Legal guide Nomads to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca


I took a short day trip to the coastal town of Puerto Escondido, surrounded by sandy beaches and pipe waves. My horse was glad to have a little respite from the dry desert fire of the Oaxaca, and the seafood was a welcome change from tacos and tlayudas. This piece is a short guide to Puerto Escondido that shares where I ate where I stayed and the best beaches for surfing and swimming.

While I supposed that the name "hidden harbor" originates from the camouflaged bays across the city, the story is more interesting. According to Marco's Mexican Corridor,

The legend says the pirate named Andrés Drake kidnapped the young Mixteque from Santa Maria Huatulco. While the pirates were seated in the bay of what is now Puerto Escondido, she escaped and hid from her evil kidnappers. The Pirates called her "La Escondida," and every time they returned to the bay, they were looking for it. Then the bay became known as Bahía de la Escondida.

The harbor was founded in early 1900 to supply coffee, but the city (and drinking water) was founded only in the 1930s. The first airport on which Zicatela Beach is now completed was completed in 1939. In the 1960s, Motorway 200 (a coastal highway) linking Acapulco and cities along the coast of Oaxaca was built. Today, Puerto Escondido belongs to two villages, Santa María Colotepec and San Pedro Mixtepec – and they do not see how to manage the city.

Compared to nearby Huatulco, full of prime resorts, Puerto Escondido is still relatively quiet and a little key – although the New York Times did just put it on list 2017 "where to go". It is popular with travelers from Oaxaca and tourists from other parts of Mexico, but there are also charter flights directly from North America. Within four days, I met more French Canadians than I did in many months of my life in Oaxaca de Juarez.

For my purposes, Puerto Escondido was beautiful a few days away from Oaxaca, where some great food was on the way.

Plus the SHARK HOTEL bonus.

Puerto Escondido: where to swim, where to eat and where to stay

Overview of Puerto Escondido

There are three major beaches in Puerto Escondido cities: Playa Marinero, Playa Principal, and Zicatela. In addition, you can visit the smaller bays listed below, which are suitable for swimming. As its name suggests, Playa Principal is the most important thing. Parallel to this beach is Avenida Perez Gasga, a pedestrian street known locally as Adoquín. The Andador, a long scenic promenade, also begins at Playa Principal and merges west along the rocky cliffs.

Western Playa Principal are smaller beaches that make great swimming: Puerto Angelito, Manzanillo and Carrizalillo. To the east of Playa Principala is Playa Marinero, and then the beach where I stayed, Playa Zicatela, followed by La Punta. The strongest waves are at the Zicon, which is why surfists knew about this town long before snowbirds and tourists settled.


Note: Several friends were excluded from the outbreak and knives in Puerto Escondido, some of Playa Principal and some of La Punta. I recommend that you stay on the beach at night or very early in the morning. I did not have problems myself, but I just wandered around when there were a lot of people around.
flying to puerto escondido

When you descend to Puerto Escondido

Where to swim and surf at Puerto Escondido

If there is a time on the beach you are looking for, you have several beaches to choose from.

Playa Manzanillo and Puerto Angelito:

On the same bay are located the two beaches, separated by rocks. Both beaches are quiet, without the strong bottom of Zicately. That means they are a bit overcrowded because the bay is not that big. Much palapas to relax, beer to drink and places where you can go out with a comfortable mat or towel. Good place for snorkeling. You can rent a chair with plastic pillows and a shadow of a big umbrella.

Playa Carrizalillo:

With 167 steps from the cliff down to the sea you will have to work to get to this small beach and out of it – but the effort is worth it. I want the surprise of the taxi driver to repeat the name Carrizalillo until I did it right (it took 6 times). Soft waves, beautiful entrance, palapas with margarites and others. And sunset drink overlooking the coast if you wish.

puerto escondido guide

Playa Carrizalillo

Playa Zicatela:

A zigzag for the surfers, with a strong backdrop for safe swimming. The beach is famous for its enormous Pacific waves that hit the coast. Surfing events such as the World Surfing League Puerto Escondido Challenge take place in Puerto, and the waves come to 6-15 feet during the high season.

Encyclopedia of surfing describes it better than I:

"[A] a wild Mexican beachbreak tube located at the northern tip of the Tehuantepec Gulf, in the state of Oaxaca; often called the "Mexican Pipeline", and generally agreed to be the largest sandstone in the world. "Some people love it," Coco Nogales said of Puerto Coca-Cola in 2011. "Some people were pounding, turning around, going home and never coming back."

Also in Zicatela you will find piles of meals, beach bars, fish tacos and beer joints and weekend parties.

La Punta de Zicatela:

Walk east on the edge of the water around Playa Zicatela and eventually hit La Punta, the main area for tourists and a much younger crowd than Zicatela on that day. Also far less Mexican tourists and other hostels. With the sofa and the dirt I forgot that I was not a minute or two in the Perhtian islands.

With the cost in Zicatel rising, La Punta has an even larger budget as accommodation and food. You can swim there, but it is also known for surfing, and it is both larger and smaller, which is ideal for exploring if you want to spend two hours.

While I was focusing on bathing, I would also recommend a trip to the bioluminescent lagoon at Laguna de Manialtepec, near Puerto Escondido. Many tour operators offer this as an evening trip, and when you are somewhere else in the region, it's magical what you see.


Apart from Puerto's beaches, there is plenty of swimming and exploration to take in Mazunte, Agua Blanca, Tierra Blanca, Zipolita, La Ventanilla, Puerto Angel and San Agustinillo. With just 4 days I did not have time – but I want to go back and explore a little more!

