The 10 best ways to spend the days in Puerto Escondido

Craving sun, surf and sunsets? Then Puerto Escondido, Mexico, should be your next port of call. And of course, I have the best 10 ways to make the of your time there.


Puerto Escondido, roughly translated to hidden port, ironically isn’t a secret at all. If you want a beachy, surf town holiday spot but don’t want to go quite as touristy as the East coast, then Puerto Escondido is for you.

Truthfully, going from the colourful cobbled streets of Oaxaca city and the mountains of San Jose del pacifico, Puerto Escondido was a slight shock to the system for me. I wasn’t entirely ready to settle down on the beach for a week. But, to make a very important point – I do not like the sea, I do not surf, and honestly I’m not even such a beach person. So, let me tell you, if you’re a beach bum, you will love it here. If you like partying, you will love it here. And if you like a damn good sunset, you will love it here. I truly liked it a lot, it just wasn’t my all time favourite spot. 

1. Take up surfing 

Surf, Spanish Classes and Sunsets

Puerto Escondido is the prime spot for learning how to surf, or becoming a pro. There are a number of different beaches along the coast, all with different ‘levels of waves’. Being someone who has never surfed a day in their life, or even considered it, I have no idea if that makes sense. As far as I was told, some of the beaches, like Carizalillo, are a little more beginner friendly. Whereas La Punta is for the pros… So I’m told.

Oasis Surf & Spanish

Oasis is a great option if you want to stay in Puerto for a few weeks. There you can learn basic Spanish, and surfing all in one! Like I said, I’m not a surfer girl, but I met a bunch of people who did the school and they absolutely loved it! You also end up making such a good group of friends with spending so much time together, so it’s perfect for solo travellers. And of course they have accomodation options.

    Where: Blvd Benito Juarez #6, Fraccionamiento Rinconada, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

    When: Classes Monday – Saturday

    Price: From 400$ p/w.

2. Do a sunrise whale and dolphin tour 

Luck of the draw

To this day, this was one of the most special days of my entire trip. It’s also the trip where I met everyone from the Oasis Surf School! The thing with tours as such is that luck plays quite a big part on how successful your morning will be. As well as how dedicated your tour guide is. And my lucky stars were all out that morning for me!

The morning started by heading out to sea with the beautiful sunrise, before starting our search for the animals. We saw whales and their babies, 2 different types of dolphins, huge manta rays, and some turtles doing the dirty. You could even hop in the sea for a swim if you wanted to! I, of course, did not want to. The dolphins were so playful jumping around our boat. It was so special.

How does the day go?

First things first, I booked my trip through the hostel I was staying in. You can also head down to Playa Angelito, where the set off point is to book a tour. Or there are various tour sales around Puerto Escondido. In the morning you will be informed of the name of your boat, and head down to the beach around 6am. This part is true chaos honestly. There are tonnes of boats, and you somehow have to navigate which is yours through LOTS shouting. But you’ll get there eventually. Also, on the plus side, this is the view you’ll have when you’re waiting…

Once you set off, the sailors have walkie talkies to communicate when they spot some animals. You spend around 2 hours out at sea, and then head back to shore.

    Where: Puerto Angelito, Hidalgo, 71983 Puerto Escondido, Oax., México

    When: Daily in the AM

    Price: From 25$

TOP TIP: I met someone who did the tour 2 days before me and hardly saw any animals. If you’re keen on getting some good spots, it might be worth going earlier in your stay in Puerto, so you can go again if needs be. As always, shop around for cheaper prices too!

3. Rent a scooter

Scoot up and down the West Coast

Puerto Escondido is essentially a group of beaches down the coast, and it’s a lot bigger than you may think! It can be difficult or impossible to walk from one beach to another, depending on where you stay. So why not get a bike to explore the coast. Or talk your friend into getting on one so you can ride on the back. Most of the spots I recommend below are accessible by bike

Shop around

There are a few options of scooter rentals within the town, with different prices for speedier bikes. As I always say, shop around to find the best one! As I said, I was a back seat rider, so I truthfully don’t remember where our bike was rented from or how much it was. But with how far away some of the beaches are, it makes your life a lot easier!

