Bachata. Salsa is hard for first timers.
Leading would be pretty hard for both, following is relatively easier.
Basic bachata demands zero fluid movement or even close dancing. Step, step, step, tap to the side and the same back the other way. One of the easiest basic steps apart from merengue.
That’s a lofty goal. I’m not sure everyone would interpret your original question that way.
I guess bachata still wins here, not necessarily because it is easier for beginners, but because maybe it is a bit less structured. You’ll need to be able to adjust the specific dance that you learned to whatever your random partner is able to pick up on, and bachata might give you a bit more of a variety of basic things that you can try.
But really, if you are looking to learn the core mechanics of how to move and how to lead and follow and how to make your partner comfortable and not off-balance and all that stuff, then you can get that from almost any kind of dance.
How much of it you get depends as much on who is teaching you as it does on what dance they are teaching you, so definitely shop around all kinds of classes until you find one that is most aligned with your goals.
For a goal like that, you’ll eventually also want to take the basic classes of every style of dance you can find.
Bachata. But if you both are unexperienced, you will make bad habits for both dances if you dance alot without proper classes.
Lets say Bachata beat is simpler to follow. Its better if atleast the lead knows what hes doing.
In that case definitely Bachata (at least for the beginner level). Following the music is easier in Bachata (again, at the beginner level) for both the lead and follower. So if you want to take someone who is also a beginner follower as you, go for Bachata.
Bachata has a more defined and easier to follow beat for newcomers. No need to “intimately bachata” your partner unless you’re both comfortable with it.
They are equally difficult to lead someone who is inexperienced. One is forward and back with a pause while the other is left and right with a tap. It’s not necessarily hard, but equally challenging, yes.