You’re pacing along the sandy track, it’s still dark, and the air is silent apart from the distant sound of breaking waves. It’s already hot, and anticipation is building. You have your best shortboard under one arm, a bag full of snacks in the other, and your pockets are stuffed with wax and zinc; boardies on, already sunscreen up.
As you round the last corner and start descending the hill, you catch a glimpse of it—ruler-edged whitewater wrapping around the headline, moonlight glistening off the water. You feel a spike of adrenaline, and your walk turns into a run. It’s perfect, 3-4ft rights spinning down the point, no one out, and you’re now sprinting to the headland. It’s in this way that most of your morning will start in Barra De La Cruz.
One of the best surf spots in Mexico and the world’s most enjoyable right-hand point break. If you’re an advanced surfer, you’ll find it tricky to surf a wave more fun than this in your lifetime. But how do you get there? What’s Barra town like? And how do you make a trip to this ridiculously fun Mexican point break happen? Here’s everything you need to know about surfing in Barra De La Cruz.
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Best Season to Surf Barra De La Cruz
The best time to surf Barra De La Cruz is from April to October. This is when the South Pacific sends its most powerful swells toward the Mexican coast, and those lovely lines sweep around the headland at Barra. Please note this time of year is also hurricane season on Mexico’s Pacific coast, so always be aware of Hurricane warnings.
Barra Surf Spot Breakdown
Barra is precisely how you’d dream it. A long right point, reminiscent of Snapper Rocks in Australia, the take-off is a heavy, backwash-prone airdrop you’ll have to compete with frothers, pros, and locals to sneak a wave on. The wave then fattens slightly after the first section, allowing you to regain your balance after coming out the barrel or, like me, just about staying on your feet after making the drop.
The wave then gets even better as it doubles up and peels beautifully along the sand. At low tide, the waves double up and suck up from the sand, getting super shallow and hollow. It’s exhilarating, dropping down the double-up into an open green wall. It then races down the sandbar, giving you a chance for a turn or two and another barrel section before closing out on the end section. Run round, and repeat!
Where is Barra De La Cruz?
Barra De La Cruz is a pueblo located off the Mex 200 highway, just south of Huatulco. It’s around a 30-minute drive from Barra and the closest city.
Getting to Barra De La Cruz
The best way to get to Barra by plane is by flying to Huatulco, then either hitirng a car and making the 30 minute drive, or taking the bus.
Although slightly more expensive than the Collectivo, you can take a taxi to Barr easily from Hautulco and it will drop you in the middle of Barra roqn. This costs around $350pesos. ($20usd) but you may be able to share if a few people are going at the same time.
Getting the taxi from Barra to Hautulco is trickier. because the town is so small, taxis only come to Barra after dropping people off from Hautulco so they can be infrequent. They also need to wait for 4 people to need a taxi so often, you’re sat waiting for enough people to swing by needing a lift–pretty frustrating especially if you’re trying to save money and time!
From Huatulco, you can take a “Collectivo” bus (shared min-van common in Mexico), which drops you at the edge of the highway at Barra. It’s then a 20-minute walk to Barra town from the highway. Another 10-15 to the wave itself. The “Collectivo” is cheap, around 50 pesos ($2.80usd) one way.
There is a bus terminal in Hautulco (edge of town) where you can take the Collectivo to Barra de la Cruz. There’s also another terminal five minutes walk away for longer journeys such as to Puerto Escondido.
In my experience, the best way to get to Barra is by car. This way you’ll have the freedom to move between Hautulco (better accommodations, shops and restaurants) than in Barra town. It’s a 30-minute drive and you can hire a car in Huatulco. Check out hire car prices here.
Tips for Surfing in Barra De La Cruz
Many of Mexico’s best surf spots are localized like anywhere on earth. Locals in Barra get their waves first, which is how it should be and something you should be aware of whenever you surf.
Always identify who the locals are at new spots; it’s normally obvious. When I was in Barra, I saw a French dude drop in on a local, who screamed in his face, untied his leash, and shoved his brand-new Sharp Eye into the rocks. Yep, I know! You’ve been warned.
Pay to Surf
Unfortunately, you have to pay to surf Barra! I know, this sucks, and paying to surf anywhere is something I strongly disagree with. The cost is only 100 pesos (USD 5.00) to surf each day, but a little annoying.
One issue with surfing in Barra De La Cruz is that there are no other spots. While you could explore the surrounding coastline to find untapped waves, you’ll find it tricky to discover anything as good as Barra. Because of this, the spot gets super crowded, so hit it early and get a few run rounds in before the sun fully comes up.
