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Puerto Escondido

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Puerto Escondido is a town in Oaxaca known for its big waves and excellent surfing conditions. You are probably better off going to Zipolite or other nearby smaller places if you are looking for the "hidden" (Escondido) port.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

Puerto Escondido International Airport (IATA: PXM) ☎ +52 951 516 4982. You can also fly to Oaxaca (IATA: OAX) and then reach Puerto Escondido with Aerovega's daily flight.

Flying with Viva Aerobus is the cheapest alternative (from 500 pesos one way), but flights are limited to certain days of the week (normally around the weekend). Aeromar has daily flights, but are much more expensive and use turboprop planes which can be scary in the rain-season due to turbulence.

Another alternative is flying into Huatulco (IATA: HUX) with Interjet. Be sure to order the ground transportation when making flight reservations which costs only an additional 160 pesos. Taking a taxi to Puerto Escondido (~90 min drive, ~US$50-60 if you negotiate in advance).

Shared taxis (called colectivos) from the Puerto Escondido airport are cheap - about $35- and reasonably quick. The airport is close to town, but you may have to wait a few minutes as the colectivo driver waits to get a few more passengers, or drops one or two off ahead of you.

By bus[edit]

From Mexico City : TuriStar and Estrella Blanca from Mexico City are the most comfortable and most expensive way to get here ($500-900, 12 hr), traveling via Acapulco. These buses only leave from the South (Taxqueña) bus terminal. Other first class buses leave from both the North and South terminals, traveling via Puebla and/or Oaxaca City, and taking several hours longer than the buses via Acapulco.

From Oaxaca :

By Van[edit]

The cheapest ($225), the fastest (7 hours) but the least comfortable. Brace yourself, the van will speed through a winding mountain road full of potholes. Villa Escondida is one of the companies running the van between Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido. The van station is located on Galeana and Aldama in Oaxaca City. Take a taxi when you are going there after the sunset. Services are frequent - vans leave the town almost every hour. The latest one leaves at 11:00pm.

By Bus[edit]

More expensive ($350+), more time consuming (10-15 hours) but provides more comfort. Go to ADO bus terminal (1st class bus) or the 2nd class bus terminal. 1st class bus takes the longest route - over 15 hours. 2nd class buses take around 7-8 hr. There are also many buses from Acapulco.

By car[edit]

Driving to Puerto Escondido is only advisable if you have experience with windy, poorly-maintained mountain roads. That said, it is an exhilarating, scenic drive from any direction. The roads that connect Puerto Escondido to Acapulco and Oaxaca are both narrow, twisty 2-lane roads in poor condition, that traverse the sparsely populated Western Sierra Madre. Driving your own car will not save you much time over taking the bus.

Get around[edit]

The fixed price for a taxi in town is $25 and $50 for the airport and Bacocho beach. The local bus is $8. Night rates are $40.

  • Budget Rent-A-Car, charge hefty rental fees for their fleet of subcompact manual transmission cars. They may also have some minivans available.
  • Económica Rent-A-Car, [22] is a more reasonable option, renting convertible VW Bugs and motorcycles among other vehicles.

There are lots of great spots to visit if you have a vehicle, such as the nearby lagoon of Chacahua, the nudist beach of Zipolite, beach towns like Puerto Angel and Huatulco, all within 2 hr of Puerto Escondido.

You may be able to hire a cab driver for the day for about $800.

See[edit][add listing]

Catch some waves on Playa Zicatela - if you don't surf, you should at least make it over to the beach restaurant Los Tios and have a beer on the beach while you watch people surfing in the sunset. Also a good place from which to watch over breakfast when there's a surf competition on.

Playa Carrizalillo is the beginner surf beach in the area, and is also a small swimmable beach. If you are looking for a beach to hang out on and go for a swim or take a surf lesson, this is a good choice. There are beach chairs for rent, or just bring a towel and lie on it, no issues. Tiny restaurants offer food and cervazas if you want lunch or a beer. Very chill, mostly local families, but can get crowded on weekends. Any taxi will know and can bring you there/back for a few pesos.

