Liquid Peace
5 Best Vacation Destinations in March for surfing
Monthly Report- March
"When, Where & Why the waves are the best!"

     The determining factors in the ratings for each month are water & air temperature, wave consistency, overall weather conditions including precipitation & winds, (offshore winds receiving a big plus). Break logistics:  Are waves accessible?, Are there places to stay near the breaks?, Are the breaks crowded?, What are the hazards, rips, reefs, rocks, & water pollution?  Culture: Are there activities to do if the surf goes flat? Other Liquid activities, kayaking, windsurfing, canoing, fishing, etc...? Good hiking, site seeing, historical significant activities? Friendly inhabitants? Overall Safety! Last, but certainly of equal importance, expense, including lodging, airfare, rental cars, taxis, food & water.

     Of course, the list is subjective & only a guide for those looking for ideas for a vacation in the month of March.  We won't list actual surf spots for three reasons: 1) there are places that do a great job of listing "most" of the good breaks in the area we mention, like- wannasurf.com.  2) We hope that you are forced to interact with the people that live there, talk to them, ask them where the good breaks are, how to get there & how to blend in. 3) Take a chance, do some searching on your own, chill on the beach awhile & spot a peak for yourself or go for a long walk & just maybe you'll find a place of your own to borrow for a session or two.  We will tweak the list as needed &, hopefully, righteously to include unique spots, not just the destinations that always get the best waves!

March

1) Indonesia-Mentawai Islands
2) Australia-New South Wales
3) Ecuador- Central Coast-Montanita
4) Chile- Central Coast/Region-Pichilemu
5) Puerto Rico-
Northwest side, Rincon, Aguadilla, Aguada, Isabela


1) Indonesia- Mentawai Islands
Mentawai Islands Pictures

  Surreal place & waves, maybe this is heaven! Consistent high quality waves with an abundance of breaks for all types of surfers.The Mentawai islands is wired perfectly for an exceptional surf experience.
Water Temp: 80-85 degrees, glorious.
Water Pollution: None, amazingly perfect!
Wave Consistency: Excellent, arguable some of the most consistent surf on earth, a groundswell Machine!. surfline.com
Overall weather: 85-90 degrees.
Suggested gear: Board shorts, rash guards, lots of sunscreen, sunblock & lip balm. Pack duct tape, super glue & mosquito repellent. Extra boards!

There is catch to surfing some of the most beautiful waves on the planet! Getting there is a commitment and once you get there , most, if not all, depending on where you stay will require the procurement of a boat of some sort!  All very much worth the trek to this wonderful, breath taking destination.

Can you get to the waves? Yes, they are accessible but you will need the aid of a boat to most, around 25, + the secret spots.
Are there places to stay? Yes, but options are limited & overall expensive, around $200/night. You can go low budget but it is not as easy as other destinations! All inclusive boat charters!
Recommended Lodging:  HTs Surf Resort-"Preserving the Stoke". HTs resort is heavenly & have the Mentawai's wired! Another great place is Macaronis Resort.
Is it crowded? Depending on how many boats show up for the location/break you pick! However, crowds are generally lower in March!

Is there localism? Very little but you will be surrounded by experienced, very good, surfers.
Are there hazards? Yes, & as wave size increases the hazards increase exponentially. Don't be afraid to pack a helmet, there are sharp reefs.

"If you haven't had a chance to surf in the Mentawai's you will have seen it on video, in print, or heard about it from your friends. The place is simply "magic on a stick". The archipelago is sprinkled with picture perfect, glassy barrels that light up and fire in tune with the constantly changing equatorial winds and weather." Rick Cameron, HTs Surf Resort

Culture:
Things to do: This is mostly a Liquid/beach destination & small islands. Plenty of Liquid activities including Kayaking, SUP, Snorkeling, Diving, & Fishing. 
Things to do out of the water? View the pristine, beautiful surroundings, hiking, taking in local culture & enjoy your resort.
People: Very friendly, the islands are sparsely populated.
Food & water: Limited options, most lodging is all-inclusive & the best option here, if you can get your hands on water-buy & load up on it!
Nightlife: Limited, mostly whatever the place you are staying offers. The resorts listed above are spectacular, with "superightchadelic" amenities, you won't want to leave...
Expense: This is not the trip for value seekers, plan on spending some money, enjoy the vacation of a lifetime, live large.
Safety: Extremely safe, small chance of petty theft.

Mentawai Islands is a place to go to surf as much as possible & then rest for the next day of surfing. Don't  forget to look around, yeah, you guessed it, it might be heaven! 


