The number one thing to do in Puerto Escondido is hit the beaches. The good news is there are plenty of beaches to explore. This top Mexico destination in Oaxaca is famous for its largest beach: Playa Zicatela. Playa Zicatela holds yearly surf competitions hosting the most talented surfers from around the world, but there are more beaches to see in Puerto Escondido! Tap the names of each beach to see their locations.
Beaches of Puerto Escondido
This is where you will see the best surf, during season (April- September). The biggest waves are early in the morning, so grab a coffee and enjoy the morning light on the beach with a front row seat to the type of surf you usually only see on TV. This is easily my favorite thing to do in Puerto Escondido. I have a lot of nostalgia toward surfing because of my dad, but I actually don’t surf– I’m just a spectator. This year it looks like the Surf Open competition is scheduled for May 29, 2022. Those dates are always changing with pandemic travel restrictions and such, so if you’d like to attend do some research and book accommodations early.
New Years Eve at Playa Zicatela
Playa Zicatela is lined with beach bars, so if you’re looking to party on the beach while ringing in the new year, this is where you’ll want to be. I spent New Years Eve 2022 here and loved it. All of the bars host New Years events. I’d recommend checking out to see what’s going on beforehand, finding tickets in advance will save you money. Many of the events were around $150 USD depending on who the DJ is. The headliner at the party I went to was renowned German DJ Oliver Koletzki, so the price was a bit steeper than a local DJ, but because I bought in advance it wasn’t that bad.
This beach is located on the bay at the end of Playa Zicatela. This is a very swimmable beach compared to Zicatela offering calm waters in the bay. Playa Principal is where all the panga boats are located, so if you’re going whale watching this is where you’ll meet. The bay is a very popular area for national tourists so in the busy season the beach is very lively. One of my favorite spots to spend the day is right between Playa Principal and Playa Zicatela at La Cantina Principal.
Playa Carrizalillo is an extremely popular beach in Puerto Escondido because of its absolutely breathtaking turquoise waters. It’s a small beach so during busy season it’s going to be packed– you’ll need to arrive early if you want to get a beach chair. The view from above the beach is the best part, then comes the worst part: the stairs. To access Playa Carrizalillo you’ll need to go up and down hundreds of steps. The way back is a lot of work after being in the sun all day, stay hydrated!
Manzanillo beach is located very close to Playa Carrizalillo so if you’re trying to see all the beaches of Puerto Escondido you could easily knock both these off your list in one day. My favorite part about this beach was the bar/restaurant La Isla. This was the perfect place to spend the afternoon. Keep an eye on their instagram for when they’re having day parties. La Isla hosts a DJ every Sunday afternoon. Learn more about where all the weekly parties are here in my Complete Guide to Puerto Escondido.
In my opinion the beach in La Punta is the best place to watch Puerto Escondido’s sunset. It’s a nightly ritual for everyone that lives in the neighborhood and a great place to meet up with familiar faces you’ve seen around La Punta.
Playa Bacocho is a long strip of gorgeous white sand beach most well-known for being the turtle release beach. During nesting period you can find info about Turtle Releases Here. Also, Every Wednesday Club de Playa Villasol hosts cinema on the beach! You can check out their Facebook page to see what movie will be playing. Beware that the current at Bacocho Beach can be dangerous, so be mindful of this when swimming.
I didn’t get a chance to make it to this beach, next time! Playa Coral is sort of a “secret beach” so it’s a bit harder to get to. Coral Beach is very secluded and I hear it’s worth the extra effort to get to. Unlike all the other beaches in Puerto Escondido there aren’t any bars or restaurants. Bring some cerveza and snacks! There are two ways to access Playa Coral. You can walk from Playa Bacocho, about ten minutes. The other way to get to Playa Coral is to pay an entrance fee and walk down from Villa Mexicana, the hotel located directly above Playa Coral.
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