What makes Puerto Escondido such a popular destination?
Falling in love with Puerto Escondido is almost inevitable. You won’t be the first person, and you definitely won’t be the last!
So what makes Puerto Escondido so irresistible? This small town situated on Mexico’s Pacific (West) coast is a surfers and beach-lovers paradise that has a charm guaranteed to woo you.
From kilometers of golden sand with turquoise waters, to intimate bays surrounded by swaying palm trees, this laidback town has numerous beaches waiting to be explored.
Offering some of the best surfing in the world, it’s the epic waves that draw most people to Puerto Escondido. Not a surfer yourself? Don’t worry, even when you’re not surfing, this surfer town is ideal for beach-bumming and you can embark on one of the best boat trips of your life.
When joining a boat trip from Puerto Escondido, you have the chance to see whales, dolphins and turtles all in one trip. You can even release baby turtles and contribute to the conservation of these special animals.
Nightlife in Puerto Escondido
After the daily ritual of watching the sun set, the chilled town of Puerto Escondido comes alive. The bar’s fairlights light up, music starts to fill the streets and people begin to dance. There’s street after street full of restaurants, cafes and bars so you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice here.
Ever partied in a jungle? Puerto Escondido has also become famous for some of the best jungle parties in Mexico. Expect to be dancing from sunset to sunrise when visiting one of these secret parties!
How long should you stay in Puerto Escondido?
Puerto Escondido isn’t the type of place where there’s an ideal length of time to stay! So many people fall in love with the vibe of the town and end up staying for months. You could easily stay there for weeks and not get bored.
We’d recommend embracing the spirit of the town and just going with the flow when planning how long to stay in Puerto Escondido (you might never want to leave!)
Puerto Escondido is a relatively small beach town with a population of around 45,000 people.
Despite being a small town, there are still a number of areas to stay. Each one offers slightly different vibes and caters for different audiences.
Accommodation is easy to find, whether you want a hotel, Airbnb or hostel. The price also doesn’t really vary between the 3 areas, so this isn’t really a deciding factor on where to stay.
Location #1: La Punta – a backpackers paradise
La Punta boasts a lively, rustic and bohemian vibe that has attracted backpackers like bees to honey.
20 metres behind the popular surfing beach of La Punta Zicatela, you’ll find sand roads lined with quirky restaurants and bars. There are brunch and seafood restaurants galore here, plus you won’t struggle to find a good smoothie bowl either.
After everyone gathers on the beach to watch the stunning sunset, the streets start to come alive. There are plenty of places to party here or to just have a relaxed dinner, enjoying some delicious food.
One downside of La Punta is there are no ATMs or big supermarkets. For that you’ll have to travel to Zicatela. It’s only a 10-15 minute drive away in either a colectivo or taxi, costing you 8 MXN ($0.40) or 40 MXN ($2) respectively.
Location #2: Playa Zicatela – the centre of Puerto Escondido
Zicatela is smack bang in the middle of La Punta and Carrizalillo. It’s essentially the heart of Puerto Escondido. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, big supermarkets and banks.
The highlight though? Zicatela beach! It’s considered by many as one of the best beaches in Mexico. Firstly it’s huge, so it never feels too crowded. Secondly, it’s a dream destination for surfers all around the world due to the famous Mexican pipeline.
You’ll probably find the largest choice of hotels, both small and large, here in Zicatela. Prices start at around $20 per night, not too different from the other areas in Puerto Escondido.
Location #3: Playa Carrizalillo – a mediterranean beach haven
Carrizalillo is about 4km north of Zicatela, slightly further away from the centre of town and the hustle and bustle.
If you want to be close to numerous beautiful beaches in Puerto Escondido or learn how to surf then Carrizalillo is the place to stay.
The beaches in this area, particularly Playa Carrizalillo, are dreamy beyond belief. You won’t want to do anything else with your days apart from lounging or swimming at the beach.
Playa Carrizalillo, Playa Angelito and Playa Coral are some of the best beaches to swim at in Puerto Escondido, as they’re small bays protected from the waves. This makes Carrizalillo probably the best place to stay if you have kids.
There are plenty of delicious restaurant options in Carrizalillo, but if you do want some more choice or a livelier atmosphere, then Zicatela is only a short 10 minute taxi ride away. This should cost no more than 40 MXN ($2).
We’re not sure you’ll actually want to leave though!
Where to eat in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is a foodies paradise because there’s just so much to choose from! It’s also situated on the coast, so you’ve probably guessed what that means. Amazing seafood!
The little surfing town has picked up the ever-popular brunch culture very well, so you won’t struggle to find a brunch spot if that’s what you like.
As a result of this, we have too many favourites from Puerto Escondido, but we eventually managed to squeeze it down to 3:
Fish Shack – fresh seafood turned into your guilty pleasures
Fish Shack in La Punta certainly knows how to combine fresh seafood with Mexican-style cooking, and turn it into that guilty comfort food we all crave!
Their fried shrimp sandwich, named Po’boy, is arguably one of the best sandwiches you can find in Mexico. You can also devour some juicy and delicious fish burgers or tacos if that takes your fancy.
