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Puerto Escondido – A Little Over-priced And Over-rated


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Deane Louden



Welcome to Puerto Escondido, a popular beach destination located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and stunning natural beauty, Puerto Escondido has gained recognition as a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world. However, as with any popular tourist spot, there is always the question of whether the hype is truly deserved or if it is just a case of over-exaggeration.


In this article, we will delve into the reality of Puerto Escondido and explore whether it lives up to its reputation as a paradise getaway or if it falls short of expectations. We will dig deeper into various aspects such as the cost of living, tourist traps, accommodation options, dining experiences, the quality of beaches, and the nightlife scene. By examining these areas, we will determine if Puerto Escondido is truly worth the hype, or if it is a destination that may not live up to the inflated expectations.


Through an unbiased lens, we will reveal the truth behind the glossy travel brochures and Instagram posts, and provide you with insights to make an informed decision when considering a trip to Puerto Escondido. So, let’s embark on this adventure together and explore the real Puerto Escondido beyond the glamour and allure.


Location and Overview of Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido is nestled on the coast of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. This charming town has a population of approximately 50,000 residents and provides visitors with a unique blend of natural wonders and Mexican hospitality.


One of the main attractions of Puerto Escondido is its stunning beaches. The most famous beach in the area is Zicatela Beach, known worldwide for its powerful waves that attract surfers from all over the globe. Playa Carrizalillo, on the other hand, offers a more tranquil experience, with its calm waters and beautiful surroundings making it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Other notable beaches in the area include Playa Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo, each offering its own distinct charm.


Beyond its coastline, Puerto Escondido is also home to impressive natural landmarks. The Manialtepec Lagoon is a popular destination for eco-tourism, with its enchanting bioluminescent phenomenon that lights up the water at night. The Sierra Madre del Sur mountains provide a picturesque backdrop, offering hiking and exploration opportunities for nature enthusiasts.


In addition to its natural wonders, Puerto Escondido boasts a vibrant culinary scene. Local markets offer a vast array of fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and spices, providing a culinary adventure for food lovers. From traditional Mexican dishes to international cuisine, there is something to satisfy every palate.


Overall, Puerto Escondido offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and recreational opportunities. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or a taste of Mexican culture, this coastal town has something to offer for everyone.


The Hype: Is Puerto Escondido Over-rated?

Puerto Escondido has gained a reputation as a hidden gem in Mexico, drawing visitors with its picturesque beaches and vibrant atmosphere. However, like many tourist destinations, there is often debate about whether the hype is justified or if it is all just a case of over-exaggeration.


While Puerto Escondido certainly has its charms, it is important to manage your expectations and understand that it may not be the perfect paradise portrayed in glossy travel brochures. One of the main factors contributing to the over-rating of Puerto Escondido is its popularity amongst tourists. As more and more travelers flock to this beach town, it can become crowded, especially during peak seasons. This can detract from the serenity and tranquility that many expect when visiting a coastal destination.


Additionally, the town has seen significant development over the years to accommodate the influx of visitors. This has led to the proliferation of tourist-oriented businesses, such as souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars, which can sometimes diminish the authentic Mexican charm that attracted visitors in the first place.


However, it is important to note that while Puerto Escondido may have its drawbacks, it still offers a unique and enjoyable experience for travelers. The stunning beaches, incredible surf spots, and friendly locals are all qualities that contribute to its appeal. It is a place where you can relax on the golden sands, soak in the warm waters of the Pacific, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Mexico.


Ultimately, whether Puerto Escondido is over-rated or not depends on your personal preferences and expectations. If you are seeking a quiet and secluded beach getaway, it may not live up to the hype. However, if you are looking for a lively and energetic coastal town with plenty of activities and a buzzing atmosphere, Puerto Escondido may be just the place for you.


It is crucial to approach Puerto Escondido with an open mind and appreciate it for what it is—a popular tourist destination with its own unique charm. By managing expectations and embracing the positives, you can have an enjoyable and memorable experience in this coastal gem.


Pricey Paradise: The Cost of Living in Puerto Escondido

While Puerto Escondido may offer stunning natural beauty and a vibrant atmosphere, it is important to consider the cost of living in this beach town. Despite being located in Mexico, known for its affordability, Puerto Escondido can be surprisingly pricey compared to other destinations in the country.


Accommodation is one area where costs can add up quickly. While there are budget-friendly options available, such as hostels and guesthouses, the more desirable beachfront accommodations can come with a high price tag. Renting a beachside villa or staying at a luxury resort can often be quite expensive, especially during peak tourist seasons.


Food and dining expenses can also be higher than expected in Puerto Escondido, particularly in establishments that cater to tourists. While street food stalls and local eateries can provide affordable options, the popular restaurants in tourist areas tend to have inflated prices. It is advisable to venture off the beaten path to discover more budget-friendly local cuisine.