The Andador is the path around the lighthouse. It is a fun walk, and beautiful, but the surf can be dangerous in spots.

The best and safest beach for swimming is Playa Carizalillo. Take a taxi unless you want a half-hour walk. Carizalillo is small, gorgeous, and not too crowded, 167 steps from street level down to the beach (then back up again). There are some surfers and some boats, but mainly swimmers enjoying the waves.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Surf You can even take lessons if you're a beginner - try one of the friendly surf instructors on any beach or at one of the surf shops. Female instructors are available for those who may find the roaming hands of some of the male instructors a bit more than just being friendly. Playa Carrizalillo is the beginner break in the area, only because it's not dangerous and is a relatively safe place for a beginner. It is a real break (left mostly) and can get huge at times, but for the most part is pretty mellow. Good surfers will be annoyed that it's 90% beginners with no idea of surf protocols, and by the local surf-lesson mafia on the beach that locks up the impact/waiting zone with a wall of beginners getting pushed into waves on busy days. Getting that perfect combo of good waves and few people, is the challenge.
  • Temazcal Try an indigenous type of steam-bath known as a temazcal. Sit in a small building with heats that go up to 120 F⁰ and then either be covered in towels or dunked into cold water.
  • Boat trip One of the most exhilarating experiences for non-surfers is the boat trip into the ocean to catch a glimpse of the wildlife; in particular, the turtles and dolphins. A few tour operators run similar trips out into the Pacific in search of the animals. More often than not, you get a glimpse of the turtles and, if you're lucky enough, the tour guide sometimes jumps in and catches hold of one! Unperturbed, the creatures come onto the boat for some photos and free food courtesy of the tour guide. It's kind of surreal, but incredible. Less often, you will get to see the packs of dolphins arching over the surface. Again, it is an amazing experience and well worth the money (around $300 on average).
  • Fishing Another good ocean-based activity is the regular fishing trips you can go on. For the keen fisherman, this is a dream activity. The waters host vast amounts of species of fish including tuna, marlin and red snapper. It isn't the cheapest (some operators can charge around $1,000) but you can sometimes get a deal that your catch gets cooked at a local restaurant for your eating pleasure in with the cost.
  • Skydiving During the high seasons you can do a sky dive at the Zicatela beach for M$3200. It's one of the nicest places in the world to do this. They're just down Calle Las Brisas in Zicatela.
  • Bioluminescent Lagoon Relatively unknown, but not to be missed experience in Puerto Escondido! Swim in the glowing lagoon at the night time. Laguna De Manialtepec has bioluminescent organisms that glow at night when triggered by movements. The tour costs about M$300 and they give you about 40-45 minutes to swim in the water. Water is very warm and pleasant to swim in. They also provide life jackets when requested. It's a magical experience to see your body covered with little glowing sparkles. Make sure you go during new moon or waning phases.
  • Puerto Surf Lessons, Guerrero st. (La Punta of Zicatela), 9541099329, [1]. 7am - 7 pm. Safe surf lessons with expert instructors, professional and bilingual. Special surf packages & Spanish Lessons $400.  edit
  • Punta Zicatela or La Punta. Trekking on the cliff to the lighthouse. It is the perfect spot where to see one of the best sunset ever and to have an amazing view over Puerto Escondido. Free.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Puerto Escondido Oasis, Adoquín pedestrian mall, +52 954 582 3130. Gifts and clothing from Thailand, Indonesia and Mexico. Local and imported home furnishings and accessories.  edit
  • Central Surf, Playa Zicatela, Calle del Morro S/N, +53 954 582 2285. The Salinas brothers started the first Central Surf Shop in 1988. Surfing accessories, board repairs, surf camps, surf tours, surf lessons for beginners, silk screen printing and surfboards for sale.  edit
  • Odyboards Surf Shop & Factory, [2]. Large selection of new, used surfboards and accessories in Puerto Escondido. Custom boards are available.  edit
  • Zicazteca Surf School, Hotel Rockaway, Playa Zicatela (Calle del Morro s/n, Local 11), 954 110 5853, [3]. 8 am - 10 pm. Professional, safe and FUN surf lessons with local surf instructor Julio Soto. English and Spanish spoken. Classes are 2 hours long and include gear and transportation. $400.  edit
  • Chedraui, 105 Av. Oaxaca. Huge mini-Walmart kind of grocery store. If you are looking for groceries, beer, wine, booze, and other things like household items, this is the store. Right downtown, just ask anyone, they will know about it. Jump in any taxi, they will know, and taxis are outside waiting.  edit
  • Super 69, Pargos 101 (On the main drag (Av. Benito Juarez) in Rinconada). Awesome store catering to expat tastes and deli items. If you're looking for that one food item you can't find at the bigger grocery stores, this place will probably have it. Also has a great wine selection.  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

