Paddle Boarding in Bucerias Mexico



Where is Bucerias?

Where is Bucerias Banderas Bay map

Bucerias is just north of Puerto Vallarta along highway 200 on the Pacific Ocean.  It is a typical Mexican community with about 17000 Spanish speaking people.

Bucerías means “place of divers”.  This beach resort town is in the province of Nayarit, along Mexico’s west coast, north of Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta.

It is on the Bay of Banderas which is famous for whales breeding in February and March.  These whales swim down from Canada just to give birth in this warm and wonderful bay.

Yes the town has old buildings shaded by large palm trees and parota or elephant ear trees.  Yes thousands of visitors from all over the world come to see what’s happening every year.

The beach is an uninterrupted stretch of sand and waves for 18 miles and great for all types of water sports.

The Arroyo del Indio mountains supply water to the town but it riverbed remains dry most of the year.

Once not too long ago, Bucerias was a quaint fishing village.  Tourisms started to take off in  the 1980’s.  Canadians decided that this was a better winter vacation spot that Florida in the USA.  It was cheaper and the people were very friendly.

When winter comes to North America i.e. Canada and the USA, many snowbirds head to the tropical beach areas of the south. If you happen to live in Ontario Canada maybe near Toronto, a direct flight to the Puerto Vallarta area is only 5 hours.

In 5 hours, you could be standing on a long sandy warm tropical paradise beach.  During the months of January, February, and March, the weather in Bucerias is 28 degrees celsius and sunny every day.  How perfect is that!?

Here’s a typical day on the beach.  As you can see, it’s rather nice!

parasailing on Bucerias beach

Bucerias Beach is not crowded until the weekends, when all the local Spanish residents, come to play and relax on their beautiful beach.  The water is warm and the waves are fun.

Paddle Boarding in Bucerias

Maybe you have been to a beach somewhere and noticed people paddle boarding. Just in case you have never heard of paddle boarding or have never seen anyone doing it, let me introduce this peaceful activity to you.

Imagine a substantial surf board, floating on the water, with you standing upright on it in the middle, holding a long paddle. That’s all there is to it.

*Where is Sue?

paddle boarding bucerias beach


Bucerias Surf  Company

Bucerias Surf is a small local Bucerias business, owned and operated by Oscar Ivan.  Oscar is an industrious young man who wears a t-shirt announcing that … “The Beach is My Office”.  Oscar’s paddle boarding business is located in Bucerias Centro next to the “Breakers” restaurant on the beach.


Bucerias Surf owner Oscar Ivan

The focus of Bucerias Surf is on ecotourism.  Oscar provides surf lessons, paddle board rentals, and excursions to hidden beaches.

This all sounds exotic and exciting because it is.  You might want to invest some time with Oscar, since he is an internationally certified surf instructor, with over 10 years experience in water sport activities, and a local from the Bucerias Nayarit area.  When we visit Bucerias, we always make sure to give Oscar a call.

When is the best time to paddle board?

Paddle Boarder on Bucerias Beach Mexico

If you are a novice or if your core muscles haven’t been challenged in a while, paddle boarding in the early morning would be idea for you.

Oscar opens his business on the beach at 8 a.m., and usually the ocean is also just waking up and the waves are at peace.

If you are experienced, and you work your big 4 core muscles i.e. transverse abdominus, kegel, diaphragm, and multifidus muscles constantly, any time riding the waves on a paddle board would be fun!

Getting Started with Paddle Boarding

paddle boarder instructor

Let’s assume you’ve found a good paddle board instructor.  From there, they will help you select the right paddle board for you and the size of the paddle is also important.  Your instructor will help you with that as well.  Your instructor will demonstrate exactly how to do this sport on the sand and answer all your questions before you touch the water.

BeachBabyBob and Sue on paddle boards in Bucerias Mexico

After taking some lessons from Oscar, this is what I remember about the basic instructions on how to start paddle boarding

  1.  Stand in the middle of the board with your feet shoulder width apart on either side of the centre carrying hole.  Keep your body in the “athletic” stance most of the time.  That means your feet are apart, knees slightly bent, hips forward a little, chin tucked in, and imagine your head being stretched to the heavens.
  2. The words written on the paddle, face out to sea as you paddle close to the board for approximately 3 strokes, then you switch sides.  That should keep the board straight.  Paddling on one side too long, will turn the board.  Don’t forget to paddle backwards if you’re heading toward a another boarder.
  3. After you have attached the strap from the board to your ankle, and you have your life jacket on, Oscar will take you to the water’s edge.  Watch the waves and wait until they have calmed down and then hop aboard.
  4. Place your knees on either side of the centre hole, straighten your body upright, relax, and paddle out beyond the breakers.
  5. When you are ready to stand, place the paddle in front of your knees, across the board.  Stand slowly keeping your hands down on the paddle and the board.  Very slowly, lift yourself up into a standing position by placing one foot forward and then other.
  6. Put the paddle in a perpendicular position in front of you, with the paddle in the centre of the board.  This should stabilize everything.
  7. Take a deep breath and relax.  Remember that “athletic” stance.  That should engage those important core muscles.
  8. Off you go, but remember to stay away from the shore and the breaker waves, because that’s when things get more challenging.
  9. When you are ready to hit the beach and call it a day, while standing, paddle straight to the beach, and then as the waves feel bigger, slowly get down on your knees once again, and paddle in until you can step into knee deep water.
  10. You did it!  Congratulations!  Oscar will be there to help you bring the board and paddle to the display rack.

Here we are learning to paddle board, courtesy of Oscar.

Choosing a Board

Consider a board’s weight, volume, capacity and size!

choosing a paddle board

Oscar’s paddle boarding business in Bucerias is small, but his equipment is great!  Because of his experience with surfing in general and lots of water activities, he provides the idea boards and paddles for paddle boarding in Banderas Bay in Bucerias.

There are paddle boards for flatwater, waves, changing conditions, and all ability levels.  You don’t have to worry about any of that because Oscar has done all the research for you.  He will make sure you are on the best board for Bucerias waters.

If you want to purchase a board and possibly take it boarding to a variety of locations around the world, then do the research and ask tons of questions of the experts, and I am sure you can buy yourself a multi-purpose board just for your situations.


Oscar’s rates are very fair.  If the group is large and if it takes him around 30 minutes to give his demonstration lesson and help individuals with the correct form, he charges $450 pesos per person.

That is approximately $35 Canadian dollars.  If he isn’t that busy and there is only a couple of you, he might only charge you $250 pesos.  What a great price for 1 and 1/2 hours of fun in the sun on the ocean!

Bucerias surf logoBucerias Surf rating

About the author: Robert is a former teacher and travel buff, and has spent the last 30 years travelling to different parts of the world including all over North America, South America, Africa, and Europe.  He loves trying new cultural cuisine, zip-lining through the Amazon jungle, and his cat, Twyla-Mae.