Playa Zicatela is the top spot for pros to hang ten in Puerto Escondido. If you want to take surfing lessons, your best option is to check with the instructors at local surf shops as surf conditions vary drastically depending on the season. There are several reputable surfing schools to choose from.

Oasis Surf Academy. You can master both surfing and the Spanish language at this small but well-established school near Playa Carrizalillo. The bilingual surf instructors offer individual or group lessons at various beaches around town depending on surf conditions and student experience level. Language classes (group or private) are offered on a regular or intensive basis for all levels, including kids. Combo packages including accommodation, intensive Spanish classes, and surfing lessons begin at $340 weekly. Blvd. Benito Juárez 6, La Rinconada, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, 71980. 954/582–1445.

Zicazteca Surf School. There's lots of talent packed into this small shop off a lane in the heart of Zicatela. Co-owner Julio Soto is an accomplished graffiti artist, custom surfboard painter, and surf instructor, while his partner Ariel has a keen eye for the hippest indie beachwear, much of it fair trade, that stocks their Zicazteca shop. Private surfing lessons cost MX$400 an hour. Hotel Rockaway Plaza, Calle del Morro s/n, at laneway, Brisas de Zicatela, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, 71980. 954/110–5853.