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Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido Travel Guide

Everything you need to know about planning a trip to Puerto Escondido, Mexico

PUERTO ESCONDIDO TRAVEL GUIDE CONTENTS

Quick Info | Planning Your Trip | Things To Do | Where To Stay | Restaurants | Nightlife | Budget 


Puerto Escondido is one of the best travel destinations in Oaxaca, Mexico. This Mexican beach town is not as popular as Tulum or Sayulita yet and it is quite famous for its impressive surfing waves. It is a sleepy town that has a magical energy that draws adventurers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts. The only downside is that it does not have fiber optic Internet yet so digital nomads are still not enticed to make this their temporary base.

There are many things to do in Puerto Escondido Mexico and it fits all types of travelers. Within close distance, there are over 12 beaches you can visit. The best way to visit Puerto Escondido is by doing a Oaxaca road trip that covers Oaxaca City, San Jose del Pacifico, Huatulco, Mazunte, and Zipolite.

We visit Puerto Escondido every May and in this travel guide, we will share with you everything we know about this up-and-coming travel hotspot in Mexico.

🗺️ Puerto Escondido quick info

🇲🇽 State: Oaxaca

⏰ Timezone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5)

✈️ Airport: Puerto Escondido International Airport

💲 Currency: The currency in Mexico is called Mexican pesos (MXN). Mexico also uses the $ sign so don’t be confused if you see this all over town – it’s not in USD so don’t be fooled!

🔌 Power plug: Mexico uses a type A socket (US, Canada). For more information about power plugs in Mexico, see this link (with photos)

📱 Mexico sim card: The best provider that works in Oaxaca state is Telcel. See our complete Mexico sim card guide for more information.

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🛃 Visa: Mexico is no longer giving 180 days visa to tourists so make sure that you have proof of accommodation and outbound flight so you’ll get the right visa.

🤟 Language: People in the service industry can speak a decent amount of English but not all of them. Remember that most of these people are from other smaller towns nearby who just came to PE for jobs.

🌵 Culture: Puerto Escondido has a laid-back culture. Everyone moves super slow and schedules are not followed diligently. By sunset, locals and tourists flock to the beach for a great view and sunset drinks.


Where is Puerto Escondido?

Puerto Escondido is located in the state of Oaxaca, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It is a 6-hour drive from Oaxaca City and about 12 hours from Mexico City. Both cities have direct flights to Puerto Escondido daily and the flight duration is 1 hour.


Is Puerto Escondido worth visiting?

ABSOLUTELY! It has been a ritual for me to come every year before the summer. Apart from having friends to regularly visit, I feel very at home and comfortable here because of its super friendly terrain for solo travelers.

There are so many things to do. Just within the area, there are already 9 beaches to see! You don’t even have to go on day trips! The community is also very close-knit so if you’re flying solo, it will be very exciting for you to be here on your own!


What is Puerto Escondido known for?

Puerto Escondido is famous for its waves. Many surfers from all over the world come here for surf trips that sometimes even last for months! Aside from its many beaches, it is also known for the Bioluminescence spectacle in the Manialtepec Lagoon. There are many places in Mexico where you can see this but the one here is visible most of the year.


What types of travelers visit Puerto Escondido?

Puerto Escondido is definitely a destination for everyone however, the majority of the travelers here are backpackers, digital nomads, and solo travelers.

It has become very popular with this crowd and you’ll see about 70% millennials here. But don’t worry – it’s not a Cancun Spring break scene. They are more of the young professional’s type who are traveling for an indefinite period of time.

Although I’ve seen many families with kids here since it’s also a child-friendly destination. My Mexico travel clients who are couples and honeymooners have not particularly requested this destination but I can also recommend it for romantic getaways.


🧳 Trip Planning Tools


When is the best time to visit Puerto Escondido?

The best time to visit Puerto Escondido is from November to early June. Hurricane season in Oaxaca starts as early as July. I visited in August 2020 and it was a bad idea because I ended up staying in all the time. It was raining every day in Puerto Escondido!

Of course, visiting during the season absolutely means that there will be larger crowds and fewer accommodations available. Americans and Canadians leave their homes in the US/Canada during this season so expect to have more competition with hotels. As for the Mexicans, they travel during holidays like summer vacation for children (July), day of the dead (October), Holy Week (April), Christmas, and New Year’s. These are the busiest months in Puerto Escondido so make sure to plan your trip accordingly.


Is there good Internet in Puerto Escondido?

Puerto Escondido is definitely a destination for everyone however, the majority of the travelers here are backpackers, digital nomads, and solo travelers.

It has become very popular with this crowd and you’ll see about 70% millennials here. But don’t worry – it’s not a Cancun Spring break scene. They are more of the young professional’s type who are traveling for an indefinite period of time.

Although I’ve seen many families with kids here since it’s also a child-friendly destination. My Mexico travel clients who are couples and honeymooners have not particularly requested this destination but I can also recommend it for romantic getaways.


🏄‍♀️ Things to do in Puerto Escondido

We only included the highlights here but you can see our article on things to do in Puerto Escondido if you need more activities. Those activities are categorized depending on what kind of traveler you are such as families with kids, solo travelers, couples, etc. We promise you’ll love that list! Meanwhile, here are some of the things you shouldn’t miss:

Puerto Escondido Tours

🛏️ Where to stay in Puerto Escondido

There are many hotels in Puerto Escondido but first, let’s discuss the best areas to stay in: families and honeymooners prefer Carrizalillo beach accommodations because it’s a quieter neighborhood. Young people go to La Punta while digital nomads prefer the Zicatela area.

