Latigo Beach: One of the Best Beaches on the Malibu Coast

by CaliCase Team on September 12, 2023

Source: The Mark & Grether Group

Latigo Beach, located in Malibu, California, is a stunning coastal paradise that draws visitors with its natural beauty and serene charm. With sandy shores, rocky cliffs, and breathtaking ocean views, it's a perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you're a surfer looking for consistent waves, a sunbather seeking a peaceful spot, or a nature enthusiast captivated by coastal landscapes, Latigo Beach has something for everyone. In this article, we'll tell you why Latigo Beach is so special and why you should consider visiting. If you're interested in discovering more nearby beaches, we also have a complete guide blog for the Best Beaches in Malibu, California.


Where is Latigo Beach?

Latigo Beach is conveniently located in Malibu, California, and is just a short drive from Santa Monica. Its proximity to Los Angeles makes it easily accessible, yet it maintains a sense of hidden paradise due to its comparatively lower levels of crowding. As someone said, it's a "A beautiful, uncrowded beach with breath taking coastal and ocean views. A great place for family or a romantic day at the beach. Best kept secret but, apparently, not for long. Lol....." from The maps review.



Parking at Latigo Beach

Parking at Latigo Beach can be limited, especially during peak seasons or weekends. Your parking options include a small public lot at Latigo Beach, but spaces here fill up quickly, so arriving early is advisable. Limited street parking is available along the Pacific Coast Highway near Latigo Beach; always adhere to posted parking regulations. In some nearby residential areas, parking may be an option, but be sure to respect residents and follow posted parking rules. If Latigo Beach parking is full, consider exploring other nearby beach access points and walking to Latigo Beach.


Surfing at Latigo Beach


Latigo Beach is a versatile surf spot with wave conditions that can cater to a range of surfers. The wave heights here can vary between 2 to 8 feet or higher, depending on swell and weather conditions. These waves, shaped by the point break, offer excellent quality, delivering long rides with significant power and speed. As a result, Latigo Beach is well-suited for both intermediate and advanced surfers who can confidently navigate these challenging conditions.


In addition to its diverse wave offerings, Latigo Beach provides a serene and secluded surfing experience with consistent but manageable waves, making it an excellent choice for beginners and those who prefer a quieter atmosphere. However, if you're in search of larger waves and don't mind some crowds, nearby Zuma Beach, with its convenient facilities and accessibility, might be a better fit for your preferences.


Furthermore, Latigo Beach is known for its welcoming and communal surf culture. Surfers here often greet each other with smiles and share the waves harmoniously. This positive atmosphere is maintained through adherence to local surf etiquette, which includes taking turns and showing respect for fellow surfers, thus creating an inclusive and enjoyable surf experience for all: "When surfing this beach always remember: Politeness counts." from Maps review.

Point Break at Latigo Beach

Latigo Beach is distinguished by its renowned point break, a natural wave formation caused by a submerged rock or reef just offshore. This geological feature is responsible for the consistent and desirable right-hand waves that are characteristic of this surf spot. Surfers can anticipate long rides along the waves, making it a preferred destination for those seeking high-quality point break surfing experiences.

When is the best time to surf at latigo beach ?

The calendar year at Latigo Beach can be divided into distinct surfing seasons. Fall and winter mark the peak periods for surfers, as swells originating from the North Pacific consistently generate larger and more surfable waves during these months. In contrast, spring and summer bring smaller waves that are ideal for beginners or those looking for a more laid-back surfing experience along this picturesque coastline.

Facilities and Safety

Facilities at Latigo Beach are minimal, with limited or even absent amenities such as restrooms and showers. It's essential to note that there are no lifeguards stationed at the beach. Consequently, surfers must possess experience and self-assuredness in their surfing abilities. To ensure a comfortable and safe surfing experience, visitors should come prepared with their own essentials, including water, snacks, sunscreen, and any necessary surf equipment. This self-sufficiency is paramount for a successful visit to Latigo Beach and contributes to the self-reliant spirit of the surf community there.

