Beach in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

5 Beach Town Activities in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

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Puerto Escondido holds a special place in my heart as it was where my unexpected journey as a digital nomad began during the pandemic. I was backpacking in Vietnam when COVID-19 hit, and as we were asked to leave Asia, I had no desire to return to Europe just yet. I took the last flight to Mexico City, and from there, I went straight to Puerto Escondido to soak in some beach days.

Little did I know that those few days would turn into an unexpected three-month stay as land and state borders were closed due to the pandemic and we couldn’t go back home.

Despite the unusual circumstances, my time in Puerto Escondido was nothing short of amazing, and I feel grateful to have had the chance to spend my time there. But what makes this Mexican beach town so special to me and many others? Let me share the best things to do in Puerto Escondido and why it has become a beloved destination for travellers and digital nomads alike.

Where is Puerto Escondido

First things first, let’s locate Puerto Escondido for those who have never heard of it. Puerto Escondido is a beautiful beach town located in the state of Oaxaca, on the southern coast of Mexico. The town is situated on the Pacific Ocean and is known for its stunning beaches, perfect weather, and relaxed atmosphere.

The name “Puerto Escondido” means “hidden port” in Spanish, and the town was given this name because it is nestled in a natural harbor that is largely hidden from view from the open ocean.

Puerto Escondido has a great location, easily accessible by plane with regular flights from major Mexican cities like Mexico City. The airport is located just a few kilometers from the town center, making it convenient to reach your accommodations after a long flight.

What sets Puerto Escondido apart is its proximity to the city of Oaxaca, just a few hours’ drive away. Oaxaca is a culturally and historically rich city known for its colorful markets, colonial architecture, and delicious cuisine. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to some of Mexico’s most beautiful architecture.

Visitors to Puerto Escondido can easily take a day trip to Oaxaca to explore the city’s many attractions or to sample some of the famous local dishes, such as mole or mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant.

In terms of climate, the weather in Puerto Escondido is warm and tropical year-round, making it perfect for heat seekers like me. With its beautiful scenery and laid-back vibe, Puerto Escondido is the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and unwind in a tranquil and stunning setting.

5 Best Things to Do in Puerto Escondido

#1 Surf in Puerto Escondido

Surfing in Puerto Escondido is one of the main attractions for visitors from all over the world. Known as the “Mexican Pipeline,” the waves in Puerto Escondido are some of the biggest and most challenging in the world, attracting professional surfers and adrenaline seekers alike.

Surfing in Puerto Escondido
Source: Unsplash

The most famous surf spot in Puerto Escondido is Zicatela Beach (Playa Zicatela), where the waves can reach heights of up to 30 feet (+9 meters). This beach is not for the faint of heart, as the waves are powerful and unpredictable. However, for experienced surfers looking for a challenge, Playa Zicatela is a must-visit spot.

If you’re a beginner or intermediate surfer, don’t worry – there are plenty of other surf spots in Puerto Escondido that are more suitable for your level. Playa Carrizalillo and La Punta are two popular spots for beginners and intermediate surfers.

No matter your level of surfing experience, Puerto Escondido has something to offer everyone. If you’re not a surfer yourself, you can still enjoy watching the surfers catch waves at Playa Zicatela, or you can relax at some of the other beautiful beaches in the area. Don’t miss out on Playa Manzanillo, Playa Bacocho or Playa Coral, a quiet and secluded beach known for its tide pools and rock formations.

Playa Carrizalillo in Puerto Escondido
Source: Unsplash

#2 Enjoy Beach Town Vibes

Puerto Escondido is the epitome of a laid-back, chill beach town. It’s a place where time seems to slow down and you can truly relax and unwind. The town has a bohemian vibe with a mix of locals, expats, and travelers from all over the world. The streets are lined with colorful buildings, quaint cafes, and surf shops. There is a sense of community here, and it’s not unusual to strike up a conversation with a friendly local or fellow traveler.

The Mexican beach town vibes are particularly strong in the Zicatela area, which is known for its surfing, nightlife, and lively atmosphere. During the day, you can watch surfers catching waves or take a stroll along the beach, and at night, the area comes alive with restaurants, bars, and street vendors selling local handicrafts. It’s a great place to people-watch or to simply sit and enjoy a coffee or cocktail while soaking up the lively atmosphere.

