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 kilometres 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, Puerto Escondido draws people in with its epic waves. 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.
If you’re visiting Puerto Escondido soon, you’ve come to the right place. After reading this guide, you’ll know which area to stay in, where to find the best restaurants and how to get around this laid back beach town in Mexico.
Also, check out our list of the best activities in Puerto Escondido!
Is Puerto Escondido worth visiting?
If you are fascinated by marine life, then Puerto Escondido is a must visit. 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.
After the daily ritual of watching the sunset, the chilled-out town of Puerto Escondido comes alive. The bar’s fairy lights 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!)
Where to stay in Puerto Escondido
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 in. Each one offers slightly different vibes and caters to different audiences.
Accommodation is easy to find, whether you want a hotel, Airbnb or hostel. The price also doesn’t really vary between the three areas, so this isn’t really a deciding factor on where to stay.
Location #1: La Punta — a backpacker’s paradise
La Punta has a lively, rustic and bohemian vibe that has attracted backpackers like bees to honey.
About 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, and 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 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 to 15-minute drive away in either a colectivo or taxi, costing you 8 MXN ($0.40) or 40 MXN ($2.30) 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. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, big supermarkets and banks here.
The highlight? Zicatela beach! It’s considered 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 from 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 4 km 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 probably makes Carrizalillo the best place to stay if you’re visiting with 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 ($2.30).
We’re not sure you’ll actually want to leave, though!
Where to eat in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is a foodie’s paradise! 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.
We have too many favourites from Puerto Escondido, but we eventually managed to squeeze it down to three:
Fish Shack — fresh seafood turned into your guilty pleasure
Fish Shack in La Punta certainly knows how to combine fresh seafood with Mexican-style cooking, and turn it into that comfort food we all crave sometimes!
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 romantically lit alley on bar stools, really embracing the shack vibes of the restaurant.
El Cafecito — they’ve pretty much got anything you want
El Cafecito offers a huge variety of dishes: pasta, burgers, meat. It’s simple food that’s done really well and won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
If you want to experience El Cafecito at its best, then visit at breakfast. As well as plenty of delicious breakfast plates, they also have an on-site bakery. You can enjoy the baked goods in the restaurant or take them to go.
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.
Also Read: Top 14 Things to do in Puerto Escondido
How to get around Puerto Escondido
Despite there being different areas, they’re all relatively close to each other. There are also taxis and colectivos that make getting between them super easy.
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 MXN ($1.70) – 50 MXN ($2.80). Taxis to the airport do cost more, though. Expect to pay around 150 MXN ($8.50), 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 most fun ways to get around Puerto Escondido is by local transport, aka 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 with some of the locals!
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 a walk away, so it isn’t really necessary.
If planning on venturing out further, then car rental prices start at $24/day.
Don’t forget to check out our article with 10 tips that will help you save money when renting a car.
There’s nothing better than hiring a motorbike and cruising along the coastline 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.
If you do want to rent a motorbike, Renato Scooter Rental is a reputable company in Puerto Escondido. Daily motorbike rentals start at 350 MXN ($20.00) per day. A little tip — if you pay in cash, you can often negotiate a cheaper rate.
How to get to Puerto Escondido
|From||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Mexico City||2hrs – 18hrs||824 MXN ($47.50) – 1,686 MXN ($97.00)||Mexico City to Puerto Escondido|
|Oaxaca||30 mins – 10.5hrs||250 MXN ($14.00) – 2,800 MXN ($160.00)||Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido|
|San Cristobal||6hrs – 13.5hrs||992 MXN ($57.00) – 2,020 MXN ($115.00)||San Cristobal to Puerto Escondido|
Now that you’ve finished reading this guide, you’re almost ready for your adventure in Puerto Escondido. The next step is to create your personalised itinerary with our top picks of things to do in Puerto Escondido. Simply choose your favourite activities and places to visit, and you’re all set to make lasting memories in Puerto Escondido.
Villas Carrizalillo - Treating Yourself
Villas Carrizalillo are the epitome of luxury. Every detail of this hotel – from the pool to the rooms – will make you want to say wow. The hotel views should be enough to convince you to stay here. It 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. It’s one of the most popular hotels in Puerto Escondido, so make sure to book in advance.
- Some of the best views in Puerto Escondido
- Private staircase to Playa Carrizalillo
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Delicious breakfast included
Double rooms start from $90 per night
Casa de Olas Boutique Hotel - Mid Range
Casa de Olas is one of those hotels you see on Instagram and instantly want to stay in. It’s stunning and has all the facilities you could ever need — a dreamy swimming pool, fitness centre, tennis courts, bar and tropical gardens.
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.
- Relaxing swimming pool
- Bicycles for rent
- Fitness centre and tennis courts
- Incredible breakfast included
Double rooms between $50-$90 per night
Casa Losodeli & Coworking - Mid Range
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 friendly community amongst the guests, something often lacking in hotels.
If you are not here to work, you can spend the day lounging around the pool 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. You’ll never want to leave this place!
- Refreshing swimming pool
- Co-working space
- Communal kitchen
- Close to bars, restaurants and Carrizalillo beach
Double rooms between $50-$90 per night
Casa de la Gente Nube - Budget Friendly
Casa de la Gente Nube is only a 5 minute walk from the beach. It’s so close, you can see it from your private balcony! And if you are very lucky, you can even see whales whilst eating your breakfast on the balcony during Puerto Escondido’s whale season (Dec-Feb).
Every room is spacious and brightly coloured, perfectly matching Puerto Escondido’s vibrant vibe. The hosts will start your day right with their friendly smiles and delicious breakfast. Puerto Escondido accommodation isn’t the cheapest, so Casa de la Gente Nube is a real steal.
- Incredible sea views
- 5 minutes from Zicatela beach
- Friendly and welcoming hosts
- Delicious breakfast included
Double rooms between $15-$50 per night
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