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Introducing Puerto Escondido

Loved by surf bums, water-sports junkies, perma-tan international travelers and Canadian and US snowbirds, this ‘Hidden Port’ is one of the most enjoyable spots on Mexico’s Pacific coast. If you want solitude to commune with nature, you’re in the wrong place: Puerto Escondido is a place to catch the legendary Mexican Pipeline, get some sun and party. By day, water sports are popular – you can go surfing, snorkeling, diving, sportfishing or looking for turtles, dolphins and even whales. By night, a busy cafe, restaurant and bar scene brings live music and a freewheeling, unpretentious nightlife. Within easy day-trip distance are the coastal lagoons of Manialtepec and Chacahua, which teem with birdlife. Development here has remained on a human scale, and part of Puerto Escondido’s charm is that it remains a fishing port and market town as well as a tourist destination.

The center of town rises above the small Bahía Principal. The Carretera Costera (Hwy 200) runs across the hill above it, dividing the upper town – where buses arrive and most locals live and work – from the lower, more touristic part. The heart of the lower town is Av Pérez Gasga, known as El Adoquín (adoquín is Spanish for paving stone). Pérez Gasga winds up the hill to meet the Costera at an intersection known as El Crucero.

Playa Zicatela, hub of the surf and traveler scene, stretches 3km southeast from the east end of Bahía Principal. Most of the action and services are at its northern end, but there’s another, smaller cluster of accommodations and eateries down at Punta Zicatela, at the south end of the beach. Rinconada, a quiet residential area above Playa Carrizalillo, west of the center, has further places to stay, restaurants and services.