2) Australia -New South Wales
New South Wales Pictures

  Multitude of great surf spots to choose from beginner to expert but tough to find waves without crowds, Australia has nearly 400,000 surfers, but the warm water & consistent swells make up for the heavy crowds.
Water temp: 67-77 degrees.
Water Pollution: Clean water, some occasional problems near Sydney & larger towns.
Wave consistency: Very consistent in March. Swellnet
Overall weather:75-80 degrees.
Suggested gear: Board shorts, rash guards, neoprene jacket, vest, shorts, cap, 3/2 full suit, duct tape, super glue & always plenty of sunscreen, sunblock & lip balm.


New South Wales has excellent infrastructure & friendly people to point the way to the breaks you select.
Can you get to the waves? Yes, with relative ease.
Are there places to stay? Yes, & plenty of options.

Is it crowded? Yes, expect crowds, be respectful, you will get your rides, don't be afraid to surf the smaller waves and breaks.
Is there localisms? Yes, they take their surfing very seriously & they are very good.
Are there hazards? Always, ask a lifeguard or ask a friendly local.

Culture:
Things to do: Just about anything you want to do with Liquid is here! Australians & the people that visit love the Liquid & it is all here.
Things to do out of the water: Everything & Anything!
People: Australians are friendly, hospitable and gracious people just don't drop in on their wave.
Food & water: Unlimited options but bring the credit cards, Australia is not cheap, in fact, it is expensive.
Nightlife: Pubs are ubiquitous and nightlife is very good.
Expense: Start saving, this trip will reduce the weight of your wallet & purses.
Safety: Very safe, the only place you could find trouble & you would have to look for it is in the major cities!


3) Ecuador, Central coast, Montanita
Ecuador Pictures
  When you go to Ecuador, fly into Guayaquil. The price is right for good quality waves with plenty of variation for surfer's of all different levels. Montanita is a great base camp to search out your breaks & realize your Liquid Peace.
Water Temp: 74-79 degrees. Very comfortable.
Water Pollution: generally no, but with heavy rainfall near towns, then yes!
Wave consistency: very consistent, with waves in the shoulder to head high range with some slight offshore early in the day. magicseaweed
Overall weather:74-80 degrees, near the beach, if you go to higher elevations away from the coast it gets cooler quickly!
Suggested gear: board shorts, rash guards, neoprene jacket, vest, shorts, cap, sunscreen, sunblock lip balm, duct tape, super glue. If you plan a trip to the Galapagos islands, effected by the Humboldt current, bring a 3/2 full suit.


Ecuador's infrastructure is "rough & tumble", it does reduce the crowds. Give yourself plenty of time to get to outer breaks, get lucent directions or hire a guide! 
Can you get to the waves? Yes, but can get bumpy and sketchy to some places, get solid directions or hire a guide.
Are there places to stay? Yes, limited range but plenty of options.
Recommended Lodging: Jardines de Olon
, "A tropical dream come true!" Montanita spanish & surf, "Lodging, surfing & learn spanish". Villa de los Suenos, Awesome place in La Entrada.
Is it crowded? No, but if the waves are really good, moderate.
Is there localism? Some, but nothing to be concerned with if you follow proper surf etiquette.
Are there Hazards? Minimal at the beach breaks but always check, ask & look around.
Learn to surf:
Montanita spanish & surf, "Learn how or get wired on where to go" 

"Montanita is well known as the most unfailing surf break on the Ruta del Sol coast of Ecuador. The closer to La Punta you go, the bigger the wave sets are. At highs a barreling right hander, at lows are righteous hot dogs, perfect for all levels and abilities. Crawling distance from the Ecuafriendly beach house. Due to its Humboldt current location, Montanita is the right place to have as home base, central to all hot spots up and down the coast.” Todd, Jardines de Olon

Culture:
Things to do? The town is very cool, has a hippie kind of feel to it. You will need a 4x4 to really be adventurous.
Things to do out of the water? Limited by the small town & infrastructure but the town is very entertaining.
People: Very friendly. Learn as much Spanish before you go, most people that live in Ecuador are not bilingual.
Food & Water: Load up on the bottled water, food options in town are plentiful, tasty and inexpensive (arepas, choclos and ceviche
).
Nightlife: Enough to get into trouble or have fun but it is still a small town, save your energy for the surf & keep a low profile.
Expense: Inexpensive! Absolute bargain for a righteous surf adventure in a laid back artsy, culturally entertaining town.
Safety: Safe, but petty theft is always a mistake away; keep your gear stowed safely out of sight. Leave the "bling-bling" at home!

Note: One other plus in visiting this region is the possibility of getting a little Bit of Northern Peru surfing into your regimen, only a 2 hour drive from the
Guayaquil airport!


