Playa La Saladita: Dreamy Lefts in Mexico

Written By Sammi  |  Mexico  |  0 Comments

If you are looking to surf some long dreamy waves, then look no further than Playa La Saladita in Mexico. This surfing beach on the Pacific Coast, less than 1 hour from Zihuatanejo offers visitors a relaxing and epic surf and beach experience. There isn’t really a town and there aren’t any all inclusive resorts or luxury hotels so this is the perfect spot to escape mass tourism and experience a more local, less touristic area of the Mexican Pacific Coast.

In this guide we’ll share with you all the important details to plan the perfect surf trip to Playa La Saladita, Mexico. We visited end of November 2021.

How to Get to Playa La Saladita

The airport you should fly into to get to Playa La Saladita is ZIH: Aeropuerto Internacional de Zihuatanejo. Some airlines have direct flights there from the US (like Alaska Airlines from LAX) but if not, you will most likely need to fly first into Mexico City International Airport and then to ZIH.

We flew from San Jose, Costa Rica to Mexico City, had a 6 hour layover and then flew to ZIH.

Zihuatanejo Airport

ZIH Airport

Once you land at ZIH Airport, you can take a taxi to Playa La Saladita if you are not renting a car. There is an official taxi stand right outside the exit doors of ZIH Airport, just go up to the counter and tell the person you are going to Playa La Saladita. In November 2021, we paid $45.30 USD (approximately 920 Mexican Pesos) for 2 people, 1 way. We paid this with credit card.

Pro tip: If you aren’t renting a car, have your taxi driver stop at the MEGA supermarket in Zihuatanejo before dropping you off at Playa La Saladita so you can get groceries. As there is not a town or large supermarket in La Saladita , you need to stock up on groceries as there are only a handful of restaurants which have odd opening hours.

Extra pro tip: Exchange money to get Mexican Pesos at the ZIH Airport which had a very good exchange rate (better than Mexico City). For 2 people staying in Playa La Saladita for 4 nights, we exchanged around $200 USD. If you do not exchange money and don’t have any Mexican Pesos, you can exchange money at the tiny market in the small town of Los Llanos but they give an awful exchange rate at around 15 MXN to 1 USD. Current exchange rate is around 20 MXN to 1 USD. USD is not accepted and the restaurants we went to did not take credit card so cash is pertinent.

The taxi ride from ZIH Airport to Playa La Saladita is around 50 minutes.

Where to Stay in Playa La Saladita

As I mentioned earlier, there aren’t any all inclusive resorts or chain hotels in Playa La Saladita so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re going to the wrong spot. Instead, there are beachfront vacation rentals, small cabinas and modest houses in Playa La Saladita. There aren’t really any hotels in Playa La Saladita either, we were only able to find rental options by looking on Google Maps and Airbnb.

We ended up renting a room at Casa Cuchara Saladita. It’s a beautiful vacation rental home with around 8 rooms and an amazing infinity pool. During our visit, we were the ONLY guests there so it was super quiet and relaxing as we had the entire complex and pool to ourselves. A very charming and friendly cat visited us everyday.

Our room was essentially a large apartment with a furnished kitchen, large dining room and sitting area and large bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. It had air conditioning, good Wifi and was about a 10 minute walk to the main surf break. We were able to see the break from our window which was awesome.

Casa Cuchara Playa La Saladita

the pool at Casa Cuchara

Our apartment cost ~$150 USD a night and it was the cheapest one in the property. There are cheaper options on Airbnb for more basic lodging but we wanted a nice pool and to be beachfront. I have to say, after surfing under the hot sun for a few hours everyday, it felt amazing to jump in the pool. Next time we visit, we’ll pick something a bit closer to the break though.

Surfboard Rental Playa La Saladita

We didn’t bring our own surfboards so we had to rent two longboards. As a surfing beach, there are no shortage of rental options, nearly every restaurant offered surfboard rentals. We rented from Sergio, from the Doña Oli restaurant. Other options are Lourdes Bar and Grill and Ilieanet’s Restaurant.

For a 4 day rental for 2 longboards, we paid ~1500 Mexican pesos (~$78 USD) in cash.

Playa La Saladita Surfboard Rentals

Surfboard rentals

Surf

Playa La Saladita became famous for its dreamy long lefts, perfect for the goofy footed longboarder. We visited at the end of November/beginning of December and conditions were wonderful. Small waves (2-3 feet), no wind. There was a good amount of people but it was not difficult to grab the outer waves, as many people preferred the inside waves. If you catch a good one on the outside, the wave wraps around and connects so you can be on your board for 30-60 seconds!

That does mean you need to paddle alllll the way back out so in a 2 hour session, you could catch like 3-5 epic waves but that’s all you need to leave you feeling that surfer high we all know too well that makes us want to keep catching waves.

