Things to do in Puerto Escondido (besides surf)
by Josien - 10 May, 2020
Puerto Escondido is a small beach town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca and was founded at the beginning of the 20th century. Its main function was a port for exporting coffee but it got famous as a beach resort location since the 1950s. Puerto Escondido is now known as a surfing spot and is especially popular with backpackers and digital nomads. But what else is there to do besides surf? I made a list of my favorite things to do in Puerto Escondido:
I think that, up till today, this was the most mesmerizing thing I have ever done! After a trip of 40 minutes to the lagoon, we arrived in the dark at a little harbor. We were with a group of 7 and had a boat to ourselves, great! A short ride in the dark and with a tour guide shining a light on the water (we hope not for crocodiles) we arrived in the middle of the lake where we had to jump in.
Forget about the possibility for crocodiles, forget about how dark it is and you don’t see a thing in the water, forget about everything, cause this bioluminescence is magic. I saw people diving in and a big stripe of glitter showed up right behind them, like a tale. MAGIC. I jumped in the dark water myself and saw it lighting up all around me. Such a beautiful and natural phenomena I had never seen and I know there are not that many places on earth to find this. I absolutely recommend everyone to go and see this for themselves!
A little hike to La Punta Rocks
You might think the beach ends at the end of La Punta beach, but you can climb the rocks and find an amazing spot for sunset. Not a big tour, no tour guide needed, or entrance fee. Just a cheap and great way to spend your sunset somewhere else!
Release sea turtles into the ocean
Every Sunday at 5 pm you can go to Playa Bacocho to help the local sea turtle sanctuary releasing baby sea turtles. The cutest turtles you will ever see! For only 50 pesos (or more if you want to donate) you get your own turtle, you get to name it and release it when the time is there. Our turtles Jag, Carlos, and Maria made it to the ocean and we for sure hope we scared all the big seagulls away so they could safely swim to the open ocean.
Skydiving Puerto Escondido
Something I didn’t do in Puerto Escondido, but for sure it looked amazing! It’s a very popular spot to learn to skydive because of the low price. You take off from the airport and you land right at the beach. Plan this wisely and you see the sunset from the plane when you jump out!
Beach day at Playa Carrizalillo
Our favorite beach at Puerto Escondido. In a secluded bay, you find sunbeds, little restaurants, and crystal blue water. And it’s easy to swim here, so a refreshing dive is probably very welcome when you spent your day here.
Movies at the beach – Wednesdays
Every Wednesday (check Facebook groups for the dates and movie titles) at Bacocho beach (Villa Sol Hotel) you can watch a movie on a big screen at the beach. Entrance is free, no BYO.
Beach volleyball in Puerto Escondido
There are several places where you can play beach volleyball in Puerto Escondido. We experienced that the net at La Punta was for locals and mainly professionals, but the others were all fun to play. Locals and nomads come together to end the day with some fun exercise. We felt very welcome to join!
Spend a weekend in Chacahua
Chacahua is a super small town behind the lagoon with the bioluminescence. It’s a bit of a drive to get there: 1 hour on a bike and then 45 min on a boat, but it’s a beautiful ride. The boat ride through the lagoon is like a fairytale. The town of Chacahua has a few restaurants at the beach, a point break to surf, and a beach volleyball net. Enough for your crew to spend the weekend and enjoy yourselves!
Side note: Chacahua is a very undeveloped rural area. Expect dirt roads, no luxury at all, poor (or no) wifi, and no supermarket.
Horseback riding to the hot springs
A little outside of Puerto Escondido, close to Manialtepec, you will find hot springs that are not easy to find. You can walk there (not recommended!), but we did a horseback riding tour to get there. We spend around an hour crossing Mexican farmland and rivers before we arrived at the hot springs. An absolutely beautiful ride! The hot springs are like the expected: hot 😉 Since it was a super hot day and we arrived there on the hottest hour of the day, we rather jumped in the river with cold water. So we enjoyed ourselves mainly cooling down. It’s a quiet and non-touristy spot to go to. We loved it!
Dolphin and whale watching tour
Not something I did personally, I get motion sick really fast, but I heard SO many people talking about this experience, so it can’t miss in your list of things to do in Puerto Escondido. I have seen many whales jumping from the beach, so I bet you will see them jump right in front of you when you go for a whale watching tour!
Connect with other digital nomads
In Zicatela, you’ll find the co-working and co-living spot Selina, a great place to meet like-minded people. When I was in Puerto Escondido I worked from that place on a daily basis. Read more about my experience as a digital nomad in Puerto Escondido here.
Restaurants in Puerto Escondido
You find many great restaurants in Puerto Escondido. I recommend visiting as many as possible since your own experience is what counts. But, for who needs inspiration or can’t choose, here is my top 10 of the best restaurants in Puerto Escondido.
Things to do in Puerto Escondido
My favorite things to do in Puerto Escondido are: