Rio Nexpa is a lesser-known Mexican surf spot, a river mouth offering pumping lefts that reel beautifully down a black sand point. A cluster of beach cabanas line the beachfront, and the streets are nothing more than sandy tracks; it’s blisteringly hot year-round, the waves are super consistent, and it’s a surf town that fully immerses you into the Mexican surf experience. But how do you get to Nexpa, what’s the wave like, and where should you stay? Here’s everything you need to know about surfing in Nexpa.
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How to Get to Rio Nexpa?
Located in Michoacan, the tiny beach town of Nexpa is directly between Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, with Colima being the closest city. Because of its remoteness, Nexpa is far from anywhere but relatively easy to reach!
Without a car, the best way to get to Nexpa is by overnight bus from Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta. From Acapulco, the bus is around 12 hours. However, you can’t get the bus directly to Nexpa.
Instead, you’ll need to book a ticket to Lazaro Cardenas, a larger town south of Nexpa. From Lazaro, you can take a local bus that drops you on the highway outside of Nexpa. (you’ll see a large rainbow-coloured sign). It’s a 15-minute walk into town.
From the North, you’ll need to take a bus from Puerto Vallarta to Lazaro Cardenas. You’ll likely need to connect through Colima). From Lazaro, catch a local bus back on yourself to Nexpa. Check out the exact route you need here on BusBud.
Rio Nexpa Surf Spot Breakdown
Rio Nexpa is a left-hand river mouth, serving as a welcome break from the rights down south. Nexpa is fast, wally and powerful, breaking at the mouth of Rio Nexpa. The wave breaks over cobblestone and finishes on a rocky shore break, so make sure you kick out early.
Nexpa is uncrowded due to its remoteness. However, there are a few locals in town that you need to respect. I saw a few locals screaming at visiting surfers when I was in the water there, but like anywhere, let locals get their waves, and you’ll be fine.
Rio Nexpa Surf Spot Map
Best Season for Surfing in Nexpa
The best season for surfing in Mexico is between April and October. This is the best time of year to surf everywhere on Mexico’s Pacific coast, and Nexpa is no different.
Rio Nexpa - Surf Forecast
Where to Stay in Nexpa?
Although Nexpa is nothing more than a few dusty tracks and shops, there are several great accommodation options catering for travelling surfers. Prices vary from $20 – $100 per night, mostly beach cabana-style rooms. Check out Nexpa Surf Cabanas for an excellent budget/mid-range option, or head to Hotel Villa Tropical for something more upmarket.
Where to Eat?
Due to its size, there aren’t many eating options in Nexpa. There is one supermarket to stock up on snacks ad post-surf ice creams and a handful of restaurants dotted sparingly through town. The restaurants are loose arrangements and seem to open on a whim, and you’ll have to flow with the slow pace when it comes to food.
Nexpa Surf Cabanas offer food, which is an easy option if you stay there. If you fancy a change, just take a stroll around town; there’s a handful of family-run, part accommodation, part restaurant places to eat.
Tips for Surfing in Nexpa
While the locals in town are super friendly and welcoming, the locals in the water at Nexpa are, unsurprisingly, territorial. But no more than anywhere else in Mexico, and as long as you let the locals get their waves, you’ll have no issues.
Nexpa is tiny, so don’t expect to get what you want when you want. Shops and restaurants open on relaxed schedules; you’ll need to adapt to this to enjoy your time in Nexpa. The streets are sandy tracks, and paving stops at the highway.
Surprisingly my wifi was great during my stay at Nexpa Surf Cabanas, but connections do drop, especially after heavy rain and storms. So take note of this, especially if you’re visiting during hurricane season (April – October).
Although Michoacan has a sketchy reputation, once you’re in Nexpa, it’s safe to walk around, even at night; the place is so tiny that it has a real community feel than anything dangerous.
But be cautious when walking around in bigger cities like Colima and Lazaro. I walked around Lazaro while waiting for my bus (carrying my board bag on my head). Despite the odd looks, it felt safe.
Final Words on Surfing in Nexpa
If you’re on a surf trip through Mexico and have already filled your boots with the other best surf spots in Mexico, then check out Nexpa. The wave is super fun, uncrowded and reliable, with a relaxed, small-town vibe. It’s the sort of place that forces you to slow down.
Surfing in Nexpa is a true Mexican surf experience and a must-do trip; whether you’re basing here for a couple of weeks or just passing through, it’s a great way to break up your larger Mexico trip.
If you’ve visited Nexpa, please let me know of any other helpful tips in the comments, or if you plan to surf in Nexpa soon, flick me a personal message via email.