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About Puerto Escondido

About Puerto Escondido

The town of Puerto Escondido was established in 1928 as a port for shipping coffee, although the area has been inhabited by indigenous populations for centuries. In the 1960’s it was connected to other coastal towns by Highway 200. Tourists began to discover the town and surfers found its beaches. Its importance as a port diminished as coffee shipments began going by truck instead of boat. The port does continue to support commercial fishing activity.

Today, Puerto Escondido is a home for fishermen, surfers, vacationers, and an ecletic expatriot community. The large waves of Zicatela beach put it into the top ten surfing destinations. It does not cater to the high end tourist as much as Huatulco to the east. Its sprawling beaches host numerous small to mid-size hotels and restaurants.

There are three main beaches, Playa Principal, Playa Marinero, and Zicatela, close to the main part of town, as well as several other smaller beaches. Avenida Perez Gasga is a pedestrian only street known as the Adoquín that parallels Playa Principal, where you will find the Information Goddess. The Andador Escénico Sea Walk begins at Playa Principal and winds along rocky oceanside cliffs. Up the hill from the Adoquín is the coastal highway 200 and on the other side of that is the downtown business district where you can find banks, the mercado, etc. Playa Zicatela is a long straight beach on the east side of the bay and can be seen from Playa Principal. Zicatela is where the strong waves are that make Puerto Escondido a world class surfing destination.

Playa Principal is the main beach in town and runs parallel with the adoquín or pedestrian area of town. Restaurants, boating, swimming, snorkeling.

West of the lighthouse is a small cove with beaches Playa Manzanillo and Puerto Angelito. Very calm for swimming and snorkeling but watch out for boats that come and go. There is a restaurant with restrooms at Puerto Angelito. You can get there from Playa Principal by boat or go northwest on highway 200 for 1/2 mile and turn left on Calle Miguel Hidalgo at the old airport. At the billboard turn left again and go down the dirt road to the beach.

Also northwest of town is a pair of small beaches called Playa Carrizalillo. A small stream enters the ocean at the smaller beach and locals wash their clothes here. Good swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, lots of coral and fish. To get to these beaches, take highway 200 northwest for 1/2 mile, turn left at Avenida Miguel Hidalgo. The area is under development, so it would be best to stop at one of the shops or restaurants and ask directions from here. There are now steps (167 of them) leading down the cliff to the beach.

One of the world’s best surfing beaches is Playa Zicatela. The 2-mile long beach has several restaurants and hotels. Not good for swimming, extremely dangerous. To get there, walk southeast along Playa Principal or take highway 200 southeast and turn right at Bungalows Villa Marinero onto a paved road which leads to Hotel Santa Fé and continues south along the beach.

Past Zicatela to the east is Playa Barra de Colotepec extending 1-1/4 mile to Río Colotepec. Heavy surf, dangerous for swimmers. Turtles lay their eggs at this long beach and volunteers from the Campamento Tortugas aid in their survival. Turtles, which had been fished to the brink of extinction, are making a comeback.

Playa Bacocho is northwest of town past Playa Carrizalillo. Take highway 200 northwest toward the airport and follow the signs to the Best Western Posada Real. This is one of the longest beaches in the area. There is a restaurant. Swimming may be dangerous due to heavy surf and undertow.

Just past the lagoon at the southeast end of Playa Principal is Playa Marinero. Restaurants, swimming, boogie-boarding, and snorkeling, but watch out for currents at the southern end of the beach. To get there, walk down Playa Principal to the southeast or walk down past the end of Avenida Alfonso Pérez Gasga.