Playa Zicatela

Beach in Puerto Escondido

Image by Paul Kennedy Getty Images

Legendary 3km-long Zicatela is the best-known surfing spot in Mexico courtesy of the tempestuous surfing waves of the Mexican Pipeline. The heart of the action, including the Pipeline, is at Zicatela’s northern end. Nonsurfers beware: the waters here have a lethal undertow and are not safe for the boardless, or beginner surfers either. Lifeguards rescue several careless people most months. Surfing aside, the beach is a beauty: wide, golden and gloriously laid-back – man!

The main beach area is backed by Calle del Morro, a kind of gringo-ville meets Mexican beach town where locals, along with dudes and dudettes from colder climes, mix seamlessly.

The Punta Zicatela area at Zicatela's far southern end has mellower surf and a mellower vibe to go with it. With its unpaved roads overlooked by vegan cafes and yoga retreats, it's favored chiefly by backpackers and beginner surfers.


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