The curving, gray-sand beach here is fine for swimming during the December to April summer, but expect serious teeth chatter during the rest of the year. The good surf, perfect for beginners, draws its fair share of followers and you’ll see armies of bleached-blond surfer types ambling the streets with boards under their arms. Expect decent waves year-round. The beach break starts about 800m south of the pier – with a rock and sand bottom. It rarely connects for longer rides, but you can get plenty of fun lefts and shortish rights anywhere on the beach.

You can rent surfing gear (S35 per day for a wetsuit and surfboard) from several places along the main drag. Lessons cost about S70 for a 1½-hour to two-hour session. Check at Otra Cosa for local volunteering opportunities.