Where I ate in Puerto Escondido

For Sea Fish Medley

Sea seafood Fresh restaurant and lounge he was so good I came back for the second time. Their other offers are also excellent, although the crowd has bent 100% expat / tourists. The good wine options and the main courses were generous. Their guacamole is also very tasty.

where to eat puerto escondido

You get my BELLY

For great grilled fish

While the name suggests ceviche, it was the fish most loved by the novice Costeñito Cevichería. There are delicious snacks in the restaurant, but 400 paddle grilled fish that came with potatoes, salad and other parties was one of the best things I ate in the city. We were two, but the food was easy enough to fill four people.

You can choose between oregano and butter, or parsley, garlic and lime. Or do what we did, and go half way.

It was a night shot with my phone, but it shows how big a fish you get. Fish is any catch of the day that was pulled, super fresh.

puerto escondido guide

Butterflied fish, two ways, grilled on an open fire.

Filling, Breakfast or Brunch

I was glad when I ate in my first meal El Cafecito, both for watching people and for food. Their halves were so generous that I often failed to finish the board and out of all the options I had at huevos Oaxaqueños, eggs cooked in spicy tomato sauce and topped syrups. They are served with beans, some are totopo chips and tortilla side. For those who eat bread, the restaurant has a bakery that your friend swears for a trip.

For Seafood Fry Up

My friend Ian recommended a fiery octopus and shrimp Coco Fish Zicatela, a little further to the beach. The meal is prepared in a spicy "diablo" sauce with rice, salad and fruit. For 200 pesos it is more expensive than the usual food in Oaxaca or Playa Principal, but it was very tasty.

Best restaurants puerto escondido

Spicy fish and octopus are mixed with rice on Coco Fish

For Sunset Margaritas and Guac

We highly recommend that you capture the sunset Espadin Restaurant on Playa Carrizalillo beach after swimming. Wonderful view, delicious guacamole and really beautiful space. If you are still hungry and have a taste for a miserable taste, you will get a grilled squid.

carrizalillo beach puerto escondido

Sunset on Carrizalillo beach

For Paella from Seafood

I really enjoyed paella Bungalows Zicatela, With a huge portion of rice, squid, fish, mussels and more. And chicken, lots of chicken.

Bonus: daily 2 × 1 margaritas between 18:00 and 23:00.

where to eat puerto escondido

Seafood Paella with chicken. Father than expected!

For salad with whipped cream

If you go to La Punta to the sunset – which you should – stop on the salad tuna caught Lychee Thai Restaurant. Often live music in the evenings. You can reach Zicate by taxi. If you are visiting the day, you can go out on the beach, but I do not recommend it during the evening.

For food in the Middle East

El Sultan on the Zicate. The restaurant is cheap, offers falafal, humus, salads and for those who can eat bread a lot Mr. Arab (pita) for the rest of the residue on the plate.

Accommodation in Puerto Escondido

I stayed Bungalows Zicatela, which I booked via an online server. They are available on several of them. The site has two swimming pools, a restaurant and really beautiful staff with a dog called Pancho. The price was very reasonable, $ 40 per night for a double room with a fan.

puerto escondido bungalow zicatela

Pancho, the love mascot of Bungalows Zicatela

If you are sensitive to noise, reserve rooms overlooking the sea during the weekend as the bars turn music to a fairly late time.

More options can be found on the page Casa Dakiri (bedroom and suite with 2 or 3 beds), Casa Losodeli (3 different room options) for private rooms or dorms near Zicatela Beach. For a quiet barefoot atmosphere, Hostal Frutas y Verduras was recommended to the reader.

How to get there and away

FROM Oaxaca City, you can take a small bus (6-8 hours) across the mountains or take a short flight to Aerotucan. The mountainous stretch from the city to the coast includes the continental division, which means that the rivers flow into both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Even though the ride is relatively short, the road path contains many nauseous curves. If you get a car, you might want to fly.

I opened for a flight for this reason. Flights take place at dawn and offer an incredible scenic view of the Oaxaca mountain range, as well as a smile-inducing time when the plane cruises back across the ocean to gain a return. What is a 6-8 ride is a 26-minute scenic flight.

aerotucan puerto escondido flights

Your vehicle.

The cost was $ 180 USD from Oaxaca.

FROM Mexico City: Aeromar, Interjet, and VivaAerobus budget airlines fly to Mexico City.

From elsewhere North America, you can fly to Huatulco, 1.5 hours from Puerto Escondido. Aeromexico, WestJet, Air Canada and United cover flights from the USA and Canada to Huatulco, including Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Canada in Montreal and Houston, LA, San Francisco, New York and Boston. United States.

This is the conclusion of my short guide to Puerto Escondido! I'm still working on a guide in the city of Oaxaca, but it will be a little longer.

Read more about Oaxaca and Mexico

Oaxaca Journal, Oliver Sacks. Oliver Sacks's fern obsession brought him to Oaxaca and southern Mexico, ethnobotanists knees in tow. This book is a magazine about the trip, about the culture it comes into contact with, about chocolate and history and about the ruins of the Zapoteca. In its characteristic, entertaining style, it combines natural curiosity with fascinating exploration. She really loved this book.

Basic Cuisine of Mexico, Dianne Kennedy. Cook's Dianne's Oaxaca is one of my favorites, but it's also available in £ 10 (!) And it's very difficult to read it! Instead, start with her essential chefs that cover the various foods of this culinary complex country, recipes and history built into one book.

Mexican folk guide: by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens (author). Instead of a classic guide, choose this thorough cultural guide to Mexico, now in the 14th year. From planning trips, negotiations, cultural holidays and taboos and much more, this book is a thorough resource for even more experiences.


The Contribution of The Legal Nomads Guide to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, first appeared on Legal Nomads.

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