Transportation costs can also impact your budget. Taxis, particularly those operating in tourist-heavy areas, may charge higher fares. Renting a car can be an alternative, but it is essential to factor in fuel costs and parking fees. Additionally, activities such as surf lessons, boat trips, and excursions to nearby attractions can add up, further impacting your overall expenses.


That said, it is still possible to enjoy Puerto Escondido on a budget. By exploring local markets and food stalls, you can savor delicious and affordable Mexican dishes. Taking advantage of public transportation and opting for budget accommodations can help save on expenses. Additionally, embracing the natural beauty of the beaches and exploring the town on foot can provide enjoyable experiences without breaking the bank.


Ultimately, the cost of living in Puerto Escondido can vary depending on your preferences and the lifestyle you choose while visiting. It is essential to plan and budget accordingly to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay within your means. With proper planning, you can experience the beauty of Puerto Escondido without feeling overwhelmed by the expenses.


Tourist Traps: Overpriced Attractions in Puerto Escondido

When visiting Puerto Escondido, it is important to be aware of potential tourist traps that can leave you feeling disappointed and drained of your hard-earned money. While there are many genuine and worthwhile attractions to explore, there are also those that may not live up to the hype or come with an inflated price tag.


One such tourist trap is taking a boat tour to see dolphins and turtles. While the idea of witnessing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is undoubtedly enticing, some tour operators take advantage of visitors by charging exorbitant prices for these experiences. It is crucial to research and choose reliable and ethical tour providers to ensure a worthwhile and fair-priced excursion.


Similarly, be cautious of overpriced snorkeling and diving trips. While Puerto Escondido offers excellent opportunities for underwater exploration, some tour operators may charge excessive fees for less than satisfactory experiences. It is advisable to read reviews, compare prices, and choose reputable operators that prioritize safety and quality.


Visitors should also exercise caution when it comes to souvenir shopping. A stroll through the markets will reveal a wide array of crafts, clothing, and trinkets that may catch your eye. However, vendors in tourist-heavy areas may mark up prices significantly. It is recommended to explore local markets away from these areas to find more reasonably priced souvenirs.


In addition, some restaurants and bars in Puerto Escondido may capitalize on their prime locations and target tourists with inflated prices. Before settling into an establishment, it is wise to check menu prices to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Exploring less touristy areas or seeking recommendations from locals can lead you to authentic and reasonably priced dining options.


As a visitor, it is essential to be cautious and discerning, making informed choices to avoid falling into tourist traps. Researching in advance, reading reviews, and seeking recommendations can go a long way in ensuring that you get the most value for your money and have a satisfying experience in Puerto Escondido.


Ultimately, by being aware of potential overpriced attractions and exercising caution, you can make the most out of your visit to Puerto Escondido without unnecessary financial setbacks or disappointment.


Accommodation Dilemma: Are Hotels and Rentals Overpriced?

When it comes to finding accommodation in Puerto Escondido, visitors may find themselves facing a dilemma – are hotels and rentals in the area overpriced? The answer to this question largely depends on your budget, expectations, and the time of year you plan to visit.


Puerto Escondido offers a range of accommodations, from budget-friendly options to luxurious beachfront resorts. However, the more desirable and well-located accommodations tend to come with higher price tags, particularly during peak tourist seasons. Beachfront hotels and upscale resorts often charge a premium for their prime locations and amenities.


Additionally, the increasing popularity of vacation rentals, such as Airbnb and other online platforms, has affected the availability and affordability of accommodation in Puerto Escondido. While rentals can provide a more authentic and home-like experience, they may also be subjected to higher prices due to demand.


It is worth noting that there are still affordable options available, particularly if you are willing to step away from the tourist-centric areas. Venturing into the local neighborhoods or staying in accommodations a bit further from the coastline can often lead to more reasonable prices.


Another consideration is the time of year you plan to visit. Puerto Escondido’s high season, typically from December to April, sees a surge in tourists and subsequently, higher accommodation prices. If you have flexibility in your travel dates, consider visiting during the low season, which can offer more reasonable rates and a quieter atmosphere.


Ultimately, while there may be instances where accommodations in Puerto Escondido are deemed overpriced, it is important to weigh the features, location, and amenities against your own budget and preferences. The key is to research and compare options, considering factors such as location, proximity to amenities and attractions, and customer reviews.


Take advantage of online booking platforms that allow you to compare prices and read reviews from previous guests. Additionally, reaching out to local travel agencies or seeking recommendations from trusted sources can provide valuable insights into finding affordable and suitable accommodations in Puerto Escondido.


