Although surfing is de rigueur for the skilled in Puerto Escondido, beginners usually learn by starting out with bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Boogie boards and surfboards are for sale and rent ($7/day) at a few shops along the adoquín and Zicatela beach. The most experienced is Central Surf (tel. 954/582-2285, www.centralsurfshop.com, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and 4–7 p.m. daily in high season), which also offers surfing lessons on Playa Zicatela at Bungalows Acuario.
Beginners practice on the gentler billows of Playa Principal and adjacent Playa Marinero while advanced surfers go for the powerful waves of Playa Zicatela, which regularly slam foolhardy inexperienced surfers onto the sand with backbreaking force.
Local aficionados organize surfing tournaments during the summer–fall surfing season. Dates depend on when the surf is up. For information, it’s best to contact friendly Gina Machorro (tel. 954/582-0276, 954/582-1186, ginainpuerto [at] yahoo [dot] com), who staffs the Pérez Gasga information booth.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition