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The Mexican Pipeline: Mexico's Best Wave

Surfing in Puerto Escondido


Playa Zicatela

Surfing the Mexican Pipeline at Playa Zicatela, Puerto Escondido

OneEighteen, Flickr Creative Commons

The so-called “Mexican Pipeline” – named after the legendary Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii – is considered one of the best surfing waves in the world. It can be found at Playa Zicatela in Puerto Escondido, in the state of Oaxaca. The beach is the site of several major international surfing competitions, generally held in August and November.

Characteristics of the Mexican Pipeline:

  • Waves can reach heights of 20 feet.
  • The surf is seasonal, generally smaller and more manageable in the dry season, from November to April, and gaining in power during the rainy season from May onwards, which also brings strong offshore winds.
  • Waves break close to shore, which makes the beach popular with spectators who gather to watch the pros work the surf.
  • The power and size of waves makes this a dangerous break, suitable for experts only. 

Read more about Mexico’s best surf spots

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  6. The Mexican Pipeline - Mexico's Best Wave - Surfing in Puerto Escondido

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