Spring may not have made a full appearance in many parts of the country, but for many people, spring break means spring waves.
You don’t have to have a ton of cash or even a lot of surfing experience in order to experience the best that the ocean has to offer. Instead, you just need to hit up one of these top five best spring season surf destinations. Trust us, the waves (and the awesome scenery) we’ll take care of the rest.
The Top 5 Best Spring Surf Destinations in the World
Where: Island of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Crowds: Not bad in March
If you’ve never crossed the Atlantic for a surfing excursion, now might be the time to give it a try. There is so much to love about the Canary Islands, and you really need to see this particular island in order to believe it.
Despite the name, you won’t find any tiny yellow birds fluttering around the islands. Instead, you’ll find plenty of sunlight, unfettered beaches, and of course, massive waves. When you visit, you can stay in a variety of cities that flank the Fuerteventura area, including Puerto del Rosario, Morro Jable, and Costa Calma.
The climate here is heavily influenced by the nearby Bay of Biscay. You’ll enjoy tropical weather all throughout the year, along with surfing conditions that are also top-notch regardless of when you visit. The weather is consistently sunny and you’ll enjoy gorgeous scenery, including volcanic plains along with beautiful and quiet island beaches.
Because Fuerteventura is somewhat off the beaten path, you won’t be inundated with crowds when you visit. However, you will be able to benefit from unique cultural experiences that are the result of the Islands’ location just on the outskirts of Africa.
There are a few great places to surf when you visit Fuerteventura, but the best way to find some of this destination’s hidden honey holes is to stop by and ask a local. They’ll have some insight as to the best spots to catch a wave given the conditions of the day. Regardless of your skill level, though, you’ll find plenty of places to go.
There are not only several beaches that are friendly to beginners, but there are also some that are reef-bottomed and a bit more challenging for those seeking more adventure. Some of the best surf can be found on the North Track of the island, which extends from the town of El Cotillo to the more populated city of Corralejo, winding around the northern tip of the island. You’ll enjoy a ton of breaks, including Generosa and Harbour Wall.
One of the best spots to surf? El Hierro. It’s located near the city of Corralejo and is a favored spot by locals. Here, you’ll enjoy a famous tubular wave known as La Izquierda, which produces large swells that are best enjoyed by the most daring surfers.
Getting to Fuerteventura isn’t the easiest – flights can cost several hundred dollars depending on where you’re coming from, and the region isn’t serviced by most budget airlines. However, March is a prime time to visit, as rates tend to be lower and the beaches are much less crowded. Luckily, March is also when you’ll catch prime waves (the ideal surfing conditions are found here between October and April).
When you’re done on the water for the day, Fuerteventura has plenty to offer, too. You’ll be able to enjoy some serious nightlife along with gorgeous hikes back into scenic beaches, volcanic overlooks, and more.
Where: Bali, Indonesia
Cost: Not bad during the spring, but can be expensive at other times
Accessibility: Somewhat difficult to get to
Consistency: Very consistent
Crowds: Light in March and April
If you live in Australia, you probably already know what a phenomenal spot Bal is if you want to catch a few waves.
Bali is a harder-to-reach surf destination if you live in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally out of reach. This surf destination offers consistent conditions all year round, but is one of the best in the spring because you don’t have to compete with the crowds.
The low season in Bali coincides with the rainy season, which lasts from October until April (with a bit of a break in December). You’ll experience the fewest crowds and lowest prices at this time. You can get round-trip flights from the US at this time of the year for roughly $700, allowing for an affordable and enjoyable trip if you time things right.
It will take you some time to get there – in some cases, more than 24 hours worth of travel – but you’ll appreciate the time on the plane to rest. You’re going to have some serious surfing to prepare for (and then recover from!). There are plenty of decently-priced hotels in Bali, too, along with various hostels.
The best part is that March and April are considered “early season” in Bali, so you won’t have to fight the crowds to find a spot to surf. With some of the most gorgeous (and longest) beaches in the world, Bali has plenty of hotels right along the coast. You won’t have to travel far to get to your surf destination.
Bali’s “wet season” is from November to March. During the wet season, the best surf destinations are on the east coast. You’ll be able to enjoy world-class waves like the Green Bowl, Sanura, Nusa Dua, and Serangan here. You might get more rain during this wet season, but the minimal crowds and awesome waves are worth it.
When you arrive in Bali, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the low cost of dining, lodging, and excursions. The best surf spots in the city can be found on the southern coasts and surrounding the Bukit peninsula, but be advised that these surf destinations are best for advanced surfaces. There are some serious curls and reef breaks here that you need to be aware of.
If you’re new to the game, you might want to head to Legian or Kuta. These beaches are more heavily populated, but you’ll find more leisurely sand beaches where it will be easier for you to learn the ropes.
Head back to your hotel after a long day of surfing, and you’ll find plenty of ways to unwind in Bali, too. There are tons of nightclubs and beach clubs for dancing. It’s not a large city, but it’s relatively safe and has a ton of opportunities for you to experience the country’s unique, diverse culture.