Puerto Escondido is big so you need to identify the activities you want to do before choosing where to stay. I honestly don’t think it matters where you stay as the maximum drive I did on a motorcycle was only 20 minutes.

There are always taxis around so if you don’t want to stay in the center, the commute will not be that difficult. Note that I only stay in hotels/hostels if I am traveling on my own but if I am with a group, I always go for a vacation home rental in Puerto Escondido. It’s way more fun and cheap!

Below are some of my favorite hotels in Puerto Escondido.

🌮 Where to eat in Puerto Escondido

The best restaurants in Puerto Escondido are in the La Punta area. If you go to this street, you will find different cuisines from Latin America such as Peruvian and Venezuelan (which are very uncommon in Mexico). There are even Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines available. I stay in La Punta a lot and have not finished trying them all!

As for Zicatela, there are many seafood restaurants by the beach which are good for brunch or day drinking. If you go to the main avenue of Zicatela, you will find many Mexican restaurants and taco places. Here are my favorite restaurants in Puerto Escondido:

🍸 Puerto Escondido bars and nightlife

Puerto Escondido has a vibrant nightlife as most tourists who come to visit are millennials and young professionals. There are always secret jungle parties and last-minute rave announcements that you will only know of if you have local friends.

I don’t feel like it’s super upbeat every night but rest assured that the weekend will be super fun! Always do pre-drinks at La Punta as this is where everyone hangs out. By midnight, everyone goes to Zicatela where the big bars and clubs are. Seriously, just follow where the locals go and it will be a great experience!

💵 Puerto Escondido ATMs, USD exchange, etc

Puerto Escondido travel budget

💵  US dollars: Puerto Escondido is still a cash society so make sure to take out cash at the airport. Suggested ATM takeout is MXN$9,000 (US$450). It is also the daily withdrawal limit in Mexico.

Establishments accept US dollars but their conversion rate is very low. It’s better to use Mexican pesos in Puerto Escondido.

🏧 ATMs: This was quite challenging as there weren’t many ATMs at the center of Puerto Escondido. There are small ATM machines in town but they always run out of money.

To guarantee cash withdrawal, go to bigger Mexican banks like BBVA, Santander, or Banorte. It’s best to take more cash but make sure your hotel has a safe box for you to keep your money and valuables.

💳 Credit/debit cards: Surprisingly, only the big and foreign-owned establishments accept credit cards. Not everyone takes Amex so make sure you have Visa or Mastercard.

I’ve had very bad experiences with tapping (my card number was stolen and was used without asking for a passcode) so since then, I avoid using tap and asked my bank to deactivate it.

💸 Tipping: f you didn’t like the service, 10% will do but if you liked the service, you can tip up to 20%. Do not expect high-class or luxury service from waiters or receptionists in Puerto Escondido because you won’t get it.

Regardless, tipping is recommended especially in restaurants as Mexico’s daily minimum wage is very low.


Is Puerto Escondido cheap?

You can get a hostel (bed in a dorm) for as low as $US15 in a nice area like La Punta. In the same area, there are also many boutique hotels with beach access that only costs US$45 per night for two people!

Local food (Mexican restaurants) starts at US$3 USD while International ones start at US$7. I find restaurants in La Punta more expensive (and more international) so expect to pay at least US$12 for a meal if you are in this area.

Activity prices range from US$30 – $US150, depending on the activity, of course! In this Puerto Escondido travel guide, I will also give you an idea of the tour prices in the things to do section.

Below is an estimate of daily travel costs. I only put meals and accommodations here as they are the most important expenses when traveling:

Budget traveler: US$15 for a bed in a dorm, $3 USD per meal
Mid-range: $45 USD for a boutique hotel, $7 USD per meal
Luxury: $100 USD for a beachfront hotel, $10 USD per meal


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Paula

Saturday 28th of January 2023

This is such a great guide. We have only been to Mexico ones so far but we already fell in love with the country and want to return. Next time we absolutely want to venture aways from the most touristy areas and maybe Puerto Escondido could be a good one for that. It still sounds like a nice place with visitors but not over top like Cancun and Playa del Carmen. This post definitely had everything you need to know when traveling there.

Clarice

Thursday 26th of January 2023

Happy to know there are many things to do in Puerto Escondido. Thank you for the heads up about the internet connection. I guess we just have to put off work when visiting this beautiful place and just enjoy the 9 beaches.

Puloma Bhattacharya

Wednesday 25th of January 2023

Puerto Escondido looks like a dreamy magical place with laid back vibes. And great to know that it's good for all types of travelers. And even more it can be included in Oaxaca road trip. I would love to take surfing lessons, try authentic food , take bioluminescence boat tour and try most unusual turtle release activity into the waters. And it's great that Puerto Escondido has hotels for all types of traveling budgets.

Umiko

Wednesday 25th of January 2023

It looks like it's a destination to visit today because it's not crowded with tourists yet. The hotels and foods are still cheap, and the tours offered are affordable. I'm not a digital nomad, so it won't be a problem for me. And I want to see the bioluminescence. It looks amazing!

Linda (LD Holland)

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

I am not a surfer but I do love to watch the surfers. So good to know that Puerto Escondido might be the spot to go for this treat. With 12 beaches I am sure we would find one perfect for us to enjoy. We would definitely book a tour to see the bioluminescence and do a boat tour in the Chacahau National Park.

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