By carefully considering your budget, needs, and conducting thorough research, you can find accommodations that offer good value for your money while ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Puerto Escondido.


Dining Disappointment: Overrated Restaurants in Puerto Escondido

When visiting Puerto Escondido, one might expect to indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine and savor the flavors of the local gastronomy. However, it is essential to navigate the dining scene with care and be aware of overrated restaurants that may not live up to their reputation.


One common pitfall for travelers is dining at establishments located in tourist-heavy areas. These restaurants often cater to visitors, and as a result, prices tend to be inflated. While the ambiance and convenience of these locations can be appealing, it is wise to explore other areas where you can find more authentic dining experiences at better value.


Another aspect to consider is the “gringo tax” phenomenon, where prices are higher for foreign visitors compared to locals. Some restaurants may target tourists and mark up prices simply because they perceive them as willing to pay more. It is advisable to research local prices and seek recommendations from locals to find hidden gems that offer both quality and affordability.


Additionally, certain restaurants in Puerto Escondido may rely more on their location and ambiance rather than the quality of their food. It is not uncommon to find overrated establishments with high prices but mediocre dishes. To avoid disappointment, it is recommended to research and read reviews to identify restaurants that consistently deliver excellent food and service.


However, it is important to note that not all restaurants in Puerto Escondido fall into the category of being overrated. The town boasts a diverse culinary scene with a range of options to suit different tastes and budgets. By exploring off-the-beaten-path eateries, local markets, and street food stalls, you can discover authentic Mexican flavors at affordable prices.


Ultimately, finding exceptional dining experiences in Puerto Escondido requires careful planning and exploration. By going beyond the tourist traps and seeking genuine local recommendations, you can uncover hidden culinary delights that showcase the true flavors of the region.


Remember to always trust your instincts and rely on locals or reputable sources for dining suggestions. By doing so, you can navigate the dining scene in Puerto Escondido and avoid the disappointment that comes with overrated restaurants.


Beach Blues: Are the Beaches in Puerto Escondido Overrated?

The beaches of Puerto Escondido are undoubtedly a major draw for visitors. With their pristine sands, turquoise waters, and picturesque surroundings, these coastal gems have garnered significant attention. However, it is crucial to question whether the beaches in Puerto Escondido live up to the hype or if they are overrated.


While Puerto Escondido’s beaches offer stunning natural beauty, it is essential to manage expectations, particularly during peak tourist seasons. Popular beaches like Zicatela can become crowded and bustling with activity, which may detract from the serene and relaxing experience many seek from a beach getaway.


Another aspect to consider is the strong currents and waves that Puerto Escondido is known for. While this makes it a paradise for surfers, it can pose a challenge for those looking for calm and gentle waters for swimming or snorkeling. It is crucial to be aware of the beach conditions and adhere to safety precautions to fully enjoy the beach experience.


Furthermore, some beachfront areas in Puerto Escondido are more developed and commercialized, catering specifically to tourists. These areas may have amenities such as beach clubs, restaurants, and souvenir shops that can add to the ambiance, but they may also detract from the natural and unspoiled beauty of the beaches.


However, it is important to note that there are still less crowded and more secluded areas to explore in Puerto Escondido. By venturing away from the popular beaches, visitors can discover hidden coves and stretches of sand where they can enjoy a more tranquil and authentic beach experience.


Ultimately, the perception of whether the beaches in Puerto Escondido are overrated or not depends on personal preferences and expectations. If you are looking for pristine, unspoiled beaches without the crowds, it may be necessary to venture beyond the well-known tourist spots and explore off-the-beaten-path areas.


Regardless of any potential hype or overrating, the natural beauty of Puerto Escondido’s beaches cannot be denied. Whether you are a surfer seeking the thrill of catching the perfect wave or a traveler longing for a peaceful spot to bask in the sun and enjoy the sound of crashing waves, there is undoubtedly a beach in Puerto Escondido that will suit your desires.


Approach the beaches of Puerto Escondido with an open mind and embrace the unique experiences they offer. With careful planning and exploration, you can find your own slice of paradise and create unforgettable memories on the sandy shores of Puerto Escondido.


Nightlife Noise: Over-hyped Party Scene in Puerto Escondido

When it comes to nightlife, Puerto Escondido is often touted as a vibrant and energetic destination, known for its lively party scene. However, it is important to question whether this nightlife reputation is deserved or if it is an over-hyped aspect of the town.


While Puerto Escondido does offer a variety of bars and clubs, particularly in the popular tourist areas, the party scene might not live up to the exaggerated expectations portrayed in some travel brochures or online promotions. The nightlife in Puerto Escondido is more low-key compared to larger cities or renowned party destinations.


