Puerto Escondido is host to one of the world’s most coveted waves at Zicatela Beach, right opposite La Playita Beach House. Otherwise known as the ‘Mexican Pipeline’, this wave is popular for its character and size, even the most experienced surfer is presented with a challenge because it is so sensitive to different conditions: tides, size, strength, and direction.

Catching a good ride here isn’t as easy as it looks, but once you’ve made the right pick, the reward for you is a stunning 200m to 300m (and often thrilling) ride down the line through sections of ripple walls and heaving barrels. This wave has been a popular choice for avid, recreational and professional surfers for decades, with the ‘Big Wave Riders Contest’ being hosted at Zicatela every October. As our accommodation is right on the beach at Zicatela, you could spend your free time watching surfers climb the big waves (cocktail in hand!).

Do not be alarmed, however, as the Mexican Pipeline will not be our beach of choice for our novice and first-time surfers! You will get your feet wet with lessons on calmer waters, found at nearby beaches such as Carizalillo, La Punta, La Bara amongst others.

Puerto Escondido offers a multitude of wave locations for surfers of all levels. Already a surfer? Get ready to experience some of the best waves of your life, you will enjoy a half-day excursion (with breakfast or lunch included) with our trusty surf guides at their secret spots and then be driven back to La Playita Beach House to share your stories with the group!

Miguel (Tivo) Ramirez is our Lead Surf Facilitator. Tivo has been surfing most his life and a surf teacher for over a decade. He is also a qualified ASP Judge at surf tournaments across Mexico. He takes his trade very seriously, offering you surf lessons that are educational, technical, and above all, out of this world fun!

Tivo and his team take safety as a priority, making educated decisions around what equipment to use and what beaches are appropriate on each day, for each surfer. At Touched by Yoga our daily retreat itinerary remains flexible to the tide and swell, so that you get the best of the ocean every day.

You will feel comfortable and safe, encouraged each day to push your limits and will emerge from this retreat as a better surfer for it. Surf teacher to student ratio is intentionally low, meaning that you have more 1:1 time with your teacher and are truly enabled to embrace the ocean!

Introduction to Surf

At this introductory level, Tivo and our surf instructors will help familiarise you with all the necessary equipment, teach the basics you’ll need so you are able to paddle, stand-up and start riding waves. Surfing is all about having fun and you will be introduced to the thrill of being on the board and riding a wave. With instructors close by, you’ll gain a sense of comfort in the water and on your board.

Push-ins will be transformative to your surf experience. Your surf instructor swims out next to you, coaching you through how-and-when to paddle, helping to get you on your feet and onto your first waves with a directional push on the back of your board.


Surfers at beginner level will begin to transition from push-ins to be able to develop the confidence necessary to paddle into and catch your own waves . We will focus on wave selection, positioning and timing. Beginner surfers will also gain a heightened awareness of how body position on the board affects your ride and ability to manoeuvre your board. Ultimately, a surfer at this level will be able to paddle, catch a wave, stand-up and have control over their board.


Now that you have mastered the basics of surfing, you will be able to develop new skills to improve your style. Your instructor will help you build on what you already know. You will use your body and weight to direct the board through a number of functional manoeuvres and master being able to generate speed on a wave by executing the appropriate manoeuvre for any given section of a wave. Focus at this level is heavily based on being able to read and predict what a wave will do, in order to approach and ride in a skilled manner. You will also develop the skills needed to attempt to ride inside the barreling section of the wave.


Surfers at this level will be guided to more challenging wave locations, where mastering certain skills and developing you own personal style will become the focus. You will focus on wave selection, positioning and timing. Advanced surfers will also gain a heightened sense of awareness on how their body positioning on the board affects the ride and ability to manoeuvre their board. You will perfect your bottom turns, cut backs, lay backs, snaps and how to position yourself for a better barrel.

One on One Private Classes

Tivo and his team of amazing surf instructors offer one-to-one lessons (run time 90 minutes, available to you as an added extra to you on your retreat). Those who are keen to improve their surfing, wanting to get extra time in the water, these private classes are absolutely perfect and can be added to your itinerary whenever you please. Simply let us know on-site and we’ll make all the arrangements for you! With the focus solely on you for an hour-and-a-half, you will gain deeper insights into techniques such as paddling, popping-up, drop, bottom turn, turning style, duck diving and so, so much more!
Touched by Yoga logo
Yoga Alliance Australia - Gold Designation logo