Puerto Escondido Travel Guide: Where to Stay, Eat and More

Located on the southern Pacific coast of Mexico, Puerto Escondido has quickly become one of the top surfing destinations in the world over the past decade. With its gorgeous beaches, vibrant nightlife, and relatively affordable price, it’s not hard to see why. It’s the kind of place where you go to surf, swim, and sunbathe with a margarita in hand by day, then party late into the night. It also offers many opportunities to experience the charming culture of the Oaxaca coast.

With its population of less than 50,000, Puerto Escondido isn’t a big place, but it offers plenty of fun and sunshine. Whether you are looking for water sports, wildlife, fiestas and festivities, or just to relax on the beach, the city has something for everyone.

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Where to stay in Puerto Escondido

palm tree chairs and umbrellas on the beach during a sunset.

Puerto Escondido stretches along a few main beaches. To the south is the bohemian district of La Punta. In the middle is the main tourist and bar strip of Zicatela. Then to the north are the more family-friendly residential neighborhoods of Carrizalillo and Bacocho. Which area is right for you depends on what you’re looking for, but each location is within a five- to 10-minute taxi ride from everywhere – including the local airport – and there are excellent Airbnbs, hotels and restaurants dotted throughout. .

You should have no problem finding a good Airbnb, but here are some notable accommodations.

Best all-around: Selina

If you’re looking for a place that covers all the bases, Selina delivers. Located right in the middle of all along the popular Zicatela strip, it offers private and shared rooms, a pool and restaurant, surf lessons and a coworking space with the most reliable internet in town. It really is one of Puerto’s main hubs of activity.

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Best for meeting people: One Love Hostel

Located at the top of the lively La Punta neighborhood, One Love is just a few minutes walk from the best swimming beach in town. With a laid-back vibe, popular restaurant, and cozy common areas, this is the kind of place you’re going to meet fellow travellers. It also offers yoga classes and occasionally hosts live music.

Best Architectural Design: Casona Sforza

exterior view of Casona Sforza and swimming.

Located on the southern outskirts of the city in a quiet area called la Barra, Sforza raises prices but also raises luxury. Boasting stunning design, superior privacy and proximity to Travel Beach and you’re in the sand, this is an exceptional location for a more refined getaway. With its open-air construction and natural setting, you really get the most of the beach vibe.

Where to eat

Puerto Escondido has a wide variety of culinary offerings, with an emphasis on seafood. That being said, atmosphere tends to be favored over fine dining, so while you’ll often enjoy decor charming and romantic or dazzling sunsets, the food – in general – is pretty mediocre. There are, however, a few places that stand out.

Best high-end restaurant: Metxcalli

dining room of the Metxcalli restaurant.

Located in the laid-back neighborhood of Rinconada, Metxcalli has arguably the best food in town. Although it is “expensive” by local standards, its most expensive dishes are still under $20. They also have a tasty and unique cocktail menu, and a nice rooftop setting with sunset views. Try the ribeye tacos, which contain freshly scraped bone marrow.

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Best authentic cuisine: Mercado Benito Juarez

By taxi to the heart of the city, you will find the Benito Juarez market, which offers a bit of everything: products, leather goods, handicrafts, souvenirs, shoes, clothes and much more. It is also home to more than a dozen restaurants, all of which offer more or less the same menu and roughly the same tasty quality. Pick one and go for it. pollo mole, which is a downright delicious dish from Oaxaqueñan. It’s about as “authentic” an experience as it gets.

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Best Seafood: Costa Hermosa

The seafront in the bustling shopping district of Adoquin is Costa Hermosa. Here you will find a wide selection of seafood, all freshly caught by local fishermen. The restaurant also has a lovely atmosphere, as well as a second floor seating area where you can enjoy a great view of the sea. If you are interested in fishing, they can also put you in touch with a local sinner.

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Best sunset: Espadin

Upscale in terms of service, décor and cuisine, Espadin offers an enjoyable dining experience in every way. All of these, however, are accentuated by its incomparable sunset views. Located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, it offers sunsets that are nothing short of glorious. If you want to get a seat during golden hour, you must make a reservation.

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What to do

Life in Puerto Escondido is entirely built around the beach. Whether you’re there to surf, fish, explore wildlife, or just relax in the sand, you won’t run out of beach offerings. To that end, here are some experiences that stand out.

hit the beach

ocean beach with palm trees and jungle.

Although there are several beaches to choose from, the one that suits you depends on what you are looking for. Check out beautiful Carrizalillo Cove for a more laid-back swimming experience or to find some quick surf lessons (more on surf lessons below). At the next cove to the east, you’ll find Puerto Angelito, which leans heavily on family friendliness and beach dining options. Playa Principal is where you will find the marina, where you can rent a boat to fish or watch whales, dolphins and sea turtles. Zicatela is the main party beach and offers world-class surfing waves, but it’s only open to surfing during certain parts of the year. Finally to the southeast is La Punta, a hippie-centric semi-protected cove where you can swim, surf, order drinks and food from beach-side restaurants, or join in a game of volleyball.

See bioluminescence, baby sea turtles and other wildlife

About 20 minutes north of Puerto Escondido is a lagoon where you can experience the vibrant glow of bioluminescent plankton, as well as a variety of birds and other wildlife. There are many tour companies that will take you to explore the lagoon by boat, kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

Several tours will also take you to release baby sea turtles at locations stretching along the coast, or you can taxi yourself to Playa Bacocho where the Baby Turtle Release Center will set you up with a turtle tyke on the spot. Arrive around 4:30 PM and plan to stay until sunset.

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Party at the beach

beach with the waves crashing into the sand.

Puerto Escondido has a lively beach party scene. Visit La Punta at night (almost every night) and head for the music. Ditto for Zicatela, where you can count on most of the beach bars raging until the wee hours of the morning. While drink quality can be uneven from bar to bar, they all tend to offer plenty of opportunities to get in trouble.

learn to surf

surfers on the beach at sunset.

Over the past few decades, Puerto Escondido has become something of a surf mecca. If you’re new to the sport, there are plenty of options for lessons, ranging from going to one of the surf schools like Oasis Surf or Vidasurf to paying one of the random dudes who will invariably offer lessons in Carrizalillo. or La Punta.

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do some work

I miss you sign for puerto escondido.

It might sound like a fun suggestion, but as Puerto Escondido has become a hotspot for digital nomads, the need for reliable Wi-Fi and a quiet workspace has increased. Thing is, the internet is pretty inconsistent throughout the city, especially during the windy low season. Sometimes it goes completely out all over town, much to the chagrin of visitors with video meetings or deadlines. A few places, however, have popped up to provide a solution by installing fiber optic internet. Oficina del Puerto, for example, offers quiet coworking spaces and reliable internet access.

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