mentioned slightly more expensive the rooms without/with air-con cost MX $350/400 per night | Check their page on Facebook
Travelling with a surfboard: If you are weighing up the cost of flying with your surfboard vs purchasing or even renting a board once you arrive in Mexico, then this may assist with your decision. Most airlines will charge anywhere from $25 to $150 per flight for a surfboard. It also depends on your mode of transport once you arrive in Mexico. If you have your own car or van then it may be worth taking your favourite surfboards from home. However, if your main mode of transport is going to be bus, keep in mind most bus lines will more than likely treat your precious quiver like any other baggage item, so be prepared fro dings, and plenty of them. It may be worthwhile buying some cheaper local boards. Most surf shops in coastal towns sell second hand boards and keep an eye out on Facebook groups also. Also if you happen to have a layover in LA you may even have time to pickup a fresh board in California for a decent price before starting the surf trip.
Telephone: Mexico’s telephone network is well-developed in comparison to other Latin American countries. Mexico offers a whole range of telephone services from simple land-line telephone services to high-speed internet services. Prepay cell phones are a simple way to communicate and have no lock in contract. Telcel, AT&T, Movistar and Virgin Mobile SIM cards each cost between $50 and $150 pesos and sometimes include some data within that.
Internet: Just about every town and city in Mexico has at least one Internet Cafe. Look for signs reading “Acceso a Internet” or “Cibernautica” or “Cibercafe.” Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location. Most restaurants and hotels offer free Wi-Fi.
Exchanging Currency: Mexico has plenty ATMs which dispense usually both pesos and US dollars. Many of the restaurants, hotels and shops in Mexico accept credit cards. During business hours, banks and Casas de Cambio will buy traveler’s checks and foreign cash from you as well, although it does take time, so you’re better off using ATMs.
Travel Insurance: We recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance when you are visiting Mexico. Health services and treatment normally covered under other countries medical system are not available in Mexico. Generally, travel insurance MUST be purchased within the country where you are a resident BEFORE prior to travelling.
Medical Attention: Most larger towns and popular tourist locations have local, government-run, health centers. Private clinics can also be found, both with English-speaking staff available.