It is highly recommended to stay off the beaches Zicatela, Punta Zicatela, Playa Marinero and Bahia Principal at night time. Robberies occur on occasion, however police pose a far greater risk. Since the creation of a police station in La Punta Zicatela, the local police of Santa Maria Colotepec runs an extortion racket, arresting anyone who is on the beach at night time. Evidence is often fabricated (the smoking of cannabis for example) and you will most likely spend a few hours in the police station in Puerto Escondido. The price is 1000-2000 pesos for your release, it's important to stay calm and passive, otherwise the police will use excessive force on you and have been known to inflict severe injuries on travelers.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Cafecito on Zicatela and on Rinconada has a great club sandwich with fresh avocados. Good coffee. Very populair for breakfast, expect to stand in line to get seated at late mornings.
  • Maná on Zicatela, Pizzas and salads. These guys use purified water to wash their vegetables and make ice for drinks.
  • Mango's on Zicatela, Licuados (fruit smoothies) you can enjoy on the beach.
  • Flor de Maria, Hotel restaurant, a half liter of the house wine is more expensive than any of the meals. Service is very good.
  • Pascale, Playa Principal, just off Adoquin. French cuisine using fresh seafood. Beachside and on-beach dining. Good service. Try the paella with lobster.
  • Kuhl Frozen Yoghurt, Calle del Morro s/n, Zacatela (Hotel RockWay), 1042031. This Fro Yo shop is a great place to see art on the walls and enjoy a cool treat in Puerto, the frozen yoghurt can be eaten by any one diabetics, pregnant woman, kids... The shop it's really trendy and good value. $28.  edit
  • La Perla Argentina on Rinconada. Argentinean grill and cuisine. The best steaks in Puerto Escondido. Salads, Empanadas, Choripan, Milanesas, Alfajores, Flan and Mate. Typical Argentinean Style with an elegant touch of Buenos Aires.
  • MonchiStation, La Punta. 12PM-11PM. Quality food and affordable for all budgets. Big dishes for hungry surfers. Don't miss the woks. They also have wraps, baguettes, salads.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • BarFly, a couple of blocks down the street from Casa Babylon. Dancing till 4AM on Friday and Saturday nights. Don't bother any other night.
  • Casa Babylon, Bar on the main drag off Playa Zicatela. They make really good mojitos and there's sometimes lots of cool beautiful people there.
  • Congo´s, (In the Adoquene 20 m from Playa Principal). Live music, cheap drinks amazing enviroment.  edit
  • La Piedra de la Iguana Social Club The only after hours bar in Oaxaca for more than 15 years. Free electronic music from national and international artists, fire dancers, bonfire and body paint. Best New Year's and Semana Santa parties in Puerto.
  • Uh La La, on Zicatela.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


There are numerous other hotels on Zicatela with great beachfront locations and moderate to downright cheap rates, especially off-season during spring and early summer. For longer stays such as 1 month or longer renting an apartment is also an option.

