Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Puerto Escondido, Mexico

A hidden gem on Oaxaca’s Emerald Coast, Puerto Escondido is southern Mexico’s best-kept secret. One of the world’s best surfing destinations, its easy-going vibe, great food and natural beauty make this prime territory for a creative crowd.


Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

Why now?

It’s no wonder that, with a name meaning “hidden port”, this
corner of southern Mexico is a well-kept secret among locals.
Avoiding an influx of resort hotels and rapid development, Puerto
Escondido has quietly preserved its reputation as a secluded escape
on Oaxaca’s Emerald Coast.

While only recently becoming a popular destination among

budget-conscious travellers
, Puerto Escondido has been a firm
favourite of the
surf crowd
for years. Secret beaches with golden sand and
crashing waves have rendered the region one of the world’s best
surfing destinations. Each November,
Playa Zicatela hosts surfing competitions, drawing in crowds of
hopeful surfers looking to test themselves against the “Mexican
Pipeline”, a huge wave that breaks on Zicatela’s shores. Those less
confident tackling the waves can head for La Punta or Playa
Carrizalillo to swim in turquoise waters and sip on freshly cracked
coconuts, or head to nearby town Huatulco to enjoy virgin beaches
all to yourself.

Unlike Mexico’s many tourist-filled beaches and peninsulas, the
town (only established in the 30s) is rarely packed – the airport
only offers domestic flights, deterring huge crowds of visitors.
Those willing to make the trip are rewarded with the area’s
chilled, easy-going vibe and welcomed with some of Oaxaca’s best
cuisine. Most of the food is based on local seafood and plants, so
taste-test your way through Puerto Escondido’s restaurants and
markets – Mercado Benito Juárez is the best for fresh food produce,
clothing, furniture and other curios.

Don’t miss…

Laguna de Manialtepec is a bioluminescent lagoon found a
20-minute drive from Puerto Escondido. Visit at night to swim amid
plankton that light up the water, or come during the day to spot
birds such as pelicans, ibis, cranes, buzzards and kingfishers
perched on the dangling mangroves.

Who to take with you

Someone who loves the sea. As well as amazing swimming, surfing
and Laguna de Manialtepec, Puerto Escondido is the ideal launchpad
for boat trips to spot dolphins, sea turtles and whales. On land,
if you are visiting between October
and May,
head to the centre on Playa Bacocho or ask around for the chance to
get involved with the release of baby turtles.

When to go

Summer is rainy season, so Christmas and Easter holidays can be
slightly busier. Visit between January
and May
to have Puerto Escondido all to yourself.

Where to stay

Thatched ceilings, woven furnishings, a private plunge pool and
ocean views are available in each of Hotel Escondido‘s private
cabanas. Spend mornings surfing and swimming along the coast before
sipping on mezcal and dozing off on hammocks overlooking the

Most likely to bump into…

While surfer dudes and dudettes are plentiful, Puerto Escondido
is gradually drawing in a new creative crowd. Following in the
footsteps of Mexico
and Guadalajara, an emerging
street art
scene is taking over the area. Keep your eyes peeled
for incognito artists creating masterpieces on street corners.

Essentials to bring with you

This Heidi Klein zip-detailed metallic
ribbed swimsuit
should keep everything neatly in place while
you scramble back onto your surfboard for the hundredth time.

How to get there

Fly into Mexico City or Oaxaca airports, from which daily
flights to Puerto Escondido are available.

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