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[Oaxaca, Mexico] Puerto Escondido Complete Beach Guide

Have you ever visited a place and got so stunned and kept asking yourself:” Is this place even real?”
Let me warn you in advance. Puerto Escondido in Mexico is the kind of place that will make you speechless every time you visit.

We’ve lived in Puerto Escondido for more than a month and explored all of the beaches around the area, now let me show you where to go, what to expect, and where to get those picturesque views.

A little bit of story

墨西哥海邊 埃斯孔迪多港

The direct translation of Puerto Escondido is Hidden Port.

In fact, you won’t find any port today, but…you will find hidden Wifi🤣 That’s a  joke between us since it happened numerous times that the wifi just doesn’t work at all. So just bear in mind that you might want to pack a generous amount of books or a Kindle.

How does the name “Hidden port” come from?
Legend has it that Captain Andrés Drake kidnapped a Mixtec woman and had her escaped. So “the hidden one- La Escondida” was what the crew members called the woman while they were set off to find her.

Eventually “La Escondida” was not found and the bay was named after her-Bahía de la Escondida. Then from time to time, the bay was served as a port to export coffee so they renamed it to what you would call it today-Puerto Escondido.

Getting from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

Puerto escondido Flights

  • There are no direct flights via Viva Aerobus nor Aeromexico to get from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido. You will have to make a stop at Mexico City.
    👉🏻Check out the latest flight deals
  • Direct flights from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido
    If you really want to skip the stop at CDMX, then Aerotucan will be your best choice
    (Aeorotucan is a lightweight flight so better for those who travel light)

Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido Ado (bus)

If you’re planning to take a bus, the only one I’ll recommend is ADO Busline
10hrs ride but with Air conditioning and toilet
👉🏻check your date and prices

Other frequent Q&A

Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido new high way

Nope, it’s still under construction and is expected to be completed by August 2023.(🤞🏻)

How long does it take to drive from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido?

Approx. 7 hours

Read also
Oaxaca city must visit neighborhood-Jalatlaco
Mexico city Airport guide
Mexico city safety

 


Puerto Escondido beaches

La punta Puerto escondido

La punta beach- Hippie surfer’s favorite

Feature:

  • This area-La punta seems as if it is another hippie village inside of Puerto Escondido.
  • 80% of them are foreigners in my opinion.
  • Popular among hippies and backpackers.

Things to do at La punta Puerto Escondido:

  • A bit of shopping(hippie street with a handful of exotic shops)
  • Surf lessons
  • Visit exotic vibe cafes and restaurants
  • Be on the sunbed & under the Parasol
  • Make new hippie friends? (I mean, seriously it’s Very Crowded)
艾斯孔迪多 墨西哥瓦哈卡

Let us start with the uber-popular never overlooked La Punta.(Gmap)

Among the 8 beaches in Puerto Escondido that I’m going to introduce you to today only 2 of them, I would say are “crowded”, and La Punta beach is one of them.

If you are finding a place to learn how to surf, some cool restaurants or bars to visit, a sunbed to spend your afternoon, or a stylish Puerto Escondido hostel to stay? La Punta lo tiene TODO! Since it’s just so popular among backpackers so it literally has it all.

The funny feeling I had when passing this area during our beach walk was as if it were a foreigner’s village inside of Mexico. Just so different!

Where to stay at La punta| Price High to low
Punta Arena surf |Those who needs a Kitchen 
Casa de Olas Boutique Hotel |Cozy with 100% vaca vibe
Gallo de Mar |Hotel with some wooden touch 
Puerto Surf House & School |All in 1 package Accomodation/ Learn Spanish/ Surf

More Pictures of La punta beach Puerto escondidola punta 埃斯孔迪多港 瓦哈卡洲 la punta oaxaca puerto escondido
埃斯孔迪多港 瓦哈卡洲

I would say that the majority of pretty pics out there writing about Puerto Escondido were taken here because the area was literally filled with so many pretty hostels, hotels, bars…etc.

The area close to the edge is where beginner surfers take their lessons.


playa zicatela puerto escondido

Playa Zicatela-Surfers favorite

(Above picture is the area between La Punta and Zicatela. You can see that it is much less crowded and no more parasols!)

