An obvious and biased rant about traveling to surf in Mexico by the founder of Wavecation (living in Mexico)
Over the holidays (2019) I saw a few articles being shared online from low reputation publications sensationalizing the different travel advisories being put out by different government entities about Mexico. Danger map, really? Who is writing this shit?! Also, dear editors at the prestigious The Sun, can we at least spell (my wife is cringing here) the names of states/districts correctly next year when this article gets rewritten? Happy to help! For starters, it would be Distrito Federal not Desrito Federal if they hadn't changed the political classification and renamed the city to CDMX back in 2016, Guanajuato not Guanajuto, and lastly Oaxaca not Oasaca—you should really know that last one with its popularity lately within the travelsphere.
So what gives? Is traveling to surf in [insert Mexican state] safe?
In general a well-behaved traveler can safely score waves up and down the coast of Mexico without disappearing or being swallowed alive by the crime underbelly that is fueled by heaps of cash and foreign demand for drugs (breaks for a second coffee and ensues on a caffeinated rant about the war on drugs, decides to write in third person in between parentheses about this occurrence). Yes, there is bad shit happening in parts of Mexico, but for the most part these are isolated to certain areas with high incidences of crime (no different from back home!) and staying out of harm’s way is easier than paddling out through a channel on a 9-foot longboard with Laird Hamilton's shoulders on a chest-high glassy morning.
A mix of expats, locals, and seasoned explorers will coincide with the usual advice about staying safe while exploring Mexico, always starting with — do not drive at night time. Why? They say because of bandidos, this is when they operate, but also probably because it is safer to stay off the poorly lit highways and roads when 18 wheelers are driving around fighting their own battles to stay awake while at work. Do not run around drunk out of your mind trying to score drugs in the wee hours of the night, check, seems easy enough if you’re not an asshole. And lastly, keep a low profile and be respectful of the people around you. Seems like all general advice that could be applied to a lot of countries with high crime rates these days.
Surfers have been traveling to “dangerous places” to score good surf for decades. It is actually probably one of the allures from the heydays of surf discovery, without apps or fancy gadgets, no blog posts about the different spots, or Instagram selfies identifying all the best places to score. Just a group of friends with fold-out maps adventuring into unknown territories with unidentified fiberglass planks tied on the roofs of their cars. Oh, times they have changed. Those days of undiscovered lands has changed with the globalization and digitalization of travel and for most the appetite for danger has been eliminated from the oversharing of current events oozing out of TVs that have been slowly filling us with fear for the last decade. Anyhow... where were we? Oh yeah, it is sensational BS articles like these combined with the proliferation of narco content in the last decade that tend to make people think the worst about Mexico.
And here we find ourselves proudly promoting one of the most dangerous geographies for the launch of our business! Over 128 listings in Mexico at the time of writing. I feel proud to say that we support property owners throughout the coast of Mexico— in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Nayarit, Michoacan, and Northern and Southern Baja. Together with our community of incredible hosts we will help tell those that choose to explore, the real stories about the Mexican coastline and the people that make a living sharing their beaches with foreigners.
Danger! Danger! 4,559 miles of Pacific coastline scattered with world-class waves and seafood feasting in friendly and shaded palapas with sunsets to melt hearts. Your call.