What to do in Puerto Escondido

In Puerto Escondido, life flows slowly and there are perhaps few things to do. I recommend that you include in your itinerary, a couple of nights in “Puerto,” as the locals say. Rent a scooter, wake up at dawn and stroll along the seafront, practice yoga at one of the many studios, have breakfast at the Zicatela market, take a bus and visit Mazunte, the hippy destination of the Oaxaca region, learn to surf, buy a new swimsuit in the little stores on the Punta, have a beer while watching the sunset from the beach or from the many terraces, eat a taco on the street, and dance salsa and bachata all night long. This is Puerto Escondido, a place where you’d think it wouldn’t hurt to live.

If you’re considering a vacation to Mexico, you can’t fail to include Puerto Escondido, a seaside resort famous for its endless beaches, relaxed lifestyle, and long nights at salsa and bachata clubs.

You can reach Puerto Escondido by plane from Mexico City and other locations, such as Cancún or Merida with a direct flight. Another option, if you are in Oaxaca, you can go to Puerto Escondido by a convenient bus that takes you to your destination in three hours, at a cost of about 20 euros. In 2024, in fact, a road connecting Oaxaca and Puerto was inaugurated, and currently the monopoly to buy the ticket is held by the bus company that effectively connects all of Mexico and is called ADO.

For us Italians, it is also known for Gabriele Salvatores‘ film starring Diego Abatantuono, which bears the name of the Mexican town. And there is a famous phrase that is perfect for Puerto Escondido, where many people from all over the world have moved to in recent years, for a few months or a few years, creating a beautiful international community.

“Io fino a tre mesi fa… facevo una vita normale, stavo inquadrato, in una società che ha delle regole e rispettavo le regole: ero convinto che rispettando queste regole ci fossero dei tornaconti, ci fosse una regia occulta che mi muovesse, che mi facesse diventar vecchio in un certo modo, con più… saggezza, con delle sicurezze… Invece non c’è un cazzo”. Mario Tozzi.
Puerto Escondido what to do
Photo by Lorraine Mojica on Unsplash

And maybe that’s what visiting Puerto Escondido feels like, a lot of conviction, a lot of stress, a lot of running around only to find yourself in a little seaside town in Mexico and think almost I’m going to move here for a while. So watch out when you go there. Expats explained to me that this is how it works: you go there on vacation for a few days, peacefully, then you find yourself maybe extending your stay, booking another night because you’re fine.

So you leave, maybe in the direction of Oaxaca or San Cristobal de Las Casas and quietly continue your trip to Mexico. Then you start comparing everything to Puerto, how good it was in Puerto and in Puerto you could do this and that and you miss the scooter and that sense of freedom. And then, nothing, you find yourself living there.

1) Go to one of the beaches in Puerto Escondido.

There are many beaches in Puerto and it is an ideal location for surfers. Mind you, don’t be discouraged if surfing is not your sport, because you can engage in many other physical activities, for example, there are plenty of yoga studios in Puerto. The city is divided mainly into three areas: the Centro, a focal point for supermarket, pharmacy, and technology stores; Zicatela which is the largest beach; and La Punta, where most stores and restaurants are located.

The Center

Just a stone’s throw from the Center, you’ll find Carizzalillo Beach, and the only way to get there is to walk 150 steps, so once you get there, you’ll look forward to diving into the sea. It is an ideal place to learn to surf because there is not too much wind and it is a bay surrounded by two headlands. Because of this, it is also the ideal beach for swimming, in crystal-clear waters with calm seas. If you want to rent beach chairs or umbrellas there are some beach clubs.

Also in this central area, we also recommend Playa Manzanillo

A little further north and at the height of the airport you will find Bacocho Beach, famous for releasing sea-born turtles. In fact, the people of Puerto Escondido are involved in turtle conservation. If you go to this beach, I suggest you bring water and packed lunch to have a nice picnic on the beach, also because there are not many facilities and definitely stay until sunset, for a drink along the sea.

Photo by Crisoforo Gaspar Hernandez on Unsplash


The ideal beach for long walks, lazing in a beach club, surfing, and lunch at Cafecito, one of the most popular places in all of Puerto Escodido, not only by tourists, but also by locals because the prices are still low.

Also in Zicatela is Selina, the popular hostel chain, which is especially suitable for those who are traveling and working, because there is also a co-working space inside equipped with meeting rooms, printers, free coffee and great atmosphere.

The Tip

Definitely the most touristy place in all of Puerto Escondido, but not too much either. I mean, I’ve seen more crowded places. You can go to the Punta anytime for a surfing lesson, there are many schools that offer sunrise and sunset classes, you can store in one of the little stores for costumes and long dresses made of linen and macramé, you can rent deck chairs and umbrella for 10 euros for the whole afternoon, you can eat a gourmet taco and have a cocktail on the beach. The Point is also a great place to have brunch and take your computer to one of the many bars to work from.

Saludos De Puerto Escondido

Puerto is hippy, but to the point. Is it gentrified? Yes, but that’s also to the point. Perhaps it is a Bali from some time ago. There are many expats here, who came for a short vacation and then stayed under it. Whenever I hear these stories, I am a little afraid that I will end up like them. Read the full article on Substack, it’s in Italian and in English.