#3 Try Exciting Activities in Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido offers a plethora of outdoor activities that cater to a wide range of interests, whether you are an adrenaline junkie, a nature lover, or simply looking to unwind.

So what to do in Puerto Escondido?

Besides beach exploration and surfing in Puerto Escondido, one of the most popular activities in Puerto Escondido is dolphin watching. Visitors can take a dolphin watching boat tour out into the ocean to see these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. Dolphin watching tours are usually offered in the morning or afternoon and typically last around two to three hours. Along with dolphins, visitors may also see other marine life, such as sea turtles and different types of fish.

Another activity you can enjoy is turtle release. The town has a turtle sanctuary where eggs are collected and hatched in a protected environment. Once the baby turtles are ready, they are released back into the ocean. Visitors can take part in this amazing experience and watch as the baby turtles make their way back to the sea. The turtle release usually takes place in the early evening.

Turtle release in Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Source: Unsplash

For those looking for a more adventurous experience, ATV tours are a great option. These tours take visitors on an off-road adventure through the lush countryside surrounding Puerto Escondido, where they can see waterfalls, hidden beaches, and traditional Mexican villages.

If you are a hiking enthusiast, there are several different hiking trails in the area that offer great views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Additionally, Chacahua National Park is a beautiful natural area located about an hour’s drive from Puerto Escondido, known for its beaches, mangrove forests, and diverse wildlife. You can explore the park by taking a boat tour through the mangrove forests.

Lastly, you cannot miss the glowing wonders of Puerto Escondido: the bioluminescent phenomenon. At night, the ocean waters light up with a stunning blue-green glow caused by bioluminescent plankton that emit a natural light when agitated. You can take a nighttime boat tour to witness this up close.

#4 Find Your Inner Zen in Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido is the perfect destination for those looking to combine outdoor activities with relaxation and spiritual experiences. Yoga has become a popular daily routine for many of the town’s residents and visitors. There are plenty of yoga options to choose from, with many studios offering daily classes for all levels from beginner to advanced. Some studios even offer classes on the beach, providing a truly unique experience.

Puerto escondido sunset

If you prefer a more immersive experience, there are also retreats that offer yoga and meditation programs. These retreats provide a full package of yoga, meditation, healthy food, and other wellness activities to help you fully rejuvenate your body and mind.

In addition, many hotels and hostels offer their own yoga classes or have partnerships with local studios. This means that you can easily incorporate yoga into your daily routine, no matter where you choose to stay in Puerto Escondido.

#5 Nightlife in Puerto Escondido

Last but not least, Puerto Escondido nightlife! The town has two main areas where you can find great nightlife almost every day of the week: La Punta and Zicatela. Both areas have a large variety of restaurants and bars.

The evening usually starts with sunset-watching, which has become somewhat of a ritual in Puerto Escondido. There are many lookout points to choose from, and at Zicatela, you can watch the sun descend behind the surfers. As the sun sets, the town comes alive with a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants catering to all tastes and preferences.

Every day there is something going on, and you’ll find plenty of flyers advertising events. If you’re staying at a hostel, there are good chances you’ll be taken to some of the best parties around.

Whether you’re in the mood to dance, relax with a beachside cocktail, or enjoy a nice dinner with friends, Puerto Escondido offers plenty of options. However, keep in mind that while the town has a vibrant nightlife scene, it’s only as much of a party destination as you make it.

And if you’re interested in exploring more party spots, check out the best party destinations beyond Europe.

In conclusion, Puerto Escondido is a truly special place that has something to offer for every type of traveler. With world-class surfing, a laid-back beach town atmosphere, and great activities in Puerto Escondido, it’s no wonder that this Mexican gem has become a beloved destination. Don’t miss out on trying Puerto Escondido’s nightlife too!

Whether you’re a digital nomad, a solo traveler, or a family on vacation, Puerto Escondido is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So don’t hesitate to head to this magical beach town – you won’t regret it!

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