  • Villa Mango Hostel, Calle Océano Pacifico 205 (8 min from the Benito Juarez Mercado), +52 55 3568 9463, [4]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. It is the home for travelers and digital nomads. Villa Mango has one of the fastest internet in Puerto Escondido and is set in a quiet environment. Perfect to get things done online. Relax, Yoga, Surf and Work only 5min away from the beach by bicycle. Dolphin, Whale and Turtle watching tours, Plankton and Waterfall tours are available as well as surf lessons. Villa Mango has two 4-bed-dorms and 3 private rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, free coffee in the morning and free bicycles for the guests. There are many comfy hammocks, a rooftop seating area a huge garden and a very social common area  edit

  • Osa Mariposa, Calle del Toluca, 044 954 110 8354, [5]. A small social hostel with its own stretch of zicatela beach and the best vibes in town. The bungalows are surrounded by trees and linked by paths to the common area, the bar and the vegetarian restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hammocks are everywhere. Toilets and bathrooms are spotless. Family dinner every night where the whole hostel eats together at the same table and socialises. Fans. Water. Free wifi. Private rooms are $250 pesos. Dorms are $100 pesos.  edit
  • Hotel Buena Vista, Calle del Morro. Opposite Zicatela Beach. Impeccably clean. Simple rooms with pleasant balcony. Room with fan (and slightly lesser view as it's the floor below) go for M$250 - double bed and single bed ensuite. Same thing a floor above with two double beds and A/C as well as fan M$400 as of Jul 2014 - both good value for a more than one person given going rates. Balconys are pleasant with chairs & table etc. Lady who runs the place very nice with some English tel. 582-14-74.  edit
  • Gecko Rock Resort, Playa Santa Elena (28km from Puerto Escondido), +52 1 958 58 35 119, [6]. An out-of-the-way getaway 100 meters from a secluded beach with ocean/pool views. Relaxing days-quiet nights. We are an adult only, all-inclusive, and gay friendly boutique beach resort.  edit
  • Vivo Escondido Hostel, Cll Barriletes 2 Esq. Mantarraya Rinconada, 01 (954) 5823926582, [7]. Come and check out this new and gorgeous hostel. The owners have traveled extensively throughout Latin America and truly believe they are able to provide the best backpacker experience. Some of its facilities and services includes a swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, family dinners, bar. Dorms.  edit
  • Aldea del Bazar Hotel & Spa, Blvd. Benito Juárez S/N Lote 7 Fracc. Bacocho, 01 (954) 582 0508, [8]. Feel at home in their clean, spacious rooms. Each is amply appointed with the essentials to ensure you of comfortable rest throughout your stay. Some of its facilities and services includes a sun terrace, swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, car rental, and facilities for disabled. Room rates start at $850.  edit
  • Blater Hotel, Calle del Morro S/N Col. Santa María, +52 954 582 0797, [9]. Standard single, double, and suite with A/C, cableTV and WiFi. Restaurant, swimming pool, snack bar and room service.  edit
  • Bungalows Santa Cruz, Calle Del Morro N/N, Apartado, +52 954 582 0170, [10]. Bungalows and suites with A/C, balcony and internet. Outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, massage services and car rental.  edit
  • Bungalows Zicatela, [11]. On Zicatela beach, 2 pools and a bar and restaurant. Good views and the staff are friendly and helpful. Ask for room #13 and get their least expensive room.  edit
  • Hotel Barlovento, 6a. Sur No. 3, Col. Sector Hidalgo, (954) 582 02 20, [12]. Hotel Barlovento offers single, double and triple rooms with air-conditioning, TV with cable channels and phone. Its facilities include bar, restaurant and wireless internet connection at the reception area.  edit
  • Hotel Casa Blanca, Av. Perez Gasga,, [13]. On the main tourist road with 22 rooms. Single to quintuple occupancy. Outdoor pool and restaurant. Surfing lessons and ecological tours on request. Free WiFi.  edit
  • Hotel Ines. Offers rooms ranging from about US$18-70/night off-peak. US$70 can get you an A/C double room with a balcony near the front of Ines, looking right over the beach, while US$18-35 can get you simple rooms with a fan and private shower, but not necessarily a full bathroom.