TOP TIP: Be careful! With the road being one long stretch down the coast, it’s tempting to pick up speed and cruise down. But there are more speed bumps than you’d expect, and you will go flying. A friend of mine did and she’s genuinely lucky she survived it. Enjoy the ride but keep an eye out… You’ve been warned!

4. Head to La Punta/Zicatela beach

Step into chill vibes and micheladas

As I’ve mentioned, Puerto Escondido is separated into different parts or beaches. La Punta is arguably the most popular/coolest/best backpacker vibe.

Picture beach shacks, groovy bars, and cool side streets packed with boutique beach clothes and LOTS of tacos. Here’s a little help if you can’t quite imagine it.

La Punta and Zicatela, the neighbouring beach, are the places to head for the crazy waves if you’re a pro surfer. If that’s not you, it’s equally fun to sit on the beach and watch the pro surfers from the comfort of your beach towel.

Especially during the sunset…

La punta is one of the most popular sunset spots, and once you see one, you will understand why. There are bars and restaurants all the way down the beach, so why not enjoy the sunset with a Coco Loco? (A huge coconut topped off with rum and a straw). Or go down with some friends and take some snacks.

TOP TIP: If you don’t have a bike, colectivos drive up and down the coast and stop at the different beaches in Oaxaca, you simply have to catch them at the side of the road, and they cost 10 pesos per journey. You hop on and off where you please, and they go right down to La Punta. Ask around if you’re struggling to find pick up points!

5. Release baby turtles at Playa Bacocho 

Baby turtles in coconut shells, need I say more?

Playa Bacocho is home to Vive Mar, an organisation that works towards turtle conservation, amongst other wildlife projects in and around Oaxaca. The project is ran by volunteers, and doesn’t receive any government funding. Amongst other fundraisers, each night you can go to Playa Bacocho and help to release the baby turtles into the sea, for a small fee which goes towards the work of the organisation.

Albeit cute, is this really beneficial for the tortugas?

As I spoke about in my Turtle Conservation blog, turtles don’t have a great track record for survival to adulthood. Without human intervention, many wouldn’t even make it to the sea. So giving them a helping hand can increase their chances of living. Truth be told, their way of releasing has become slightly more focused on making the money, rather than releasing the turtles in the best way possible. That being said, it’s better than them being alone, and all the money made is for a good cause. So, if you don’t have time to volunteer long term in conservation, this is a good way to do your bit, and see some seriously cute turtles.

    Where: Playa Bacocho, 71980 Puerto Escondido, Oax., México

    When: Daily at 5pm

    Price: 100 pesos donation

TOP TIP: Make sure to get their earlier enough to make sure your turtle can get out first, and take 100 pesos in cash to donate. Be warned, they don’t all make it to the sea, and it’s slightly heartbreaking. This beach is also a little further away so this is another trip to save for a day you rent the bike!

6. Watch the sunset at Mirador Las Tortugas

One can never have too many sunset spot recommendations, right?

The only sunset spot better than La Punta, is Mirador Las Tortugas. Again this one is a little more difficult to get to, so a bike is helpful if you can rent one! This spot, although small, is absolutely beautiful. See for yourself… So, make sure to get there early to get a good spot, take down some snacks or drinks and enjoy.

    Where: 71983, Las Tortugas 2, Bacocho, Puerto Escondido, Oax

7. Look around the independent beach stores and market stalls at Carrizalillo 

It’s just about worth all the steps it takes to get there

Carazalillo is one of the many beaches in Puerto, down within a cove. It’s the one of the closer beaches to the town centre so often attracts more locals, whilst Zicatela and La Punta are full of backpackers. And as mentioned earlier, it’s a spot for beginner surfers and the home of the Oasis Surf school. But, there are LOTS of steps to get there. They’re not too bad on the way down, it’s the way up that’s a killer. You’ve been warned.

