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Yo Buzzrads
My wife and I want to take a beach vacation in mid April. Finding a location to satisfy both of our wants is tricky. I’m looking for surf - good, friendly intermediate surf. She’s looking for great beaches with calm, clear, tropical, carribean-esque water for relaxing swimming and good snorkeling is a bonus. If anything comes to mind as far as destinations that fit what we’re looking for, I’d appreciate it. As a bonus, we’re looking to rent a simple 1br place for 2 weeks to a month if we can find something affordable at said location – know of anything to get us looking in the right direction? Thanks in advance for any advice!
Oh - and lastly, the place mut be reasonably affordeable to get to from the US (CO). For example, the Maldives and Tahiti are out, its just prohibitively expensive for us to get there.
 

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Puerto escondido, oxaca. Stay north of town.
but Puerto is one of the heaviest waves in Mexico. It is the best beach break in the world. Not friendly intermediate surf at all, unless you go south down the beach to the point... but that can be a zoo full of the 50 dudes who are afraid to paddle out at the beach break.

I spent a whole summer there. It is the kind of place that Surfer magazine shows up at when the swell comes. Photogs on the beach, 100 world class surfers in the water getting barrelled. It is the only place where I have seen fist fights in the water. People fight on the beach too. My friend had to put the hurt on a member of the Puerto Rican body boarding team in the convenience store after the sponger told him not to drop in on him again. People grabbing leashes, dropping in, screaming, deaths by broken neck. It is a heavy place. It is Hawaii without the reef.

I broke 7 boards, cracked a rib, and chipped my teeth during that Puerto summer. It is heavy beach break barrels.

April won't be big so maybe that would be a saving grace but I'd stay far away from Puerto if friendly surf is the goal. Neither the waves nor the 100 hardcore barrel starved surfers in the lineup are very friendly.

but.. Mexico is on the right track. I've been surfing mellow waves in Mex since I broke my neck a while back and my trick is to go to the places that longboarders like... guaranteed to be fun easy waves.
 

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I agree with Ture on this one. Though April won't be big it is a heavy beach break...an awesome wave to surf when your ready but can deliver a big punch if your not ready. Mexico is awesome for what your looking for...maybe check out some places on the baja peninsula. It will be secluded and few if any one in the water.
 

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Troncones/Saliditas, MX. Great guy named Beto that owns a surf shop. He'll basically give you the keys to his shop if he likes you. Good longboard surf in Saliditas. Empty beaches, relatively cheap places to stay and eat. Fly into Zihuatanejo (30 minutes away). This is the trip that my wife and I did last year and we had an awesome time. Beto got my wife surfing also.
MexCalli Surf School: Troncones
Casa Luciernaga - Contact & Reservations Place we stayed

or for more adventure check out Bocas del Toro Panama:
Ojos del Mundo (Gratefuljacobi Rob can give you info on surfing throughout central America) Tell him JD sent you.
 

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Really! Sharks live in the ocean?
That place sucks, Mostly beach breaks! no nite life! and the road blocks are all over the place! 6 policemen murdered 20 miles from there last november!
I'd stay away!
 

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but Puerto is one of the heaviest waves in Mexico.
No shit, the ground shakes when sets come in at Zicatela, but there are some mellower breaks north of town, like Carrizalillo, and some very secluded beaches for relaxing like Roca Blanca. Town does have that agro-surfer vibe. Further south, San Augstinillo is really amazing place, but is a little too close to Zipolite.
 

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Hey lower case ric, I don't see you offering any suggestions just negativity. Where would you go surfing, the wave pool at waterworld?
 

