Relaxing days on the beach, long nights partying, big waves, big fish or shopping in the night market, Puerto Escondido has something for everyone.
Puerto Escondido is a small beach town with a super relaxed vibe and should be on your radar if you’re in the south of Mexico. It has the perfect mix of feeling like a small Mexican town and at the same time, some top class and affordable bars, restaurants and hotels.
Spend your days at any of the 10 different beaches to either surf, swim, fish or sit under an umbrella all day having a few lazy beers or cocktails.
On the Pacific coast, a short flight from Mexico City or Oaxaca, or by bus 10 hours from Oaxaca City and 8 hours from Acapulco, Puerto Escondido is a popular stop for backpackers, foreign tourists and Mexican families.
Puerto Escondido best Beaches
A little secluded bay, Playa Carrizalillo (top pic also) is easily the best beach in Puerto Escondido for swimming and lying on the beach all day. Always calm waters and relaxed atmosphere. Just be ready for the 170 steps down to the beach, or more so the 170 steps back up! Everyone goes here to swim, snorkel and there are paddle boards and surf boards for rent. Head down there late morning and hire an umbrella and two deck chairs for 100-150 pesos ($5-$8) for the day in front of about 5 small restaurants serving fresh seafood, beers, cocktails and soft drinks.
Some of the most consistent waves in the world, Playa Zicatela is where it’s all happening. A long straight beach, surfers from all around the world come to Zicatela. A few times a year between May and July, waves can get up around 12m, attracting hardcore big waves surfers. Definitely a beach for experienced surfers and not for swimming. A long row of quality restaurants and bars on the beach with lots of umbrellas and chairs to rent. The best beach to watch the sunset.
Another beach mainly for the surfers, La Punta is the point at the end of Playa Zicatela. OK for swimming in the shallows, but the currents can be quite strong and waves can get big here. A few restaurants to eat at and umbrellas to rent for the day. There’s not shade here so best to rent an umbrella and chair, or take lots of sunscreen.
Spanish and Surf lessons
Thinking of taking some Spanish or Surf lessons? Why not combine them both. At Oasis Spanish and Surf school for US$370 you can have 5 spanish lessons, 5 surf lessons and 7 nights accommodation in your own private apartment. It’s a pretty good deal.
Puerto Escondido Fishing
Want to catch a massive Marlin, Sailfish or Yellowfin tuna? You can go deep-sea sport fishing in Puerto Escondido. Take a half or full day trip from Playa Zicatela. Sailfish are very sought after, fastest fish in the ocean and extremely acrobatic. Be ready for a tough fight getting one of these in the boat.
My fellow Aussie mate Jack loved it that much he went out 3 times. Catching 10+ Sailfish per boat per day. Tours leave at 6am with all the gear, bait and ice provided. It costs 2000 pesos total ($110) for a half day for 1-4 people.
Best seasons – Marlin October – December Sailfish January – February
Afternoon and night market
On the main tourist walking street (Alfonzo Pérez Gasga) in Bahia Principal from 5pm until late is where you’ll find the market. Lots of souvenirs and hand crafts to buy, food, ice creams and restaurants and bars. Its lively once the sun goes down.
Puerto Escondido is a small town so the taxis are cheap. There are lots of them that can be just waved down from the streets. From downtown to Playa Zicatela or Playa Carrizalillo the most you will pay is 30 pesos ($2) and from downtown to La Punta will be around 50 pesos ($3). You shouldn’t pay more than 50 pesos to go anywhere. So don’t let the taxi drivers try to charge you more.
Where to stay
The prices are very affordable here. Cheap hotels start at 300 pesos ($16) up to luxury hotels at 5000 pesos ($260) per night on booking.com. And a dorm bed on hostelworld.com start at 100 pesos ($6) per night.
Most of the action happens at Playa Zicatela and is the most popular place to stay. With the long street full of restaurants and hotels and the bars and clubs on the beach, you have everything on your doorstep. You’ll find hostels and hotels either on or a short walk from the beach with lots of them having views of the sunset.
Closer to Playa Carrizalillo there a few but not as many places to stay. But they’re closest to the best beach. One of the best hostels in Puerto Escondido is here called Vivo Escondido.
La Punta also has a few hostels and hotels. Very slow and relaxed area to unwind and popular with backpackers.
Bahia Principal is where the night market is and has lots of hotels and hostels. A very central place to stay but there are a couple of bars that play loud music until about 5am.
Is there anything better than sitting on the beach and watching the sunset?? As the day gets a little cooler, there are a couple of beaches to enjoy watching the sun go down. Playa Zicatela and Playa Carrizalillo have the best views. Stay at the beach all day until sunset or buy yourself a couple beers and head to the beach late afternoon.
Have you been to Puerto Escondido or heading there soon? Fell free to leave a comment and let me know.