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2) Take an excursion to Mazunte, the hippy resort.

You can go to the main street and get on a mini-van that says “Mazunte,” it will take you about an hour, the ride will be super uncomfortable and super cheap. If you are taking a slow trip you can take the mini-van and stay a couple of nights in Mazunte. Consider that this is a somewhat less well-equipped place than Puerto Escondido, certainly touristy, but with an even more relaxed atmosphere. After all, it is considered one of Mexico’s hippy locations. What to do. Yoga, sea, aperitif. Repeat.

Alternatively, you can opt for an organized tour. The classic tour usually involves a day exploring Mazunte, Zipolite, Ventanilla, and Punta Cometa, which if you want to do in a full day you have to rely on an agency. The tour leaves from Puerto Escondido and gives you the opportunity to stay a couple of hours at each beach. I’ll leave below the tour option, which is definitely more expensive than if you arrange it yourself, but it offers its advantages, so much so that the reviews are great.

3) Lunch at the Zicatela market.

This market is very nice and directly overlooks the sea. I must say I don’t think I’ve seen such a spectacular market, you can have coffee, lunch and shopping while listening to the sound of the sea and admiring the waves. There are several stands and you can buy fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, tostadas and everything you need to prepare your dinner in the hostel. In the meantime you can have a good coffee, just like in Italy, perhaps macchiato or a cappuccino, buy yourself a floral shirt, enjoy a French brioche and taste an Argentine empanada. Oh and don’t forget a fresh fruit juice.

Mexico is famous for its tropical fruits, e.g., mango, papaya and pineapple are delicious and the ideal base for having the lady at the shack make a great juice, made from water, orange or milk. Of course, at the market you can also sample tacos, quesadillas, fresh fish, guacamole , and all the specialties of Mexican cuisine while having a beer. You will, in fact, find a number of small waterfront restaurants, all very nice and quaint.

Photo by Krisztian Tabori on Unsplash

Speaking of beer, in Mexico it is very fashionable, the Michelada, that is, beer with salt, lemon and hot sauce. In addition to the classic Mexican beers to try such as the legendary Corona, Bohemia, Modelo Especial, XX, and more, you can try Chelada or Cerveza con suero, which consists of beer, salt, and lemon. Usually salt is arranged along the glass that contains a lemon juice and ice. Just as good an alternative if you like spicy, for warm summer evenings- Mexico knows no winter anyway-is the Michelada.

In this case, the drink consists of: ice, lemon juice, tomato juice, chili, Tabasco and Worchestershire sauce. Of course, the glass is sprinkled with salt.

There are a lot of variables, depending on where, you go you might find different recipes, so maybe even the ingredients I mentioned are not exactly the same. Let’s say one Michelada a day is ideal, for me the second one gets a little cloying.

Photo by Ahtziri Lagarde on Unsplash

4) Dolphins, whales and luminescence.

You can rely on a number of local agencies, or in any case, I’ll put links to tours you can buy on Viator, which is an excellent worldwide tour platform, owned by Tripadvisor, that promotes tours from local agencies. If you visit Mexico from November to March, you can book the whale watching tour.

The rest of the year, you can still swim with dolphins and turtles. The tour takes about three hours and is very quaint, if only for the fact that you are taking a boat trip. Sightings are not 100 percent assured because of course we are talking about animals, but there is a high probability of almost always seeing dolphins.

Another popular tour is the bioluminescence tour, during which you will have the opportunity to swim in water illuminated by tiny organisms living in the sea. Of course, this tour takes place at night and lasts about 3 hours. It is very impressive and takes place in the Manialtepec Lagoon, which can be reached by boat from Puerto Escondido.

5) Practice yoga and dance all night long.

Participate in Puerto Escondido’s activities, which are many. You can practice yoga in many private studios, on the beach, and you can try choose the type of yoga that suits you best. Also consider that there is not only yoga in Puerto, but also meditation, breathing workshops and gong bathing, as well as a range of activities such as Pilates, ice water bathing, work out session and much more. To learn about all the activities, just sign up in the WhatsApp groups found in my mini-guide to Puerto Escondido, where I also explain where to rent a scooter, where to eat, and where to practice salsa and bachata.

What to do in Puerto Escondido

The Mini-Guide of Puerto Escondido

Where to eat, where to dance, where to practice yoga, and where to rent a scooter. Here is the mini-guide to Puerto Escondido, which I made for you. It consists of a link with Google Maps pins organized by me and a brief description in pdf.

Buy your guide here

In Puerto Escondido, in fact, there is dancing all night long and every night you have the opportunity to participate in a salsa or bachata class for beginners or for intermediates if you already know the basic steps. Classes are held in various bars in the town, there is a full schedule with at least one date a night, and after class you can participate in the “social” which means, that you can humble yourself publicly and practice what you have learned with other students. I recommend at least one shot of tequila or a glass of mezcal.

Photo Credits: Unsplash

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