Feature:

  • 2nd less crowded beach
  • Suitable for whale watching, sunset meditating

Things to do at Zicatela:

  • Beach Walk, Beach Jog, Beach Yoga, Beach dance, meditate…etc
  • Whale watch
  • Washed ashore creatures watch
  • Watch the sunset
  • Surf (the professional ones are mostly in this area)
  • Skydive
  • Paddle
  • Try Oaxacan dish at a beach restaurant
  • Shopping
playa zicatela 墨西哥

If you’re not the hipster type but still want to be close to the area where things are going on, then  Zicatela Beach would be your choice. Just keep in mind that it could get pretty loud at night.

Although we didn’t live around this area, we went to Playa Zicatela almost every afternoon for our beach walk accompanied by the sunset. I’m not much a big fan of walking the same route every day but surprisingly I enjoyed the time we spent here pretty much.

There was always some movement going on. Someone facing the sea dancing and singing loudly, people hanging around with their dogs, someone practicing exorcism with a big feather 🤷🏻‍♀️ , and a jogging dude with a stick whom we met every day.

For professional surfers, Zicatela is the perfect beach for them to be with their surfboards, but if you’re planning to have a nice long swim…not recommended👇🏻the waves could go as wild as this one

埃斯孔迪多港 海灘
dangerous beach it said
瓦哈卡州海灘

lol, told you there’s always something going on. I’m not sure if this is actually enjoyable or not. I mean, with the heat, the wind carrying the sand, and the oil, not to mention the hands on your back…

More pics of Playa Zicatela 

瓦哈卡洲 埃斯孔迪多港
zicatela beach puerto escondido
playa zicatela 墨西哥海邊
墨西哥海灘 Puerto escondido
Do you see someone paddling here👆🏻😍

Sunset at Playa Zicatela

sunset in playa zicatela puerto escondido
playa zicatela 墨西哥海邊
埃斯孔迪多港 瓦哈卡洲海灘夕陽

Where to stay at Playa Zicatela| Price high to low
Blater Hotel |Infinity pool with Sunset
Hotel Santa fe |Heard that their restaurant is quite good
Selina Puerto Escondido |Jungle & Tent vibe


瓦哈卡洲 墨西哥海攤Playa Principal-Local’s paradise

Feature:

  • Crowded, but by locals
  • Plenty of fish boats, can’t stand the fishlike smell personally😥
  • Sand is darker than other parts of the beach?

Things to do at Playa Principal

  • Surf
  • Skydive
  • Watch the sunset
  • Watch the Whale
  • Puerto Piedra Cliff walk

Although Playa Principal is connected to Zicatela and we went there almost every day, we visited this part just 3 times. On our first beach walk, we started from here and I was so shocked by the fishy smell😵. Before being a vegetarian I was never a fan of seafood anyway…so we just skipped this part if we had the choice.

That being said, I still recommend you to have a stroll at Puerto Piedra.

Puerto Piedra

瓦哈卡州 Puerto pierda

Puerto Piedra is a cliff walk that requires a good pair of shoes and plenty of attention to accomplish. The view is worth a visit but just don’t do it at night because the path is pretty rough(some holes on the way!) and without any lamppost.

More of Playa Principal

Playa Principal puerto escondido
Playa Principal puerto escondido
Playa Principal oaxaca puerto escondido
Surfers in the sea
puerto escondido海灘
skydivers
墨西哥瓦哈卡洲 埃斯孔迪多港
Fisherman
瓦哈卡州海灘 La punta

If you take a closer look at the map, you’ll find that the beaches I mentioned were actually the same huge beach divided into 3 parts: La punta, Playa Zicatela, and Playa principal.

The funny thing is as if it is especially divided into Foreigners zone, depopulated zone, and local’s zone. For us who want to beach walk pleasantly, Zicatela(depopulated zone) undoubtedly was our favorite.