4)Chile, Central coast/region, Pichilemu

Chile Pictures
  If you don't mind moderately cold waters, enjoy big powerful surf & small crowds then Chile is waiting with open arms!  
Pichilemu is the closest surf destination from Santiago, 3 hour drive, with a variety of waves from beginner beach breaks to world class wave mountains.
Water Temp: 57-62 degrees, Chile Fall season influenced by the Humboldt current.
Water pollution: Very clean, some pollution near the towns on the beach, especially during tourist season.
Wave consistency: Excellent as the storms from the southern deep water ocean start to pump swells into the region.surfline.com
Overall weather: 65-70 degrees & dry, similar to California. Can get nippy at night.
Suggested gear: 4/3 full suit, 3/2 on the warmer days, booties, neoprene cap or hood, duct tape, super glue, sunscreen, sunblock & lip balm.

Chile's infrastructure is good but you will still need explicit directions and a guide for the 1st trip is advisable.
Can you get to the waves? Yes, most can be reached without problems, some you will need guidance.
Are there places to stay? Yes, options but surfing is still growing in Chile, so accommodations are still somewhat limited but easily obtainable.
Is it crowded? No, even though surfing is on the rise in Chile the crowds comparatively are small.
Is there localism? Minimal
Are there hazards? Always ask but mostly the cold water & the size of the waves are hazard enough, is a 20ft wave a hazard? Worked & scrambled by a 20ft wave is a hazard!
                        

Culture:
Things to do? Unless you are in Santiago, there are limitations. Surfing & fishing.
Things to do out of the water? Limitations, but with a rental car & some "can do", plenty. Learn as much Spanish as possible, that will help immensely.
People: Very nice.
Food & water: Always load up on the bottled water, food is good and reasonable priced.
Nightlife: Limitations depending on your surf destination, bring some entertainment gear.
Expense: Moderate, not inexpensive but not too bad.
Safety: Very safe, some petty crime!

Note: Know your limitations, Chile gets some "ginormous" waves!


5) Puerto Rico- West side, Rincon, Aguadilla,Aguada,Isabela
Puerto Rico pictures
     Closing in on peak season with waves primarily in the shoulder to head high range with offshore winds, warm water & air temperatures make Puerto Rico a solid choice for a March surf trip.
Water Temp: 77-82 degrees.
Water pollution: Some, near major towns & cities after precipitation.
Wave consistency: Consistent, with waves in the shoulder to head high range with some slight offshore winds, not as big or dangerous as the winter swells but fun.
Overall weather: 77-82 degrees on the beach, cooler at higher altitudes.
Suggested gear: Board shorts, rash guards, helmet, duct tape, super glue & lots of sunscreen, sunblock & lip balm.

The waves on the west side are in close proximity of each other and all are accessible but not all are easy to find. Get clear directions to the waves & a tutorial before paddling out. Many of these breaks are very dangerous even on the smaller days without proper knowledge of the breaks' nuances.
Can you get to the waves? Yes, but with some breaks you will need help & explicit directions, especially to the less crowded breaks.
Are there places to stay? Yes, still lots of cool mom & pop places.
Is it crowded? Yes, especially the popular spots on weekends, look for lesser peaks & secret spots or be willing to share.
Is there localism? Yes, and some of it isn't pretty; remember you are a visitor, paddle away, be patient, & stay composed.
Are there hazards? Small sea critters-urchins & sea lice, jellyfish, sharp reefs, strong currents, but good surf is worth a few hazards!

Culture:
Things to do? Snorkeling, kayaking, diving, windsurfing, kite surfing, all Liquid activities available.
Things to do out of the water? Hiking, mountains, caves, the big towns & cities have plenty going on, stay out of trouble, nights can get sketchy.
People: Friendly, aggressive in the surf but overall harmless.
Food & water: Overall inexpensive depending on your choices, local cuisine is inexpensive, resort food expensive, always load up on water to keep in your crib.
Expense: Moderately priced, but can be done on a tight budget.
Safety: Generally Ok, but theft is a problem with rental cars, mostly with what is inside. Anything not locked down has a good chance of walking away.

Puerto Rico has a variety of excellent breaks but certainly would not make my 'A' list for beginners, March, overall, is a month that intermediate to experienced surfers can have a real good time with patience & a willingness to seek out some secret spots for some soul surfing sessions.

If you are lucky enough to go to any of the top 5 best vacation destinations in March for surfing, have a blast, be safe, take it all in, you never know if, or when, you will get another chance to visit again.These places are spiritual gifts from nature, walk softly, environmentally friendly & embrace any opportunity to lend a helping hand. Be righteous, humble & appreciative, you are representing yourself, your family & your country!   Craig Holibaugh, Liquid Peace Post

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