Things To Do In Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is located in the municipality of Oaxaca specifically facing the Mexican Pacific Ocean. It is also popularly known as the "Hidden Port”. The long line of beaches in this coastal city is just one of the many reasons why it is an ideal tourist destination in Mexico, plus, it has that countryside and relaxed atmosphere that contributes to its rustic charm. Here in Puerto Escondido, you need to allot more time to explore your palate and discover its traditional Oaxacan cuisine (mostly a fusion of fresh seafood and organic vegetables) and exotic foods (mole, chapuline, tamales, paleta, etc.).
You will also have the chance to find themed restaurants that serve dishes from all over the world. Accommodation is not a problem since there is an abundance of luxury hotels, transient inns, and even campgrounds to choose from.
When To Go:
If you’re going to Puerto Escondido, planning when to go is the easy part because the weather here is basically sunny and warm all throughout the year. The normal and average daily temperature ranges from 27 up to 29°C and there is not a chance that it will go below 20°C. However, the ideal time to spend a beach holiday in Puerto Escondido is from the months of October until April (summer/dry season). A visit is also ideal during the high season months of November to December when the weather is a bit cold and it’s comfortable to go around and visit the landmark attractions of the city.
occasional rains are not a big deal for you, it is also best to go around from the first week of July until the middle of August. Avoid planning your vacation during the month of September because it is during this month when thunderstorms and heavy rains mostly occur.
Widely visited and recognized as the beach town of Mexico, here is a rundown of the top attractions and things to do in the city of Puerto Escondido:
Playa Zicatela is the best beach for surfers because the waves here can reach more than 12 meters in height. It is commonly referred to here by the locals as the “surfer’s beach” and although swimming is a difficult task to achieve because of the high waves and strong current, Playa Zicatela has an incredible charm, a long beach, very large, and looks deserted in almost every month of the year. Its charm is given by its vastness, by the waves and the foam silver, colors, fun atmosphere, sun loungers and umbrellas, bars from and restaurants of all kinds while maintaining its tranquillity and scenic charm. Its incredible sunsets are always magnificent. This beach is a place that is always teeming with surfers and it’s a piece of paradise on this side of Puerto Escondido.
Even if you are not a professional surfer, this beach is worth a walk to watch the show that only nature can create. The waves are beautiful and you can spend hours watching the surfers challenge the waves. It is considered one of the best sites to practice professional surfing and yearly competitions are held with the participation of top surfing athletes from all over the world. The waterfront is dotted with hostels, hotels, restaurants and cafes. For everyone else it is still a beautiful beach where you can spend long walks and take a dip along the shoreline; you can also have fun in the waves even if you don’t have a board, but pay attention to the strong currents.
Laguna de Manialtepec
Laguna de Manialtepec is a great experience that you can explore in the outdoors of Puerto Escondido, the phosphorescent plankton phenomenon is so impressive and it seems that they are "special effects" that provide a spectacular show at night. This attraction is a tropical lagoon that is filled with many birds and fish. The place is absolutely great and you can enjoy swimming at night with the fluorescent microorganisms that seem to resemble a scene from the movie "Avatar". A boat ride on the lagoon with mangroves, over 30 species of birds landing on a narrow sandy isthmus between the open ocean and the lagoon, swimming in the lagoon, resting in a hammock under a roof of palm leaves, dinner or a walk on the beach at sunset in one of the uninhabited areas of Puerto Escondido; what could be better? This is the most wonderful way to understand the preserved nature and eco-tourism of the city.
