Paddle Boarding at Northern Baja’s famous La Buffadora Blowhole

La Buffadora Spectators

Definition of a Blowhole: A blowhole is the name of a rare geologic feature in which air is blown through a small hole at the surface due to pressure differences between a closed underground system and the surface.

Headed Down South

Paddle boarding the blowhole known as “la buffadora” or “la buffa” as the locals call it has been something on my Baja bucket list for years. I have been traveling in Northern Baja for nearly 20 years and never once visited the blowhole just outside of Ensenada.  With nice weather on the charts for the weekend I loaded up the crew and headed south. I figured with the paddle boards you could really get up close and personal – Just don’t get to close as we soon discovered.

First Paddle Out at the Blowhole

Paddle Boarding La Buffadora

After making the 3 hour trek from the San Diego border we finally arrived at “la buffa”. It was Saturday on president’s weekend and packed with people. The weather was perfect with no wind and a small swell running so it was all time conditions and everyone was eager to hop in and see what this blowhole was all about. Of course all the signs said “do not enter” and “no climbing on the rocks” but it’s Baja so of course we pay no attention to the signs and hop in for a paddle.

The blowhole was around the corner out of view from our entry so we really didn’t know what to expect. The bay was filled with tons of rocks and seaweed and im sure all kinds of critters down below. We slowly rounded the bend and there she was in all her glory – “la buffadora”

As we approached curious spectators lined the cliff above the “la buffa” and cheered as im sure they don’t get too many people willing to paddle into the heart of the blowhole.

Watch out for the Sets!

Waching La Buffadora from the Paddle Board

As we moved in for a closer look all seemed calm until we saw a decent sized swell approach and suddenly in all its glory a huge spray shot straight into the air with whitewater reverberating off the rocks and almost knocking us off our paddle boards. The crowd roared and screamed in delight probably thinking we got swallowed up by “la buffa”.

We started to play a game to see who could get closer to the blowhole spray as it shot out of the crevice without getting too close. Our good buddy went in for a closer look and suddenly was met with the set of the day. Everyone screamed “get out of there” and he rushed out in the nick of time as the giant swell rushed in and sent whitewater bouncing of the walls of the cavern and a 100ft high monster spray into the air. He was lucky to get out in time as he would have for sure been ping pong balled of the rocks and then probably sucked down into the vortex of the “buffa”. The crew had enough and it was time to head in for a cold one and some tequila for sunset.

Amazing Clams and a Monkey

Monkey at La Buffadora

We walked the crowded market up top above the blowhole and had some of the best clams roasted on an open flame I think I have ever tasted! They have a couple monkeys on display from Brazil and even a lion. Just another day at “la buffa”.

WARNING: Paddle boarding “la buffa” up close is dangerous business and not for the faint of heart but sure is fun. I wanna go back when it’s a 10ft swell and see what happens then…to be continued!

Written By – Marc is a Founding Partner of Isle Surf & SUP, and writes the Isle Surf & SUP Blog. He likes to Surf, Paddle Board and Travel when he’s not in the office working.

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