 

Playa manzanillo puerto escondido

Playa Manzanillo & Puerto Angelito- Finding Nemo

Feature:

  • Real-life Aquarium
  • Suitable for beginner swimmers(aka me😬)
  • 2 separate beaches but could be accessed at once easily through a trail in between

Things to do:

  • Fish watching(I enjoyed it soooo much🥰)
  • Swim
  • Find a Palapa(beach bar) and enjoy a cold beer on the sunbed
  • Visit the lighthouse + whale watch
  • Visit Mirador Sueño posible (highly recommended, I’ll show you the pictures👇🏻continue reading!)

📌Cautious

  • Watch out for jellyfish! (occasionally)
  • Occasionally with algae
  • Not surfer-friendly

Although this is the most beginner-friendly beach because it’s not that suitable for a semi-long swim so we didn’t visit it that often. Moreover, when we arrived in January the water temperature was soooo freezing cold! So we preferred Playa Carrizalillo more which is the next beach I’m going to introduce you to.

The entrance of Manzanillo beach

埃斯孔迪多港 海灘
manzanillo beach oaxaca

Going up the stairs will make you short of breath, but since we were really well trained by the stairs at Playa Carrizalillo (you will know what I mean🥴) so this was a piece of cake.

Trail between Playa Manzanillo& Puerto Angelito

埃斯孔迪多港 海灘puerto angelito

In front is the Puerto Angelito beach

If your trip is a cozy family-type trip, I will recommend you to live in this area. The streets here are nearly empty, unlike La Punta filled with backpackers. (Stray Dogs are so relaxed here that they just nap in the middle of the road and cars have to bypass them)

Where to stay around Playa Manzanillo| Price high to low
Madre Tierra |Cozy wooden vibe
Hotel Barlovento|Close to every thing 
Paziflora Hostel |Calmest Hostel around the area

puerto escondido beach guide

From the map, you’ll see that Angelito and Manzanillo are complete different beaches but they are accessible from each other

Mirador Sueño posible

Mirador Sueño posible puerto escondido

If you are visiting Playa Manzanillo or the lighthouse, you Have To come here! It’s “still” a secret no-hidden spot and with so few people(nearly none), and the view will make you feel as if you’re at the edge of the world!

📍Google map

puerto escondido places to visit

When you arrive you will first see this lookout, the view here is already🤯breathtaking. Keep going down the stairs next to this lookout, the view is even more astonishing

埃斯孔迪多港 瓦哈卡洲景點

Continuing several steps down you’ll see an abandoned cottage house, just head there and you’ll have this view all to yourself.

camino de la luz oaxaca

You can also continue down the stairs which will bring you to the cliff walk path we mentioned earlier at Playa Principal.

Next to the lookout is a path called Camino de la Luz = The light walk since it’s close to the lighthouse. Totally worth a bit of wandering also.


playa carrizalillo puerto escondido

Playa Carrizalillo-Most breathtaking view

Feature:

  • 2nd beginner-friendly beach
  • Magnificent view
  • Very challenging stairs(the cost of the view🤷🏻‍♀️)

Things to do at Playa Carrizalillo:

  • Surf lessons(The moment you enter the beach there will be sb there asking you)
  • Rinconada-street with plenty of cafes and restaurants(I’ll recommend you later our personal favorite dessert spot🤫)
  • Find a Palapa and enjoy a cold beer on the sunbed
  • Take 2000000 pictures(also will recommend you my favorite spot🤫)
  • Dining with a view at Espadín restaurant (a pretty well-known restaurant here but we didn’t try it ourselves, you tell me😉)

Entrance of Playa Carrizalillo

Playa carrizalillo 墨西哥海邊

Finally, we’re here at Puerto Escondido Carrizalillo Beach, the beach I had a love-hate relationship with.

As you can tell from the picture, its view is definitely one of the best, but the cost of it is that you have to climb the 170 stairs up after the swim(Imagine us doing that for more than a month every day🏃🏻‍♀️).

Moreover, at Rinconada was an Italian couple who did the best desserts out there in Puerto Escondido, so they were our motto to move our ass and burn the calory at Playa Carrizalillo before we had their Cannolis🤤.

Last but not least, the reason why we chose to swim here was that it’s the most suitable one for “swimmers”. They are no gigantic waves that will bring you into the middle of the Pacific, and the range that you could swim is broader than Manzanillo Beach.

