It is fitting that the English translation of Puerto Escondido is ‘hidden port’ since Puerto Escondido is one of Mexico‘s most resplendent hidden gems. Surfers and locals have been singing Puerto Escondido’s praises since the 1950s. Travelers searching for a laid-back surf town full of delectable fresh seafood, pristine white sandy beaches, and local charm should put Puerto Escondido at the top of their ‘must visit’ list.
Located in the state of Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido has long been on the radar of avid surfers. The mammoth waves of Zicatela Beach are the backdrop of an annual international surf competition which takes place in October. Professional surfers attempt to ride a giant wave known as the Mexican Pipeline.
Puerto Escondido is also home to plenty of tame beaches with smaller waves where visitors can swim, frolic in the water, or take surfing lessons. There are numerous surf shops where prospective surfers can rent gear or book a private or group surf lesson. Playa Manzanillo is an excellent spot for first-time surfers. Even if you don’t catch any waves, spending a day soaking in blue and green jewel-toned water may convince you to ditch your job so that you can spend the rest of your days perfecting your surf skills.
Puerto Escondido is home to numerous delectable seafood restaurants. There are several spots that will actually hire a fisherman to go out and catch a fresh fish just for you. El Bunker de JP is a casual spot favored by locals that serves delicious oysters, ceviche, and tiritas. Most seasoned travelers will tell you to eat where the locals eat, and locals definitely eat at El Bunker de JP.
El Bunker De JP
Calle Primera Poniente
Puerto Escondido, 71980
If you’re a die-hard seafood lover, you must order the Seafood Tower at Marisqueria Los Erizos. The Seafood Tower is a literal tower of fish, shrimp, and octopus. You’ll either be on cloud nine, or you will spend your entire meal worrying that your food is going to come alive and grab you in the style of the infamous shrimp scene in the film Beetlejuice. Either way, ordering the Seafood Tower will be an unforgettable experience.
Av. Del Morro,
Mexico’s Pacific Coast is home to a robust population of sea turtles. Vive Mar, an organization that works to protect sea turtles, allows visitors to release baby sea turtles into the ocean. For a small fee, visitors can attend a short presentation on the importance of protecting sea turtles and their habitat. Each visitor is handed a small coconut shell that contains an even smaller baby sea turtle. Visitors walk to the beach and watch as the tiny turtle in their hands springs out of the coconut shell and waddles towards the sea.
Puerto Escondido is the ideal destination for travelers seeking a cozy, relaxing beach vacation in a town that is bursting with authentic local culture. The plush 5-star resorts of Cancun and Cabo San Lucas certainly have their place, but few things are quite as rejuvenating as spending time in a place with a lively local culture that is not driven exclusively by tourism.