La Pastora Surf – Todos Santos
If you’re a surfer, you are probably already aware that there are several surf breaks in and around Todos Santos that can be, at times, world class. The top three spots are, in no particular order, Cerritos, El Pedrito and La Pastora. Each offers its own pros and cons and each is a favorite among locals, depending on who you talk to. La Pastora is arguably the closest to Todos Santos. The name means “the Pasture” in English, undoubtedly derived from the region’s vibrant agricultural community.
La Pastora can handle some large surf, at times seeing double to triple overhead swells in the winter. It’s a sandy beach with a rocky point with peaks which rights and lefts. Rights are more common, especially in the winter. The best time to surf La Pastora is on mid- to low-tides before the morning winds pick up. It’s predominantly a short board wave, especially on the larger swells; however, in the smaller swells a longboard can occasionally be the call. The best swells are from the southwest and it can be totally flat during some of the steep south swells of the summer. The rocks can be a hazard and several locals wear helmets, presumably because of some of their run-ins.
Most of the year the Pacific Ocean in Baja California Sur is typically warm enough for shorts and a rashguard. However, a spring suit or top is always nice to have on those chilly mornings in the dead of winter, January through March. In late May and June many visitors are caught off guard when the water temperature can drop 10-15 degrees due to Aleutian Current. A 3/2 fullsuit is often essential for these 2 months. Click HERE for more info on the weather and water temp.
A 4-wheel drive is not a bad idea because parking is on the sand; however, if you park 50 yards back from the dune (you should anyway since the dune is protected and the host to the endangered Leatherback eggs, among others) you will typically not have any problems.
The break is fortunately a bit difficult to find as it’s no longer the secret spot it was, even a few years ago. Out of respect for the locals, I will suggest you ask someone to take you out or give you directions as it’s still considered a local spot. That said, the locals are generally pretty approachable and the only vibe is towards those that shouldn’t be surfing there and are a danger to themselves and others.
For more information on La Pastora, including current conditions and forecasts, you can check out www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/LaPastora/forecasts/latest. I don’t speak to the reliability of this forecast. Best bet is to check the break yourself.
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