BAHÍA DE TODOS Santos
The Bahía de Todos Santos area is an epicenter for surfing in Mexico. From San Miguel to the other end of the bay, in this small area lie point breaks, beach breaks and world-class big-wave venues. It’s a paradise for all surfers, from the beginner to the most established big-wave surfers in the world.
Blessed with a bounty of good fortune and good surf, it is our duty to protect the Bahía de Todos Santos area. We can’t reproduce the surf breaks that Ensenada holds, and if they disappear they’re gone for good. The area is one of the true treasures of the surfing world. I hope future generations will be able to enjoy similar experiences like the ones I have shared with you.
By Jose “Yo-yo” Puig
México is a country where the large major cities on the coast have very few public spaces, and as a result the beach often serves as an unofficial park. It is a natural open space with free access, a place to walk and relax. Families spend their Sundays on the sand, people of all walks of life enjoy a multitude of aquatic sports, and fishing is both a popular pastime as well as a means of putting food on the table.
The Pacific coast of México is blessed with some of the best surf breaks in the world. Baja Californians are fortunate to have in our heritage Todos Santos, San Miguel, Salsipuedes, and too many others to name here. Today we also have the distinct honor of caretaking the first World Surfing Reserve in Mexico, a great achievement, source of pride, and important responsibility.
Bahía de Todos Santos serves as the first surf reserve in México because the local people understand the need to conserve it. Primary of the Reserve include continuing to guarantee access to the beaches, recognition of the historical importance in the development of surfing at the national and international level, and valuing surfings current recreational pursuit as strength in the positive identity of Baja California.
Ensenada is largely considered the birthplace of Mexican surfing. It has a history that spans the last half century, during which time a distinctly recognizable surf culture has taken root, from the pioneers in the 1960s that came looking for waves through today’s big-wave heroes conquering 60-foot waves at La Isla Todos Santos. It doesn’t take a big swell to attract dozens of people to the beach or trucks with California license plates heading south down Mexico Highway One. With every passing swell there is more awareness of surfing as a non-renewable recreational resource. The importance of preserving local surf breaks is paramount to a healthy economy. The environment is another important factor that was taken into consideration in the naming of Bahía Todos Santos as a surf reserve.There is a rich diversity of species that depend on the intertidal and coastal zones to survive, areas which will be protected by the Reserve.
Attributes of a World Surfing Reserve
Most impressive is the high quality of waves found within the Reserve boundaries, which include Salsipuedes, San Miguel, 3M’s, Stacks and the big wave spot Killers on Isla Todos Santos. With a large swell window exposed to both north and south swell angles, Bahía de Todos Santos has waves year round, although winter time northwest swells produce the best waves at many of its most notorious spots. The strong surfing culture of Bahía de Todos Santos is formidable, with San Miguel credited as the birthplace of Mexican surf culture.
The modern day surf trip was born in Ensenada, Baja California. California surfers would drive south to surf the classic wave at San Miguel, to planting the seeds of our current modern day surf exploration fantasy travel frenzy. Bahia de Todos Santos is the quintessential surf destination with a wide variety of great waves ranging from cobblestone point breaks, XXL reefs, to playful beach breaks. Mexican surf history can be traced back to these waves and the generations of Mexican and international surfers who have flocked here over the years.
At the heart of the World Surfing Reserve in Bahía de Todos Santos, the San Miguel watershed is a critical riparian ecosystem that contributes necessary sand and cobblestones to form the classic wave at San Miguel. The watershed that terminates at San Miguel is one of the least disturbed in Ensenada and encompasses approximately 120 acres. The riparian area adjacent to the point is filled with native elms, oaks and hosts important wildlife habitat. The preservation of the arroyo is necessary for the protection of critical riparian habitat, outdoor recreational opportunities and the near-shore environment of San Miguel.
Save The Waves Coalition and PRONATURA is working with local residents and government agencies to create Baja California’s first beach and riparian reserve at San Miguel. PRONATURA and partner organizations are petitioning to the governor of Baja California to declare San Miguel and approximately four miles of the watershed as a state natural reserve and park.
Local Stewardship COuncil
President: Fernando Marvan
Reserve Manager: Mara Arroyo Rodriguez
Ambassador: Gary Linden
Matilda Saenz Chavez
BAHÍA TODOS SANTOS WSR News
To expand Surf Protected Area Networks, Save The Waves and the Bahia de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve are taking new strides to asses, monitor and, ultimately, protect surf ecosystems in Mexico. Using a nationwide surf inventory, Save The Waves will be able to identify and prioritize high-value Mexican surf breaks.
Over the next 6 months, the World Surfing Reserve, and partner organizations will work with the local government to create education efforts about the plastic pollution problem and empower local people to find sustainable strategies to live without plastic.
Unannounced and under the cover of night on July 24th, a foreign company secretly installed 105 meters of pipeline into the surf zone at Tres Emes beach. The location and size of the pipes that SENFU Mexico installed are major concerns for the surfing community and, particularly, the World Surfing Reserve.
‘3Ms’ Threatened By Industrial Lobster Facility The Bahía de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve in Baja California, Mexico is currently leading a community effort to protect one of the area’s premier waves, ‘3M’s’, from an industrial outfall that would destroy the wave and endanger surfers in the lineup. Over the past few weeks, the