One factor to consider is that Puerto Escondido is predominantly a surf town attracting a mix of laid-back beachgoers and surf enthusiasts. The focus here is often on enjoying the outdoors during the day, such as catching waves or exploring the natural beauty, rather than indulging in raucous nightlife. This can result in a more relaxed and mellow atmosphere after dark.


Furthermore, the party scene in Puerto Escondido may be influenced by the ebb and flow of tourists. During peak seasons, the nightlife may be more lively, with bars and clubs offering music, drinks, and entertainment. However, during off-peak times, the party scene can be considerably quieter.


That being said, there are still plenty of options for those seeking a fun night out in Puerto Escondido. The town offers a range of bars, beach clubs, and live music venues where visitors can enjoy drinks, socialize, and occasionally catch a live band or DJ performance.


If you are looking for a more vibrant and energetic party experience, it may be necessary to adjust your expectations or consider exploring other destinations known for their bustling nightlife. However, if you prefer a more laid-back and intimate setting where you can enjoy a few drinks with friends or meet fellow travelers, Puerto Escondido can offer a satisfactory nightlife experience.


Ultimately, the perception of the nightlife scene in Puerto Escondido largely depends on individual preferences and expectations. Approach it with a willingness to embrace the local culture, mingle with like-minded travelers, and enjoy the unique charm that the town has to offer.


Remember to be respectful of the local community and adhere to any noise or disturbance regulations to ensure a harmonious coexistence between visitors and residents. By doing so, you can make the most of your evenings in Puerto Escondido and enjoy the nightlife in a way that suits your tastes and desires.


The Verdict: Is Puerto Escondido Worth the Hype?

After exploring various aspects of Puerto Escondido, from its beaches and cuisine to its nightlife and accommodations, it’s time to answer the ultimate question: is Puerto Escondido worth the hype?


The answer ultimately depends on your personal preferences and expectations. If you are seeking a laid-back beach town with stunning natural beauty, excellent surfing opportunities, and a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere, Puerto Escondido can certainly deliver. Its picturesque beaches, friendly locals, and authentic Mexican charm make it a popular destination for travelers seeking a mix of relaxation and adventure.


However, it is crucial to approach Puerto Escondido with realistic expectations. The town has experienced significant growth in tourism, which has resulted in increased prices in certain areas and the commercialization of some aspects of the town. If you are seeking a secluded and off-the-beaten-path destination, it is important to research and explore lesser-known areas away from the tourist hotspots.


Puerto Escondido offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and recreational opportunities that can easily captivate visitors. From witnessing magnificent sunsets on the beach to exploring the vibrant culinary scene and engaging in water sports, there is no shortage of activities to enjoy.


While there may be aspects that can be considered overrated or overpriced, it is possible to navigate Puerto Escondido with care and make choices that align with your preferences and budget. By exploring off-the-beaten-path areas, seeking recommendations from locals, and tapping into the authentic side of the town, you can truly appreciate all that Puerto Escondido has to offer.


Ultimately, whether Puerto Escondido is worth the hype is a subjective judgement. If you are willing to embrace the unique experiences, manage expectations, and appreciate the town’s natural beauty and vibrant energy, then Puerto Escondido has the potential to exceed your expectations and become a memorable destination.


So, pack your bags, bring your surfboard, and get ready to dive into the vibrant world of Puerto Escondido. Immerse yourself in the local culture, explore the hidden corners, and make your own verdict on whether this Mexican coastal town lives up to the hype.



Puerto Escondido, with its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and natural wonders, offers a unique and enticing destination for travelers. As we’ve explored in this article, it is crucial to approach Puerto Escondido with realistic expectations and be aware of potential drawbacks that may come with its popularity.


While there may be aspects of Puerto Escondido that can be considered overrated or overpriced, such as certain tourist traps, accommodations, and aspects of the nightlife, this does not overshadow the town’s beauty and charm. The beaches are picturesque, the culinary scene is diverse, and there are ample opportunities for adventure and relaxation.


By approaching Puerto Escondido with an open mind, venturing beyond the tourist hotspots, and seeking out authentic experiences, visitors can truly appreciate the best that the town has to offer. Whether you are a surfer seeking the perfect wave, a food enthusiast looking to sample traditional Mexican cuisine, or simply in search of a relaxing beach getaway, Puerto Escondido has something for everyone.


In the end, the verdict on whether Puerto Escondido is worth the hype is subjective and depends on individual preferences and expectations. It is a destination that rewards those who are willing to explore beyond the surface, engage with the local community, and embrace the unique experiences that the town offers.


So, if you are ready for a mix of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a relaxed beach town atmosphere, Puerto Escondido awaits. Discover this coastal gem with an open mind, and you may just find that it surpasses your expectations, leaving you with unforgettable memories and a desire to return again and again.