Before you brave the steps…

On Calle Benito Juárez, the street above the beach, there are independent beach wear shops, cafes and restaurants. The shops are FULL of amazing beach clothes, but a little on the pricier boutique side. If you’re sticking to a backpacker budget, there are beach stalls on the way down from Benito Juárez to the beach that have cute wrap arounds and other beachy backpacker essentials.

   Where: Focas, Carrizalillo, 71983 Puerto Escondido, Oax., México

TOP TIP: Before you go down the steps, make sure you take water etc. down with you. There are a couple of restaurants down there, but no shops. Don’t buy overpriced water when you don’t need to! There are also some toilets down there that have a small cash fee, so try and have some coins on you as well! All in all, just avoid going up and down the stairs. Once is enough for one day. I might sound dramatic, but it’s deadly in the heat. Trust me.

8. Party 

Puerto Escondido is loved by backpackers not for the beautiful beaches, but also the insane parties that they throw on the beaches.

Punta Origen, La Punta

Punta Origen is a small food park, right on La Punta beach. There are a mix of awesome food spots laid out in a square with a big chill area in the middle to sit and eat. But you won’t be told about this place for the food; Every Thursday they have an Open Mic night. It’s not your ordinary karaoke. Don’t get me wrong, I love a drunk karaoke, but at La Punta, some extremely talented singers and bands turn up. Don’t miss it!

    Where: Puebla 48, Brisas de Zicatela, 70934 Brisas de Zicatela, Oax., Mexico

    When: Every Thursday

Sunday Sunset BBQ at Punta Vida

Another backpacker must in Puerto Escondido is the Sunday BBQ. As I said already, the sunsets at La Punta are insane, so why not watch it with a group of other backpackers, an awesome BBQ and DJs. As I don’t eat meat, I was worried about the options for me. But the veggie option was a plantain tamale and it was honestly the best tamale I had my whole travels. If you don’t want to eat, you can still head into the party free of charge.

If you still want to party afterwards, everyone heads to one of the beach clubs near, and you can usually buy wristbands from reps for cheaper inside the BBQ.

    Where: Coahuila SN, Brisas de Zicatela, 70934 Puerto Escondido, Oax., Mexico

    When: Every Sunday, around 8pm

  Price: 150 pesos for BBQ

9. Do a cooking class with the King of Fish Tacos

Did someone mention Pepe?

Pepe is a genuine star in Puerto Escondido. I heard about him before I even stepped foot in Puerto. Both for his amazing fish tacos, and crazy stories. Everyone who has been to Pepe’s Tacos, has a memory of one of his wild conspiracies. And let me tell you, behind the bonkers, there’s a damn good taco chef (Is a taco chef a thing?). Check out this little documentary for an insight on how tacos quite literally saved his life.

The hostel I stayed at had a group cooking class with Pepe, but it’s very informal, and I’m sure it would have cost more to go with the hotel. So, I would recommend heading down to Pepe’s tacos yourself and organising a class. Friends of mine paid around 300 pesos, which included the class, 2 tacos, 2 cocktails, and two hours of Pepe’s crazy life.

    Where: Primera Sur 127, Libertad, 71984 Puerto Escondido, Oax

    Price: Around 300 pesos

If you’re not interested in learning how to cook them, then you might as well simply…

10. Eat your body weight in Fish Tacos

What better way to spend the day?

Everyone knows that with Mexican food, comes great tacos. And let me tell you, if there’s one thing that Puerto Escondido does well, its fish tacos. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried them. And of course, I know all the best spots, but you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for my next post, or take a sneak peak on Instagram.


Has Mexico started to tickle your fancy? Check out my other blogs, and you’ll be booking your flights within the weeek.

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