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I remember there being fairly good body surfing and easier surfing just down the beach from Zicatela,must be where Ture said the fifty dudes are.i liked the town a lot,not too touristy,but that was 15 years ago, always wanted to go back.The easier beach was nowhere near as rowdy Acapulco when the flags are up ,now that was class V+ body surfing! Lucky i'm not dead.
Monterrico and Sipacate in Guatemala are very laid back dirt cheap places to learn to surf.Sipacate is way laid back with the better surf ,nothing to do but wait for your next session.Monterrico has an expat community and a little more to do.That coast has a reputation for bad undercurrents/riptides,but the locals can steer you to the safe spots.yeah yeah it' Guatemala ,don't go if you're scared of third world countries,you'd like the prices though.
 

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our family had a great trip to troncones last winter. great surf nearby, awesome spot, gorgeous, nice and quiet, but with good local restaurant options.
 

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Sorry abt the negitive vib! just being real! It's scary down there, and fear is a real issue with americans.
I'd don't think water world is open yet, but ya thats great fun on that wave they make, have u ever tried it?
maybe cancun or belize would be cool?
 

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Saladita can get pretty crowded. You might wanna check out Sayulita instead

Troncones/Saliditas, MX. Great guy named Beto that owns a surf shop. He'll basically give you the keys to his shop if he likes you. Good longboard surf in Saliditas. Empty beaches, relatively cheap places to stay and eat. Fly into Zihuatanejo (30 minutes away). This is the trip that my wife and I did last year and we had an awesome time. Beto got my wife surfing also.
MexCalli Surf School: Troncones
Casa Luciernaga - Contact & Reservations Place we stayed

or for more adventure check out Bocas del Toro Panama:
Ojos del Mundo (Gratefuljacobi Rob can give you info on surfing throughout central America) Tell him JD sent you.
 

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Boca del Toro, Panama. All the other places listed here are on the Pacific side thus marginal snorkeling. Boca is good waves on the caribbean side so the snorkeling is great and the surf is great. It is super cheap as well. Costa Rica is so overrated I hear they are changing its name to Paris Hilton Rica.
 

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I'll 3rd the Guillones/Nosara suggestion. Call the Gilded Iguana and talk to whomever answers the phone. They may have some good ideas about where to get a cabana (from them or even elsewhere) You can fly direct from Denver to San Jose and then jump on a prop into Nosara. Pretty inexpensive. The main break is big, but super forgiving and fun. There are many other local coves that are great for swimming and snorkeling. If your feeling up to it, you can rent a car and head south on the dirt road to Mal Pais. If you do, check out the Blue Jay Lodge.

Have fun where ever you go. And try to get in some time at the pool paddling a body board during lap swim. Nothing worse than trying to suf and realizing that your shoulders and arms are not up to the task.
 

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Sipacate is a weird place. No one was there but me and my wife, they'd close up for the night at 5 PM, and then you are stuck on this little island past the mangrove swamps wondering if your car is getting broken in to back on the mainland. You get beers from the guys wearing bullet proof vests carrying around shotguns. Around 11 that night what sounded like a full on firefight started - people yelling and thousands of rounds being fired off. We huddled in the bathroom discussing when to make a break for it and paddle our surfboards back through the mangroves. I finally sacked up, looked out the door, and saw one of the guards snoring in a hammock so I guess night time target practice is common. Its a cool place with some good surfing, but it definitely has a weird vibe.

I like Troncones an awful lot. You can get really cheap fly fishing charters out of Zihuatenejo. I caught a couple of big Dorado which we ate for the rest of our stay.

My other recommendation would be El Salvador. Playa El Tunco is only an hour or so from San Salvador, has great surfing at all levels of difficulty, and very little localism. La Libertad is nearby if you want a heavy break, though the town itself is a shithole.

Snorkeling and calm swimming aren't going to happen much on the Pacific side. Maybe at a few places like Bahias de Huatulco in Mexico, but the Bocas del Toro suggestion is a good one. Lots more surf there than Belize or other countries on the Caribbean side.
 

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I wouldn't rule out Hawaii either. I think there are relatively cheap flights going there right now. North Shore has some great beginner/intermediate surf (not far from sunset and pipeline). We were surfing a deep water break that had sea turtles popping up all over.
 
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