A popular town in Oaxaca, Mexico, Puerto Escondido is famous for its beaches, surfing, and is where many people like to come down and celebrate for spring break. The English translation is “Hidden Port”, and is located 200 miles south of Acapulco along the Mexican coastline. The busy season for surfing tends to occur between March and April and October and November, which is when major surf tournaments are held. Even if you’re not into surfing, there is plenty to do in this stunning city, from hanging out on the beach and sports fishing to going on eco tours and visiting a special turtle sanctuary.
No doubt the top attraction in Puerto Escondido are the beaches. If you’re an avid swimmer and looking to spend some time out in the ocean, the beaches to check out are Playa Principal and Playa Marinero. Playa Zicatela is the beach where surfers go. For surf enthusiasts, Puerto Escondido hosts two annual international surf contests on Zicatela beach: The International Surfing Tournament in mid-November and the International Surfboard Contest in August. The city also throws a local surf carnival close to the time of Holy Week (Semana Santa). In November there is also a big sail fishing contest, along with the Coastal Festival of Dance which are popular traditional Mexican holidays to celebrate. The Oaxaca coast is heavily favored by 10 of the world’s 11 varieties of sea turtles, who come and lay their eggs on the shore. Many people like to visit the Mexican Center for the Turtle, which is the premier turtle research center and sanctuary in Mexico. Here, one can learn all about sea turtles, check out live specimens that have been rescued, and get up and close to them.
One fun day trip is Puerto Angel, which is 50 miles east of Puerto Escondido, and is a quiet fishing village known for its fresh ceviche, restaurants, as well as mangrove marshes and lagoons that attract bird watching. Acapulco is a three-and-a-half-hour flight from Puerto Escondido, and is another popular beach resort town known for its happening nightlife, beaches and golf. Mexico City is just over an hour away by plane, and is the busy and exciting capital of Mexico, known for its 13th century temple, historic homes and stunning architecture.
With its beautiful mountain landscape, temperate climate and the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, Puerto Escondido is a popular place to both visit and live among expatriates. Since most of the town overlooks the ocean, the majority of properties tend to have some sort of ocean views. There is a wide variety of housing available, ranging from seaside condominiums to luxury villas. The La Punta neighborhood is a popular residential area, featuring sandy streets and a laidback vibe—it is also quieter than the main Zicatela strip. There are nice gated communities and complexes, many which have pools and other facilities.
There are many different forms of transportation available in Puerto Escondido, among them rental cars and taxis, which are readily available. Keep in mind that taxis are not metered, so it is recommended to agree on price before getting in. Driving is only recommended if you are experienced and are comfortable driving on twisty mountain roads, although rental cars are a great way to explore the neighboring towns. Small planes can land at Puerto Escondido’s airport, although for those traveling from the United States, most planes land at the Oaxaca airport, then one has to change plans and fly into Puerto Escondido.
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