Located on Mexico’s southern pacific coast in Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido is quickly becoming a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. Once a destination for professional surfers has now become a place for every type of vacationer. Here are five reasons to check out this hidden port from the Pacific.
Surfers from all over the world come to ride the legendary waves of this coast. Surfing put this town on the tourist map and continues to attract expert surfers and viewing enthusiasts. Zicatela beach is the best-known surfing spot, and it’s for expert surfers only. Home to the famous Mexican Pipeline, this beautiful, golden, wide beach, with its laid-back vibe and its surrounding town, is the place to be.
There are other surfing spots within a couple of hours’ drive in either direction of Puerto Escondido. If you want to explore them, the best option is renting a car and hiring a surf guide to go with you to other locations. The guides are available and easy to find. Head to La Punta or Carrizalillo if you’re a beginner. You’ll find much smaller waves at both beaches that are ideal for learning, and there are plenty of instructors available.
If you’re not into surfing and want to hit the beach to relax or find other activities, there are plenty of beaches to explore in Puerto Escondido. Carrizalillo Beach is an iconic postcard-worthy beach. You arrive at this cove by walking down 167 steps and will be rewarded with beautiful sand and gleaming turquoise waters. And since cliffs surround it, there are constant small waves which make it perfect for swimming.
Heading down the coast, you’ll find two bays sitting right next to each other – Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo. Both are nice for relaxing and swimming and are very popular with locals and domestic tourists on the weekends. You can find several restaurants here, many of which have beach loungers you can use so long as you’re ordering something.
A top activity is visiting the Manialtepec Lagoon, a coastal ecosystem with a distinctive quality. It brings together three different water sources with peculiar characteristics, salty water from the ocean, water from the river, and thermal spring water. This makes the water from the Lagoon bioluminescent, offering the attractive nocturnal spectacle of its algae that lights on and off. This phenomenon attracts a lot of curious visitors who swim at night when the plankton lights up. The lagoon is 9 miles long, and its mangrove has trees that can reach up to 50 feet.
The Chacahua Lagoons National Park encompasses 55 square miles, and features freshwater and saltwater lagoons, and nearly twenty miles of open shoreline, with large extensions of vegetation, mainly mangroves. There is a crocodile hatchery in the park where boats that tour through the lagoons and canals make a stop. Likewise, the park has spectacular beaches and serves as a sanctuary for many species.
Baby Turtle Release
In Puerto Escondido, you can have the experience of releasing newborn turtles and be a part of a perplexing life cycle. Turtle conservation is an important project, and it takes place in Bacocho beach, just two miles from the main bay. The release happens every day near sunset, at approximately 05:00 PM. However, you can arrive earlier and enjoy a clean beach with crystal clear waters and an open landscape. The Turtle Release Center in Bacocho Beach offers an educational talk about this marine species that have been endangered due to natural predators in the area. You will receive detailed instructions on how to release the turtle properly. This is an activity ideal for people of all ages, and many hotels organize their own baby turtle release, so check with your hotel or head to the center. This is a must-do activity in Puerto Escondido.
Boat and Sightseeing Tours
If you like to travel by boat, then Puerto Escondido is the right place for you. There are many different boat tours in Puerto Escondido, from kayaking through mangroves and bays to swimming with dolphins, sailing on a catamaran, or sailing on a stand-up paddleboard. For example, you can book an afternoon sail to La Ventanilla Beach and snorkel or windsurf with dolphins. Other sightseeing tours include a visit to the waterfall La Encantada. Here, you can discover beautiful rural landscapes and swim in the small pond that hosts the very refreshing waters of this impressive, almost 200 feet high waterfall.
Puerto Escondido is a fantastic choice for your next vacation, where you will have unique experiences that you will remember for a long time. Book your next vacation to this incredible port in Mexico and enjoy nature in its purest form.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com