All of this is enjoyed in a cutely lit alley on bar stools, really embracing the shack vibes of the restaurant.
El Cafecito – whatever you want, they’ve pretty much got it
El Cafecito offers a huge variety of dishes – pasta, burgers, meat dishes. It’s simple food that’s done really well, and it won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
If you want to experience El Cafecito at it’s best then visit them at breakfast. As well as plenty of delicious breakfast plates, they also have an onsite bakery which you can enjoy in the restaurant or take away.
El Sultan – a delicious and cheap middle eastern restaurant
Once you’re done soaking up the rays on Carrazillo beach, you can head to El Sultan. It’s situated along the strip of shops and restaurants just above the beach.
The middle eastern restaurant offers some of the best falafel and hummus in Puerto Escondido. It’s also super cheap, making for the perfect beach snack.
Help yourself to a selection of hummus plates, wraps and salads. Not too heavy, but still super filling.
You’ll probably want to explore all of the different areas of Puerto Escondido, so you’ll want getting around to be easy. Which it is!
Despite there being different areas, they’re all relatively close to each other. There’s also taxis and colectivos that make getting between them super easy.
Each of the areas that we mentioned above, Carrazillo, Zicatela and La Punta are all relatively small. The only form of transport you’ll need to explore an area is your own feet.
Restaurants and bars tend to be clustered in the same area, so once you’ve reached that area from your accommodation, you won’t need to walk much further.
La Punta in particular is a very walkable area, with the majority of the main street being a dirt road with not many vehicles going up it.
The only thing – it’s super hot in Puerto Escondido, so you probably won’t want to do much walking!
You should never struggle to catch a taxi around Puerto Escondido. They’re always roaming the streets, giving you a little honk along the way to let you know that they’re free.
Taxis are relatively cheap, with most rides within town costing between 30-50 MXN ($1.50-2.50). Taxis to the airport do cost more though. Expect to pay around 150 MXN ($7.50), and they don’t seem to like to haggle on this price.
Unfortunately Uber doesn’t work in Puerto Escondido.
One of the best and funnest ways to get around Puerto Escondido is by the local colectivo. These are effectively pick-up trucks with benches that are predominantly used by locals. The ones in Puerto Escondido tend to have a blue shelter over the pick-up bed.
The colectivos run along the main road from La Punta to Zicatela. All you have to do is stick your hand out when you see one coming and hop on.
Once you’ve reached your destination simply press the bell and pay the driver. Rides around Puerto Escondido cost only 8 MXN ($0.40). What a bargain!
It’s also a great way to get chatting to some of the locals!
By Renting a Car
Unless you’re planning on venturing outside of Puerto Escondido a lot, we wouldn’t recommend renting a car. Everything you need is only a short taxi ride or walk away, so it isn’t really necessary.
There’s nothing better than hiring a motorbike and cruising along the coastline of a country with sea views whizzing past you.
Hiring a motorbike is an option in Puerto Escondido, however not many people do it as the public transport makes it so easy to get around. The distance you need to travel to get somewhere also isn’t very far.
Kooks on Wheels is a reputable rental company in Puerto Escondido. You can get in contact with them for a quote or visit their shop in person. Daily motorbike rentals start at around 400 MXN ($20) per day.
Villas Carrizalillo are the epitome of luxury. Each detail of the hotel - from the pool to the rooms - will make you want to say wow. The hotel views should be enough to convince anyone to stay here. The hotel overlooks one of the best beaches in the whole of Mexico! You even have your own private staircase down to Playa Carrizalillo.
All of the rooms are spacious, beautifully decorated and clean, with most of them offering balconies. You’ll also receive a delicious continental breakfast every morning and can enjoy the excellent food prepared in the hotel's restaurant at night.
Casa de Olas is one of those hotels you see on Instagram and you would instantly love to stay. It’s aesthetically beautiful and has all the facilities you could need, a pool, fitness centre, bar and garden.
There’s so many peaceful spots to just hang out in, that you’ll leave the hotel completely relaxed and rejuvenated. It’s the little touches that make this place special like the yoga classes, free breakfast and friendly staff. The rooms are spacious, modern and all include a private bathroom.
Whether you’re a digital nomad or not, Casa Losodeli is a great choice in Puerto Escondido. It’s a beautiful hostel that creates a welcoming community feel amongst the guests, something often lacking in hotels.
If you are not here to work, you can spend the day lounging around the pool in the shade below one of the many mango trees. Casa Losodeli also has a well-equipped communal kitchen, although there are plenty of restaurants and bars only steps away. If you’ve seen what’s on offer you may not want to cook anymore...
Casa de la Gente Nube is only a 5 minute walk from the sea. You can even see it from your balcony! And if you are very lucky, you can even see whales whilst eating your breakfast from the balcony during Puerto Escondido’s whale season (Dec-Feb).
Each room is open and brightly coloured, perfectly matching Puerto Escondido’s vibrant vibe. The hosts will deliver you a great start of the day with their friendly smiles and delicious breakfast. Puerto Escondido accommodation isn’t the cheapest, so Casa de la Gente Nube is a real steal.