Swimming provides cooler exercise opportunities, especially in the sheltered waters off of Playa Panteón . Off of Playa Zipolite , bodysurfing, boogie boarding, and surfing can be rewarding, depending on wind and swells. For surfing lessons ($20 for two hours) contact expert and friendly surfers Bastián and Fabián López at Casa de Huéspedes Gundi y Tomás (tel. 958/584-3068).
Be super careful of undertow, which is always a threat, even on calm days at Zipolite  (where authorities maintain a skilled cadre of lifeguards). If you’re inexperienced, don’t go out alone. Novice and even experienced swimmers have sometimes drowned at Zipolite.
If you get caught in a current pulling you out to sea, don’t panic. Experts advise that you simply float and paddle parallel to the beach a hundred yards or so, to a spot where the offshore current is not so severe (or may even push you back toward the beach).
Alcohol and surf, moreover, don’t mix. On rough days, unless you’re an expert, forget it. Bring your own board, or rent one at one of the sprinkling of shops along the beach and the Zipolite adoquín.