February 17, 2022 7 min read

Paddle Boarding Mexico

Man and woman paddle boarding in Mexico

The temperature in Mexico is relatively warm all year round, and the fact that oceans primarily surround the country makes it a fantastic destination for stand up paddle boarding. 

If you’re heading to Mexico and wondering where are the best places to paddle board, we’ve broken down some of the greatest waterways all over the country that should be at the top of your paddle boarding bucket list. 

Baja California

Aerial panoramics of Baja California Sur, Mexico

Baja California is a peninsula in northwest Mexico, and SUPing conditions vary. In Baja, Mexico, you can surf the Pacific Ocean or relax on calm waters on the Gulf of California. 

With that being said, there are a few incredible SUPing locations in Baja, California, that you should definitely check out. 


The seaside resort town of Loreto on the Gulf of California has beautiful soft sand beaches and calm turquoise waters that are a haven for paddle boarders who want to take it easy and enjoy a leisurely paddle while gazing at the incredible surrounding scenery. 

If you paddle in the day, you’ll have chances of spotting dolphins, pelicans, and whales, and companies in Loreto even offer nighttime LED paddling tours so you can see the aquatic life from a different perspective. 

San Felipe

San Felipe is famously known for its fresh shrimp and beaches, so it’s no wonder why it makes a fantastic SUP spot. 

The summer months especially see calm, warm waters that are perfect for a selection of water sports, one of which is paddle boarding

Bahía de Los Ángeles

Bahía de Los Ángeles, also known as the Bay of Angels, has deep blue waters, surrounding red mountains, and small islands throughout the bay that can be paddled up to and explored from your SUP.

Stingrays, starfish, sea lions, and dolphins are just some of the marine life found in Bahía de Los Ángeles, so we highly suggest packing your snorkeling gear and jumping in the water. 

Cabo Pulmo National Park

Cabo San Lucas Baja California Sur

Cabo Pulmo National Park is a protected stretch of land and water that is famous for its abundant wildlife and spectacular surrounding views. 

The park is home to the oldest of three coral reefs that are found on the west coast of North America and was made a national park in 1995 to protect the animals, reefs, and plant life that call it home. 

The coral reef begins a few meters away from the shore, and you’ll be able to spot a wide array of animals, from sea turtles to stingrays.

Gonzaga Bay

Gonzaga Bay is a hidden gem with few crowds, beautiful beaches, and flat tranquil waters. The bay is split on the two by a sand spit in low tide and there are small islands and rock formations that you can explore from the comfort of your SUP. 

Whale sharks and manta rays migrate through and frequent Gonzaga Bay so if you’re lucky, you may get a once-in-a-lifetime spotting. 

Many people camp or hire an RV when visiting Gonzaga Bay as hotels in the area are fairly limited. 

Los Barilles

Another stunning stretch of soft white sand beaches that meet the Gulf of California’s turquoise seas is Los Barilles, which is best known for its sportfishing and kiting spots.

SUP anglers can spend the afternoon paddling and catching fish while looking out for sea lions and dolphins that regularly frequent the area. 

Bay of Concepcion

The Bay of Concepcion is also known as Bahía Concepción and has 50 miles of white sand beaches to explore. While paddling you can check out the coral reefs, coves, and spectacular coastal scenery. 

Puerto Vallarta

Hotels at Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Mexico

The beach resort city of Puerto Vallarta is situated in Bahía de Banderas on the Pacific Ocean.

The beaches in Puerto Vallarta are much like other places in Mexico, with soft white sand, turquoise waters, and an abundance of marine life not far from the shore.

As Puerto Vallarta is popular with tourists, there are many SUP schools and rental shops where you can purchase a two hour guided tour or rent a SUP and explore the waters on your own. 

Some of the best beaches to paddle board in Puerto Vallarta include: 

  • Los Arcos
  • Playa Garza Blanca
  • Playa Camarones
  • Las Animas

Lago Chapala

Sunset at Lake Chapala, Jalisco Mexico

Lago Chapala or Lake Chapala is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake found near Guadalajara. The lake is fed by the Lerma River and is known throughout Mexico for its scenic beaches and fishing opportunities. 

SUP anglers can take their fishing gear and boards and fish for tilapia, carp, and bagre. If you’re new to SUP fishing and would like some tips and tricks, check out our article of A Beginners Guide to Fishing and for the best fly fishing set up, we’ve gone into more detail on How to Outfit Your SUP for Fly Fishing.

