Mexico's Pacific coastline has some famously powerful surf, but it's also a big hit with beginners. Here, our favorite beaches, surf schools and surf camps for first-timers. Grab a board and hit the waves!
Playa Carrizalillo, Oaxaca
This sheltered, picturesque cove in Puerto Escondido is close to the legendary Zicatela beach but offers a more relaxed scene better suited to beginners or intermediate surfers wanting to brush up on technique before joining the aficionados on the next beach across. There’s a small bar and several palapas on the sand between the two rocky headlands.
School’s In: The Oasis Surf Academy is a professional, friendly outfit located at the top of the steps above the beach. The pro-surfers guides are bilingual and all equipment is provided.
San Agustinillo, Oaxaca
A small village west of Zipolite set on a curved bay, this is the perfect chilled-out spot for beginners. A gentle beach break makes learning a breeze, and the beach is popular with body surfers and boogie boarders too.
School’s In: Coco Loco Surf Club rents surfboards and boogie boards, as well as offering lessons and surf trips with qualified instructors.
While this town is known for its world-class surf, it’s not all about the pros: beginners will also find plenty of gentle surf to help them get started.Guerrero
School’s In: The Inn at Manzanillo Bay rents out gear, including professional boards, waxes, and beachwear, and the beach just out the front is an uncrowded spot to practice your moves.
Alternatively, surf camp it up with Instructional Surf Adventures (ISA), which offers lessons at what they describe as “the world’s greatest beginner surf breaks.”
In spite of its growing reputation as a surf town attracting aficionados from all over the world, first-timers will have no problems fitting in here. The dependably good waves, particularly the north swell from December through April, make for fun-packed lessons.
School’s In: Sayulita Surf Camps offers bilingual surf instruction, with just one intensive lesson a day, and are dedicated to getting novices up on their boards, no matter how long it takes.
Punta Mita, Nayarit
The gentle, long waves characteristic of beaches around the resort community of Punta Mita, particularly on the gentle sweep of Banderas Bay, are ideal for novices.
School’s In: Tranquilo Surf Adventures and Surf School is run by couple Kemi and Josue, who positively live to share their love of surfing with visitors. Along with private and group lessons, the pair can arrange six-night surf camps and daylong surf clinics.
San Blas, Nayarit
This chilled-out fishing village has a beach, Las Islitas, which was once famous for the longest wave in the world. Yet despite its outsized reputation, San Blas is also a great spot for those with less experience under their belts. The season runs April through November, with mid-year being a popular time for beginners.
School’s In: Stoners Surf Camp takes beginners out for lessons at several of the town’s beaches, including El Borrego and La Segunda.