Playa La Saladita surf

Sunset surf

If you visit end of April/beginning of May, the break will definitely be more crowded. That time of year fills up with Mexi Log Fest prospects. Although the 2022 fest was held at Sayulita, there is a good chance it will go back to Playa La Saladita as it had been for many years.

Tip: be extremely careful with the rocks, there are a ton of sea urchins there. One guy walked on the rocksgot stung by a rockfish and had to be taken to the hospital! Some surfers wear booties but we didn’t, we avoided getting close to the rocks.

There are waves for all levels and we saw a couple of lessons going on. We saw everything from first timers to local and amateurs pros hang ten-ing, doing flips and twirling around on the board! It was so entertaining to watch the local and amateur pros showing off their skills.

What to do in Playa La Saladita Besides Surfing

Although we didn’t do anything else in Playa La Saladita except surf, there are some other fun things to do in the area.

Hot Springs: There are some hot springs about a 20 minute drive away. If you don’t have a car, you can ask your vacation rental manager or any of the locals at the restaurants to call you a taxi. These are free, natural hot spring pools. On Google Maps, it’s called “Hot Springs” in Manzanillo Zihuatanejo.

Troncones: This is a beach town about a 20 minute drive away. Though small, it has more action than Playa La Saladita, which is saying a lot! It also has surfing.

Relax: Eat, drink, relax, take long walks on the beach, nap in the hammock, swim in the pool, just think about nothing and let the stress melt away as you watch beautiful Playa La Saladita sunsets everyday. Our four days there were absolutely magical and it’s been one of my favorite trips we’ve taken so far.

Playa La Saladita

The beach

Playa La Saladita Restaurants

There is a very small handful of beachfront restaurants in Playa La Saladita. However, do not believe Google Maps restaurant hours. The ones that are more consistently open are the more expensive touristic ones by the main surf break. As our vacation rental was about a 10-15 minute walk to those restaurants, we cooked dinner each night. Thank goodness we bought groceries and supplies or else we would have gone hungry!

We ate at Doña Oli and Enramada Yanet on the beach. Both were fantastic, Enramada Yanet had a white fish ceviche dish was was our favorite. However, that one was not open at nights when we were there. It only opened for a couple of hours for lunch.

Playa La Saladita restaurants

Enramada Yanet seafood

Then we cooked a couple of nights and also ate in the town of Los Llanos twice. We ate at Nancy’s which has excellent tacos. We also ate at another local restaurant owned by the mom of our taxi driver. He proudly boasted his mom’s tacos were better and well, he had every right to brag! Her restaurant was basically her house right around here on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/8aGZYUNhjY4H78Ug8. If you go to Los Llanos, plan to go in the evening as we found the restaurants there didn’t open until after 5 PM or so.

What to Know About Visiting

I am VERY glad that I did a bit of research about Playa La Saladita before we arrived. Or else, we would have been stuck in a couple of not so fun situations. Details below.

  1. The closest “town” is Los Llanos, a 10 minute taxi ride or 1 hour walk. There are no supermarkets close by so make sure you stock up on groceries before you arrive! Despite being the closest town, Los Llanos is tiny and the one market there has basic stuff.
  2. We highly recommend visiting the town of Los Llanos. There you will get the super cheap, good local food. However, the few restaurants in town open at very odd hours. Nancy’s is one of the best for cheap tacos but some days she opened at 4 PM, some days later and some days completely closed. If you go, you should go in the evening at like 6 or 7 PM. You can get there via taxi which cost like $3 USD one way.
  3. Exchange money before you arrive! As I mentioned earlier, you can exchange money at ZIH airport which gave a good exchange rate. USD is not accepted.
  4. Get Whatsapp on your phone. We communicated with our taxi drivers and vacation rental manager via Whatsapp exclusively.
  5. Bring SPF (at least 50) and reapply, reapply and reapply. Mexico’s sun is STRONG and I got heat exhaustion on our second day. Make sure it’s reef safe sunscreen! I also highly recommend wearing a long sleeve rashguard or surf suit for more sun protection.
  6. I felt very safe in Playa La Saladita. So safe that we didn’t even lock our front door all the time. We never walked outside at night by ourselves but I felt very safe in La Saladita and Los Llanos. Plus the locals are SO nice. All of them were so happy to talk to us, answer our questions and give recommendations.
  7. If you stay for more than a few days, I do highly recommend renting a car. On our last day there, I was very ready to leave. I felt “stuck” and wanted to see more of Mexico. Although I had a blast, I was ready to go. Our next destination was Sayulita.

We hope this helps you plan your trip to Playa La Saladita. Happy surfing!