If you spend a few days in Puerto Escondido, it is very interesting to go to Laguna Manialtepec and get acquainted with its unique eco-system. This is the true paradise for bird watching, but you can also see snakes and crocodiles (and cows along the riverbanks. Tours are usually conducted in the morning (from 7am) and in the evening at sunset. The tour takes 3-4 hours. Go to the lagoon, then sit in a boat for two and a half hours to explore the mangroves and watch the birds of the world and get acquainted with different plants. For a while, it makes a stop at the beach - take a walk, drink coconut juice, you can also have a hearty breakfast of hot tortillas with beans. The guides mainly speak Spanish, but the tour is mostly organized by a Canadian - Michael Malone. He is a pioneer of the study of the lagoon and the brains behind the creation of this nature reserve. It's very interesting to listen to him as he talks about the birds; once all of the migratory ones appear on the horizon (almost 50 kinds of bird species visit this territory). The road-trip across the lagoon is a bit nerve wracking because there are no life vests provided or know where you are going, and it’s very dark, but upon arrival to the site, it is amazing to see how everything shines while the boat is moving in the water. Don’t forget to visit the Laguna de Manialtepec and be amazed by the wonders of Bioluminescence.
The Playa Bacocho is an excellent beach to watch the sunset and the sea. You can climb and jump on the rocks and watch the waves. The beach is definitely not for swimming because the waves are too high and the current of the open sea is too strong, but seeing it is a must while in Puerto Escondido. The way the waves break the sand and hit the rocks are amazing; you can never see waves of this size anywhere else in Mexico. The beach is quite impressive because of the strength of its waves; it is designed to be admired or for a surfer to conquer its waves.
It is a long beach, an ideal place to escape the noise and people. The playa does not offer many services so you can relax and enjoy a very beautiful and remote beach. If you need to stay overnight, there are two great places to stay nearby (Villa Sol and Royal Inn). There are places to eat and there is a colony of birds that swim right there along the beach area. Without a doubt, this is the best beach in Puerto Escondido for those seeking a quiet beach with no crowds, strong waves, and for those who want to learn surfing. Even if it has many rocks on the shore, the beach is still beautiful and a perfect place for relaxation.
Lagunas de Chacahua Parque Nacional
The Lagunas de Chacahua Parque Nacional is another gem of Puerto Escondido. It is a natural paradise that you can explore via 40-minute speedboat ride that passes through a paradise of mangroves (with storks nesting and pink spoonbills suddenly fly up), crocodiles lurking in one corner, isolated villages, and a rich tropical forest.
Then you get to the beach surrounded by dozens of restaurants (where fresh seafood buffet is always on the menu), and relax with the sea which is literally a huge natural pool. The tour of this hidden lagoon is amazing and at night it allows you to look at the bright plankton. You can also ask to be taken to the lighthouse so you can see the whole coast from above. From this point, it is also recommended to take boat trips to see the dolphins and turtles. This unspoilt part of Puerto Escondido offers clean and very simple cabins where you can stay overnight and enjoy this hidden treasure.
Puerto Angelito Beach
The Puerto Angelito Beach is an excellent place to swim for families with children because it has no strong waves and current. It is a small bay with calm waters; you can swim, snorkel, and discover a great variety of fishes in all colors. The location is perfect and there are boats that depart daily to take guests for a tour around the island and to see marine animals like stingrays, dolphins, and giant sea turtles. Puerto Angelito beach is located just ten minutes from the downtown side of Puerto Escondido. You can reach this beach by renting a taxi for 25 Mexican pesos and alight a few steps from the entrance to the area of trade.
It has restrooms, sale of crafts and tours to snorkel and visit other beaches around like the Manzanillo and Carrizalillo, (beaches that are truly worth visiting). Both beaches have clear waters and gentle surfing waves. Enjoy a delicious freshly made coconut juice, which is offered by sellers who roam around this beach. It is a beach full of families and restaurants, filled with boats who offer package tours and island hopping adventures. Puerto Angelito is not recommended for those seeking tranquillity and calm because it is always crowded and full of kids swimming with their families.
Playa Principal (Main Beach)
In Playa Principal or Main Beach, the sand is fine, there are small waves that make it safe to swim, the fish go through your feet, and you can walk further along the coastline without sinking. Just like other beaches in this city, it has rows of clubs and restaurants where you can eat Mexican food and drinks. The atmosphere here is more of a Mexican fishing village where they always serve quality food and service. It is the beach where the boats can be rented for hiking and fishing. It is also the perfect place to swim or ask a fisherman to take you to see turtles, dolphins and even whales (if you’re lucky).
