About Puerto

Founded in 1928 to ship coffee, Puerto Escondido took its name from the rocks known as "Punta Escondida." It was not until the coast road was built in the 1960?s however, that tourism began to develop, increasing further with the opening of a small airport in the 1980's. Nowadays it receives a steady flow of visitors, particularly during the Mexican vacation periods. It is located 324 km south of the city of Oaxaca and 110 km west of Huatulco Bay along Federal Highway No. 200, which bisects the state, leaving the town on one side and the hotel zone on the other.

Surfing in Puerto: Puerto Escondido is said to be a surfer's paradise and the 4 m high waves on the Zicatela beach pose a challenge to even the most advanced surfers. People arrive from around the world to participate in the phenomenal Mexican Pipeline, a consistent and powerful stretch of waves perfect for all wave riders. The best time to surf in Puerto is in the summer, when the waves are big and fast. Less experienced surfers should try Marinero, where you'll have a great time.

Beaches: Puerto Escondido boasts several remarkable natural attractions, because of its scenic beauty and extraordinary bays with calm waters and pleasant tropical climate. Its beaches have fine, white sand, offering visitors privacy and tranquillity as well as a range of water sports.

Playa Zicatela - Considered being one of the world's best surfing beaches. The wide expanse of sand stretches for miles, and the thundering Pacific breakers crashing onto it are impressive indeed. The biggest waves occur between July and November. Surfers from all over the world congregate at Zicatela. Spectators line the beach to watch these daredevils finesse the "Pipeline," a long tubular swell of water. Needless to say, swim here at your own risk.

Playa Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo - With small beaches, submerged rock formations and close-in shelves of coral, these sheltered spots are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. They can be reached either by car or taxi, or by boat from Playa principal or a circuitous concrete footpath.

Playa Carrizalillo - One of the most beautiful beaches in Puerto. Steep steps to get down and to get back up. Submerged rock formations and close-in shelves of coral, these sheltered spots are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. Is the best beach to swim.

Playa Bacocho - Another strip of sand, waves and undertow make it better for sunning and hiking than swimming.

Manialtepec Lagoon - About 6 kilometers west of Puerto, the lagoon is encircled by mangroves and home to a rich variety of wetland bird species and tropical vegetation. Here you can charter a boat from the various restaurants along the lagoon and take a sunset trip to "La Barra." If the conditions are right, you will be able to enjoy a luminous spectacle, because the water is fluorescent because of the plankton. It is recommended that you swim and experience this phenomenon at night. Morning boat and kayak trips are for bird watching!

Where to Eat: In either the thatched beach shelters overlooking the sea or the hotel restaurants,  or along Puerto's tourist avenue Alfredo Perez Gasca, known as the Adoquin, visitors will be able to savor the local fish and seafood-based cuisine or sample a variety of traditional Oaxacan tamales and such.

Festivals: Several festivities are held throughout the year in all the regions and communities of Oaxaca, with many of the traditions showing signs of syncretism resulting from over 500 years of cultural fusion.

There are wonderful restaurants in Puerto. Our favorites are:

  • El Nene – at Rinconada – best margaritas, terrific food, fun place to go
  • Guadua – trendy, restaurant and bar on the beach at the Pointe at Zicatela, turn left at Mini Super Rubi store, 2nd right, drive down to the beach, restaurant is on the right.  Very good food, watch the sunset, close to home. (www.guadua.com.mx) - reservations recommended
  • Restaurant Santa Fé located in the Hotel Santa Fé on Calle Del Morro at the south end of Playa Marinero.  Specializing in vegetarian and seafood. Salads, baked fish, baked tofu, avocado soup. Excellent service. (my directions:  on the left side towards town, look for the  green sign says Zicatela on the right side, turn a sharp left to the drive and turn down and left . Casual dress, try the filet fish veracruzana or spaghetti a la marinero, and the tortilla soup, flan is excellent..
  • Charlie's – restaurant/bar, on Playa Zicatela (Pascal's new restaurant); great food, view and ambiance
  • Sativa – trendy, fun bar/restaurant, up top next to Charlie's on Zicatela beach, 2 for 1 drinks at sunset, dinner served
  • Los Tugas at the Carrazalillo Hotel – clifftop ocean view restaurant, good food & service, margaritas, fantastic view, terrific place for sunset, especially after a day trip to Carrazalillo beach. (reservations recommended)
  • Hotel Ines – on Zicatela beach, in the middle, if you are not a vegetarian, the filet mignon is excellent
  • Vispucci –also at the Adoquin, to the right of Benditos, Italian, owners are from Genoa, Italy.
  • Benditos at the Adoquin – great pizza, Italian food
  • Vica's Place Playa Zicatela – organic coffee, lattes, mocha's cappuccino, and cafe americano. Coffee beans and ground coffee sold as well. High speed internet. Open at 7am.
  • El Tabachin – at Hotel Tabachin on Zicatela behind Hotel Santa Fe. Opens at 8:30, great breakfast.

[sources: www.go2mexico.com]

For a regional map of Puerto Escondido click here

Puerto Escondido Centro

The Rinconada

Playa Zicatela