Located on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, Puerto Escondido has quickly grown into one of the world’s hottest surfing destinations over the past decade. With its gorgeous beaches, vibrant nightlife, and relatively affordable price, it’s not hard to see why. It’s the kind of place where you go surfing, swimming and soaking up the sun with a margarita in hand by day, then party late into the night. It also offers many opportunities to experience the charming culture of the Oaxacan coast.
With a population of less than 50,000, Puerto Escondido is not a big place, but it does offer a lot of fun and sunshine. Whether you are looking for water sports, wildlife, parties and festivities, or just wanting to relax on the beach, the city has something for everyone.
Where to stay in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido stretches along a few main beaches. To the south is the bohemian district of La Punta. In the middle is the main tourist strip and bar of Zicatela. Then to the north are the more family-friendly residential areas of Carrizalillo and Bacocho. Which region is right for you depends on what you’re looking for, but each location is a five- to 10-minute cab ride from anywhere else – including the local airport – and there are great Airbnbs, hotels, and restaurants dotted around everywhere. .
You should have no problem finding a great Airbnb, but here are some great places to stay.
Best Allrounder: Selina
If you’re looking for a place that covers all the bases, Selina is up to the job. Located right in the middle of all along the popular Zicatela strip, it offers private and shared rooms, a swimming pool and restaurant, surf lessons and a co-working space with the most reliable internet in town. . It is truly one of the main centers of activity in Puerto.
Great for meeting people: One Love Hostel
Located at the top of bustling La Punta, One Love is just a short walk from the best swimming beach in town. With a laid-back vibe, a popular restaurant, and cozy communal lounging areas, this is the kind of place you’ll meet other travelers. It also offers yoga classes and occasionally hosts live music.
Best Architectural Design: Casona Sforza
Located on the southern outskirts of town in a quiet area called La Barra, Sforza increases the price but also increases the luxury. Boasting stunning design, superior privacy, and proximity to the travel beach and you’re in the sand, this is an exceptional location for a more refined getaway. With its open-air construction and natural setting, you really get the most out of the beach vibe.
Where to eat
Puerto Escondido offers a wide variety of culinary offerings, with an emphasis on seafood. That being said, the atmosphere tends to take priority over fine dining, so while you will often enjoy charming and romantic surroundings or dazzling sunsets, food – in general – is quite average. There are, however, a few places that stand out.
Best upscale restaurant: Metxcalli
Located in the laid-back Rinconada neighborhood, Metxcalli has arguably the best food in town. Although it is “expensive” by local standards, its more expensive dishes are still under $ 20. They also have a tasty and unique cocktail menu and a lovely rooftop setting with a view of the sunset. Try the sirloin tacos, which contain freshly scraped bone marrow.
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Best authentic cuisine: Mercado Benito Juarez
Taxi to the heart of the city and you will find the Benito Juarez market, which offers a bit of everything: produce, leather goods, crafts, souvenirs, shoes, clothes and much more. It’s also home to over a dozen restaurants, all of which offer more or less the same menu and roughly the same delicious quality. Pick one and go for it mole of pollo, which is a really delicious dish from Oaxaqueña. It’s about as “authentic” an experience as it gets.
Best Seafood: Costa Hermosa
The waterfront in Adoquin’s bustling shopping district is Costa Hermosa. Here you will find a wide selection of seafood, all freshly caught by local fishermen. The restaurant also has a charming atmosphere, as well as a seating area on the second floor where you can enjoy a wonderful sea view. If you are interested in fishing, they can also put you in touch with a local. pescador.
Best sunset: Espadin
Top of the range in terms of service, decoration and cuisine, Espadin offers a culinary experience that is pleasurable from every point of view. All these elements are however accentuated by its incomparable views of the sunset. Located on a bluff overlooking the ocean, it offers sunset views that are simply stunning. If you want to get a seat during the golden hour, you need to make a reservation.
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What to do
Life in Puerto Escondido is built entirely around the Beach. Whether you’re there to surf, fish, explore the wildlife, or just relax in the sand, there’s no shortage of beach deals. For that, here are some remarkable experiences.
Hit the beach
While there are several beaches to choose from, which one is right for you depends on what you are looking for. Discover the beautiful Carrizalillo Cove for a more relaxed swimming experience or to find quick surf lessons (more information on surf lessons below). At the next cove to the east you’ll find Puerto Angelito, which leans heavily on family friendliness and beachside dining options. Playa Principal is where you will find the marina, where you can hire a boat to fish or watch whales, dolphins and sea turtles. Zicatela is the main party beach and offers world-class surf waves, but it is only open to surfing during certain parts of the year. Finally, to the southeast is La Punta, a semi-protected hippie-centric cove where you can swim, surf, order drinks and food at seaside restaurants, or participate in a game of volleyball. .
Learn about bioluminescence, baby sea turtles, and other wildlife
About 20 minutes north of Puerto Escondido is a lagoon where you can experience the vibrant glow of bioluminescent plankton, as well as a variety of birds and other wildlife. There are many travel agencies that will take you to explore the lagoon by boat, kayak or stand-up paddleboard.
Several tours will also take you to release baby sea turtles at locations stretching along the coast, or you can take a taxi yourself to Playa Bacocho where the baby turtle release center will seat you with a small turtle. on the spot. Arrive around 4.30am and plan to stay until sunset.
Party at the beach
Puerto Escondido has a lively beach party scene. Visit La Punta at night (pretty much any night) and head to the music. Ditto for Zicatela, where you can count on most of the beach bars that rage until the wee hours of the morning. While the quality of the drinks can be spotty from bar to bar, they all tend to provide plenty of opportunities to get into trouble.
Learn to surf
Over the past few decades, Puerto Escondido has become something of a surfing mecca. If you are new to the sport there are plenty of options for lessons ranging from one of the surf schools like Oasis Surf or Vidasurf to paying for one of the random types that will invariably offer lessons in Carrizalillo or La Punta. .
Do some work
It might sound like a fun suggestion, but as Puerto Escondido has emerged as a hotspot for digital nomads, the need for reliable Wi-Fi and a quiet workspace has grown. The point is, the internet is quite inconsistent throughout the city, especially during the low windy season. Sometimes it goes out completely all over town much to the chagrin of visitors with video meetings or deadlines. A few places, however, have emerged to provide a solution by installing fiber optic internet. Oficina del Puerto, for example, offers quiet coworking spaces and reliable internet access.