  • Hotel Rincón del Pacífico, Av. Pérez Gasga No. 900, Col. Centro, (954) 582 00 56, [14]. Rincón del Pacífico provides fan room - triple, fan room - quadruple and aircon room - quadruple with TV with cable channels, telephone and complimentary breakfast. Its facilities include bar, restaurant and wireless internet access.  edit
  • Hotel Rockaway. Just steps from world-renowned Playa Zicatela lies an intimate and recently-renovated boutique resort, Hotel Rockaway. This authentic property features 32 guest rooms and 12 beautifully - luxury scaled Residences. All of the spacious units are unique in design and each one possesses their own character.
  • Hostel Shalom, Playa Carallizo, [15]. Isreali managed hostel next to Playa Carillizo, only 200 m from the beach.  edit
  • La Hacienda Rinconada, Atunes 15 Col Rinconada, +52 954 582 0279, [16]. Spacious hacienda style home with 7 suites, all have A/C, cableTV, fully equipped kitchen and free continental breakfast. Patio, a swimming pool in a tropical garden, and a lounge area. From $1,320.  edit
  • Mayflower Hotel and Youth Hostel, Andador Libertad (near Playa Pricipal), [17]. Oldest hostel in town, wonderful in most ways. Great location near a beach - though often a very packed one.  edit
  • Quinta Carrizalillo Villas, Fraccionamiento Rinconada Focas No. 5 esq, con Delfines, +52 954 582 3564, [18]. A/C suites, cableTV, coffee/ tea maker, and a safe. From $833.  edit
  • Sexto Senso, +52 954 109 3057 (). On the beach. 3 large private bungalows, which sleeps up to 5 people, each shower toilet and sink, and equipped with a fan and mosquito nets. Also a hotel like dorm room with bunk beds, and a camping area with tents available for rent. The restaurant serves traditional Italian food like fresh hand-made pizza and pasta.  edit
  • Tower Bridge Hostel, Calle Océano Antártico 1 (10 min from the Benito Juarez market), +52 954 582 0823, [19]. checkin: 2 pm; checkout: 11 am. 10 minutes walk to the city centre and 10 minutes to two nice swimming beaches. Kitchen, swimming pool in a tropical garden, pool table, foosball, reliable internet, bar with $25 beers and famous cocktails. Surfing lessons and trips available, Spanish school is nearby. Very social place, which has been completely remodeled. Good vibe in the evenings, individually themed staff. Green hostel with retournable glass bottles, water purification system and many plants Bungalows for 2 people $355.  edit
  • Hotel/Hostel Pakololo, Calle Del Morro, Playa Zicatela, +53 954 582 3821, [20]. checkout: 1PM. Private rooms and cabanas right on Playa Zicatela, private bathrooms. Shared kitchen with fridge, gas stove, cooking utensils and common area for guest use. 16 bed dorm room with communal balcony. 2 bedroom apartment with ocean view. Free wifi and drinking water. Common area has balcony overlooking the beach. Friendly owner and rooms cleaned daily. Double from $200.  edit
  • Hotel Santa Fe, Calle Del Morro S/N, Playa Zicatela, U.S.A.(1888) 649 64 07, MEX (800) 712 70 57, 01 954 5820170. Rooms with A/C, TV, internet. Outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, massage services.  edit

Rental properties[edit]

  • Puerto Escondido Real Estate & Vacation Rentals, Ave de la Luz (At the end of 3A Poniente), +52 954 582 3130, [21]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Large selection of apartments, condos and beach front homes for rent. Includes both basic rentals through to those with private chefs, maids, car and driver. Discounts are available for longer stays. From US$45.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Mazunte - A nearby town with less tourism than Puerto Escondido and quiet beaches with turtles.
  • Zipolite - Small but growing Oaxacan beach village, very relaxed, increasingly popular tourist destination for backpackers and high end travelers as well. Popular spot since the 60's, and Mexico's only "official" nude beach.
  • Chacahua National Park - Good for surfing and for bird watching, as well as exploring the mangroves with a guide by canoe. It's best to spend the night there so that you can take the canoe trip at sunset.

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