Surfboard Choice and Rental Options at Latigo Beach

A variety of surfboard types are utilized by surfers at Latigo Beach. While longboards and funboards are popular choices, as they are well-suited for catching the longer rides generated by the point break, shortboards can also be employed, especially by seasoned surfers seeking to maneuver adeptly in the faster sections of the wave. Surfboard selection largely depends on individual preferences and skill levels, contributing to the diverse and inclusive surf scene at Latigo Beach.

Surfers looking to rent equipment can find options in the nearby city of Malibu along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Established surf shops like Zuma Jay's Surf Shop, Malibu Surf Shack, and other local surf shops in the Malibu area typically offer surfboard and wetsuit rentals for surfers of varying skill levels. Availability may vary, so it's advisable to contact these shops or check their websites for the most current information on rental rates and availability, especially during peak surfing seasons or weekends.

Other Activities at Latigo Beach

Besides surfing, there are several other activities you can enjoy at Latigo Beach:


  • Sunbathing and Swimming: The beach's soft golden sands and calm waters make it perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The water is generally safe, but always be cautious and pay attention to local conditions.
  • Picnicking: Bring a picnic basket and enjoy a meal with a view. There are several picnic tables and shaded areas near the beach for this purpose.
  • Beachcombing: Collect seashells, driftwood, and other treasures as you stroll along the shoreline.
  • Photography: The stunning coastal vistas and dramatic rock formations provide ample opportunities for photography.
  • Tidepool Exploration: If you prefer a close-up view of marine life in shallow pools, easy accessibility, and a family-friendly experience, it’s a great choice to choose tidepool exploration. On the other hand, if you're craving adventure and relish the challenge of navigating through caves, you'll find nearby El Matador Beach which is renowned for its picturesque sea caves, making it the ideal destination for those seeking thrilling coastal exploration.
  • Hiking: Nearby, you'll find trails that lead to breathtaking overlooks with panoramic views of the coastline. The Solstice Canyon Trail is a popular choice for hikers.


Can we snorkel in Latigo Beach?



While Latigo Beach is primarily known as a surf spot, snorkeling is not a common activity there due to the generally rougher and choppier surf conditions. The wave action and underwater currents at Latigo Beach may not be conducive to safe and enjoyable snorkeling. It's advisable to visit other best snorkeling beaches in California, such as Catalina Island  or Malibu Lagoon State Beach. These beaches often have calmer waters and are more popular for snorkeling and exploring marine life. Always exercise caution and check local conditions when engaging in water activities.

Visitors Pro Tips


  • Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to shield yourself from the intense California sun, and remember to reapply sunscreen.
  • Footwear: Consider bringing water shoes or sturdy sandals with good grip if you plan to explore the rocks and tide pools. The terrain can be uneven and slippery.
  • Stay for Sunset: Latigo Beach offers stunning sunset views over the Pacific Ocean. Consider staying until evening to witness a picturesque sunset, but be sure to have a flashlight for your walk back to the parking area, as it can get dark.
  • Respect Local Regulations: Follow all posted rules and regulations, including those related to beach fires, alcohol, and dogs. Be respectful of the beach and its residents.
  • Bring the Right Gear: pack essential beach gear like beach towels, umbrellas or beach tents for shade, beach chairs or mats, and any equipment you'll need for your preferred beach activities, such as surfboards. Having the right gear can enhance your beach experience and keep you comfortable throughout the day.


Latigo Beach, nestled along the scenic Malibu coastline, beckons visitors with its pristine natural beauty and serene ambiance. Its golden sandy shores, dramatic cliffs, and captivating ocean vistas create an idyllic backdrop for a wide range of outdoor activities, from thrilling surfing adventures to tranquil sunbathing and tidepool exploration. With its welcoming surf culture, renowned point break, and diverse surfboard options, it's a haven for surfers of all levels. While facilities are minimal, requiring self-sufficiency, Latigo Beach rewards those who seek a quiet escape and the chance to connect with nature. Whether you're capturing breathtaking photographs, picnicking with a view, or simply savoring the peaceful atmosphere, Latigo Beach offers a slice of coastal paradise worth discovering along the enchanting Malibu coastline.