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.
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.
Another alternative is flying into Huatulco (IATA: HUX) and 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 pesos or USS3.50 per person- 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.
TuriStar and Estrella Blanca from Mexico City are the most comfortable and most expensive way to get here (500-900 pesos, 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. The quickest (5-6 hr) service, but least comfortable transport from Oaxaca is by van (called suburban in Spanish). There are several companies (140 pesos). More comfortable but longer are the buses leaving from the 2nd class bus station. Do not take a 1st class bus because the trip is over 15 hr - it takes the longest route. 2nd class buses take around 7-8 hr. There are also many buses from Acapulco.
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.
The fixed price for a taxi in town is 20 pesos and 40 pesos for the airport and Bacocho beach. The local bus is 3 pesos. Night rates are 30 pesos. Be aware some taxis will charge 40 pesos if you do not specify 30 pesos before the ride.
- 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,  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 pesos.
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 a good beach for swimming or learning surfing with few restaurants.
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.
- 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.
- 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 exhilerating 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 dolhpins arching over the surface. Again, it is an amazing experience and well worth the money (around 300 pesos 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 pesos) 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$2600. It's one of the nicest places in the world to do this. They're just left of Café Babylon.
- 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.
- 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.
- Odyboards Surf Shop & Factory, . Large selection of new, used surfboards and accessories in Puerto Escondido. Custom boards are available.
- 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.
- El Jardin 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.
- Guadua, . 5PM-11PM. Restaurant on the beach, tasteful decoration, good food and the staff are friendly.
- Pascale, Playa Principal, just off Adoquin. French cuisine using fresh seafood. Beachside and on-beach dining. Good service. Try the paella with lobster.
- BarFly, a couple of blocks down the street from Casa Babylon. Dancing till about 2AM.
- 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.
- La Piedra de la Iguana - Good after-hours bar.
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 mth or longer renting an apartment is also an option.
- Aldea del Bazar Hotel & Spa, Blvd. Benito Juárez S/N Lote 7 Fracc. Bacocho, ☎ 01 (954) 582 0508, . 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 MXN 850.00.
- Blater Hotel, Calle del Morro S/N Col. Santa María, ☎ +52 954 582 0797, . Standard single, double, and suite with A/C, cableTV and WiFi. Restaurant, swimming pool, snack bar and room service.
- Bungalows Santa Cruz, Calle Del Morro N/N, Apartado, ☎ +52 954 582 0170, . Bungalows and suites with A/C, balcony and internet. Outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, massage services and car rental.
- Bungalows Zicatela, . 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.
- Hotel Barlovento, 6a. Sur No. 3, Col. Sector Hidalgo, ☎ (954) 582 02 20, . 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.
- Hotel Casa Blanca, Av. Perez Gasga,, . 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.
- 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, . 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.
- Hotel Rockaway. 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.
- Hostel Shalom, Playa Carallizo, . Isreali managed hostel next to Playa Carillizo, only 200 m from the beach.
- La Hacienda Rinconada, Atunes 15 Col Rinconada, ☎ +52 954 582 0279, . 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 MXN 1,320.
- Mayflower Hotel and Youth Hostel, Andador Libertad (near Playa Pricipal). Oldest hostel in town, fairly average in most ways. Great location near a beach - though often a very packed one. 11PM curfew.
- Quinta Carrizalillo Villas, Fraccionamiento Rinconada Focas No. 5 esq, con Delfines, ☎ +52 954 582 3564, . A/C suites, cableTV, coffee/ tea maker, and a safe. From MXN 833++.
- Sexto Senso, ☎ +52 954 109 3057 ([email protected]). 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.
- Tower Bridge Hostel, Calle Oceano Atlantico (5 min from the Benito Juarez market). checkout: 12 noon. A fair bit outside the town centre. Kitchen, pool table, internet, 10 peso Coronas and cableTV. Surfing lessons available, Spanish school is nearby. OK, but has a worn look, and cleanliness and security is not their strength, no lockers. Good vibe in the evening, individually themed staff. Bungalows for 2 people 200 pesos.
- La Casa de Pakololo, Calle Del Morro, Playa Zicatela, ☎ +53 954 582 3821, . checkout: 1PM. Private rooms and cabanas right on Playa Zicatela, private bathrooms and good quality mattresses. Shared kitchen with fridge, gas stove, cooking utensils and common area for guest use. Free wifi and drinking water. Common area has balcony overlooking the beach. Friendly owner and rooms cleaned daily. Double from 200 pesos.
- 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.
- Puerto Escondido Real Estate & Vacation Rentals, Ave de la Luz (At the end of 3A Poniente), ☎ +52 954 582 3130, . 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.
- Mazunte - A nearby town with less tourism than Puerto Escondido and quiet beaches with turtles.
- 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.