Puerto Escondido, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, is a world class surfing destination and quickly becoming a popular vacation destination for visitors to Mexico. Once a remote fishing village and coffee port, Puerto Escondido, or Hidden Port, has been popular among surfers long before it began attracting tourists to its shores. Today, Puerto Escondido is one of the top ten surfing destinations in the world.
During a visit to Puerto Escondido this past year I was pleased to discover that despite its popularity among tourists, it remains a laid-back and low-key beach destination. In fact, Puerto Escondido successfully manages to maintain its small town feel despite the growing influx of tourism, and unlike many of the popular resort areas in Mexico, Puerto Escondido remains surprisingly affordable.
Puerto Escondido consists of a string of beaches that stretch along the Oaxaca coast. Zicatela beach is the primary surfing beach in Puerto Escondido and one of the top surfing destinations in Mexico. The legendary Mexican Pipeline runs just offshore and attracts some of the most experienced surfers from around the world. During the month of November Puerto Escondido plays host to national and international surfing competitions.
Beginner surfers are strongly urged to avoid Zicatela beach and swimming is strongly discouraged. Fortunately, there are several other beaches in Puerto Escondido where novice surfers and swimmers can enjoy the calm, clear waters and lovely white-sand beaches. The beaches of Bacocho and Carrizalillo are most popular among surfers who are just starting out.
The beaches of Manzanillo and Angelito are calm and best for swimming and snorkeling. Both beaches can be reached by foot heading a few kilometers out of the center of town, though the most interesting way to reach these beaches is on one of the local fishing boats. If you’re lucky you may even spot sea turtles and dolphins in the waters just offshore.
Aside from surfing, one of the highlights of a trip to Puerto Escondido is relaxing on the beach and taking in the magnificent sunset while watching expert surfers ride in the waves on Zicatela beach. Numerous beachfront bars and restaurants offer happy hour specials. Delicious and reasonably priced seafood dishes and specialties from the Oaxaca region of Mexico, including several delicious varieties of Mole, are also available.
There are numerous places to stay in town ranging from high-end hotels to smaller bed and breakfasts and inexpensive hostels. Puerto Escondido is home to numerous expats, many of whom own businesses in the area. Consider a stay at Casa de Dan y Carmen, lovely and affordable apartments and caba±as overlooking Zicatela beach.
The International Puerto Escondido Airport makes getting to Puerto Escondido easy and worry-free. English is common, though not as widely spoken as in some of the more popular resort areas, and English speakers will likely feel very comfortable in Puerto Escondido.
For more information visit Puerto Escondido Info, Go Oaxaca or the Mexico Tourism Board.