Puerto Escondido is bigger than you might expect at first. It is divided into three parts: the center, Zicatela and La Punta. La Punta is our favorite and the best place for backpackers. This is a laid back neighborhood on the edge of the city, right on the beach and with a lovely atmosphere. Surfing is very good here, and many bars with live music go on until midnight. Next to la Punta on the longest beach is Zicatela , this is the location with many clubs that go on until the early hours. This is also a wonderfully extensive beach for lots of swimming fun. Finally, there is the center of Puerto Escondido, mainly local people live here, but staying overnight here is often a bit cheaper than in the other 2 parts. This is also a good base to the smaller and beautiful beaches such as Playa Carrizalillo and Playa Manzanillo.
Note: Puerto Escondido is extremely popular and this popularity continues to grow every year. This means that it is very wise to book your accommodation in time. In Mexico, accommodation prices skyrocket during the popular weeks. Also in our case during the Christmas holidays we could hardly find anything affordable last minute. On the other hand, a visit to Puerto Escondido is definitely worth the more expensive accommodations, this is a wonderful place for a week of relaxation. The best things to do and see are:
Go to the beach:
The popularity of Puerto Escondido is certainly also due to the many beaches that can be found here. We visited about 10 different beaches in our week, each with its own atmosphere. Our favorite beaches were Playa Carrizalillo and Playa Manzanillo. It is just really beautiful here and also the best place for snorkeling. Playa Carrizalillo is also a very suitable place to learn how to surf. It does get very busy here, especially in our case during the Christmas holidays.
If you want a little more rest, you better choose Playa Bacocho or Playa Zicatela, these beaches are very long and extensive. Here you have parts with high waves and parts with calm waves. It can certainly get busy here, but due to the enormous surface area there are always plenty of quiet spots to be found.
Finally, we went to Playa Aqua Blanca, this beach is located about 35 km east of Puerto Escondido. But you get a wonderfully quiet beach in return. The ideal beach to relax and unwind. There are also a few restaurants on the beach with lots of fresh fish, also very affordable. A full bowl of fresh oysters only cost 95 Pesos here, they were huge and delicious.
Whale and dolphin watching:
This was our favorite activity in Puerto Escondido. We should also mention that we saw everything we hoped for plus more. Very large groups of dolphins, and fortunately very few boats around us, so the dolphins swam around in peace. And 3 huge whales, 2 parents and a little one. If you want to see the whales here, keep in mind that whale season lasts from December to March, so you have the best chance during this period. They swim close to the coast, so you can also regularly admire them from the beach. Watch the water blow, or watch the boats looking for Whales.
Besides the whales and dolphins we were lucky enough to see several Mobula rays jumping out of the water. Normally there are a few, but now a huge group. We were lucky enough to see the very rare migration of the Mobula rays, so I dived straight into the water. There I saw one of the most beautiful natural phenomena of my life, thousands of rays around me created this very intense moment in the middle of the ocean, beautiful.
We booked our tour through the Organization Cap. Chon Cruz Dolphin Watching & Sport Fishing. We paid 700 pesos per person. This can be cheaper at some organizations with overcrowded boats, but we only had 4 people on the boat and a lot of personal attention. In addition, the captain had a lot of respect for the animals and kept a lot of distance to give the whales a rest. We really appreciated this.
Enjoy the sunset:
You could actually enjoy the sunset from all the beaches, the sun goes down on the sea, and then you get to see a beautiful color spectacle in the sky.
Yet we have a clear favorite from where the sunset is almost magical. This location is located on the Playa la Punta. Easy to get to by walking to the end of the beach at La Punta. There you can climb up and follow the winding path along the cacti. Here you have some high rock formations where you can enjoy the setting sun. You also have a beautiful view of la Punta where you can admire the surfers in action.
Puerto Escondido is ideally suited for surfing. There are beautiful waves and you have spots for both experienced and novice surfers. Playa Carrizalillo is very suitable for beginners, and Playa Punta surf is a favorite for experienced surfers. The waves can get extremely high here. Take a look on youtube under "Puerto Escondido Surf" to get a good idea of this true surfers paradise.