Barra is a tiny town, like seriously. For a town that’s hosted a WCT event, you’d think the place would have more infrastructure than it does. A handful of wooden Corona signs are the only noticeable addition to the town post-WSL event. There are only a handful of accommodations, no ATMs, and only two or three places to eat, so staying in Barra is basic.
The town feels safe, and the locals are friendly; it’s so small that walking around at night feels safe!
While most accommodations offer free Wifi, the connection in town is shocking. When staying in Barra, it’s best to assume you don’t have it, and you’ll be happy when you get 5 minutes of it working. If you’re a surfing digital nomad like me, you’ll need to commute to Huatulco to get work done.
Where to Stay in Barra de la Cruz?
If you prefer luxury, comfortable accommodations, stay in Huatulco. The town is much bigger and has way more options, and being only a 30-minute drive away is worth it in terms of comfort.
Stay in Barra itself if you’re on a budget and want a true sense of Barra. But be prepared to sacrifice a few creature comforts. Most accommodations in Barra are of similar quality; basic beach cabana-style rooms, which cost anywhere between $18 and $40 per night.
Best Budget Options
Cabanas Jaysur is the closest and cheapest place you can stay to the surf itself at Barra. Jaysur is a basic property comprised of several beach caban rooms putting you only a 10-15 minute walk from the point!
This is where I stayed during my 6 week Mexcican surf venture and although the accomm itself is nothing special, you can physically stay any closer to the waves. private room prices start at $30usd per night.
While you’ll be slightly further away (walking) from the waves, Cabanas Arce puts you right in the middle of town, close to a few shops and restaurants.
Comprised of rock built outhouses, all the rooms/cabanas at Arce, have private bathrooms and showers. Cabana prices start at $32usd per night
Best Mid-range Options
Located just outside of Huatulco, Casa Xadani is a peaceful escape from the bustle of town and the emptiness of Barra. Instead you’ll be in the middle and can tap into the best of both worlds, as well as some authentic Mexican culture.
With cabana style rooms, restaurant, garden, fitness centre, garden and terrace, you can make the short drive to Barra or nip into town for essentials. Prices start at $70usd per night (sleeps 2).
La Bocana Surf House
A sick place to stay in Huatulco! With clean comfortable rooms, A/C, and a dining area, Bocana Surf House is both a relaxing and affordable place to stay. You’ll have access to all the beaches and amenities of town, while being only a 30km drive from Barra de la Cruz. Prices start at $98usd per night.
Best Luxury Options
Las Brisas Huatulco
As you’d expect from Las Brisas, the Huatulco hotel is seriously plush with every comfort and luxury you could ever want from a Mexi surf trip. Great wifi, comfortable beds, close to a golf course, hot water and ahhh its’ just perfect. there’s a reason the Championship Tour contingent stayed here for the Barra event back in 2021. Prices from $198 per night.
Hotel Casa Bocana
If you’re looking for affordable luxury close to one of the bets waves in the world, here you go! Hotel Casa Bocana is a 4-star hotel/resort with a pool, A/c rooms, excellent wifi and easy access to the stunning Santa Cruz beach. Prices from $221 per night.
Where to Eat?
Around Barra, there is only a handful of Teindas where you can fill up on mid-surf session snacks. There is also a Pizza restaurant and one or two family-run basic restaurants that open whenever the owners feel like it. There is usually somewhere to eat, but you might be disappointed if you like reliability and options.
Getting around Barra can be tricky. Unless you have a car and commute back to Huatulco, you’ll be walking around Barra. Barra’s closest accommodation to the wave is a 15-minute walk from the surf. This can be annoying, especially after a 4-hour surf session.
Without a car, the only way to get to Barra is via the Collectivo bus that stops on the highway, or you can wait for a taxi in town. Taxis are unreliable, and the drivers will wait by the side of the road until there are enough people to fill the car (usually four people) to make the trip worthwhile.
This can be annoying, and you must surrender to the pace of life here. One does not simply walk into Barra main street and get a taxi immediately.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to do in Barra apart from surfing. But if you’re traveling with a non-surfing partner, I’d recommend staying in Huatulco, where there are many shops, more restaurants, solid wifi, accommodations, and some cool beaches to relax on.
Barra De La Cruz - A True Surfing Gem
Barra de La Cruz is a true surfing gem and one of the finest, most enjoyable waves you’ll ever surf. The quintessential Mexican point break and the type of wave you have wet dreams over. If you want the authentic experience, go all budget surf trip style and stay in town.
For something more luxurious, stay in Huatulco and commute. Either way, if you get a few waves out at Barra, you won’t be disappointed, and after a few laps of the point, you’ll have that surfed-out feeling you came to Mexico for.