Meaning ‘hidden port,’ Puerto Escondido, unlike many of the modern commercial and purpose-built resorts, is an authentic Pacific jewel, full of old-world character, wonderful sandy beaches, great coffee houses and a bohemian artsy vibe, making it the ideal place to relax and unwind.
In recent years, Puerto Escondido has shaken off its image as a surfer’s paradise, to emerge as a relaxed and authentic beachside town offering the chance to experience a range of water activities, eco-adventures, as well as soaking up the sun. On Oaxaca’s Pacific Coast and a one-hour 15-minute flight from Mexico City, Puerto Escondido is not a manufactured resort, but has grown organically as an increasing number of visitors are attracted by its genuine charm and character. In turn, this has led to the development of several chic and contemporary beachfront hotels, widening the range of comfortable and affordable accommodation in the area.
While some of the beaches are not suitable for swimming, we’d recommend Playa Principal and Playa Marinero as great for sunbathing, swimming and enjoying the laidback vibe, but if you want to watch the surfers riding the tubular waves known as the ‘Mexican pipeline,’ head to Playa Zicatela. While there are many watersports on offer in the area, we think these crystal-clear waters are a great place to snorkel and dive. The town itself is full of health-conscious amenities, including vegetarian restaurants, yoga studios, alternative therapists and Tai Chi classes and don’t miss Benito Juarez Mercado, a sprawling market of traditional crafts and food stalls.
This is one of Mexico’s key ecological regions and nearby eco-adventures include the chance to visit the Manialtepec Lagoon for horse riding and bird watching, while at Playa Bacocho a turtle conservation project releases baby turtles into the sea every day at 5pm and for a small charge you can help the volunteers. We love Puerto Escondido for its authentic charm and because it feels like a genuine Mexican beach town. Once Mexico’s best-kept secret, word is spreading so we advise you to see this stunning stretch of coastline before it’s discovered by the crowds.