Top 10 Things To Do In Puerto Escondido, Mexico

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Photo by Max Böhme on Unsplash

The wonders that abound Puerto Escondido are truly worth visiting at least once in your life. When translated to English, “Puerto Escondido” means “hidden port” and its name is tied to a fascinating story of olden times.

 

As the story goes: once upon a time, a beautiful and young woman was kidnapped by pirates. The woman got lucky and escaped when the pirates docked on the bay. The lady earned the name “La Escondida” which means “The Hidden One”.

 

And so whenever the pirates docked, they would always search for her. They never found her, yet the name stayed. It was modified into “Bahia de la Escondida” which means “Bay of the Hidden One”. It eventually evolved into Puerto Escondido. In 1900, the port came to being, but there was no portable water then and no settlement. The town sprung up in the 1930s.

 

Where Is Puerto Escondido?

 

It is a port, though small, found in San Pedro Mixtepec Distrito municipality. This is in the coast of Oaxaca State south of Mexico. It was initially used as a port for shipping coffee. It is approximately 424 kilometres from Mexico City.

 

How To Get To Puerto Escondido:

 

By Air:

 

There are connecting flights from Mexico City. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. The domestic airlines which facilitate this are Interjet, Aeromar, and VivaAerobus.

 

There are flights into Puerto Escondido from Oaxaca, and the journey takes about 30 minutes. The two small aircraft options here are AeroVega and AeroTucan.

 

The flight fares vary depending on the seasonality of tourism. They go up during the high seasons and are relatively low during the low seasons. One should check out current prices before making decisions.

 

By Road:

 

Several shuttle companies operate from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondida. They are mostly vans which carry between 14 to 15 people. The journey takes approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes.

 

There are also buses from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido. The journey takes between 10 and 12 hours.

 

Travelling by road lets you enjoy the beautiful scenes as you enter Puerto Escondido. The journey might, however, be so windy which doesn’t augur well for some people. Take note of the bloqueo, too. They are road blockades commonly found in the Oaxaca State. 

 

The bus fares also fluctuate based on the season and number of tourists. They rise during the peak seasons but are otherwise relatively low.

 

Puerto Escondido Hotels & Accommodations:

 

For accommodations whilst visiting Puerto Escondido, you will be spoilt for choice. Similarly, like other tourism destinations, the prices change with the season.

 

There are all kinds of places to stay for every traveller — hostels, middle-class hotels, suites, and luxurious hotels. Consider your intentions when choosing amongst Puerto Escondido’s hotels.

 

Some are located very close to the beach. You can literally hear the sound made by waves hitting the rocks. Some are located in quiet places for those who want some peaceful sleep at night.

 

If you’re interested in visiting Puerto Escondido, here are the top 10 things to do:

 

1.

Release Baby Sea Turtles Into The Ocean

 

puerto escondido, mexico, sea-turtles, beach
Photo from Unsplash

 

The sea turtle mamas usually swim out of the waters to the beaches to lay eggs then go back into the sea. This leaves the little ones, still encased in their eggs, by themselves. They are left alone for the entire incubation period until they are ready to hatch.

 

When the mothers come out, they dig holes. They lay around 80 to 200 eggs and then cover the holes. Mother turtles are very smart, taking great care to protect their eggs by ensuring that the sand looks the way they found it. 

 

They even take their time to cover the area in a layer of grass in attempts to keep the eggs safe. Unfortunately, that is the most that they can do for their eggs. They will have to return home to the sea afterwards. 

 

Taking Care Of The Eggs

 

Good-hearted citizens will collect these eggs and take them to safe havens. The eggs are kept in conducive setups for incubation. They are incubated for 50 to 60 days at the end of which they are ready to hatch. The experience of releasing this new life into its natural habitat is a memory that you will take with you for a long time to come. 

 

In Puerto Escondido, the season for baby sea turtle release ends in May. It commences towards the end of October. So make sure you’re in town for this amazing experience. You can release baby sea turtles into the ocean with Eco Adventures Escondido

 

2.

Ride Some Waves At Playa Zicatela

 

Playa Zicatela, Things To Do In Puerto Escondido, Surfing
Photo by PAHO on Flickr

 

Puerto Escondido became popular as a result of surfing. It remains a hotspot for surfers. The intense waves from the Pacific Ocean are the backbone of this area.

 

However, the best place to go surfing is largely dependent on your surfing prowess. There are regions with strong waves left for the pros, like Playa Zicatela. On the other hand, there are areas with mild waves for newbies to try out like Playa Carrizalillo and La Punta.

 

Fret not if you don’t know how to surf. Take advantage of the fact that you’re on holiday and engage in a few lessons from the surfing instructors. There are several of them at your disposal here. They usually charge about $25 per hour inclusive of board renting.

 

Still not your thing? You also have the option of sitting pretty at the beach as you watch the surfers go at it. The entertainment might be on another level if you visit when there are big surfing competitions. Competitions are frequently held here so during this time, grab yourself a beer, sit back, and relax.

 

3.

Swim In Manialtepec Lagoon

 

This lagoon is home to glowing planktons which glow at nightfall. You will make the most of this during the new moon season. The nights are overly darker, just what is needed to see more of the planktons’ lights.

 

Things To Do In Puerto Escondido, Mexico, Maniltepec Lagoon
Photo of Maniltepec Lagoon from Wikimedia Commons

 

Nothing compares to the refreshing experience of swimming in the bio-luminescence glows of Manialtepec Lagoon. Alternatively, you can as well take a tour during the day or at night with the help of the local tour operators.