Many SUP schools and rental companies border the lake and are easily accessible if you’re new to the sport or if you’re looking to hire equipment. 


Sandy beach of Yelapa, Mexico

Yelapa is a small beach town in Bahía de Banderas and is the world's seventh-largest bay. To get out to Yelapa, you need to take a 45-minute water cab, but the journey is well worth it. 

Yelapa has beautiful calm waters that are surrounded by jungles, and as you paddle, you can admire both fishermen and pelicans catching fish throughout the water and nearby rocks. 


Boats on sandy beach of Sayulita, Mexico

Sayulita is a small laidback town on the Pacific Ocean that has world-class surfing and fishing opportunities. 

The town itself is rich in culture and traditions, and the beach is only a short walk from the town's main plaza.

Paddle boarders, surfers, and swimmers love the waters at Sayulita, and the beaches are covered with quaint beach bars and restaurants. 

Sayulita provides a slightly more challenging paddle for stand up paddle boarders with small breaking waves, and if you’d prefer a little help while out on the water, there are many surf and SUP schools spread out along the beach. 


Aerial view of Cancun, Mexico showing luxury resorts

Cancun is one of Mexico’s well-known cities. Thanks to its white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and bustling nightlife, you really get the best of both worlds while visiting Cancun.

As the beaches are so picturesque, paddle boarding is extremely popular along the coast, and many SUP schools have set up shop to provide paddling tours or SUP rentals. 

Slight waves are common along the shoreline, but once you paddle out a hundred meters or so, you’ll be met with flat water that is ideal for SUPing. 

Punta de Mita

Top view of beach Punta Mita, Nayarit Mexico

Punta de Mita is a fishing village north of Puerto Vallarta that has turned into an excellent surf destination. 

The waters vary along the coast, and you can expect to find waves and flat waters suitable for both experienced and beginner paddlers. 

Small group lessons and guided tours are also very popular in Punta Mita, so there is no need to bring your own SUP as you can rent boards from one of these SUP schools. 

Tips for Paddle Boarding in Mexico

Wear SPF

UV levels in Mexico range throughout the year, and it is extremely important to protect your skin and reapply SPF every 2 hours. 

Rent a SUP

If you don’t have an easy to travel with inflatable SUP, there are many companies throughout Mexico that offer SUP rentals, so you can simply arrive on the day and hire a SUP with all the necessary equipment.

Take Plenty of Water

Man and a woman paddle boarding with waters

Mexico gets extremely hot, especially in the summer months, and stocking up with a decent supply of water before heading out paddling will drastically improve your day.

As we exercise (yes, paddle boarding is the most fun form of exercise out there), we sweat and lose crucial bodily fluids. 

Outdoor activities, particularly those in the sun, such as paddle boarding, require us to drink more water to replenish the fluids we lose during this exercise. 

Participate in Guided Tours

Guided tours are a fantastic way to get a locals expert knowledge of the waters and scenery surrounding you. 

It’s easy to turn up to the beach, get your board out and start paddling, but it’s even better when you have someone showing you the best parts of the beach, reefs, and sea life. 

Tours also introduce you to other like-minded paddlers, which is excellent if you’re a solo traveler looking to make some friends. 

Take Snorkel Gear

The oceans surrounding Mexico are filled with crystal clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling. 

Before you head out on the water, hire or bring your own snorkel equipment so you can jump off your board, take a swim, and appreciate the marine wildlife. 

Wear a PFD

Even if you’re a strong swimmer, wearing a PFD can save your life in an emergency, and we recommend wearing one whenever you head out on a SUP. 

Interactive Map


🏆 Where is the best place to paddle board in Mexico?

Mexico is a haven for stand up paddle boarders, and there are unique places all over the country that will make you want to jump in the water in a heartbeat. Here are some of Mexico’s best places to paddle board: 

  • Baja California
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Lago Chapala
  • Yelapa
  • Sayulita
  • Cancun
  • Punta Mita

👍 Can you paddle board in Cancun?

Yes! Paddle boarding in Cancun is extremely popular, and there are many SUP schools and rental companies along the coast that offer guided tours, SUP lessons, and board rentals. 

🏝️ Can you rent paddle boards in Mexico?

Paddle board rental companies are in abundance throughout Mexico, so if you don’t have an easy-to-travel with inflatable SUP, there is no need to transport your own SUP into the country. 

Before heading to your destination, it is wise to research the paddle board companies in the area, so you know their location and what activities they offer.

Megan Bryant
Megan Bryant

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