Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Puerto Escondido is built like a hand. The palm, the center, is the main infrastructure of the city. Busy people crowd the streets heading to and from work, the market is constantly bustling, and lives are in full throttle. It’s a thriving mid-sized Mexican city. The energy and heat of Puerto Escondido’s center dissipates and slows down as the town trickles towards the fingers of the city, ending at the calming beaches of the Pacific Ocean.
Each one of Puerto’s main beaches are like fingertips with their individual and unique fingerprint. La Punta sits at the most eastern end of Puerto and much like the pinky finger, it is little and does little but it serves its purpose. This end of Puerto is extremely relaxed. The roads in La Punta remain unpaved and the vibe is carefree and laid back.
La Punta turns into Zicatela Beach. This is the territory of serious surfers. It’s home of the famous Mexican Pipeline, a challenging wave known for its shape and power. The pipeline is what put Puerto on the map, making it a destination for surfers worldwide especially for the annually held competition in November. The stretch of beach at Zicatela is long and beautiful but the ocean is as ruckus and loud as the nightlife that runs parallel to the water. Zicatela is also Puerto’s nightlife hub.
Manzanillo and Puerto Angelito
The two middle beaches, Manzanillo and Puerto Angelito share the same bay but serve different purposes. On one side, Manzanillo is a tiny, chill beach, hugged in tight by shallow rocks that keep the water calm enough to safely swim in. A few restaurants and lounge chairs curve around the edge supplying food, cold drinks, and shade. Just a stone’s throw, on the other side, is Puerto Angelito. This side is swimmable but serves more as a small boat port for dolphin tours and sea excursions. It’s by far busier.
Just a stone’s throw, on the other side, is Puerto Angelito. This side is swimmable but serves more as a small port for dolphin tours and sea excursions. It’s by far busier and therefor great for people watching.
Then there’s Playa Carizalillo. For me, it’s the pointer finger, the finger you’d lift to the sky to say this beach is #1! I could spend the rest of my life on this beach and be happy. It takes a few stairs to get down and up, about 180 actually, but it’s worth every step. Carizalillo is perfect for swimmers and surfers alike, making it the best of both worlds but it’s also never too packed with people. The water is beautiful, the views are stunning and the beer is cold. The surrounding neighborhood of Rinconada is on the quieter side with a very residential feel, no nightlife to speak of, but has some of Puerto’s best restaurants. It’s Zicatela vibes all grown up with an early bedtime.
Finally at the far west end is Playa Bacocho. And like the thumb, it’s the most powerful and the biggest. The beach stretches on for eternity but the ocean’s tug and pull is far too powerful and strong for anyone other than the baby turtles that get released here. The thrashing waves and wide flat beach make it the perfect beach for a sunset run.
Why don’t I just live here again?