Puerto Escondido is a tremendous sea-side town that holds an enchanting grip on my heart. It makes me tingle just thinking about its vortex of happiness, most beautiful sunsets and thriving surf community. I’ve been back there twice now and I’m sure I’ll go back again and again throughout my life.
** This post was written and photographed with my best friend and travel companion Alyssa from ODYSEA when we first fall in love with this place back in June 2016. If you’re thinking about going to Mexico (which I hope is a thought filed in the back of your mind), then hit the waves, smash the coconuts and sleep your time away in hammocks in Puerto Escondido.
1. Sunset rock
If you can figure out how to climb sunset rock at La Punta point, it is a winning location to watch the sun kiss the ocean in the evening. Friends took us on an adventure up the rocks, through a sea of cactus, down the rocks, across a beach and then rock climbing up a massive apostle-like structure. With a little bit of a leg-up, Lyss and I made it to the top.
What a view we had!
2. It is okay to turn into a hammock
It is the perfect place to enjoy the slow life.
Your day revolves around morning adventures, mid-day chill time due to the heat, and evening sunset searchers.
3. Surfing for everybody
Beginner, intermediate or advanced; it doesn't matter, there is a wave for everyone. Depending on the season, tides, wind and swell, theres a few spots close by to Zicatela to catch waves. Usually head out early and for the sunset to avoid the mid-day winds.
Beginner: La Punta when the swell is small or Carrizalillo when it’s big. Board hire per day costs $12 AU for a long board and $10 for a short board. There are also lots of surfing instructors to help get you on your first green faced wave.
Intermediate: That’s us! We can surf, but we are yet to endure a whole surf session without at least one kook move. La Punta is a left point and on most swells it’s a perfect fat faced wave. Even Zicatela (Mexican Pipe) on a small swell is really fun, but still heavy and steep.
Advanced: The WSL Big Wave Tour was held at Puerto Escondido for the first time ever between the 24-25 June 2016. When the waves are not 30ft monsters, the common surfers can get some sweet waves. It’s popular for surfers from across the planet to base themselves in Puerto Escondido for 4-6 months between June and November.
** Surf season is April to October with the big swells hitting in May and June, while the cleaner more-user friendly waves are in September and October.
4. Crazy wipe-outs, not at your expense
Zicatela is THE heaviest beach break in the world.
It is a wave of pure perfection and beauty, but also of intense power.
Every time we watched the surfers at Zicatela on sunset, we saw at least one board snapped in half and always numerous snapped leg-ropes. The days leading up to the competition we watched more than 6 beautiful 10ft guns wash up onto the shore, with the board owners not far behind struggling to get to shore with the extremely rippy currents.
5. Riding in trucks with friends
Nothing beats jumping in the back of your mates truck with all the surfboards and going on a mission to find a wave at sunset. Especially when your mates a surf board shaper with Ceviche Surf Co and you get to surf the boards he hand-made!
6. The gourmet taco’s are less than 2 dollars each
We got really attached to Pepe’s Taco’s.
On the main dirt road of La Punta, Pepe’s little wooden shack was situated. It had one window, 2 small tables, fish taco’s was the only item on the menu and if he ran out of fish for the day, that was it for business. We loved a taco after a sunset surf at La Punta.
7. The accommodation is really cheap, so why not pay an extra few dollars for luxury
Oaxaca is one of the cheapest states in Mexico, so if you feel like luxury and personal space, Puerto is the place to enjoy it.
There are not many other places in Mexico you can indulge on such a small budget. For an extra few dollars per night we stepped up from a hostel dorm-room to a private Air BnB room. It was at La Casa Bonita that we reaped the benefits of luxury for only AU$14 a night (note- prices vary depending on season and room/apartment selection). We enjoyed daily pool swims, yoga, a view of the ocean and a kitchen you could cook up a storm in.
As Nan put it “that looks a bit fancy for a couple of hippies’’. It sure was, but for a week of rejuvenation, inspiration and self-pamper, it was worth it!
8. Fresh fruit & veg from the local family market stores
Dotted along the back streets of La Punta were little family fruit and veg stores.
At the front of their tin-roof homes, were fresh produce stocked up daily as high as possible without all toppling over. And what was more exciting is that we could finally afford all the market food we dreamed of buying back home.
Endless avocado’s, magical mango’s, home-made tomato salsa, tropically-ripened pineapples and rocking rambutans. We also indulged in the granola and almond milk from Frustas y Verduras, a small organic food store in La Punta.
9. Meeting Pro Surfers
Clogging up your Instagram feed, taking over half of your Tinder swiping and smothering the night-club dance-floor, they are everywhere. I’ve never used a pro-surfer to shield me from another drunk pro-surfer before, until a night out in Puerto Escondido.
10. Get the Monday boogies not the Monday blues
Something that never gets old is drinking wine on the beach at sunset and watching the surfers shred at Zicatela.
The beaches were always buzzing with smiles, happy families and beach volleyball, all enjoying the last light for the day and a time where the sun doesn’t punish you too harshly.
Every night of the week there seemed to be entertainment and cheap drinks somewhere. We had a few sample boogies at some of the venues, but our favourite was Monday at Mari Mar. It was an uncovered sandy-floor bar with a live DJ who played the best boogie-tunes in town.
11. The sleepy towns of Mazunte and Zipolite
The chill vibes at Mazunte and Zipolite would sweep you off your feet and have you in a beach hammock within minutes.
These sleepy little towns seemed like the kind of place where hippy foreigners plan to stay for a couple of days, but instead stay for weeks. The locals roamed the streets with food carts of fresh fruit and cheap cervezas.
What are you waiting for?
If this post hasn’t convinced you to pack your bags and head to the west coast of Mexico to soak up Latino vibes and way of life, then I’m not sure what will. I will be back at some point soon….meet you in the line up!