📌We visited while Covid is still traveling the world also, so almost every day there was someone sitting at the entrance before you go down the stairs to check if you wear a mask.

See how We got arrested on Valentines for not wearing a mask in Puerto Escondido.

After going down the stairs you’ll see

墨西哥海灘 Carrizalillo
playa carrizalillo Puerto escondido beach

Can you tell how steep the stairs are? Not any problem for going down, but when you go up…💀Lol, cause we literally climbed it for a month so my bf started to count it🤣approx. 170 stairs folks🙌🏻

puerto escondido in Mexico
墨西哥海邊 Carrizalillo

Since there is no elevator(okay, I’m enjoying your eye roll skills now) on your way you might see people carrying stuff that would make you want to give them a round of applause.
For Example: Big Icecream containers, dozens of coke for the bars downstairs… The beach itself feels way smaller than it seems from above, so during the weekends it feels pretty crowded. Since the majority just stay close to the shore so just swim a bit further and you will have the ocean to yourself.

More reviews on Tripadvisor
playa carrizalillo puerto escondido oaxaca

📌Be aware of the rocks

carrizalillo beach

Please don’t be as naive as I was…
Facing the ocean the right-hand side close to the rocks is shallow as well, I saw someone stood there once so I assume that I could do that too. I wasn’t lucky that waves started to hit and I crashed several times towards those rocks and was hit all the way from the left arrow to the right one.😥Luckily I only got some scratches.😬

Recommendations for your Instagram feed

-Right-Hand side

Facing the ocean at the right-hand side lays a small path that you can go up(where is a wooden board saying surf lesson/surf school). Follow the path and you can get 👆🏻this view.

-Left-Hand side

puerto escondido beach guide

The left-hand side was my personal favorite cause literally people don’t really come up here and the view with the stairs was just 👌🏻so picturesque.

Where to stay at Playa Carrizalillo| Price high to low
Casaconicarit |Filled with Mexican artwork
Carri surf Studio |Hidden Gem in the Alley

Rinconada puerto escondido-Best dessert run by Italian couple

rinconada puerto escondido

If you ask us what was our favorite spot in Puerto Escondido, I guess we won’t even hesitate and answer: This Italian Pasteleria.

The first days we passed this patisserie we were not so sure about it since a few feet from it was a very popular cafe. We visited that “so popular” cafe for a week and we literally had to wait for our turns to pay every day. The truth was that there weren’t that many people that kept us waiting, just simply the fact that they were very slow. So that leads us to this bakery not far away, and we discovered a Whole New World!

Their desserts were literally incomparable to what were buying earlier and we didn’t have to queue!! It was an Italian couple who runs it and you can’t even find the place on google😭That’s why we could have the Cannolis and Millefoglies to ourselves😋. If you are in Puerto Escondido, you will not want to miss it!

desserts Puerto escondido

📍Pin it on google!


Playa coral 墨西哥海灘Playa Coral -Away from the Hustle and Bustle

Feature:

  • Small bay but with not so small waves
  • Very little people

Things to do at Playa Coral:

Playa Coral Puerto Escondido is definitely for those who want a cityscape and to be away from the hustling crowd. We were here just once since it’s further from everything.

Playa coral puerto escondido beaches
playa coral瓦哈卡州

Where to stay
Las Turquezas |Sea view all to yourself(and pool!)


📌Before continuing, Pin it for your future trip! Share it with your friends!


playa bacocho puerto escondido

Playa Bacocho-if you want to try Nude Beachwalk

Feature: 

  • Most depopulated beach in Puerto Escondido
  • Most suitable one for Nude Beach walk(as we saw someone doing)

Things to do at Playa Bacocho:

Playa Bacocho is semi-connected to the previous beach we mentioned-Playa Coral. 2 Beaches are separated by huge rocks in between. The entrance of the beach is the most”crowded” part(as below👇🏻) and the 2 beach clubs are located there.

