The Best Surf Spots for Beginners in Argentina
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Surf’s up all over the world now that summer is at its peak. Surfboards and sunbathing have already become the norm on beaches around the globe, and seaside towns are reaping the benefits, including Argentina’s lush coastline.
With its long, sunny beaches and crazy wave breaks, Argentina is always recommended as a wonderful surfing place every year, alongside world-famous surfing hotspots such as California’s Sunset Beach and Australia’s Gold Coast.
The recommendation often serves more experienced surfers, though, seeing as some of Argentina’s most famous surfing beaches are no place for first-timers. For those who are looking to learn to surf while on vacation, this has often proved to be a bottleneck. But Argentina has something for every level of surfer, from beginners to pros. Its lush coastline has, in equal measure, sections with mellow waves as well as fast and powerful surf breaks. The softer and shorter waves that crumble faster are excellent for surf schools or for those looking to progress on their own.
In this article, we leave the old recommendations behind to discover the best surf spots for beginners in Argentina.
1. Mar del Plata
Regardless of your surfing experience, Mar del Plata is the place to be in Argentina. Set on a beautiful coastline that stretches for over 45 kilometers (28 miles), this beachside town gets thronged by tourists and locals in summer, and by surfing enthusiasts during the Southern Hemisphere fall and winter, when the biggest swells hit the coast.
While it’s a notable hit with advanced surfers looking for big waves, it also has some smaller ones closer to the shore that are perfect for beginners who are still learning. There are also plenty of surf camps and surfing facilities. You must know though, that it is usually packed with beachgoers every weekend. If you prefer less activity, a visit during the week is recommended.
2. Playa Varnesse
One of Mar del Plata’s best beaches is Playa Varnesse, once an iconic surfing hotspot, located a few kilometers south as you leave the main town of Mar del Plata. Beginners and intermediate surfers alike can take advantage of Playa Varnesse’s easterly swells, which are never too big.
In the 1990s, Playa Varnesse was home to one of the best waves along the entire Mar del Plata coast. The wave was affected by the construction of a jetty along the shore. The beach remains easy to access by bus and an ideal location for surf schools.
Waikiki is a right-hand point break located about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) south of the Mar del Plata, right past another famous beach, Punta Magotes.
Unlike the other beaches mentioned on our list, Waikiki is more suited for longboarding, thanks to its sloppy, not-so-strong right-hander. Its sandy bottom also makes it good for beginner surfers. Crowds are hardly ever an issue here, which is another plus. It’s the perfect alternative to Playa Grande, should you find it uninviting.
4. Playa Grande
Despite the two jetties located at its northern and southern ends, Playa Grande still has some of the strongest waves in the Mar del Plata region. It’s also considered the beach with the best breaks along this coast. The northernmost break on the beach is known as Biologia, and becomes the go-to spot for beginners in the Southern Hemisphere summer, thanks to its small and constant waves that are perfect for taking your first steps on the surfboard.
The southern break, better known as the Yacht, does produce some really big waves, especially during fall, and is not recommended for beginner surfers.
Playa Grande’s downside is that it attracts mammoth crowds to its sandy offerings, which means that you are more likely to find one surfer too many in the water (and they aren’t always polite).
Argentina’s southern city of Miramar has been hailed for its smaller, yet unique surfing scene. Located some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Mar del Plata, Miramar’s waves are renowned for their unpredictability. Nevertheless, they are preferred by beginners.
Local surfers advise beginners to surf closer to the city’s center, just to be on the safe side. That way, they are bound to find less competition in the water too. Miramar offers both right and left-hand beach breaks, some of which offer rides of up to 150 meters (5,000 feet).
6. Playa Union
Down south, in the Chubut Province of Patagonia, you will find Playa Union, a sunny beach with waves that shift between weak and mildly strong. Their low speed also makes them ideal for beginner surfers looking to test their skills in SUP surfing, longboarding, and bodyboarding.
It’s also less populated than other beach towns along the coastline, so it should make for a great alternative. Playa Union’s other plus is that it’s also easy to access from the neighboring town of Puerto Rawson.
Other popular surf spots for beginners
Other notable surfing locations that are recommended for beginners on Argentina’s coast include Chapadmalal in the lower part of the Buenos Aires province, which is popular for bodyboarding, the postcard-perfect beach town of Necochea, and the beautiful coastal town of Quequen.
Most of these beaches have surf camps and surf schools around, so finding an instructor shouldn’t be too hard. It’s important that you do some research about potential instructors first and the fees they charge. You will usually find surf shops and equipment rental facilities around the beaches.
Well, there you have it; Argentina’s beaches sure aren’t for expert surfers only. If you’re a beginner and have been planning on visiting Argentina for a surf-filled vacation, we hope this guide works for you.
If you’re already in Argentina and looking to try surfing for the first time, start with the beaches listed above for the utmost fun learning experience. Do remember to check the weather forecast and tide charts before heading out. Good luck and keep safe!