 

A tour to the lagoon costs about $13 to $18. This includes transport to the lagoon and back to Puerto Escondido Oaxaca.

 

4.

Skydive In Puerto Escondido

 

Things To Do In Puerto Escondido, Skydiving, Mexico
Photo from visitapuerto.com

 

This is, however, limited during high tourism season only. It’s available from around Christmas time through New Year and slightly into Easter holidays.

 

It’s an amazing chance to jump from heights of around 4000 meters from the ground. Such a thrill! To skydive, an individual will be charged around $150. Experts are more than ready to assist with this amazing experience.

 

5.

Bird-watching In Barra De Navidad

 

There is a special bird-watching area in a place called Barra De Navidad. From Puerto Escondido, the drive takes about 15 minutes. You’ll get a marvellous and fascinating view of the Coletepec River meeting the Pacific Ocean.

 

Most interesting of all, the birds are out during sunset. It’s amazing to watch as birds wade through the water and occasionally take some time to rest. Of course, they also do some fishing. You can find around 37 species of local birds and over 27 species of migratory birds in this area!

 

All this can be done whilst seated at La Azuna Azul, a locally operated restaurant. It’s owned by a group of local families, and the proceeds go towards a worthy cause of supporting these families.

 

6.

Explore Laguna Palma Sola

 

Things To Do In Puerto Escondido, Laguna Palma Sola
Photo from Pexels

 

Laguna Palma Sola is a lagoon ecosystem situated on the eastern part of the Colotepec River`s mouth. A total of 23 families together with some government entities maintain this area. Their aim is to preserve and maintain the ecosystem in the lagoon which, so far, is doing great.

 

A tour guide will readily take you through the lagoon in a boat that is not motorised. Whilst touring, you will see the lagoon’s crocodiles — a total of more than 350 of these giants. Worry not, they take interest in egret and not people. You will be safe enough to observe them!

 

You will also see iguanas getting busy on branches of trees or feeding their appetite on the rich vegetation. Watch out for the mangrove forest, too. You will learn its key role in the stability of the lagoon. It’s amazing how nature supports itself, too.

 

The lagoon tour ends up at a restaurant called La Ballena. A long and grey whale, 21 meters long, was washed ashore at the mouth of Letepec River. Because of this, the place is named after this whale, and its skeletal remains are nicely displayed at the entrance of the restaurant.

 

7.

Sample The Beaches Of Puerto Escondido

 

Things To Do In Puerto Escondido, Beaches, Playa Carizalillo, Playa Zicatela
Photo by Anna Bertho on Wikimedia Commons

 

There are plenty of amazing beaches to visit. Remember the Playa Carizalillo beach mentioned above for surfing beginners? To access it, you have to walk down stairway with 167 steps. That makes for a perfect starting point.

 

Another one that stands out is Playa del Amor. It is a beach that gives you freedom of choice. You can choose whether or not to go natural in thine birthday suit, just imagine!

 

You are not done until you get to Playa Zicatela. The most suitable for pro surfers as you read above. It is approximately 3000 meters long of nothing but beauty. The breathtaking sight of this laidback beach is beyond words.

 

8.

Treat Yourself To A Meal By The Beach

 

Meal by the beach, Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Photo from pixabay.com

 

Though Puerto Escondido is a small city, it’s divided into several sections. Its approximated population of 45,000 people spreads from Bacocho in Northwest to La Punta in South East. There is a city centre along its coastal highway.

 

Then there’s Rinconada, an embracing shopping centre. It lies between Playa Carrizalillo and Playa Bacocho. The Rinconada is a boulevard of 4 lanes. It comprises of a one-sided line of shops and restaurants. It offers the perfect ambience for dining as you watch the waves kiss the beach.

 

Also explore Adoquin. It’s a busy area with several shops, restaurants, and hotels. A good number of restaurants along the streets are on the side of the ocean. You can dine in the cool breeze from the beach.

 

9.

Dive To Fiestas De Noviembre

 

Fiestas De Noviembre, Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Photo from Pixabay

 

One of the aims of tourism is for tourists to interact and learn the local culture. The Puerto Escondido Fiestas de Noviembre presents a perfect opportunity for this.

 

November is a low season. These festivals were originally designed to keep the fire burning during this slow period.  The festivities run for the whole of November meaning that you have plenty of time to dive into the country’s culture. 

 

It’s characterised by surfing competitions, musical concerts, fashion shows, food festivals, and fishing tournaments amongst other interesting things. This festival isn’t just enjoyable but educational as well!

 

10.

A Whole Bit Of Boat Tours

 

7714925422 ce77265c72 k - Top 10 Things To Do In Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Photo by Luis Rosario on Flickr

 

The tours encompass wildlife spotting, snorkelling, and some fishing. Depending on the season, you stand a chance of seeing sea turtles, dolphins and whales. You will be charged about $23 for a boat trip that lasts half a day.

 

It is said that a little is much when it comes from the heart. Though Puerto Escondido Oaxaca is small, what it can offer you is huge and memorable.

 

Nature has a way of balancing the beauties it bestows upon the recipients. Isn’t it time you experienced this in Puerto Escondido?

 

If you’re interested in visiting another place in Mexico after your Puerto Escondido trip, you might like Puerto Vallarta!

Verona Atieno
A keen travel and tourism writer.

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