Welcome to this guide on things to do in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
The paradise town full of pristine beaches, a rising nightlife scene, and a real sense of community.
If you’re tired of the over touristy beaches in the Riviera Maya, then Puerto may be what you are looking for.
Travel to Puerto Escondido
In this guide, we’ll explore Puerto Escondido!
Many see this location as a perfect addition to their trip after doing all the things to do in Oaxaca City or simply need a break from city life.
Below, we’ll look at the different ways of getting to Puerto Escondido from Oaxaca, the best things to do and see, including surfing, spotting turtles, and an array of beaches for you to enjoy.
Why Travel to Puerto Escondido?
Puerto Escondido is a popular location to visit in Mexico due to its beaches and laid-back attitude, yet it still maintains its tranquil vibe.
In this way, it’s quite unique! As many other destinations like Cabo San Lucas and Cancun have become very touristy in recent years.
There are many things to do in the town and nearby areas of Zicatela and La Punta.
- Surfing is often regarded as the best in Mexico here, so as you can imagine people flock from all over the world to hit the waves.
- The town is also a great area to base yourself in for visiting other parts of the region.
- There are some great beaches nearby such as Carrizalillo, as well as the bio-luminescent bay which lights up a cool blue from the plankton.
- It also connects well with other areas of Oaxaca such as Huatulco and San Jose del Pacifico, which could be both done as day trips if you wake up early enough.
Other cool things include participating in a turtle release program or going to a nude beach. What more could you possibly want?!
How To Get To Puerto Escondido From Oaxaca
Located in the state of Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido is nestled on the Southern Coast, with the Pacific sitting on its doorstep.
Most people landing in Puerto Escondido arrive from Oaxaca City, as it naturally forms part of the typical trail through Southern Mexico.
There are night buses leaving daily and take around 10 hours to arrive. See this Mexico bus guide for advice on Mexican bus services.
I’d personally recommend using the bus as it’s quite cheap, and the timing works well as you won’t be losing any daylight.
You can also choose to fly from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido, which is a popular option with travelers but not so typical for backpackers.
Although more expensive, it’ll only take an hour to arrive, and you’ll avoid the windy mountain roads that shock most travelers on route!
Things to do in Puerto Escondido
Let’s look at some of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido for new visitors!
These are some great recommendations, especially for those arriving with limited time in this paradise location.
Puerto Escondido Beaches
Big, white sandy beaches are a dime a dozen in this part of Mexico!
Zicatela beach, which is close to the town of Puerto Escondido is usually quiet, as the waters are not considered safe for swimming.
There are lots of beach bars and restaurants on-site, so it is a great area to wind down and relax from last night’s antics.
With a good selection of hostels in Puerto Escondido aim to get close to the beach. Also, be sure to check out La Punta, about a 30 minutes walk down the beach.
There are lots more people in the area, with surfers and swimmers flocking to the area.
Last but not least we have Carrizalillo beach, which is often considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.
It’s a lot smaller but has a much more cozy and private vibe compared with the others.
See this guide on the best beaches in Oaxaca for even more beaches you can visit in this region.
Puerto Escondido is also a popular place for turtle releases, and the season runs from November until around May.
This sanctuary itself is located on Bacocho beach, and turtle releases happen around 5 pm daily.
It’s a special visit, and honestly, I’d come back just to do it again!
You will need to pay a 100MXP fee which helps conservation efforts, and then you’ll be able to release your very own baby turtle out into the sea. Or, you can book in advance here to reserve a spot.
Arguably one of the best surfing spots in Latin America; Puerto Escondido is home to some truly massive waves.
I’m not an expert surfer, however, having swum in the sea I can tell you that the current is ridiculously strong.
Zicatela Beach is an absolute no-go unless you are advanced.
If you want to take surf lessons or are worried, then La Punta and Carrizalillo are a lot tamer and more enjoyable.
Again, be sure to talk to some of the locals, or other surf sites in order to get better acquainted with the area.
Zicatela and La Punta
These areas are more popular to stay in and to be honest, I would recommend over the town itself in Puerto Escondido, which feels a little more commercial.
Zicatela has a single road that runs adjacent to the beach, lined with lots of great restaurants and bars. It’s a good overall central location, although the beach is not as popular.
La Punta is the upcoming area, with lots of bars and nightclubs, and overall, more people out and about. Again, the best area depends on what you want from your vacation!
Zipolite Nude Beach
Zipolite is (officially) Mexico’s only nudist beach, and as a result, is very popular with travelers around the world looking to strut their stuff.
It takes about two hours to arrive by bus from Puerto Escondido, so you’ll need to wake up early to make the most of this beautiful destination as a day trip.
Despite its popularity, it’s still low-key, and you can find many restaurants and bars that line the beach area.
Puerto Escondido Travel Tips
See my list of travel tips for Puerto Escondido to ensure you have a satisfying stay whether you are on vacation, backpacking, traveling with friends, or just looking for new cultural gems to visit in the region.
If you are interested in going deeper off the beaten track in Puerto Escondido you may want to rent a car or even motorbike to head out into the mountains.
Dan’s Travel Tips For Puerto Escondido:
- Puerto Carrizalillo is a great beach for swimming and learning to surf and the months with the best waves are July and August.
- Remember that the rain season in Puerto Escondido is from May to November. Carrying some travel mosquito repellent is a must if you go during those months.
- Puerto Escondido is a great place to swim with Bioluminescent Plankton in a lake. You can book a tour online for the most competitive price.
- Check out Club Cañabrava for cheap drinks and an amazing seafood soup.
- From Puerto Escondido go kayaking in Manialtepec Lagoon that is one of Mexico’s most impressive natural sights.
- If you like waterfalls, be sure to check out La Reforma Waterfall, which is a one and a half hour trip from Puerto Escondido.
- Be sure to check out the central market “El Mercado” where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables as well as local crafts and handmade items.
- If looking for the best hostel be sure to check out Selina hostel for budget dorms and private rooms.
- Visit the town of San Pedro Tututepec to connect with local indigenous people and learn more about key archeological sites in the local area.
- Go off the beaten path and take a trip to Huatulco for the perfect secluded escape within the Sierra Madre mountain range.
Map of Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Are you in the middle of planning your trip to Mexico? See this map of Puerto Escondido to get a better idea of the surrounding area:
If you’re backpacking Mexico Puerto Escondido offers you a chance to do much more than surfing and beach activities. Do a trip to San Pedro Tututepec to meet local indigenous people and see their way of life.
Travel Insurance for Puerto Escondido
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Things to do in Puerto Escondido
Thanks for reading this guide to traveling in Puerto Escondido.
Popular with surfers looking for an authentic beach destination in Mexico, Puerto Escondido still retains its vibe, unlike other destinations such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta you could argue.
It’s a great location to base yourself in if you plan on doing activities, such as surfing, visiting beaches, or participating in the turtle release program.
After reading this guide, you should know how to get there, the best things to do and see as well as the other areas such as Zicatela and La Punta that you should definitely spend some time in!
I’ve made a list of some of the safest places in Mexico you could visit during your stay by planning accordingly with the time you have.
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