Oaxaca is one of our favorite regions in Mexico! This region fully illustrates the “Mexicanness” - the food is delicious, the people are warm and charismatic with unique cultural heritage. Oaxaca is a paradise on earth! We will tell you about the most beautiful and best beaches in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
We spent a wonderful time in Puerto Escondido. We spent days swimming, taking sunbath, eating Mexican food, taking photos of sunsets. This city has incredible beaches, popular among surfers and swimmers due to the power of the Pacific Ocean waves. We spent 5 days there, and on some days we have even visited two beaches 🙂
The region, Oaxaca
The coast of Oaxaca is at the Pacific ocean, which means a hot climate throughout the whole year, soft and sandy beaches and warm water with waves.
This region is one of the most important touristic centers in Mexico, there are 4 main cities in this region: Puerto Angel, Huatulco, Santa Catarina Juquila and Puerto Escondido. These are the ones that are visited the most by foreigners, although Oaxaca is still mostly visited by Mexicans.
Puerto Escondido means “Hidden Harbor” in Spanish, but this is not the original name of the city! The original name of this region/city was “La Escondida” or “The hidden one” in Spanish. Curiously, this region was never occupied by the indigenous groups of the region, neither by the Spaniards.
The legend says that the pirate Andrew Drake, brother of the famous pirate Francis Drake, anchored his ship to rest for some days because he was under the pressure of the Spanish authorities.
Before arriving at the region, his men and he kidnapped a young Mixteca (one of the lots of Indigenous groups in Oaxaca) woman in Huatulco, but luckily, when they were approaching to Puerto Escondido, the girl managed to jump from the ship, swim and hide in the jungle.
The pirates searched for her several times, but they never managed to find her again. With time, they started to call her “The hidden one” name that was adopted by the region too, and the people who came here started to call the city like that.
There are 8 beaches in Puerto Escondido, the best thing here is that each of them is very different. Some beaches are perfect for swimming, other ones are good for surfers because of the crazy waves. Some of them are perfect for a long walk at sunset, other ones are good if you want to release some baby turtles 🙂
The beaches located in this region are:
Swimming: Due to the strong waves, it’s not recommendable to enter just to swim. Even if you are a very good swimmer, don't risk your life!
Surfing: On the other hand, the strong waves are the perfect line for experienced surfers, this beach is even popular around the world and is a must destination for all the surfers.
This should be in the first place because Zicatela is the most gorgeous beach in Puerto Escondido! Well, it depends on your needs of course, even if you are not able to swim here. Sunsets are magical on the Zicatela beach because it faces directly to the west and you will catch some amazing colors while the sun disappears on the horizon.
The restaurants that surround the bay are also affordable.
This place is also known because of the cheapest hotels in Puerto Escondido that surround this area.
Find some of the cheapest hotels here!
Bahía principal beach
Swimming: This beach is suitable for swimming due to the middle strong waves.
Surfing: Surfing for kids and rookies is the best at this beach due to the middle strength of the waves.
Bahía Principal means “The main beach” in Spanish. It's because its location: in the middle of the city. Here you will find a combination of the things that are available on the other beaches. You will be able to swim in front of the restaurants and also find some people surfing in the section where the waves are stronger.
Swimming: swimming would be very dangerous here, as the waves are very strong! Also, it's a hatching spot for a lot of species of sea turtles, so your presence in the water could harm the nests or affect the integration cycle of the turtles when they born.
Surfing: For the same reasons written before, this beach should be respected and guarded as a sanctuary for the fauna. There are plenty of beaches where to surf in this city, so you should not worry.
Bacocho is the perfect beach for a long walk at sunrise or sunset. Not in the middle of the day, as there are no shadows, and the sun can get very harmful! But you can watch the colorful sunset and listen to the strong waves.
Bacocho beach and the conservation of Sea Turtles
We had one of our most amazing experiences at the Bacocho beach: we released some baby turtles!
For this reason, Bacocho is one of the best beaches in Puerto Escondido in Mexico! 🙂
There is an NGO called “Vive Mar” that takes care of the nests and the baby turtles, and you can go to release them every day starting from 5 pm. The cost of the releasing is 100 Mexican pesos (approx. 5 euros) This money is destinated by the NGO to keep the labor of protection for these cute creatures.
Mexico and the rich species of Turtles
There are 7 species of sea turtles in Mexico, and 4 of them use Playa Bacocho as a hatching spot. The Olive ridley sea turtles, Hawksbill sea turtles, Leatherback sea turtles, and Green sea turtles can be spotted here all along the year.
You need to know that from every 100 turtles that enter the ocean, just 1 will reach adulthood. These sea creatures are some of the most delicate and vulnerable, so this kind of activity is great for keeping the number of these animals strong.
We couldn't take photos of the turtles with the camera, but here are some stories we made for Instagram 😀
Swimming: for those who like deep water and have fun when the water is very wavy, this is going to be the perfect place! It’s still safe, but it’s not for those who like to swim in the still water.
Surfing: The waves are perfect for surfing, this is the beach where people will offer you to take surfing classes. If you want to learn how to surf in 3-4 days, we recommend you to take a surf class here 🙂
The only challenge is that you have to take about 300 steps to go down to the beach - which is not challenging, but when you have to go up… well, it can get tiring! But we swear you, the view of the beach from the top is worth it!
Puerto Angelito is a combination of two beaches: Angelito and Manzanillo. In this both you can find the same characteristics and activities, the only difference is that you can reach Angelito beach directly by car, and Manzanillo beach is reachable after a tract of dirt between the beach and a parking lot.
Swimming: The waves on this beach are very still, so this makes it perfect for having a great family time, where babies and not so expert swimmers can have a good time in the water.
Surfing: This beach is still, covered from the wind and waves, so you won’t be able to surf.
On the other hand, this beach can be perfect for snorkeling, you can find some fish! 🙂
They rent snorkeling gear on the beach as well!
Make the most with your budget!
Here you have to pay for your place on the chairs, but it is not very expensive. It is also convenient because you can leave all your stuff protected from the sun and get some fresh drinks or food if you feel hungry.
The only thing that you need to be aware of here are the edge black rocks located between Angelito and Manzanillo beach, be careful next to them because the waves can make you have an accident there. Be safe around them 😉
Swimming: This beach is connected with Playa Angelito, so the natural protection of the beach makes it perfect for swimming with little children and new swimmers.
Surfing: The low wave condition of this beach makes it not suitable for surfing, but you will be able to enjoy some calm water and snorkeling!
Manzanillo beach looks pretty similar to Angelito beach and they have the same kind of waves.
If you are going with a lot of friends, maybe it’s more convenient to just get some drinks from the restaurants next to the beach, like that, they will let you use the chairs and umbrellas without extra cost.
Swimming: It used to be one of the safest beaches to swim in Puerto Escondido because there are several lifeguards all along the coast and the nice waves, but in February of 2019, a rare phenomenon of the currents made the sand to “fall” and now is not a safe beach anymore
Surfing: Due to the sand falling of 2019, it is not recommendable to practice surfing in this place.
Marinero beach used to be a very beautiful and full of people beach (Zsuzsi and I had a great time there and we even made some good friends), but after a natural phenomenon, the sand of the beach felt over itself and now the risk of being taken by the undercurrents of the ocean is very high. The authorities of Puerto Escondido recommend not to swim on this beach unless you are a very good swimmer, and even if you are, it is not the best thing to do.
Where to stay in Puerto Escondido?
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