Where: Lagos, Portugal
Cost: Expensive, but cheaper in February and March
Accessibility: Challenging – can take a few hours to get there from major airports
Consistency: Very consistent waves in the spring
Crowds: Plenty of beaches, so it’s easy to find uncrowded options
Lagos has some of the warmest temperatures in Portugal – even on the water. You’ll love surfing in the bath-warm waters of the Algarve and you’ll love the waves even more.
A hidden gem in Europe, Lagos is home to beaches such as Beliche, Tonel, and Mareta, all of which are located near the town of Sagres and offer some excellent waves for beginners and experts alike. The very best beaches stretch from Faro, located in the southeastern portion of the city, to Arrifana in the southwest. In this region, you’ll find a variety of waves throughout the year.
For a more consistent surf experience, head to the Vicentina Coast in the southwest corner of the region. The waves are exceptionally good here in the spring. And if you’re a more experienced surfer, you might want to check out Arrifana in particular, which is consistent at all times – though challenging!
Some other good surf destinations include Amado Beach, Castelejo Beach (which is, unfortunately, better in the summer) and Beliche Beach, as previously mentioned. Beliche is uncrowded in the spring and is both small and sheltered.
Lagos may not be the most common spring break destination, and I’ll admit, it will take you a bit of extra time to get there. However, the few extra hours on a plane are worth it, especially if you have a couple of days to spare. The low costs of accommodation, food, and entertainment in Lagos are well worth the travel and you’ll have access to a ton of surfing spots.
After visiting Lagos, you might want to swing by Peniche, also in Portugal. This is another top surfing destination, especially for spring breakers, and was actually the home of the 2009 Rip Curl ASP World Championship event – so you know it’s got to be good!
Where: Rincon, Puerto Rico
Consistency: Excellent, but some variability depending on the beach
Puerto Rico is a domestic destination that is perfect for surfers hoping to stay a bit closer to home during spring break. Although it’s only a few hours away on an airplane, Puerto Rico has a vibrant culture that will allow you to experience something truly one-of-a-kind.
This region has some of the best surf destinations, with its lukewarm water and excellent waves. Not only will you have access to an excellent party scene and tourist destinations, but you’ll be able to enjoy other water activities like paddleboarding, bodyboarding, and snorkeling, too. When it comes to nightlife, Rincon has hundreds of entertainment options, including music venues, nightclubs, and more.
Since it’s so close to the mainland United States, Puerto Rico is easy to get to and affordable to visit. If you want to stay out half the night and then go surfing the next day, Rincon is your best bet. With fun waves in both March and April, Rincon is a popular destination.
Flights to San Juan are the cheapest, but flying into Aguadilla will save you some time – it’s just thirty minutes to Rincon as opposed to more than two hours from San Juan. Either way, you’ll likely pay only a few hundred dollars for round-trip airfare, making Rincon the perfect choice for cash-strapped college students looking to catch the wave of a lifetime on spring break.
Where: Cancun, Mexico
Accessibility: Very accessible
Consistency: Moderately consistent spring waves (dependent on weather)
Crowds: Can be somewhat crowded during spring break
Long considered a hot destination for partygoers, Cancun is beginning to take the lead as a top spring season surf destination, too. There are excellent waves here throughout the year, but especially in the spring.
Because its reputation as a surf hotspot is relatively new, you won’t have to fight the crowds out on the water (although the beaches themselves can sometimes be packed). You’ll love the nightlife when you head in from the water, too, as Punta Cana (the main party zone of Cancun) is easy to get to.
It sounds like an odd place to surf, but really, there are plenty of places to catch a wave in Cancun. One of the best spots is Playas Balleneas, which is far from the downtown and has a small parking lot (meaning you won’t have to compete with swimmers when you get here). It’s a great spot for all skill levels and waves can go from three feet to seventeen feet in a hurry!
Regardless of the beach you choose, consider going before 12pm or after 4 pm. That way, you won’t have to worry about competing with the crowds. All beaches are easily accessible by foot, taxi, or bus, making this one of the most accessible surf spots on our list.
Read reviews when you book your hotel in Cancun, as there are some unsavory parts of the city you’ll want to avoid. The best places to stay include the Zona Hotelera and the downtown El Centro. Getting and staying here are both affordable, as are dining and local entertainment. The area caters to surfers, too, so you won’t have to worry about finding the best spring season surf destination once you arrive, either.
Spring Surfing: Fewer Crowds, Better Waves, and Lower Costs
No matter which of these top five spring season surf destinations you decide to try, you’re sure to make some awesome memories. Surfing in the spring is not only a great way to save money on your travel expenses, but it also means better waves, fewer crowds, and in most cases, waters that are just as warm as they would be in the summer.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your wetsuit and book a ticket soon. There’s never been a better time to experience the best waves the world has to offer.