海龜放生 瓦哈卡洲
Playa bacocho埃斯孔迪多港
The end of beach Bacocho

Since this area is really far from everything I guess most of you will use a taxi to get here, it will cost around 50 pesos. Since it is not a tourist hot spot if you can’t find a cab to bring you back to the center just go to the beach club close around and ask them to do you a favor(tip them of course)

Where to stay around
Villa Colibrí 

See more about Bacocho on Tripadvisor

Sea Turtle release in puerto escondido Oaxaca

What draws tourists here at Bacocho beach is usually the sea turtle release activity.

sea turtle release puerto escondido

The turtle shelter you will find close to the entrance of Bacocho Beach.

Turtle release activity happens every day, around 5 pm. They will first give you their story then the activities begin.

sea turtle release Puerto escondido

Questionable in my opinion:

Have in mind that I didn’t attend this activity myself so I don’t know what story they are telling people. From what we saw here and from what we’ve seen in Turkey’s sea turtle release activity, it was just so obvious that the timing they chose to release the sea turtles is just making baby turtles snacks for seagulls.

sea turtle release puerto escondido mexico

👆🏻Do you see the number of seagulls? They didn’t just come suddenly when the activity began, but they were there already 30-60 mins before the activity began.

When we were in Cirali Turkey, the baby turtle release activity is a voluntary act formed by locals. When volunteers spot signs of eggs buried in the sand by mama turtle, they put a cage on it with the time written down. For people not to step on the eggs and to predict when the eggs will hatch.

During the hatching season, people just make the path smoother for baby turtles to find their way itself into the sea. Tourists could volunteer as well(free of charge), but it is always early in the morning, without seagulls waiting ahead.

So sadly, here I witnessed a crime scene helped by tourists.

🔗Not to mention recently there was a Crocodile chilling at Bacocho!


Beaches in Escondido-Map

things to do in puerto escondido

To sum it up:

  • Backpacker’s community: La Punta
  • Beach walk lover: Zicaleta Beach/ Bacocho beach
  • Experience Live Aquarium: Puerto Angelito/Playa manzanillo
  • Puerto Escondido surf: La Punta/ Zicatela/ Playa Carrizalillo
  • Want to have a nice long swim or get that killer Instagram picture: Carrizalillo Beach
  • Escape the crowd or stay at a beach club: Playa Bacocho/Playa Coral

where to stay puerto escondido

  • Want to be in the middle of things happening: La Punta/ Zicaleta Beach
  • Cozy family trip: Choose accommodations close to Playa Manzanillo or Lighthouse

We stayed very close to the lighthouse and we loved it very much. The streets were very quiet and calm. Although sometimes the party music coming from Zicatela or La punta was still hearable but wasn’t a big deal. Moreover, the location is just perfect because most of the beaches are reachable by foot, also it is not far from Chedraui- the biggest supermarket around Escondido.

Things to do in puerto escondido

Other frequent Q&A

Uber Puerto Escondido

No matter you’re planning to visit Puerto Escondido or Oaxaca city itself, you can just forget about Uber. There is No Uber in Oaxaca.

In the beginning in Escondido what shocked me was that taxis were pretty…thin. I can’t find a better word to describe it, but you’ll know when you’re here.

If you’re moving between the above-mentioned places the taxi price would be around 35 pesos to 60 pesos. No more! You can easily hire taxis on the street or ask your hotel/hostel to use their walkie-talkie and find you a ride.

To avoid drivers taking advantage of you you can tell them where you are heading before getting in the car and ask for the price. Although the max. they would extra charge is 10 pesos, but because we used taxis on daily basis for more than a month, so when this happened very often it really annoyed us.

Is puerto escondido safe

Yes.

We had the same question ourselves as well so one of the first questions we asked our Airbnb host was: is it safe here?
She is from Germany who has been living in Escondido for years and she said that it is completely safe. The only place she would consider not “that safe” would be La Punta since it’s where the party is at🤷🏻‍♀️. So just the basics you would be aware of as in your home country.

Our 1.5-month stay was pretty calm and never felt any insecurity. Though in some blogs writing about Puerto Escondido I saw some sharing that it’s not recommendable to walk at the beach alone after dark(Zicatela/La Punta), someone armed tried to rob them🤷🏻‍♀️? So as I said, just the basic precautions that normally ppl would be aware of.

Hope you Enjoyed Escondido as much as I do👐🏻


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Things to do in Puerto Escondido

 
 

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