Perez Gasga (El Adoquin)
It is the main avenue of Puerto Escondido. It has all kinds of places where tourists can get what they need; from hotels, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, etc. something for all tastes and budgets. Perez Gasga is the main tourist/shopping street of the city. It is also called as the El Adoquin or “The Cobblestone” in Spanish.
It is safe and great to stroll at night and buy locally made souvenirs like; mugs, T-shirt, caps, etc. This street also has the three best diving centres in Puerto Escondido. The street gets closed to traffic during the evenings and transforms into a flea market and haven for bargain hunters.
If you want to see whales, dolphins, and turtles, the best boat tour provider to contact is Omar and his crew (Omar’s Sportfishing). You can go with Omar and his team for a ride to see some of the coast near Puerto Escondido. You will have a worthwhile experience because of the dedicated work of Mr. Omar and his assistant Johnny. If luck is in favor, you might even see whales jumping in the water. Omar knows when the migration season begins and where they mostly gather.
Seeing the dolphins up close is not a difficult task for Omar because he is very dedicated in finding their location and he will do everything for you to have that rare chance of seeing the dolphins chase around the boat as you enjoy your cruise. Seeing the giant turtles and catching game fish with the help of their fishing gadgets is also a breathtaking experience. The tour is highly recommended, the staff is very friendly and Omar will do everything to make sure that you will have the best sport fishing experience in Puerto Escondido.
The Playa Marinero is a beach in Puerto Escondido with medium to strong waves. It is one of the major beaches of the city, but sometimes it is not advisable to swim in this area because of the busy berth or the port of call where most fishermen and tourist boats arrive. The beach is beautiful and has its charms, but it has become too commercialized by merchants and restaurant owners.
Although this issue creates tension and plays against a total relaxation, the bay is usually crowded with ships or fishing boats that transport island hoppers and beach hikers around the coastal city. You can spend a day in a totally Mexican way like; enjoy the typical food of the place which is composed of lots of seafood and plant based products. There is also an abundance of street vendors that sells everything from heavy and very nice items, especially the best chilli peanuts.
El Mercado is the best place to buy gifts at good prices in Puerto Escondido. The market is a central part of the city and is a good place to shop, eat, or just stroll. There are butchers, green grocers and shops with all kinds of very fresh Mexican food.
It is best to find typical Oaxacan food ingredients from the delicious mole and chocolate to Mezcal, grasshoppers and chicatanas which are exotic delicacies that you must try while you’re in Puerto Escondido. There are also a great variety of fruits and vegetables that is organically grown in Mexico, which you can buy here at reasonable prices.
Puerto Escondido Surf Lessons
The Puerto Escondido Surf Lessons is owned and operated by Melinda and Celestino, a school that is large, equipped with surfing professionals and licensed instructors with great customer service. There is no better school in Puerto Escondido for families or groups of friends who want to learn how to surf together. Learning from the best surfers here is one of the great memories or lessons that you will cherish most about your visit to Puerto Escondido. The groups are small with a maximum of two people per instructor and they are super patient. They will help you to choose the waves and when to throw the board properly so you can learn to stand up immediately, also faults are corrected and they constantly give or share tips to improve your performance once you hit the waves. They are flexible when it comes to time and you can count on them while you’re on the island. If you have time and want to learn more about surfing register in their surfing classes. You can also record everything and learn fast if you capture the instructions in video format.
Puerto Escondido is a city that is dotted with playas (beaches), nature reserve lagoons, shopping areas, roadside markets, bars, discos, surfing school, and private resorts. If you are a passionate surfer who wants to try out the surfing waves in this part of Mexico, a visit to the famous Playa Zicatela is a must. This is where major international surfing competitions are mostly held yearly. Aside from annual music festivals, there are art exhibitions, and bistros with an authentic bohemian environment which can only be experienced in the enchanting city of Puerto Escondido.
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