Surfing at Bahia in La Pared
In La Pared there is a second surf spot in the small bay called Bahia La Pared. Bahia has a very beautiful dark sand beach and a picturesque cliff with a large rock tunnel to the other side. This challenging surf spot is just called Bahia by the locals.
The waves at Bahia break as a right wave over a reef slab. This means that the wave always breaks from right to left as seen from the beach. Advanced surfers surf here when the waves in La Pared are too big.
Directions to the Bahia surf spot in La Pared
You don't need maps or a navigation system to get to La Pared. At the motorway exit, in the south of the island, the town of La Pared is signposted together with the town of Pajara. Then you follow a long country road, which goes straight for the first few kilometres and then ends in a sharp right-hand bend before a hill. As you climb the hill, you can already see the west coast from above. Experienced surfers can estimate the size of the waves at La Pared beach by the size of the foam of the breaking waves.
You can recognise the entrance to La Pared by the gravel road, which is about 30 metres long. After that, the gravel road becomes an asphalt road. Follow this straight ahead until you reach the large roundabout. Here you turn right towards the sea. The Caretta Beach restaurant is already signposted here and you simply follow it to the beach.
You can easily park in the large car park next to the restaurant. From here you can also watch the waves in the bay.
The waves in Bahia
The waves in Bahia La Pared break over a reef plate. Therefore, there are no sandbanks like in the neighbouring bay, which can shift after powerful storms with high waves.
The waves in the Bahia always break from right to left. They are therefore called right-hand waves or right-handers. You can observe this well from the car park of the restaurant and further down from the beach.
Depending on the size of the waves, they break further out at the beginning of the bay or further in. They break on a stone in the water, which is easy to see at low tide.
The reef in the Bahia is shallow and overgrown. Nevertheless, it is a surf spot where you should only enter the water if you are an experienced surfer. The waves run very close to the cliffs and there can be strong currents in the water.
In what conditions can you surf in the Bahia?
Although reefs cannot shift, in the Bahia not only the size of the swell (swell from the open sea) is a variable that influences the shape of the waves. The direction of the swell and, of course, the strength of the waves are also decisive. The wave strength is given as a period and is measured in seconds.
In order for the waves to run properly in Bahia La Pared, the swell does not necessarily have to be very large. Above all, it has to be strong enough, which means that the wave period should be over 10 or even 12 seconds.
Usually, the best waves in the Bahia break when the waves at La Pared beach are almost too big or a bit close out.
Depending on the size of the waves, you can surf in the Bahia at all tide levels. If the waves are strong, they may break almost close out at low tide. With weak swells, the waves break only very round at high tide.
Since the Bahia faces slightly south, you can not only watch the sunset very beautifully here, but also avoid the wind a little. In the Bahia, the wind is always a little less onshore. Especially in summer, there are waves in the Bahia that are a little more sheltered from the wind.
If the waves are too big in Bahia La Pared, it is worth going to the Cruz Roja surf spot in Jandia. Clean, small waves often break there when the waves are big on the west coast.
What do you have to watch out for when surfing in the Bahia?
As already mentioned, Bahia is a surf spot for surfers who can safely start and ride green waves.
The reef is flat and overgrown and you can go into the water without shoes. Nevertheless, it is absolutely not a beginner's spot. There are much better surf spots to practice in white water, such as the neighbouring bay of La Pared.
What you should be aware of when surfing in the Bahia is the current that runs through the bay as the wave size increases. This current always pulls towards the left end of the bay. On days with big waves, you run the risk of being pulled out of the bay on the left.
Therefore, you should always be careful not to drift too far to the left in the bay. Likewise, you should not enter the water at the left end of the bay.